Title: A Legacy Witch
Author: Ashley McLeo
Genre: Urban fantasy
Rating: Four stars
“A surly, hot wizard. A dangerous calling. A curse killing off students.
I’ve dreamed of attending Spellcasters Spy Academy for as long as I can remember. So imagine my surprise when I get there and discover it’s not the academic utopia I imagined.
This place is dangerous as hell. And I don’t mean the classes or the Samhain Trials, though those aren’t a cakewalk.
They say the students in the Culling year, my year, are cursed. Someone is picking us off, one by one. Or maybe something.
Between challenging courses, my irritating and surly crush, and the enigmatic curse, you might say that I have my hands full.
A softer woman might leave the academy, but there’s no way in hell I’m giving up on my dream.
I’m here to stay. That is, as long as I’m not the murderer’s next victim.”
* * *
My very first magical spy academy book, and I was not disappointed!
Odette Dane is the daughter of two famous magical spies who later quit their jobs to work in Hollywood and raise her. Now she has turned eighteen, Odette is determined to become a spy just like them.
She is enrolled in Spellcaster Spy Academy where she gets in on account of being a “legacy”, meaning that her parents’ graduations from the school gives her an application advantage. Unfortunately, most of the other students got into the school by training their whole lives to be there, and they hold Odette’s “legacy” status over her head. Especially Diana Wake, daughter of the headmistress of the school, and spy prodigy.
Odette, having had no formal – or informal – training, struggles to keep up with her classmates, and often earns their ire. Only her friend, Evanora Proctor, sticks by her. But when Odette’s full power potential is magically released, she realises that she has been fighting with one hand tied behind her back the entire time.
When first-year students start showing up murdered, the most powerful students are at risk of being targeted. As Odette and her friends, and new boyfriend, Alex Wardwell, make their way through the trials at Spellcasters, they realise there is more at work than even the killing of new students.
The characters are really varied and interesting in this book, and there’s a bit of an “enemies to lovers” trope between Odette and Alex. Although it was pretty quickly resolved, it was still entertaining. By the end of the book, the whole group: Odette, Eva, Hunter, and Alex, are all genuinely tight-knit and have each other’s backs and it’s a great dynamic.
This is a fairly fast-paced book, quite a page-turner, and always stayed interesting. I never found myself skipping scenes out of boredom, and the plot was thoroughly unpredictable. The magical world that the author built in this book allowed for complete surprise, and it was impossible to guess what would happen next.
While I could connect with Odette as a protagonist, sometimes it felt as if she thought the world revolved around her a little more than it did. When students died, she sometimes wondered whether the attack had been meant for her with no suggestion as to why she would think that. But otherwise, she’s a solid character.
The final climax really opened up a lot of possibilities to some interesting sequels, and I’m tempted to read books two and three, which are already available.
Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!