Review: Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis


Title: Kat, Incorrigible

Author: Stephanie Burgis

Publisher: Atheneum

ISBN: 978-1416994473


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Katherine Ann Stephenson has just discovered that she’s inherited her mother’s magical talents, and despite Stepmama’s stern objections, she’s determined to learn how to use them. But with her eldest sister Elissa’s intended fiancé, the sinister Sir Neville, showing a dangerous interest in Kat’s magical potential; her other sister, Angeline, wreaking romantic havoc with her own witchcraft; and a highwayman lurking in the forest, even Kat’s reckless heroism will be tested to the upmost. If she can learn to control her new powers, will Kat be able to rescue her family and win her sisters their true love?


To call Kat incorrigible is to understate the feistiness of this twelve-year-old.  She is Kat the fearless, Kat the unrepentant, Kat the reckless!  I loved Kat!!  She is smart, she has nerves of steel, and she will do anything to protect her family.  She is even willing to risk the wrath of her sisters and her stepmother to stop her oldest sister from making the biggest mistake of her life, and believe me, they are not people you want ticked off at you!

Regency England is one of my favorite time periods, and the setting is what originally piqued my interest in the book.  The dash of magic and the spunky character kept me engaged in the reading experience, and I stayed up far too late in a vain attempt to polish off the book.  I had to stop with about 30 pages left to go, and it was torture the next day waiting for the work day to end!  The fast pacing keeps the pages turning, and kept me wondering how Kat could get into so much trouble!  This kid is a disaster waiting to happen!  She is brave enough to dive blindly into danger, and thankfully, she’s also clever enough to extract herself from all of the messes she manages to leap into. 

I enjoyed all of the characters, even the villains.  Kat’s relationship with her sisters was very convincing to me; they are older, and they both look at her as being just a child.  They exclude her from secrets, and it leaves her feeling frustrated and left out.  To add to their conflict, her sisters remember their mother, while Kat was just an infant when she died, and she never got to know her.  This set of circumstances causes a great deal of tension between the sisters when a mishap destroys some of their mother’s belongings.  I felt so sorry for Kat after she finds her mother’s mirror, because her sister accuses her, quite unjustly, of being spiteful and willfully destroying these precious mementos.

The tone of most of the book is light, with snappy dialog to keep things rolling.  While I loved the banter, I sometimes felt that Kat, based solely on her dialog, sounded older than twelve. That is my only quibble with the book.  I loved the magic, the danger, and most of all, I loved Kat.  I can hardly wait for the next book in the series, to see what kind of trouble Kat finds for herself next!

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by publisher

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