“When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can’t remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade away. The only hope of saving her is to go to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.
If Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy. As she’s drawn into their intrigues, she must uncover the secrets of her past, and journey into a world with more magic than she had ever dreamed.” (via Goodreads)
Women sacrificing themselves for the greater good is old territory in fiction, but yet again Cho pushes past the tropes to something unexpected. She calls them out on their self-sacrificial behavior. Muna and Henrietta’s actions seem like good ideas on paper, but in practice they’re deeply flawed. Sacrifice means being beholden to a corrupt system; resistance requires dismantling the system entirely. By surrendering their lives, Muna and Henrietta remain trapped in a system that doesn’t care about them, but by fighting back they can break the system and create something new from the wreckage. They learn that lesson the hard way…
Read the rest of my review at Tor.com.
Thanks to Ace for sending me a review copy.
Do the world a favor and buy this book from your local indie bookstore or get it from your public library.