Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.
Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.
***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Antebellum Publishing.
- Bianca is crafty, determined, and clever. She’s seriously ballsy. Bianca has everything on the line and she’s not afraid to go for it, no matter how crazy it makes her look. Bianca is strong, she puts up with everything, every ounce of abuse thrown at her and carefully weighs when to react. Bianca’s love for her family is powerful, she puts herself through hell for them, more than herself. Bianca can come off as selfish because she is so focused and neglectful but she’s a source of inspiration and a lesson in bravery.
- The small scope of the school allows for a mix of legend and mischief. Letum Wood is a magical, mysterious place where anything can happen. There’s a whimsical danger that goes with it much like the Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter. The school itself combines a sort of Tri-wizard competition with 19th century camaraderie much like in Gillian Shields’ Immortal series. There’s a sense of being transported to another time where technology is absent and magic reigns.
- Mystery drives the plot. How the curse was earned, what Bianca must do to stop it, and the role of Bianca’s father all fuel a compelling story full of burning questions.
- Bianca’s character dominates the story, so much so that secondary characters fall flat and feel like intrusions. They are memorable, each has a significant personality, but Bianca is so caught up in her own world that interactions are spaced out and brief, no much happens, and it’s hard to establish a connection with them.
- Miss Mabel is far from the terrifying, fierce beast she’s made out to be. Yes, she’s intense, incredibly vindictive, and mighty heartless but the fear at her presence, the sense of foreboding is not there.
- The Network, the government system, and expectations for witches and mages was not clear. More of a background of how the system works, the divisions between sections of the world, the animosity, etc., would have helped to get a firm grip on this world and how people relate to non-magical folk. Additionally, the risk Miss Mabel poses is diminished because of this gap in knowledge.
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