Ruthless Magic

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

A captivating adventure with magic that feels unique ad characters who refuse to be forgotten! This is the first book of Megan Crewe's that I've read, but I'm certain it won;t be the last.
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kind of forgettable YA romance arena fight to the death story. trying to be social justice. sort of successfully? not very believable romance though. i liked the female main character slightly more than the male one just because she had a better back story. there were quite a few other characters around and the lead in to the sequel was done pretty well (as in, it set it up for more action and discoveries and additional romance and so on).
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Although it took me a little bit to get into the story, once I did, I was fully captivated. The plot was fast-paced and full of action and suspense. The published's description of Harry Potter meets Hunger Games is very accurate. I hope to read more in the series!
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I had high hopes for Ruthless Magic. There was so much I was looking forward to. However once I started reading the story I immediately realized that I only enjoyed one of the points of view (there are two POV's). 
I ended up not liking this book, unfortunately.
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This book may not be one of my favorite so far but it definitely is a worth read. The World-building and plot was good and interesting enough to let you finish until the very end. Although there are times I got so confused I have to re-read some phrases. 

The flow of the story is also good. There might be some dull moments but it still is interesting. I was also waiting to learn what happened to their love ones who had taken the Exam, Am starting to get some clues as story progresses. 

Its amazing how this book reminds me so much of Hunger Games. Its very interesting believe me, the only thing I don't like about it is sometimes the story starts to get dull and slow. It doesn't have a consistently provoking scenes that will take you at the edge of your seat.

Overall, I would recommend this to readers who love Sci-Fi. If you are a fun of Hunger Games this book is definitely a must for you.
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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Ruthless Magic is a lot of fun and has some really great characters. A brief overview of the book is young magic users are either accepted by the Confederation or not. The ones who aren't can accept being dampened (losing their powers) or take the exam to become a Champion. As one would expect, the exam is not a straightforward test and pits students against various trials of magic, and very dangerous ones at that. 

The story follows two main protagonists, Finn and Rocio, and alternates views each chapter. I was worried Finn would be the great White hope, a magic user who is struggling to accept that his family name alone with get him accepted considering his magic is very weak. Thankfully this is not the case, where the super powerful magic user is the young Latina, Rocio. I absolutely loved her, and I loved her outlook on everything. Considering she is considered new magic, and not trusted by the Confederation, it was nice to see how she handles the various situations without being the stereotypical "fiery" Latina role we see too often. 

The book had a mix of predictability and some surprising twists. Considering all the young magic users are tossed together, you knew some of the character  archetypes to expect. The bully, the person who finally has no one holding them back, the paranoid, etc. The twists were well done, and for the most part unexpected. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I'll just say those in charge of the exams are twisted bastards. 

The ending of the book sets up the sequel, without being an in your face cliffhanger. I definitely can not wait for the second in the series, and this is easily a new favorite. Highly recommended.
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Thanks to Megan Crewe, NetGalley, and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

True to the advertising, Ruthless Magic is a great mix between Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. For fans of these two series, this book is an obvious next choice. 

I fell in love with our two main characters, Rocio & Finn, from page one. The story is told in alternating chapters from each of their perspectives, presenting a unique and fresh view from different angles and insights. There is plenty of magical casting going on with an element of survival of the fittest mixed in pretty heavily. 

The novel surpassed my expectations on many levels and I have already enthusiastically recommended it to multiple friends who enjoy YA reading. It deals with so many issues that affect people everyday such as race and class disparities, corruption, and bullying. It is fast paced and tense story that underlines the importance of making the correct choices of humanity, love, and peace. 

I would highly recommend this novel to all and I cannot wait for the next book in this series. 

Happy Reading and Enjoy!

This review is posted in GoodReads, Amazon, and linked to Twitter!
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This book reminded me of the Hunger Games a little but with magic. I read the prequel to this series and I thought there would be characters I knew in this book but this book opened up the world more for me to explore. This book was an exciting read for me and I enjoyed meeting more characters. *This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.*
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3.5 With a Hunger Games vibe, this YA magical fantasy is about teens who weren't Chosen (for the college of mages) having to battle others for an opportunity to make it. But not all is what it seems. I loved the characters of Finn and especially Rocio, and the look at class and culture differences in this alternate reality where magic users have come out of hiding. The ending didn't quite live up to the rest of the book, and that made me hesitant about reading the next (I'm assuming it's a trilogy.)
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Thank you to Another World Press and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Ruthless Magic is kind of a mix between the Divergent series, Mockingjay series and Harry Potter all rolled into one. We have kids from old magic families and kids from new magic families all vying to be the best in order to be accepted into the College of Magic, to further their studies in the art of magic. Those not accepted have the choice to have their magic abilities softened or they can declare for the Mage's Exam. If they don't make it through the exam they will have their magic burned from them.

I enjoyed this book and will be on the lookout for the next in this series.
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If you are looking for an incredible magic tale then look no further. Ruthless Magic was intense, captivating, and most definitely enchanting! I couldn’t put this down. Not only did I find the cover to be utterly beautiful but the writing was brilliantly thought out! And I am so grateful that it came with a link to download the “prequel” as well! So much of this book world to enjoy and I know I enjoyed every page and moment!
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‘RUTHLESS MAGIC’ BY MEGAN CREWE IS ‘HARRY POTTER’ AND ‘THE HUNGER GAMES’ LOVE CHILD

Don’t let the title of this review fool you. Ruthless Magic, the first in the Conspiracy of Magic series by Megan Crewe, is more than the books that came before it, inspired it, or drew your eye to it. It’s the college exams from hell with crazy trials, twists & turns, an OTP I can get behind and you should too, friendships that are just as important as the romantic relationships, and representation that feels honest and well researched.

