Brother’s Ruin – Emma Newman

4 Stars

I picked this book up at the library on a whim.

I love stories where industry is magical and young magicians are whisked away into training. I love stories where women defy the rules to do what they want to do with their lives, in pursuit of their own happiness. I love stories that have intrigue, mystery, and conspiracy. I love when stories combine all three. Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman does just that.

Set in 1850, Brother’s Ruin is the story of Charlotte Gunn and her desires to have a successful career of her own choosing, have a happy marriage to the man she’s engaged to, keep her family whole and hale, and to keep her darkest secret. Of course, in her quest to accomplish all that very little goes her way. (It wouldn’t be fun to read any other way, now would it?)

Being found as a Latent and forced to join the institution of magicians, called The Royal Society in Brother’s Ruin, is a frightening fate for many, including Charlotte and her family. Magi aren’t allowed to do any of what Charlotte hopes – no careers outside of what they decree, no marriage, and while her family would be compensated for her absence she wouldn’t consider it whole.

Where The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg has all the same elements, Brother’s Ruin is darker, less peppy and hopeful, and less lovesick. The story is fun and compelling and I can’t wait to read more!

Thankfully, Brother’s Ruin is the first in Emma Newman’s gaslamp fantasy series Industrial Magic. The second book in the series Weaver’s Lament is slated to hit shelves October 17, 2017.