Series: Ren Crown #1
Author: Anne Zoelle
Publishing Date: August 10, 2012
Rating: 5 Lovely StarsAmazon - Goodreads - Shelfari
Determination...Friendship...Magic...Devastated by the loss of her twin--and consumed by the realization that magic actually exists--gifted art student Ren Crown embarks on a dangerous course and illegally enrolls in a fantastical university determined to bring her brother back to life. She enters a world of magic beyond imagination and finds herself an unwitting pawn in a treacherous political game.Trusting the wrong person will cost Ren her freedom, magic, and life. But surrounded by compelling people--including a cold, talented roommate, a genius magical engineer, and the most powerful combat mage of their age--her hardest choice may be trusting her own heart.
Even though the start is a wee bit slow, it was totally worth it. I hadn't read a book that meshed that book's plot line with the over all plot line of the series so well since Harry Potter.
The real selling point for me was the incredible world building. It was all so painstakingly thought out, every little piece connected with each other to form one hell of a world. The way the magic works, how the Layers are connected, the ripples, and chaos magic. It was all just...wow. Some people might find it confusing at first but as the book progress it all starts making more sense.
The characters were all nicely fleshed out, from the MC, Ren to all the secondary characters. Loved all of them, even creepy Verisetti and perv Leandred, and that idiot Marsgrov. And then there is Ren, she so incredibly determined to get her brother back, so many things she did, and finally learning to let go and do what had to be done. She was so single-minded in her pursuit to get her brother back that she skipped very important bits in between, but she learns from her mistakes and accepts her place in this new world. But I think my favorite character was the Guard Rock, I mean who wouldn't want an actual pet rock? outfitted with a pencil sword and everything. xD
There was a bit of romance here, and I really loved how it was done. I think this quote sums it up pretty well.
"I sighed internally. I really needed to get rid of this crush, but for some reason his dark responses only made it grow. As if firmly planting it in the “never happen” category just made it more appealing to dwell upon. I returned his dark gaze. Crushes rocked because they were fantastical. The real Alexander Dare could bite me."
She is completely down to earth. Yes the dude saved her life and is beyond hot, but there is no insta-love nor some incredibly fast developing romance. It progresses naturally.
I recommend this book to everyone! Especially fans of Harry Potter.
*If you are one of those people that doesn't like too much descriptions, you might find this one a hard read. I usually don't like them too much but in this case it was what really made it stand out.
**I actually read this back in August, this was a re-read for this week's BoTW