Chantel would much rather focus on her magic than on curtsying, which is why she often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens. But when Miss Ellicott mysteriously disappears along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantel’s behavior becomes the least of her problems.
Without any magic protecting the city, it is up to Chantel and her friends to save the Kingdom. On a dangerous mission, Chantel will discover a crossbow-wielding boy, a dragon, and a new, fiery magic that burns inside her—but can she find the sorceresses and transform Lightning Pass into the city it was meant to be?
I received this book for free from edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought it sounded so adorable. It reminded me a bit of Harry Potter (with the magic and the school and such), but was different enough that I don’t feel like it was trying to be a knockoff. As a result, I think I had unrealistic expectations. I think I was expecting it to be utterly amazing and captivating the same way Harry Potter was for me. While it was a super cute book, I didn’t love it the way I wanted to.
I have to say I absolutely adored the names for everything. There was Lightning Pass, the Sunbiters, Miss Flivvers, and my ultimate favorite, Seven Buttons (the wall). The names were so creative and unique, but not so far out there that you’re kind of left wondering where that came from (if that makes sense). I think the names were definitely my favorite part.
I did enjoy most of the characters. I really wish we got more Franklin. He was so much more interesting than some of the other characters who got more time. Franklin really seemed to have a story to tell. His childhood and personality and his choices all made me really curious and I honestly wanted more of him. I liked Chantel, but I feel like there were certain times where she fell very flat. She had a lot of frequent moments of being unsure and being wishy-washy and typically about the same things over and over. I also liked Miss Flivvers. She seems exactly like I would imagine a non-magical lady in charge of teaching manners to magical young ladies. She did have some entertaining moments as well.
What bothered me the most is the plot. There were so many times when I thought the book was wrapping up and ending, only to realize there was still like 80% left. I feel if it had been more of an upward path, versus this up and down stuff, the plot would have been smoother and easier to follow. I did put it down for a couple days and I almost didn’t pick it up again as a result. It was hard to really understand what was happening at any given moment.
I wish there was a bit more to the world building. I wish there was more of the history of Lightning Pass and I wish the layout of the city was better explained. I thought I could picture the city and then by the time the battles started, I had no clue what was where and how the city was laid out. There were more walls than I thought there were and more sectors (?) than I thought. It made things a bit confusing, not going to lie.
I also don’t quite understand what happened with Queen Haywith and the other mages. I don’t quite get how men lost their magic. I don’t quite get why we only hear about one of the groups of people that make up the ‘Marauders’. I feel like, overall, there were just a lot of holes that made it hard to follow. That said, I think for the age group this is geared towards-they will love it! I don’t think younger readers will notice some of the things that I have. It is an entertaining book! I just think I went in with unrealistic expectations that tainted my reading experience.