Book review 17 - The Black Mage: First Year by Rachel E Carter

Pages: 276
Publisher: Astraea Press
Publication date: August 11, 2014
For 15-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead -the realm's most notorious war school for those with magic. 
Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every "first-year" is given a trial year to prove their worth -and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail -and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived. 
When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship, she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve -and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat... Still, nothing is ever as it seems -and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in -herself. Will it be enough?
My thoughts:
This was a very pleasant surprise!! I really loved this book! It had a very Harry Potter/Iron Trials feel to it but honestly I liked aspects of this story so much more!!
I loved Ryiah! I love that she is tough and strong willed, but also I love that she can be weak and has her moments where she lets her guard down. She pushes herself to the limit but also breaks. I love that she is extremely human and very easy to relate to.
Her brother is hilarious to me. Always flirting and all that, I really love that the author made him into a ladies man! I also see some romance brewing between him and Ella!
Darren is a character that I am mixed on. I mean he's an ass to start with, really just an unpleasant human in the beginning. But then he gets... better? I mean he stays an ass until the last 2.5 seconds when he smiles but like I love him. I don't particularly like that he's betrothed to Priscilla (who is a living nightmare, the sooner her character dies off, the better!!) but I mean eventually Darren will confess his undying love to Ryiah and all will be right in the world.
I loved the world building, the story, the characters, the writing, just everything!! I really recommend this book!! 

Since I have absolutely no way to access the second book (since the library website I got it from was a free trial that expired) unless some kind soul buys me the paperback for my birthday, I am currently stuck :/ 

P.S: "You can scream obscenities at me after." - the best way to start a kiss with me for future reference to all those interested and concerned.


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