man and woman in edwardian dress examine an orreryPublished in 2006, this is a sequel to Stevermer’s A College of Magics from way back in 1994. But rather than following Faris Nalaneen or Greenlaw academy after the events of College, Scholar tells a story about a different school of magic, the British Glasscastle University. The stories are linked by the inclusion of Jane Brailsford, Faris’s friend from the first book.

This tale is mostly told through the eyes of Samuel Lambert, an American who has been brought to Glasscastle because of his exceptional facility with firearms. He is fascinated with the college and makes friends with a peculiar faculty member, Nicholas Fell. Jane is at the college on a mission from Faris who became the magical Warden of the North in College, and when her path crosses with Samuel’s, sparks begin to fly.

I really liked the first book, and this volume is a most worthy successor. The Edwardian setting is intriguingly different from the real period. Someone more familiar with history could probably pinpoint where history in this world diverged from that of our own. One would think that the presence of widely accepted functioning magic would cause more widespread divergence than is evident, but that’s not a very sporting criticism. Jane and Samuel are charming and realistic characters and their relationship grows and changes in a most satisfying fashion.

I just hope we don’t have to wait another 12 years for the next book!