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Literature / Kat, Incorrigible

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Kat, Incorrigible is a series of children's books by Stephanie Burgis about Kat's adventures in an alternate Regency, with magic, revolving about her sisters' marriages and her own discoveries of magical abilities.

The books are:

  • A Most Improper Magick or Kat, Incorrigible
  • A Tangle of Magicks or Renegade Magic
  • A Reckless Magick or Stolen Magic


Tropes featured:

  • Anti-Magic: One of Kat's Guardian abilities is breaking the spells of others, such as witches.
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  • Blue Blood: The Guardians are a hereditary group of mages. They expel anyone who does anything as improper as merchant work.
    • Of course, all of "Society" is filled up of the well-bred, well feed etc. who would be scandalized to learn that their fellow blue bloods are mages.
  • Dispel Magic: In A Most Improper Magick, Kat finds she can spontaneously break spells by verbally denying them.
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  • Love Triangle: In the Back Story, as Kat realizes that her mother and father were in one with Lady Fotherington, who was her mother's nemesis.
  • Magic Mirror: Portals are a big thing for the Guardian Order and some of them are mirrors. They are used to reach the main hall and function as proof of membership. Kat finds her mother's and losses it saving her brother.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Viscount Scarwood.
  • Old Maid: Stepmama was on the verge of this when she married Papa, and now she has three step-daughters.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Mrs. Carlyle waves it about with great vigor to prevent Angeline and Fredrick's marriage, and is still trying to break it up four days before the ceremony.
  • The Promise: Kat vows to restore her mother's mirror.
  • Proper Lady: Elissa is a paragon of manners and grace, which also makes her (in Kat's own words) the prissiest person Kat's ever known.
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  • Sins of Our Fathers: Kat is blamed for her mother's misdeeds
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: In the opening of Tangle. While the reason would have been legitimate — the man is underage and can not marry without parental permission — it is not, in fact, his wedding.
  • Spell Book: Their mother's books contain spells, and both Kat and Angeline use them (Guardian magic and witchcraft, respectively).
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Kat's first attempt to save Elissa from the arranged marriage involved pretending to be a boy.
  • Talk About the Weather: Angeline complains about unintelligible conversation; must they start to talk about the weather?
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Elissa thinks she's the heroine of a Gothic. Interestingly, her husband is described as looking exactly like a stereotypical Gothic villain but also as meek and affectionate so as to be the opposite.

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