Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Brimming with Celtic mythology, action, and danger, Erika Lewis’s Kelcie Murphy and The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts introduces readers to a new kind of magical school and a warrior who must choose with which side of an epic battle her destiny will lie.
The Otherworld is at war. The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts trains warriors. And Kelcie Murphy—a foster child raised in the human world—is dying to attend.
A place at AUA means meeting Scáthach, the legendary trainer of Celtic heroes. It means learning to fight with a sword. It means harnessing her hidden powers and—most importantly—finding out who her parents are, and why they abandoned her in Boston Harbor eight years ago.
When Kelcie tests into the school, she learns that she’s a Saiga, one of the most ancient beings in the Otherworld. Secretive, shunned, and possessed of imposing elemental powers, the Saiga are also kin to the Otherworld’s most infamous traitor.
But Kelcie is a survivor, and she’ll do whatever it takes to find her parents and her place in their world. Even if that means making a few enemies.
I was looking forward to this book because I usually enjoy MG books – especially those set at magic schools – and the synopsis looked like something I would love. However, I failed to connect with the main character at all. The book is very plot-based, which is fine, but the events zip along with no real weight to any of them. It just feels rushed.
I felt like I was reading a list of ‘this happened then this happened then this happened’ and while it should have all been very exciting it was just boring and implausible and didn’t make a lot of sense. It also felt like it had been cobbled together from other MG magic school books and that was irritating. Like the beginning gave me major Percy Jackson vibes.
I can imagine liking this more if I were the target audience and hadn’t been exposed to a lot of other books in the genre, but for me it was a disappointment.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Starscape for providing an e-arc for review.