by Terah Edun
A magical accident threw them together. But when Fate holds all the cards, it can be impossible to tell the difference between pure chance and Destiny…
The Madrassa, a magical school for mage practitioners, is the stuff of legend. With selective entrance exams and quotas for only the most advanced of mage children, it’s almost impossible to attend.
When Allorna, a guardian trainee for the royal family, ends up on the doorstep of the citadel on the eve of the final day of a recruitment ceremony, she decides it must be fate.
She was sure she knew the path her life would take before she enrolled. But sometimes life has a way of throwing in magical curveballs and strange friends, just to see if you’ll trip up.
Oh, and one of those friends is a mage accused of murder, another is a slightly psychotic dragon, the third a healer facing an existential crisis, and the last is a female storm-caller with more hidden secrets than a thief lord.
Do they all belong at the new school they call home?
To preface this I’m a fantasy nerd yet with the way YA is trending, it’s hard to fine a good, solid epic fantasy ala LOTR for teens. So I was generally very happy when the author contacted me to review Red Madrassa.
Red Madrassa is an epic fantasy unlike many books I’ve read mainly because it has LGBT themes as well as a racially diverse cast of characters. The characters in this book truly reflect how the “real world” is, and from the book’s cover alone, it really caught my attention. I thought the characters were strong, developed and believable, that being said, there were a lot of them and although the writing was strong the multiple POVs were a bit confusing and slowed/bogged the story down for the first few chapters.
That’s why I’m giving the book a four owl rating rather than a five, multiple POVs in epic fantasy is hard to do and I’ve only read very few authors that do it well, most notably George RR Martin (A Song of Fire & Ice), however it’s necessary in order to keep the story moving.
On a final note, while there are LGBT & racial themes they are huge, they’re hinted at in a very subtle & well-written way which I like because I prefer (as I’m sure most readers to) to be shown things rather than to be told everything (in a word-vomit(y) way).
I loved the storyline and the world of Red Madrassa, there were so many interesting elements in it that I cannot wait for the next book in the series. So if you’re interested in reading an epic fantasy that follows a misfit band of teens with a tad bit of romance in it (that’s woven in very nicely), go and get yourself a copy of Red Madrassa today (it comes in paperback & Kindle) 🙂
*This is a 100% honest review, I received the book from the author to red & review.*