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Ruthless Magic

(Conspiracy of Magic #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  917 ratings  ·  321 reviews
In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die... or kill.

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages' Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents' low standing, Rocío
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published May 30th 2018 by Another World Press (first published May 3rd 2018)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Larry H
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars.

If The Hunger Games hooked up with Lev Grossman's The Magicians , the baby might somehow resemble Megan Crewe's newest book, Ruthless Magic . While the setting isn't quite as dystopian as the former, and there isn't the type of quest featured in the latter, this book shares elements of both without feeling like a retread of either.

In a society not too far into the future, there are people with magical abilities and there are those without, known as Dulls. Th
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe is the first full length book in the Conspiracy of Magic young adult urban fantasy series. There is a prequel novella that takes place four decades before the beginning of this story but it wouldn’t necessarily need to be read to understand Ruthless Magic.

The story alternates between the two main characters Finn Lockwood and Rocío Lopez. At sixteen Rocio and Finn are awaiting to hear from the North American Confederation of Mages as to whether they will continue the
Faith M ✨
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Ender's Game and Netflix's 3%
I received this eARC from Another World Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

He just saw how warped and wrong his Confed must be to have brought us here with their ruthless, brutal magic.


Actual rating: 3.5 stars

The Writing and Worldbuilding

I have to admit, I was considering DNFing this, to the point where it basically convinced me that I don't actually really like urban fantasy all that much. The first 30% wa
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: spfbo
Finn and Rocio come from different worlds. One has money, status, and blue blood family connections that guarantee a place in society, but limited magical talent. The other is everything in reverse, a fiery power that can paint dragons in the sky for fun, but has had a life filled with pain and struggle, including losing an older brother to the deadly Mages' Exam they both now face. It's a survival of the fittest, Hunger Games style free for all and it turns out that the prize of becoming one of ...more
A group of sixteen-year-old novice mages will be thrown “to the lions” in a brutal exam to test their worthiness to keep their powers.

Rocio is a very talented mage, but she comes from the wrong side of the tracks and has been rejected by the elitist Confederation of Mages. The exam will be her one chance to prove her worth to stand among them.

Finn has the right family ties, the impressive pedigree, but his talents are fair at best. He now must prove his own worthiness and actually earn his pla
Lili  Marcus
This one reminded me of The Hunger Games only with Magic.

Basically, in Ruthless Magic's Dystopian world, Mages are in the open. They are known since the so-called Unveiling. And since then, The North American Confederation of Mages have been recruiting every 16 -year-old Novices across the country to be assessed. Some are Chosen and can join the Academy with no problems but most aren't and they can choose to take a certain exam that's said to be brutal and fatal but once they became a Champion y
h o l l i s
I'm definitely the odd one out here so you should probably just ignore this review. That said, I probably should've liked RUTHLESS MAGIC.. I just didn't. I'd also like to preface this by saying I requested this title by this author because when I saw her name I mistook her for someone else. So that's pretty much my bad. Whoops? However the plot did sound intriguing anyway.

If you like THE HUNGER GAMES and magic, you'll probably like this. Because it's basically a magical version of said book. Go
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
*This book is one of the #SPFBO finalists for 2018 and I'm a judge for the competition*

I picked this one up at the right time for me I think as it's a bloody and brutal one, but it reads a lot like a YA and it's easy to get into. I think the reading mood that I was in suited the book, and I found myself enjoying it and thinking it comparable to huger games or battle royale.

This story follows Finn and Rocío who are virtually strangers when the book begins. They have each grown up with magic but
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an arc of
Ruthless Magic in exchange for an honest review!

Overall, I really enjoyed the book! I loved the magical Hunger Games-ish plot. Rocio is a strong MC and I really felt like I could relate with her. The relationship between her and Finn could have used a little more building but overall I totally ship it! This story was full of twists, turns, and unexpected surprises and kept me on my toes the whole time. I liked the representation of lgbt and poc
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
You can also find my review here:https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

I received a copy to review from Netgalley and Spells and Stars books.

