Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A Tangle of Magicks Blog Tour: Amazing Women by Stephanie Burgis

I'm going to come out and say it right now, I adore Stephanie Burgis, and I did even before I read either of her books! She's an absolutely lovely person and I feel an emotional connection to her as we are both American transplants living here in the UK.

But then I read A Most Improper Magick and A Tangle of Magicks and I love Stephanie even more. Because in these book she has created one of my absolute favourite fictional characters in Kat Stephenson. I absolutely loved Kat's wild, wholly unladylike adventures. Her choices and her behaviours always made me cheer and I finished reading the books with the biggest smile on my face.

So it is my great pleasure to have Stephanie Burgis here today on the blog tour for the absolutely fun and entertaining A Tangle of Magicks! And because it's all SO exciting, here is the link to the publisher's Facebook page in which copies of A Tangle of Magicks can be won. Also, on Steph's website is a short story involving Kat called Duelling Magicks, which takes place after A Most Improper Magick but before A Tangle of Magicks! Do check it out.

If you'd like to know more about Stephanie or the Kat Stephenson books, please do visit the following sites.

Ever since Michelle started her “Amazing Women” series, it’s been one of my top blog-reading highlights every week. I love getting personal snapshots of other women’s life stories - and their teenage survival stories, too, since even those of us with the happiest childhoods still had to survive the traumas of teenagehood.

(I remember sitting in pep assemblies back at my high school in America, listening to the teachers yell: “These are the best years of your lives!” - and I’d sit there in the bleachers thinking: “Oh, NO. Please, please, please don’t let that be true…because if it is, my life sucks!”)

(Luckily, they were totally wrong. Life gets SO MUCH better after secondary school!)

Michelle’s blog series also ties in perfectly into my own fiction-reading habits, because any time I pick up a novel to read for fun, what I’m personally, selfishly looking for is amazing women, of any age. I want to read about strong, smart heroines who take charge of their own lives, even in the toughest of circumstances. I love reading about believable, flawed, human heroines who are active and assertive even in the most difficult situations, heroines who stand up to powerful injustice, heroines who fight with all their hearts for what they believe in…or in other words, I love reading about the kind of heroine I secretly want to be, even if I don’t always measure up in real life.

Needless to say, that’s exactly the kind of heroine I most love writing, too. My trilogy is called The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson, and it’s true: despite being brought up in genteel nineteenth-century England, Kat is anything but an elegant lady. She’s brash and loud, loyal, adventurous, strong, smart and endlessly creative…but terrible at remembering and following delicate social rules. She gets into an enormous amount of trouble, she sometimes ends up in terribly embarrassing situations…but she always, always fights for the people she loves and the principles she cares about.

What about you guys? Who are your favorite fictional heroines? (Some of mine: Elizabeth Peters’s Amelia Peabody, Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet, Y.S. Lee’s Mary Quinn…)

And: which heroine do you secretly wish that you could be?


  1. My all time favourite heroine is Tamora Pierce's Alanna of Trebond but Kat definitely comes close. I also love Hermione Granger, go the geeks! Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear (Ambrose Redmoon). My favourite saying and what I think defines a great heroine.

    Lyrical Reviews

  2. Great post. I think some of my favourite heroines are Louisa May Alcott's Jo March, J.K. Rowling's Hermione Granger and Ann M Martin's Mary Anne Spier.

  3. Lyrical, I LOVE that quote - what a perfect definition of heroism! And I totally agree with you on Alanna and Hermione. (And very honored that Kat is on your list!)

    Jenni, I love your list! I sooo wanted to be Jo March when I was younger, and Hermione is one of my very favourite characters in recent lit. And it's been way too long since I read the Babysitter's Club books, but oh, did I suck them down when I was a kid! They were so much fun.

  4. Oh I love this post, I really do! Thank you Stephanie.

    I feel really strongly about highlighting really cool women, so I'm always glad to hear that people like my feature.

    I've got pages and pages of notes about some of the incredible women I'd like to talk about at some point - Like Mia Thermopolis. I love Anne Shirley and Lyra from His Dark Materials. Hermione, and Tiffany Aching and Jo March... I could go on, but I won't.

    I think my favourite heroines are also the characters I really wish I could be.

  5. Thanks so much, Michelle! And I can't wait to read your entries about any or all of those awesome characters. :)

  6. Off the top of my head, I've got Sophie from Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle, Florian de Lacey from Mary Gentle's Ash: A Secret History, and Harriet Vane from her quartet of mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers, but I'll let you know if anyone else comes to mind!

  7. Teenagers: You can relax. These are almost certainly NOT the best years of your lives! I hope they're good, but there are also great times ahead.

    As for characters--I like a sense of humor, an ability to meet life's challenges with equanimity.

    --Jenn Hubbard (too lazy to log in to my Blogger account at the moment)

  8. Sonya: ohhh, I love Harriet Vane! She's one of my all-time favorites. And I remember really falling for Sophie as a kid - it's been far too long since I've re-read Howl's Moving Castle!

    And Jenn, you're so right about the "best years" message. Honestly, looking back at it, I'm astonished by how depressing that message really was - because even if someone had absolutely loved high school, how encouraging could it possibly be to be told that everything would go downhill from then on, when you're not even 18 years old yet? Sigh. So glad it really was not true!

  9. I love strong heroine's, I'm reading Kathryn Stockkett's The Help right now, and it has three fantastic leading women. And the heroine I wish I could be? Hermione Granger!

  10. I love strong heroine's, I'm reading Kathryn Stockkett's The Help right now, and it has three fantastic leading women. And the heroine I wish I could be? Hermione Granger!

  11. I love strong heroine's, I'm reading Kathryn Stockkett's The Help right now, and it has three fantastic leading women. And the heroine I wish I could be? Hermione Granger!

  12. Hello There, Delighted to have come across your great site and really enjoy the discussions. I guess my heroines are mostly non-fictional. Really want to recomment this great read to you. "Amazing Women" by Charles Margerison, I found it incredibly inspirational and learnt so much. See the review here, just wanted to share this.. . Enjoy and keep up the good work, Lizzie Mc

  13. I loved this post! I also love Kat - she's a fantastic heroine! And I absolutely agree with Jenn Hubbard's comment about school days...

  14. Stephanie Burgis is amazing. And I like kat's character very much.


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