Kayt's Reviews > A College of Magics

A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer
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's review
Aug 31, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy
Read from August 31 to September 02, 2011

2.5 stars

Faris Naralleen is heir to the dukedom of Galazon. Too young to rule, she's sent from her beloved homeland by her jerk uncle until he works out a way to rule even after she comes of age. At Greenlaw College, though, she discovers there's more to learn than just poise and history: magic.

A College of Magics, I will admit up front, is not a book that would appeal to me hugely even if it didn't have flaws, simply due to the writing style. I found it reminiscent of Robin McKinley with its humorless narrative and way of alluding to things instead of saying them straight out. It's a way of writing that I've found makes it hard to connect with the action and the story.

Past that, though, it still has flaws. Most characters are hard to grasp--they don't seem to be 'characters' so much as people-shaped words that fill any given plot need. The antagonist is never fully explained, the secondary antagonists aren't...actually, most characters aren't given any motivation or reasoning.

And despite the emphasis of the title and description on magic, it's often a secondary thought and the magic system doesn't seem to have been worked out very well. It's very annoying to read a book where you don't understand what's going on--it would be different if the characters were the same, but no, they seem to have it figured out, they just haven't enlightened the poor reader.

Overall, a bland book. What is the point? Why all the hocus-pocus that doesn't do anything.
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