I read the prequel before picking this up and it did add a little history to the background of the world that this book takes place in. Ruthless Magic occurs years after magic has been unveiled to the magic less society, where in Magic Unleashed those without magic don't know about its existence. The main character in the prequel is not one of the main c
Sherwood Smith
Jun 06, 2018 added it
Shelves: fantasy
I probably should have been warned by the title, though I have to say, the magic is less ruthless than the human beings wielding it.

This is the latest teens-in-the-gladiator-pit offering, by an author whose first book I really liked. She seems to be going toward grimdark; this one begins early on with TRIGGER WARNING: animal cruelty, merely to make a point, which in turn signals plenty of human cruelty ahead.

And that’s exactly what we get. (view spoiler)
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Think of this book like a mix of Harry Potter (new vs old magic families), Hunger Games (the Exam that Finn, Rocio, Prisha, Judith, Lacey, Desmond and Mark had to pass in order to become Champions). Part Fireblood, part Furyborn... Well, it’s something, and it’s everything. I jumped into the story from the start. Can’t wait to read book 2!

Many thanks to the publisher for my early copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for a honest review.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I admit it, it was that beautiful cover that drew me in! It just shows the importance of a great cover. Of course, I was captivated by the synopsis too, it sounded exactly the sort of read I enjoy - full of magic. I don't often agree with the comparisons made to previously published titles as they don't always ring true. Here however, they are spot on - this book does bear some resemblance to The Hunger Games. There is also a similarity to Ender's Game and Magicians.

I feel like I have been
TheBibliotheque ♡
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-arc, read-ya
“He would be. I believed him then with total certainty. He saw just how warped and wrong his Confed must be to have brought us here with their ruthless, brutal magic. Maybe we’d grown up at opposite ends of the city, on opposite sides of that invisible divide between old magic and new, but in this moment we were feeling the exact same horror, and he would go every bit as far as I would to overcome it.”

If the pitch for a book mentions two of the greatest YA phenomenons, Harry Potter & The Hunger
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Ruthless Magic seems to be getting great reviews so far and I was so excited to read this book. But I am just going to stand in the corner again for being the odd one out, again.
It isn’t a bad book, do not get me wrong. I enjoyed reading this book. But that is about where it stayed. I think the biggest thing for me was that it just wasn’t memorable. It doesn’t quite stand out from the crowd.

A lot of
This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me.
There are things I love about it and things that were disappointing.

But first, the elephant in the room. The Hunger Games.

A lot of reviews mention the similarities, a few negatively. Personally I think it owed more to the Japanese novel Battle Royale which is, dare I say it, the influence for the Hunger Games. So, if I can annoy everyone else, it's like evolution...Ruthless Magic didn't evolve from The Hunger Games so much as they both have a common a
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo4
Full review is here, on my blog!~

This story is told in an alternate New York city where magic exists. Mages are out, so to speak, to the public, and as such, are highly regulated by the Confederation of Mages, who work with the government of the ‘Dulls’ (non-magic users). When a mage turns 16 years old, they are either accepted to magic school, or they are Dampened, which means that their magic is mostly taken away, leaving them with perhaps one magical skill that makes them better than normal a
I rarely read YA fiction, especially when it features romance. And yet I enjoyed Ruthless Magic. Crewe draws inspiration from Hunger Games, but she does everything right.

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses magically gifted teenagers. Some will succeed and enter the Confederation while unlucky or less-talented ones will lose magic. Anyone who doesn’t qualify in the initial stage of cutting the chaff from the wheat can enter a brutal Mages’ Exam. 

The story focuses on teen
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really good strong read, Yvan it’s by an experienced author with a few other books behind them.

Nice world building in an alternative world to ours, we get a brief glimpse into the background. Hope we see more in the next books in this series.

Good strong female characters.

Part of the spfbo2018 10 finalists.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s always hard when a book is neither good or bad, instead sort of stuck in this weird limbo of just alright enough to get through it but nothing you’ll remember.

“Ruthless Magic” tells the story of Finn, a boy born with the privilege of an old magic family who unfortunately doesn’t have the strongest talent to make it into college without the help of his family connections and Rocío, a young woman who uses anything she can to amplify her skills and work her magic to the best of her ability de
Cindy ✩☽♔
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, fantasy, netgalley
True to pitch, this book does, in fact, read like Hunger Games with a dash of Harry Potter.

