Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Review: RUTHLESS MAGIC by Megan Crewe

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Ruthless Magic is ruthless indeed.

This book follows three young mages that have just graduated from high school. Upon graduating, one may be Chosen, meaning they get to keep their magical ability and continue on studying it at college, or Dampered, meaning nearly all of their magical ability is taken away except for a small amount that manifests itself as an area of heightened skill. Those who are Dampered have the option to accept that fate or declare for the Mages’ Exam, a brutal test against other mages to become a Champion. A Champion gets to keep their magical ability like a Chosen mage, but all those who fail will have their magic burnt out completely, not even allowed to be Dampered anymore. Is it worth the risk of having no magic at all for the chance to be Champion?

For our three protagonists, that answer is yes. We follow the perspectives of Finn Lockwood, a descendant of old magic that navigates the Exam with his best friend Prisha Mathur, and RocĂ­o Lopez, a highly skilled new-magic mage who wants to avenge the death of her brother who died while taking the Exam some years before.

I really enjoyed this story. I haven’t read a book this magical in a long time, like with mages and enchantments. I feel like books usually have more of an ethereal magical quality, but this one has more of a hard magic. One thing I didn’t like about this magic system, however, was that I had a very weak grasp on it. It was not clearly explained at all, and the limitations weren’t defined, so I never really felt sure what the mages could or could not do with their magic. It seemed that magic just floated through the air and any mage could tap into and use that magic. I got the sense that there were some rules put in place by the Confederation of Mages, but that was also only vaguely explained. I would have liked to have a more concrete understanding at the beginning of this book of how the magical abilities worked and how mages could summon the magic; I think that extra detail alone would have prevented any confusion I felt throughout the rest of the story. But overall, the magic was very expansive and I did enjoy it a lot.

I think what the blurb says about Ruthless Magic combining “the magic of Harry Potter with the ferocity of The Hunger Games” is true. Like l said earlier, this book is full of magic in a way that I don’t often see, and Harry Potter is a close resemblance on the magic front (I don’t like when people say any book is the next Harry Potter because they’re always wrong and that’s not what I’m saying here, just that this book has lots of hard magic like Harry Potter). As for The Hunger Games, this book is even more brutal since the mages go through a similar test of strength and survival against other young mages (although this book isn’t set in a dystopian world). At first, I thought the description of “fierce” was an overstatement because the story seemed chill and friendly during the first few chapters, but then we got to day two of the Mages’ Exam and I realized I was so wrong: this book is savage. I didn’t think it could get any worse but every day of the Exam was a new level of scary. And I loved every minute of it.

I really liked all three main characters and their relationships. One thing I love seeing in multi-perspective stories is when the book starts out with two characters that don’t know each other and throughout the story become acquainted, so the reader can see how the characters evolve in the other characters’ eyes. Ruthless Magic included this element and I quite enjoyed it.

I loved this book way more than I expected to. It is a fast-paced and engaging roller coaster ride; I constantly wanted to pick up the book again whenever I paused reading because the story was so intense. Megan Crewe is an excellent storyteller and I can’t wait to read the sequel to Ruthless Magic and all the rest in this series. I also look forward to reading some of her other books as well.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

No comments:

Post a Comment