Kat Stephenson, incorrigible as ever, returns to sow more magical chaos in a Regency England where families tainted by witchcraft are shunned in polite Society.
With good marriages arranged for Kat's sisters, her family's place in Society seems assured until, at Elissa's wedding, Angeline is publicly outed as a witch. To find Angeline a husband before the scandal breaks, Stepmama engineers a hasty expedition to fashionable Bath. It doesn't go well: Their hosts, the Wingates, treat the Stephensons with sneering condescension, heartbroken Angeline refuses to cooperate with Stepmama's plans, brother Charles disappears into the gaming rooms and Papa buries himself in his studies. Worst of all, Kat is expelled from the Order of the Guardians, the elite whose role is to ensure that magic-working remains in the "right" hands. Exploring the baths, Kat and Lucy Wingate stumble upon a group of young men—including Charles—invoking an ancient Roman goddess. The wild magic unleashed possesses Lucy and nearly overpowers Kat. Yes, the setting’s authentic (mostly)—from the springs of the ancient Roman spa to the stinky waters elegant Regency matrons sip in the Pump Room—but this rollicking tale is neither historical fiction nor literary retread.
Recommended for readers who like their fantasy seasoned with feisty characters and nonstop action. Roll over, Jane Austen! (author's note) (Historical fantasy. 10 & up)