As you know, I love to read youth/YA books, in search of another great series, and I’m certain I just found another winner. 🙂
Title: Elizabeth’s Legacy
Series: The Royal Institute of Magic; Book 1
Author: Victor Kloss
ROTS Setting: EU, Dragons, Higher Magic
Synopsis: Like most normal people, Ben hadn’t the faintest idea there was an Institute of Magic…
Two years ago, Ben Greenwood’s parents walked out the door and never returned. The police have all but given up finding them when Ben stumbles upon a peculiar letter addressed to his dad. “You are the most wanted man in the Unseen Kingdoms. Unless you come to us, we cannot help. For your child’s sake, tell us what you know.”
The letter is from an organization called the Royal Institute of Magic and is dated a day before his parents disappeared. Like most people, fourteen-year-old Ben hasn’t the faintest idea what the Royal Institute of Magic is, but he has his first clue: the logo on the letter.
Armed with nothing but his wits and the help of his good friend Charlie, Ben sets out to find the Institute and, through them, his parents. To succeed, he will have to navigate a land filled with fantastic creatures and Spellshooters, where magic can be bought and sold, to unravel an ancient family secret that could hold the key to defeating an evil the Institute has been fighting for the last five hundred years.
Recommendation: Late youth, teens, and anybody that loves discovering a new world of magic.
OH. MY. GOODNESS.
So many authors aspire to reach the wonder filled awesomeness that you experience the first time you read Harry Potter. Many fall short of that mark, with the feeling of “wow, that wasn’t very original, that was too much like HP.” I can happily report that this book does not fall into that sad trap. I have high hopes for the next five books in the series!
Perhaps I had Harry Potter on my mind because I’ve been re-listening to the books (Jim Dale, of course! And in case you’re curious, I’m currently on book 5– alllll the teen angst) or because I went with a “hogwarts waitlist” friend to watch Fantastic Beasts over the break. Or maybe it’s because I finished reading book 4 of Keeper of the Lost Cities and I’m impatiently waiting for book #5 at the library (hold #2, with all 6 copies out) and I was desperate for a new book. I can’t tell you how I stumbled across this gem in my desperation for a new book to read when going to bed, but, one night I looked, and it was on my kindle app, courtesy of Kindle Unlimited.
I don’t even know where to start. Ben has been pretty much homeless, sleeping on friend’s floors for the past 2 years since his parent’s mysterious disappearance, to avoid staying with his horrid step-grandma. Ben and his smart friend Charlie fancy themselves to be detectives, and found a clue to their parent’s disappearance. In the midst of trying to figure that out, they’re led to a building front for the Royal Institute of Magic, sneak past the receptionists, go down a hidden elevator, and end up in a Underground station deep below the surface that they know is NOT a station IRL, surrounded by many non-human creatures. They quickly board a train, only to find out it’s not your typical Underground train… and the adventure is well underway.
Ben and Charlie are definitely kinda geeky teen boys. They’re soon joined by Natalie, a half-elf apprentice at the Institute, and together, they set out to figure out what has happened to Ben’s parents and to try to clear their name (they’re wanted for high treason in the Unseen Kingdoms), getting into tons of trouble and raising even more questions as they learn information. The backstory is well written, and the plot all happens at a great pace- I don’t think there were any parts that felt like they really dragged. This self-published book feels like it was written by a seasoned author, and I can’t wait to start. I made myself sit down after downloading book 2 to write this so I wouldn’t have any book 2 bias clouding my view.
So, at the risk of giving out spoilers, I’m going to have to end this review right here. Please go read it. I don’t think you’ll regret it.