The Black Mage Series has gotten a cover makeover and I love the new covers! I think it's my "duty" to talk about this wonderful series. The Black Mage Series by Rachel E. Carter is one of the first indie series I ever reviewed and Rachel is one of the first authors I ever reached out to. She graced me with her books and they blew my little mind!

The story takes place in the Academy of Magic, the main character is extremely powerful and there's romance. It sounds like a generic plot/you've seen it before, but IT'S NOT! When you hear magic school, you think Harry Potter. In a sense, this book is similar to Harry Potter because of the magic school and what-not, but the world is much different. This world has different categories of magic-you're not just a wizard or witch/warlock. You can specialize in Alchemy, Restoration or Combat. Each of these areas are GRUELING and would not be considered "humane", but they are quite enjoyable to read. It's a grown-up Hogwarts on crack essentially.

There is immense character growth! Our main character is Ryiah and she goes through a complete character change. She is a tad "special snowflake" but I think her struggle detracts from that. In the very beginning of the book, Ryiah can't control her newly-discovered magic and struggles with the intense regime of being a combat mage. I was rooting for her through the whole book and I am very proud of her. Throughout the book, you read all the struggles she goes through and how hard she tries to get better. She puts in extra study hours, she gets back up EVERY time someone knocks her down, she is determined, she works harder than everyone else and she's so relatable. Usually special snowflake characters have little or no struggles, Ryiah is the complete opposite and it's a breath of fresh air! She is actually challenged and has this unwavering determination, despite all the obstacles that come her way. It's so satisfying seeing someone go through shit and just rise on top.

The story is paced well and always has intrigue. There's Ryiah's amazing group of friends, rivalry with the talented & rich mages, and the trials the school give. There's drama and there's this wonderful friendship that develops. I loved the dynamic the characters created and I felt like I was part of that friendship. It was really supportive and warm, which was nice to see in that ghastly school. Another plus is the romance:
Darren is every possibly every book-boyfriend rolled into one. He can be Darcy, Jace, Four, Daemon and countless others. I enjoyed his interactions with Ryiah and he has an interesting backstory. He kinda falls into the classic love interest trope of arrogance and douche, but he gets better (another trope). I fell in love with him, hated him, loved him some more, hated him and forgave him. A frustrating character that gives you whiplash with his moods. (Ha! Look at that Twilight quote!) There's romance, but I see almost everyone reading this.

In the second book... OH DAMN!!! Shit hits the fan. You will read it and look like this, wondering wtf just happened:
There will be lots of action and frustration in the second installment, trust me. Yeah, so... BUY THE BOOK and support Rachel please! 

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