☽ Synopsis ☽
Loving a necromancer’s son comes at a perilous price…
As the daughter of Nolderan’s most powerful mage, Reyna Ashbourne has only ever faced two obstacles: her father’s wrath for slacking with her magic studies, and being shunned by many for loving Arluin, a necromancer’s son.
But Reyna’s life takes a bitter turn when Arluin’s exiled father returns to wreak his vengeance upon the city. With the living dead plaguing the streets, the boy she loves is forced to choose between his heart and his blood.
When those dearest to her perish, Reyna vows to become as mighty as her father. However, the path of the magi is no easy one, and she must first complete her Mage Trials to prove she has the required strength of heart, mind, and magic.
Yet the shadows of the past rise once again, threatening to tear Nolderan asunder.
And so too her heart
☽ Review With Spoilers ☽
NOTE : I was given an e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I will admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of the beginning. It seemed a little like every other magic school fantasy novel I’ve read and the main rivalry between Kaila and Reyna honestly annoyed me. I personally am not a fan of the ‘best friends turned mortal enemies’ trope especially when there isn’t much of a reason other than jealousy. That being said, I did laugh when Reyna bested Kaila during the Mage Trials. She deserved it.
The other reason I didn’t like the first half as much was mainly all the worldbuilding information, a lot of which was repeated and didn’t end up having any relevance to the plot. The first half only got interesting during the big battle between the necromancers and the mages.
As for the second half, there were still some repetitive parts and the reveal that Arluin was the guy she became romantically involved with in between the trials was predictable. But, I think the whole demon / dark magic that Reyna will need to use to defeat Arluin will be an interesting second book.
I think the magic system is cool. The last book I remember reading that had spells and potions was Harry Potter and I’m glad that I’m seeing it again. Instead of wands though, aether is what mages use as the source of their magic. I personally really liked the aether concept. I will say I like the necromancy and the demon concept more so I was glad that that aspect was touched on!
There’s not much I can say about the characters and I think that might be because they weren’t developed enough. I liked Reyna more towards the end. In the beginning, she mostly annoyed me and I wish the alcohol abuse problem that she has was addressed more.
As for Arluin. I thought the first half Arluin was cute. I also wish he had developed more because although I guessed he would come back angry about being banished, I didn’t like that he thought Reyna owed him her hand in marriage even after he killed her father. Promises can be broken and honestly, if I were her, I wouldn’t get back with him.
I mentioned my thoughts on Kaila more on the plot. It seemed she was really only there to create more challenges for Reyna to overcome.
I like Eliya. She’s a great best friend. That’s all I can say about her.