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Stephanie Burgis

Stephanie Burgis grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, hopelessly addicted to the novels of both Jane Austen and J.R.R Tolkien. As she grew older, she added Georgette Heyer, Elizabeth Peters, and Emma Bull to her list of all-time favorites. Now she’s writing a series of novels that mix Regency romantic comedy with fantasy adventure for smart, adventurous girls. On her way, she studied music history and performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and won a Fulbright scholarship to work and study in Vienna, Austria. She lives with her husband, son, and crazy-sweet border collie in Wales, where she loves to visit Regency-era houses, medieval abbeys and local castles for inspiration. To find out more, please visit Stephanie Burgis’s website.

Stephanie Burgis talks about CONGRESS OF SECRETS

Stephanie Burgis established herself as a middle grade fantasy writer with her KAT, INCORRIGIBLE series. In 2015, she expanded her repertoire with the romantic fantasy novel Masks and Shadows, set in an alternate 18th century Austria. She followed that up with Congress of Secrets, which is set in Vienna in the early 19th century and includes hidden identities, political secrets and elemental alchemy. Burgis lives in Wales. She took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with Marion about her work, living in Wales, and how history can repeat itself if we’re not careful.

One random commenter with a USA or Canada address will get a copy of Congress of Secrets.

... Read More

Kat, Incorrigible: Magical Austen for the middle grade reader

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis

I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin. I made it almost to the end of my front garden.

Thus begin the adventures of Katherine Ann Stephenson, also known as Kat. Kat is twelve and has a plethora of problems. Her oldest sibling, Charles, has gambled away all the family’s money and been sent home from Oxford. Her oldest sister Elissa is in love with the idea of being the tragic gothic heroine who sacrifices everything to marry and save her family from destruction. Angeline, who used to be Kat’s protector and confidante, now locks herself away in a room with Elissa to gossip about boys and goings-on in Society. That leaves Kat, who has to put up with her absent-minded father and controlling step-mother who is determined to marry Elissa off to the wealthy Sir Neville, regardless of the dark rumors about... Read More

Masks and Shadows: A grand, glorious opera of a fantasy novel

Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis

A selfish prince, a bitter royal wife, a frivolous royal mistress; a lonely widow, a plucky servant girl, a cynical singer; a dastardly plot, a dangerous elemental, a spy, an alchemist (or maybe two); royal banquets, fraught performance rehearsals, and even a bit of cross-dressing at a masquerade ball. Stephanie Burgis’s Masks and Shadows packs in all that and more; there’s Hadyn and the Enlightenment as well.

Carlo Morelli is a castrato, famed throughout Europe for his ethereal voice. Morelli does not seem to mourn the loss of his physical “manhood;” instead he thinks that his peasant parents probably saved his life, rescuing him from starvation. He has prospered from his performances, but his sympathies still lie with the peasant class. On his way to the Esterhaza Pa... Read More

Congress of Secrets: Fast-paced fantasy romance swirling with political intrigue

Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis

In 1814, the four countries that defeated Napoleon Bonaparte held a congress in Vienna, determined to establish a new balance of power among the European nations. It was a contentious congress filled with intrigue and realpolitik, but at least those real-life diplomats and leaders weren’t contending with shadowy magic, the way Stephanie Burgis’ characters are in her alternate history fantasy Congress of Secrets (2016).

Lady Caroline Wyndham, a wealthy British widow, has come to Vienna, merely to observe the historical undertaking... and perhaps, she’s hinted, offer a little money to the Austrian treasury. In reality, Caroline’s mission is very different; it’s deeply personal and very dangerous. Caroline isn’t even her name. As she navigates the diplomatic minefi... Read More

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart: A delicious blend of adventure and chocolate

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis

A young, golden-eyed dragon named Aventurine is chafing at the restrictions her family has placed on her: dragons aren't allowed outside of the caverns until they're 40 or 50 years old, when their wings are strong enough for flight and their scales have hardened enough to protect them against arrows and swords. Aventurine's mother encourages her to "find her passion" in studying history, math or philosophy, but Aventurine just wants to go explore and be free. How can she not, with a name like Aventurine?

So one day she sneaks out of their caverns. When she finds a stray human on their mountain she thinks she's in luck: bringing a delicious human back to the cavern will surely impress her family! The human is suitably terrified of her and Aventurine is about to pounce when … wait ... what's that delicious-smelling food he’s cooking? It’s hot chocolate, which Aventurine has... Read More

The Girl with the Dragon Heart: Creating your own story

The Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis

Stephanie Burgis follows up last year’s award-nominated middle grade fantasy The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart with The Girl with the Dragon Heart (2018), the second book in her TALES FROM THE CHOCOLATE HEART series. The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart followed the escapades of Aventurine, a chocolate-loving young dragon enchanted into the shape of a young girl. The focus now shifts to Aventurine’s friend Silke, a dark-skinned girl with short black curly hair. More importantly, Silke is also brave, quick-thinking and fast-moving, and has a great talent for creating stories, including her own.

Silke, an orphan... Read More

Snowspelled: A Regency magician without her magic

Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis

Snowspelled (2017), the first book in the new HARWOOD SPELLBOOK fantasy series by Stephanie Burgis, is a fun, light read, right at the intersection of magical fantasy and Regency romance, with a twist of alternative history. We are in Angland, not England, and there's a time-honored treaty between humans and elves, with the humans paying a toll to live on elven lands. Cassandra Harwood, her brother Jonathan, and sister-in-law Amy travel to a week-long house party at Cosgrove Manor, deep in elven lands, an area guarded by trolls who allow you to pass only if you have paid the necessary tax and have an official, glowing stamp on your carriage.

Cassandra is a brilliant, dedicated magician. Though still held back by the gentleman’s network of male magicians, she has become the first ... Read More

Thornbound: A Regency magic school for women

Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis

"For over seventeen hundred and fifty years, ever since the great Boudicca herself had sent the Romans fleeing Angland with the help of her second husband’s magery, a clearly defined line had been drawn in the public arena, never to be broken. The hard-headed ladies of Angland saw to the practicalities of rule whilst the more mystical and emotional gentlemen dealt with magic." 

In this magical, alternative-history version of England, called Angland, traditional roles are genderbent: the women handle politics and rule the country, while men are the magicians. For many years Cassandra Harwood was the only female magician in Angland, a single exception to a fixed tradition that many in power regret having allowed. Cassandra is still kicking against the rules of society, even though she can no longer exercise her magical powers due to a deeply regretted choice in her past. But Cassan... Read More

More fantasy by Stephanie Burgis

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsSome Girlfriends Can — (2012) Publisher: It’s hard enough trying to be the perfect girlfriend. But how is Lauren supposed to compete when her boyfriend’s ex is a literal goddess? “Some Girlfriends Can” is a sparkling short story for adults that mixes chick lit humor and mythic fantasy. It was originally published in the speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons. fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Undead Philosophy 101 — (2012) Publisher: Eighteen-year-old Amanda has finally escaped her unconventional upbringing in northern Michigan to go to college. All she wants now is to concentrate on her classes and ignore the vampires blending in on campus… but when her roommate is bitten, it’s time for Amanda to take action. “Undead Philosophy 101” is a smart, funny urban fantasy short story, first published in The December Lights Project.