By Stephanie Burgis
Publication date: April 5, 2011
Twelve year old Katherine Stephenson is often a source of consternation to her family and she is viewed by them as a troublemaker. She means well but she gets in quite a few accidental scrapes. Now with her eldest sister Elissa being pushed towards marriage to an unpleasant man to save the family's fortunes, Kat decides it is up to her to save her sister from a fate worse than death. Kat may be the youngest in the family but she has inherited her mother's magical abilities as a Guardian, a secret that could have disastrous consequences if the wrong person found out. With the other members of her mother's former Order on her heels and a dastardly villain determined to have Elissa for his own nefarious purposes, Kat has to think quickly and use all her skills if she is to save the day.
Kat, Incorrigible (published as A Most Improper Magick in the UK) is the first in a new MG series set in Regency England. It is a humorous adventure with a plucky heroine. Kat causes accidental mayhem wherever she goes but she isn't a brat. There were a few times when I found Kat's stubbornness to be annoying, particularly in her refusal to listen to Mr. Gregson, her would-be magic tutor. I still liked her character though. She is devoted to her sisters and she is determined to help her family even when they don't want her assistance! Both Elissa and Angeline had good qualities as well but I preferred Angeline's fiery strength to Elissa's passive acceptance of her fate (guided as it is by her frequent reading of gothic romance). The villain of the book is Sir Neville Collingwood and he is a suitably creepy and formidable opponent for Kat.
I enjoyed reading about Kat's antics and even laughed out loud at times. She is a fun character to read about and I look forward to following her adventures as the series continues. Although this is a middle grade novel, I think it would appeal to young teens as well, particularly those who enjoy the works of Jessica Day George and Gail Carson Levine.
Readalikes: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George, Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
Note: I received an e-ARC of this title as part of Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab program in exchange for an honest review