A sweet and fluffy epilogue to my favourite Regency fantasy series, Frostgilded is absolutely perfect comfort reading!
Book: Frostgilded by Stephanie Burgis
Read before: No
Publication date: 18th November 2020
Ownership: E-ARC sent free of charge by author. All opinions my own.
This might be the cutest book I’ve read all year! It definitely doesn’t stand alone, so you’ll want to go back to Snowspelled to start at the beginning of the Harwood Spellbook series, but you should do that anyway because if you haven’t, you’re missing out on a brilliant fantasy of manners. You can check out my review of book three, Moontangled, here, for a hint at what the series is like – it’s wonderful comfort reading. This epilogue, Frostgilded, is set around two years after that first book, so beware, spoilers from hereon out… We rejoin Cassandra Harwood at Thornfell, the school for female magicians she successfully set up across the series – and as Cassandra has come to realise, success comes with a certain amount of chaos. Her house is full of visitors, from students to in-laws, and all she wants to do is sneak away to set up an anniversary surprise for her husband, but she just keeps getting interrupted!
Like I say, this is pure fluffy sweetness. It is so wonderful to get a glimpse into how the characters I’ve come to love are getting on, and even though this is only a short read, there are so many delightful moments of interaction between Cassandra and her family and students. It’s just a book that filled me with warmth! When I describe this series to people, I often liken it to sinking into a hot bath, because they’re so comforting – from the feminist twist to the historical setting, to the wit of the characters and Cassandra’s narration, to the mix of fae politics and family issues, this is everything I like to read. This book in particular has that cozy holiday fanfic feel – which I use as a huge compliment! – and I really loved seeing Cassandra and Rajaram’s marriage as a continuing relationship, after the happily ever after. One of my favourite things to read is couples who have a genuinely strong line of communication, and though this book hinges on miscommunication, it’s all in good fun and you can tell they are so good for each other. It’s so romantic!
Even though I’m sad this is an end to the series, Frostgilded is a wonderful send-off, a window into a happy moment that I can see myself returning to time and again. Five out of five cats, obviously!