Waiting on Wednesday: Claws and Contrivances by Stephanie Burgis - The Fantasy Review

Waiting on Wednesday: Claws and Contrivances by Stephanie Burgis

What are we waiting on this week? Nathan is waiting on Claws and Contrivances!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where readers and bloggers share and discuss books they are excited about reading and which have generally not yet been released.

Stephanie Burgis just announced that Claws and Contrivances, the second book in her Regency Dragons series, is coming out July 10, 2023. It is the sequel to Scales and Sensibility, which was a SPFBO finalist last year! You can find my review of Scales and Sensibility here.

I am usually not much of a romance reader. I don’t mind romantic subplots, but I don’t really like when the romance is the entire point of the book. I originally picked up Scales and Sensibility only because it was a SPFBO finalist and I like to check out as many of the finalists as I possibly can each year. What I was rewarded with was a book that was barely fantasy but swept me up in its slightly skewed Regency romance world.

As I said, I’m not a romance reader so I don’t know too many comparisons, but it is essentially the TV show Sanditon (and I’m assuming the Jane Austen novel the book is based on) or Bridgerton without any spice.

What should you expect from Scales and Sensibility? It is essentially Regency England, but small dragons are the “it” fashion accessory. All of the high-ranking ladies have them. The common belief is that they are inert and lack any kind of magical abilities, including breathing fire. However, when Elinor, whose family is down on their luck, enters the courting/dating scene with her own dragon, she finds that these dragons are magical after all…and they are going to make her love life more chaotic than she ever imagined.

What results is a funny, cute, and swoon-worthy Regency rom-com that had me grinning from the beginning to the very end.

Claws and Contrivances

What is Claws and Contrivances going to be about? Here is the official blurb:

Passionate, idealistic Rose Tregarth may have been invited into her uncle’s remote home in the heart of Wales as an act of kindness to a poor relation, but it doesn’t take her long to realize that her newly-met family members are eccentric, creative, deeply lovable – and in need of all the help they can get. If the crumbling medieval walls of Gogodd Abbey aren’t to collapse around their heads at any moment, someone will have to step up and take charge of the situation. Fortunately for all of them, Rose has never lacked in determination.

Add in more and more mysteriously appearing little dragons and a threatening new neighbor who could easily star as the villain in one of her aunt’s Gothic novels, and Rose is soon up to her ears in plots and schemes to save all the people and beasts she’s come to love…with the help of a sweet, baffled dragon scholar whom Rose has swept into a fake betrothal for purely temporary, practical purposes.

With her fierce, loyal heart, Rose is more than ready to take care of everyone around her, dragons and humans alike. However, it may take an act of true magic to clear her eyes to the future – and the gentleman – she desires for herself.

Why Am I excited about Claws and Contrivances?

  • Eleanor from Scales and Sensibility has two sisters who were sent on their own ways, and this book will explore the life of Sister #2, Rose.
  • I am hoping that the book explores just a bit more about the history of the dragons and some of the worldbuilding elements of the first book. I don’t need/want a lot of worldbuilding because so much of the fun comes from the non-fantasy elements!
  • Scales and Sensibility picked me up when I was having a bad day. I know that Claws and Contrivances will provide that wonderful escape as well!

Claws and Contrivances is available now for preorder, and I will be eagerly awaiting it this summer!

Related to Waiting on Claws and Contrivances

My name is Nathan and I'm currently getting my Ph.D. in archaeology in the US, but in my freetime I absolutely love reading any kind of fantasy book (and watching way too much TV). So I guess you could say that during the day I like to escape into the past and in the evening I like to escape into other worlds! Review requests can be sent to nathansfantasyreviews@gmail.com. You can also find me on twitter (@nathan_reviews) and TikTok (nathans_fantasy_reviews).

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