Ella and her brother, Miro, are orphans, their parents killed long ago in the ongoing struggle against the mad Emperor.
From the day Ella witnesses an enchanter using his talents to save Miro from drowning, she knows what she wants to be. But the elite Academy of Enchanters expects tuition fees and knowledge. Determined, Ella sells flowers and studies every book she can. Meanwhile, Miro dreams of becoming one of the world’s finest swordsmen, wielding his nation’s powerful enchanted weapons in defense of his homeland.
A dark force rises in the east, conquering all in its path, and Miro leaves for the front. When the void Miro left is filled by Killian, a charming stranger from another land, Ella finds herself in love. But Killian has a secret, and Ella’s actions will determine the fate of her brother, her homeland, and the world.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Books don’t have to be original to be good. When I first started reading this, I was enjoying it for what it was: a fairly basic piece of epic fantasy with a semi-interesting magic system that went along with.
And then it fell apart.
An awfully convenient bit at the beginning about a noblewoman oddly befriending a peasant girl went from merely seeming like a plot device (needed a recommendation to get into Enchanting school, and what do you know, one source of recommendations is nobility) to flat out cliche that I suppose would be a spoiler if I revealed it, but let’s just say I mentioned it in my recent review of Red Queen and it worked hell of a lot better there.
Ella is a Mary Sue: she’s stunningly beautiful, she’s amazingly smart, she’s the most talented Enchantress in a generation, she loves her brother! Only nope, she’s a total idiot who falls for the painfully obvious bad guy, I legitimately can’t remember the last time I went “he’s going to betray her” during his very introduction. And when said betrayal goes down and she spends half the book tracking him on her own despite having no skills needed for such a trip at all, she gets caught because even though she knew he was in the area, she’s all “I still have time to take a bath!” And then starts flirting with him again after being his prisoner for a while. And then he changes.
For fuck’s sake. (Pardon the French)
I hate, hate, hate this trope of making otherwise intelligent girls into completely idiots around boys, and her actions in the later part of the book do not make up for that.
Her brother Miro isn’t so nearly a trope, but he’s not that interesting either.
Finally, we have a token best friend in Amber, who disappears at the 20% mark to return at the 80% mark because the author suddenly decided we needed the POV of the masses to show us how bad war is.
Originally I was tempted to give this a borrow it recommendation because it’s well done for a self-published title and it could have been a book that scratched the itch of a fun bit of escapist fantasy. But yeah, in the end, I was started to yell at this book on twitter. Not squee, yell. And I can’t in good consciousness recommend a book like that.
Verdict: Skip It