Unnatural Magic by CM Waggoner — ARC Review

unnatural magic by c.m. waggoner.jpgSummary:

A “brilliant and terrifically fun”* debut novel brings an enchanting new voice to fantasy.

Onna can write the parameters of a spell faster than any of the young men in her village school. But despite her incredible abilities, she’s denied a place at the nation’s premier arcane academy. Undaunted, she sails to the bustling city-state of Hexos, hoping to find a place at a university where they don’t think there’s anything untoward about providing a woman with a magical education. But as soon as Onna arrives, she’s drawn into the mysterious murder of four trolls.

Tsira is a troll who never quite fit into her clan, despite being the leader’s daughter. She decides to strike out on her own and look for work in a human city, but on her way she stumbles upon the body of a half-dead human soldier in the snow. As she slowly nurses him back to health, an unlikely bond forms between them, one that is tested when an unknown mage makes an attempt on Tsira’s life. Soon, unbeknownst to each other, Onna and Tsira both begin devoting their considerable talents to finding out who is targeting trolls, before their homeland is torn apart…

*Kat Howard, Alex Award-winning author of An Unkindness of Magicians

Review: 5 stars

Unnatural Magic is a book I have wanted ever since I first heard of it. A while back I had read Amanda Hocking’s Trylle series and ever since then I have wanted to find more books about trolls. I had high hopes of going into reading this boo, but I had no idea just how much I would love this story. Unnatural Magic was truly a magical read and I can’t explain how enjoyable my reading experience really was.

The characters were what made this book so special. Onna was my favorite character. I loved her personality from the start, but watching her grow throughout the book into a confident young wizard made my heart happy. Jekran and Tsaria were also really entertaining to read about and I enjoyed how the point of view switched between the two plot lines. It took a long time for the plot lines to converge, so for a while it felt lie you got two books in one in the best way possible. I loved the way that trolls were depicted in this story. Their rich culture was interesting, but I also loved how they didn’t focus on gender as much as they did roles in society.

I think the thing that I loved the most about Unnatural Magic was the magic system. Magic wasn’t simple in this book, it took writing mathematical parameters and then executing them. The way it was described was so unique and very different from any other book I had ever read about magic. The possibilities were endless and I loved that in order to be good at magic wizards had to be really intelligent. The details included about the magic system and how it worked really helped bring the story to life.

I am a little disappointed because it looks like this might be a stand alone novel, but at the same time the story did feel complete. This is one of the few books that I would love to re-read and hope to introduce to many of my friends. This book had me so emotionally invested and filled me with so much joy. I’m just sad that I finished it.


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