It is an interesting, engaging and rather quick read. Now I'm not usually much of an urban fantasy fan, but I did quite enjoy this one.

And definitely enjoyed our diverse cast (Possible minor spoilers)
Rocío - Our Latino female lead, whose stellar abilities should have put her on the fast-track for bigger and better things. But she is instead a victim of a rigged system.

Finn - Our privileged male lead, wh
Ashley Rich
This read started out great! It had a Hunger Games meets Harry Potter meets The Magicians feel, but unfortunately, I lost interest at around 20% and DNF'd at 35%. The problem for me was the delivery. The story is told through a handful of POV's, all of which are told in first-person. I often had to go back to figure out what POV I was in and it got to be a struggle to keep everyone's story in line. The magic system wasn't clear to me either, but it could have been that I just missed it because I ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing book! Magic is in the world and only the selected few are allowed to use it. For the others they must fight for it.
After graduating highschool those with strong talents are supposed to go on to college where they can develop their magic. Everyone else has two choices; allow their magic to be taken or enter a contest that can be deadly.
A book about friendship and finding the strength inside.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve heard a lot of chat on the blogosphere about Ruthless Magic reading like a retread of The Hunger Games. And while there are elements of that in this story, it’s also so much more- and damn enjoyable, too.

From the start, Crewe imbues her magical world with a sense of wonder and excitement that matches anything in Harry Potter. This is a parallel world where people with magical abilities live alongside non-magical ‘Dulls’, in a world regulated by The North American Confederation of Mages. Eve
Zoë ☆
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, ebook
Ruthless Magic was so cool and fun to read! I couldn't stop reading, because I really wanted to know how it would end! The book was also filled with action, which was exciting.
I really liked the characters too, and I think their world and magical system has great potential for more books.

Rocío and Finn are two sixteen-year-olds who, like every other sixteen-year-old with magic, get their letter to inform them if they are accepted to the College of the North American Confederation of Mages or n
Rambling Reader
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ruthless Magic was a fun, exciting dip into a new magical world filled with conspiracy and competition.

Finn Lockwood and Rocio Lopez are both part of the magical community, but they might as well have grown up worlds apart.

Finn is one of the privileged, a member from a historical mage family with the prestige of the North American Confederation of Mages behind his granduncle's every word. Unfortunately for Finn, his magical skills don't quite live up to the power of his family name and legacy.
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ruthless Magic is Hunger Games meets Mortal Instruments meets Shadowshaper (by Daniel Jose Older. Read it if you haven’t already!) This action-packed urban fantasy will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, all while exploring ideas of race and privilege. I really hope this one gets turned into a movie!

Ruthless Magic is told in dual first-person perspective. The main characters are Finn, a boy from an old and prominent magical family, but with little power of his own, and Rocio,
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
4.25 Stars

Wow! So much action that was non-stop throughout the book. I loved how these characters worked together to get through the exams to become champions!
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't be the only one that thinks the girl on the cover looks like Megan Markle, right??

This book is like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games all rolled into one, and I liked it.

This world is so complex and detailed and we barely skim the surface of it with this book, those that have magic have a few choices:
1. They can be chosen for the University and keep their magic
2. Rejected from the University and be dampered = only have one tiny facet of their magic left
3. Or they can contest their rejec
*Source* NetGalley
*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0


Ruthless Magic is the first installment in author Megan Crewe's Conspiracy of Magic series. The story is actually told in two separate narratives; 16-year old Finn Lockwood, son of the man, Jonathan Lockwood, who helped bring Mage's into the light of day. The second narrative is by 16-year old Rocio Lopez who is a much, much better magician than Finn but doesn't have the same options open to her. While Finn is from a long lineag
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Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son (and does on occasion say "eh"), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she's spent the last six years studying kung fu, so you should probably be nice to her. She has been making up stories about magic and ...more

Other books in the series

Conspiracy of Magic (3 books)
  • Wounded Magic (Conspiracy of Magic, #2)
  • Fearless Magic (Conspiracy of Magic, #3)

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