Title: Ruthless Magic
Author: Megan Crewe
Publisher: Another World Press
Publication Date: May 30, 2018
Page Count: 352
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die… or kill.
Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages’ Exam.
Disadvantaged by her parents’ low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.
Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.
Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?
The first in a new series by USA Today bestselling author Megan Crewe, Ruthless Magic combines the magic of Harry Potter with the ferocity of The Hunger Games alongside a poignant romance. Fans of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, look no further for your next urban fantasy fix.
Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe is the first full length book in the Conspiracy of Magic young adult urban fantasy series. There is a prequel novella that takes place four decades before the beginning of this story but it wouldn’t necessarily need to be read to understand Ruthless Magic.
The story alternates between the two main characters Finn Lockwood and Rocío Lopez. At sixteen Rocio and Finn are awaiting to hear from the North American Confederation of Mages as to whether they will continue their magical training of go through a dampening of their skills. If not chosen the only way left to prove themselves is to declare to join the brutal Mages’ Exam.
As Finn gets his letter he finds that he has been accepted to the college but his best friend who is much more powerful than his is gets rejected. Knowing that he was only chosen because of his family line Finn rejects his appointment and vows to join his friend in the trials. Rocio on the other hand is from new magic and is probably the most powerful mage of their generation but is still declined. She vows to join the trials and prove herself even after losing her brother to the trials three years before.
Ruthless Magic really was a powerful, action packed adventure to begin this new series. As the book blurb suggests this one really did remind me of a lot of other young adult fantasy reads out there. It’s a bit like taking Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, Divergent and many other’s and coming up with a nice blend. The trials seemed like a magical version of being tossed into the Hunger Game arena or the Divergent simulations, brutal and filled with fast paced action.
The one thing though that keeps me from passing out all the stars to this story just yet is the fact it did remind me of other stories quite often. This is a double edged sword really, yes, I liked the book but what I hope Megan Crewe does in the future installments is really make this one shine and become a star all on it’s own without hiding in the shadows of all those other books because when reading those I didn’t think of other things but only what was going on. Otherwise though a great beginning to the series that has me longing for more.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
USA Today bestselling author Megan Crewe lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son. She’s been making up stories about magic and spirits and other what ifs since before she knew how to write words on paper. These days the stories are just a lot longer. Her YA novels include the paranormal GIVE UP THE GHOST, post-apocalyptic the Fallen World series, the sci fi Earth & Sky trilogy, the contemporary fantasy A MORTAL SONG, and the supernatural thriller BEAST.
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