Burned by Magic by Jasmine Walt
“In the city of Solantha, mages rule absolute, with shifters considered second-class citizens and humans something in between. No one outside the mage families are allowed to have magic, and anyone born with it must agree to have it stripped from them to avoid execution.
Sunaya Baine, a shifter-mage hybrid, has managed to keep her unruly magic under wraps for the last twenty-four years. But while chasing down a shifter-hunting serial killer, she loses control of her magic in front of witnesses, drawing the attention of the dangerous and enigmatic Chief Mage.
Locked up in the Chief Mage’s castle and reduced to little more than a lab rat, Sunaya resists his attempts to analyze and control her at every turn. But she soon realizes that to regain her freedom and catch the killer, she must overcome her hatred of mages and win the most powerful mage in the city to her side.” – From Amazon
Story – Love/Hate
There was much to love, and much to hate as we went through this novel. The world Miss Walt built was admirable, fun and exciting, not your usual fantasy by any means, but it was inhabited by one of the most unlikeable characters we have ever encountered in all of our lives. It is not her combative nature or combat prowess that bothered us, oh no, it is that she only possessed one mood, one mood that was displayed consistently at least – aloof and irritated. Now, we weren’t sure if it was intentional, but it we never felt like the character was vulnerable, which could have enhanced some aspects of the story. The story itself was interesting, if a bit tried and tested, so to speak, but Miss Walt adds enough to the plot to put a mark on it all her own, and combined with the world that she has created, it is a fun read.
“He jerked a thumb over his shoulder, where a brunette in a skin-tight red dress leaned against the wall, her dark orange gaze scanning the crowd. The lack of whites in her eyes combined with the dark orange color of her irises told me she was a tiger shifter, likely here searching for a male to help her get through heat.”
Writing and Formatting – Cringe-Inducing But Good
It’s not bad, the formatting that is. The prose, however, could use some work; cringe-worthy line passes to cringe-worthy line, which left our eyes rolling nearly as much as Sunaya’s own. That being said, once we got past the cringe, we found many details that we enjoyed, and Miss Walt has no difficulty painting a vibrant world that leaves us yearning for more. Her characters are not the deepest we’ve seen, but there is enough meat on their bones to give us something to love.
“I paused mid-thought as he grabbed a potted plant sitting on a side table and released the surge of magic he’d taken from me into it. The tiny shrub instantly exploded into a full-blown tree, unfurling rapidly, the roots spreading across the parquet and the tree branches making scraping sounds as the spread across the ceiling. I gaped, open-mouthed as white flowers blooded from the branches right before my eyes.”
Literary Value – A Fun Read
It is meant to be a fun read; it is an action-packed adventure following a ‘kick-ass’ heroine. While we would have liked to see Sunaya struggle a bit more and grow as a character, we believe more of that could be seen in future installments of the series. In the end, we usually find it difficult to knock a work for not being a literary masterpiece. One day we will find one, one day.
“I’d briefly considered moving into Roanas’s house, as I’d found out that he’d left it to me in his will. In fact, I’d spend my first two days of real freedom roaming the place, packing up things in boxes, smiling and crying as I looked through photo albums. But in the end I hadn’t been able to do it – the ghost of his presence would have haunted me forever if I’d stayed there, and I’d never be able to move on. I needed my own space, my own life.”
Overall – 4, Recommended, But Take Heed
We did not mention it earlier, though that was because it was in the blurb, but there is a lot of shifter action going on here. We are not typically fans of that, but in the world that Miss Walt has delivered we found it was enjoyable and worked to enhance the narrative. If you can’t stand shifters, this may not be the book for you, but if you don’t mind getting a little wild, forgive the pun, this is a fun read and well worth the time. The price as well is very agreeable for the quality of work that Miss Walt puts forth, and we look forward to reading more from her in the future.
Want to read Burned By Magic? It is available on Amazon.