I picked up this audiobook solely because it was voiced by Simon Vance, I knew nothing else about it. I didn’t look any reviews up on goodreads or amazon so I had no idea what I was in store for.
The beginning started out so strong, I was so excited that this book was going to be great and I’d rate it 4 or 5 stars.
First the good:
I very much so enjoyed the magic in this world, it was old style sorceress/enchantress kind of stuff with magical items that can do wondrous things.
I always enjoy the magic university trope, I don’t know what it is but I never get tired of it. In this world you only get one chance at it, when you turn 18 you show up with a recommendation, some money, and you take a test. You pass you’re in, you fail and you’re shit out of luck for the rest of your life. No pressure.
I like multi POV, I feel for most books it gives me a better sense of the world seeing it through multiple people’s perspectives, so I did enjoy going back and forth between the main character and her brother.
As I said before, the beginning is strong, it really does a very good job of drawing you in and wondering what’s going to happen next. There’s no info dump so it’s easy to follow, there’s already plot points going down fast and the writing isn’t overly flowery so you can read through it quickly.
Magic is dangerous here, mana can kill you HORRIFICLY, spine breaking, eye boiling, rash educing, horrible horrible shit. I like it when magic isn’t all fun and games and there are serious consequences to being inadequate/flippant with your magic.
Why I rated it only three stars:
Towards the middle things really started to drag, there was a lot that could have been left out, the book was 626 pages long, but really it could/should have been around 400-450.
I started to be able to predict things. I hate that so much. I don’t like when I know one character is going to be betrayed by another character with the introduction of the betraying character. I hate that even more when it’s a romance.
The main character started to turn into a mary sue, sort of, it wasn’t quite as bad as some other mary sue characters I’ve read, and I think without the other flaws in the book it would have been okay.
Overall I loved the bones of this book, but the execution was lacking.