(4 / 5)
In the hallowed halls of Oxford’s Merlin College, the most talented—and highest born—sons of the Kingdom of Britain are taught the intricacies of magickal theory. But what dazzles can also destroy, as Gray Marshall is about to discover…
Gray’s deep talent for magick has won him a place at Merlin College. But when he accompanies four fellow students on a mysterious midnight errand that ends in disaster and death, he is sent away in disgrace—and without a trace of his power. He must spend the summer under the watchful eye of his domineering professor, Appius Callender, working in the gardens of Callender’s country estate and hoping to recover his abilities. And it is there, toiling away on a summer afternoon, that he meets the professor’s daughter.
Even though she has no talent of her own, Sophie Callender longs to be educated in the lore of magick. Her father has kept her isolated at the estate and forbidden her interest; everyone knows that teaching arcane magickal theory to women is the height of impropriety. But against her father’s wishes, Sophie has studied his ancient volumes on the subject. And in the tall, stammering, yet oddly charming Gray, she finally finds someone who encourages her interest and awakens new ideas and feelings.
Sophie and Gray’s meeting touches off a series of events that begins to unravel secrets about each of them. And after the king’s closest advisor pays the professor a closed-door visit, they begin to wonder if what Gray witnessed in Oxford might be even more sinister than it seemed. They are determined to find out, no matter the cost…
☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆
There were so many cool elements to this book: the study of magic, an alternate history of earth, a victorian type of setting. This actually had a few different genres (fantasy, regency, romance, history and magic stuffs) mixed into one book and I liked it very much.
The characters are what stood out the most in this book. Beautifully fleshed out and poured over by the writer, its the characters and their story is what carry this book and not so much the events, although those were certainly exciting too. I enjoy books that alternate perspectives frequently, and this one goes back and fourth between the two main characters Gray and Sophie.
At times you wanted to reach in and thunk them since everyone in the whole book could see that they were in love…..except the two individuals in love. But this also made their love subtle and sweet and and matched the tone of the book.
The writing was a little hard to get used to, it definitely read like something that was written during 1910. So I do suppose that it matched the style of the book and it was easy to become accustomed to after reading awhile. This kind of story and style can guarantee that while there is romance in this book, it is the proper kind with little steam and more respect. It moves slowly and carefully and tenderly, all while being watched by chaperone’s.
The story also moves slow at times, focusing on what is happening between the characters and not the main events of the book, but that was nice too. If you want a page turning roller-coaster this is definitely not it, but the story does unfold nicely for someone who likes a leisurely read.
The main character Sophie is actually only 17, so this could potentially be a YA novel I suppose, but I would think that if your YA reader was less experienced, this book may have a hard time keeping their attention. I do not think I would not have had the patience to read this book 10 years ago. I would however recommend this to someone who liked a slow-burning romance complete with the prose and the history to match the time period.
I liked this and I see that there are two more books in the series, Lady of Magick and A Season of Spells that I will have to check out from my library to see where the story goes from here!
*I was given this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Buy Link ➜ goo.gl/J5xjLK
Follow this Sylvia Izzo Hunter on
Twitter ➜ goo.gl/2NGYyZ
Blog ➜ http://sylviaizzohunter.ca/
Goodreads ➜ goo.gl/4riyfo