I know this seems like a lot and you’re probably thinking that there’s no way that one book can do so much. It can. And it does.

First off, the story of Ruthless Magic, the thing that hooks you at first glance. We have two teens, Rocio and Finn, who come from two distinct families. Rocio’s is new magic in a world where the general public knows about magical practitioners. She lacks the schooling or money to train for greatness but still manages to outpace anyone in her way. Finn is on the opposite side of the spectrum. He’s old magic, destined to attend the prestigious college all magic users want to get into. Unlike Rocio or the rest of his family, his magic is lackluster and no amount of studying is going to fix that.

Like every other person their age they want to continue their education, they want to make something of themselves, and they don’t want to be burned out. Let me explain. If you don’t get into this prestigious college, you are cut off from your magic. It’s a precaution, a way to keep the magical community in check in a world where the Dulls are still cautious. If you believe that The Circle, the administration in all of this, is wrong, then you declare for the Mages exam and enter into a Hunger Games style trial to become Champion and enter college.

Rocio, being new magic, gets declined entrance and is scheduled to be burned out. And Finn, being old magic, gets accepted into the mages college. Not so surprisingly, they call bullshit and enter into the mages exam to prove to themselves and the rest of the world that through their efforts and hard work, they belong.

And that’s just the beginning.

These two, the obvious OTP of the story, lift each other up through their trials. They are aware of their abilities and their weaknesses. Sometimes they have trouble admitting it and plenty of times they have the other there to support them in whatever fashion they may need. Also, they’re both kickass in their own ways. Yes, Rocio is the stronger one and yes, Finn is ready to cheer her on with a sparkly sign that says, “Get it gurl! You got this.” But he doesn’t just sit back and not help. He provides the textbook knowledge and she the raw power to get things done. And it’s glorious to watch as they come to trust each other and develop romantic feelings.

As I mentioned earlier, the strength of Ruthless Magic doesn’t just come from the main OTP’s journey as individuals and as a couple. The friendships are a key reason why I am over the moon and in love with this book. Crewe put as much effort into the friendships as she did the romantic relationships. You can see it in the special bond Finn has with his best friend Prisha, the conflicts they go through, and the way that their bond is tested over and over again. You can also see it in the addition of Desmond, Judith, and the rest of the secondary characters. They have journeys and obstacles they must overcome just like Rocio and Finn.

When creating big worlds like this there is another obstacle that writers must face: representation. Books are a reflection of our world and as readers we want to see ourselves represented in the material we consume. Crewe definitely took that into consideration when putting together these characters. Rocio is a Latinx woman who weaves together her spells with songs in Spanish, something I’ve never seen before but that makes sense. (Not everything has to be in Ancient Latin, people.) She even slips into Spanglish sometimes and it feels natural.

I was even surprised that in a world of magic and trials such as this, Crewe also included a disabled character that fought just as hard as everyone else. No spoilers, but it’s unexpected how this disability is revealed because Crewe treats this character with the same respect as everyone else. They aren’t made a spectacle or forced to lay out how they became disabled. They just are, that’s it, let’s keep fighting and kicking ass.

And it’s all refreshing as hell!

This attention to detail when it comes to every character, no matter if they’re the OTP or best friend, in Ruthless Magic makes for a story where you become invested in every mage that crosses your way. You want to learn more about their stories, the world they live in, and what happens when the Champions are finally chosen.

I can’t wait for more.
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Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe was… awesome. There’s so many things about it to like.

The magic system was unique, but not so different that it didn’t make sense. I could relate, even if I can’t use magic (YET!) Spells, or ‘chantments as they’re called, are all done with the voice. Classically trained kids have a lexicon of Latin verses to chant/hum/sing, but we also meet a bunch of new-magic kids who sing, rap, or beatbox their ‘chantments into being.

We follow around a small group of characters, but only read the perspective of two. Finn, an old-magic privileged kid, and Rocio, a new-magic girl with immense amounts of power.

Most of the characters are done very well, but these two are obviously quite exceptional. But the end of the book you get the sense that you were there with them the whole time, and you’ve really bonded to them both.

The exam they took was full of cool twists. I almost wish they didn’t talk about the book having a Hunger Games element to it. I was expecting certain things and was less surprised when some of them happened. That being said, there was still plenty of things that happened in the exam that I didn’t see coming. Exciting, tense, emotional, and thrilling moments for all who enter here.

While I loved the majority of this book, I did have a few peccadilloes. 

The word ‘chantment is thrown around constantly. Never once did  I see the word enchantment. One is just a slang version of the other. Why is everyone, including both narrators using it? Wouldn’t it make more sense if some people used the slang while other used the entire word? If the goal was to have a universal word that the whole magic community used, I think it would have been better to make up a whole new word, instead of just dropping the ‘en.’

Secondly, the narrators were too similar. Beyond the third or fourth chapter, the two are pretty much always in the same place, or close enough that location isn’t an indicator. It was written in first person, turning he or she into ‘I.’ Another indicator gone. And finally, their voices were too similar. I found myself getting mixed up in the middle of chapters. Rocio would throw out the occasional word or two of Spanish, but it was too rare to depend on.

Overall, I loved this book. I’d feel totally comfortable telling a friend, “You should read this book. It’s like Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games!”
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This one reminded me of The Hunger Games only with Magic.

Basically, in Ruthless Magic's Dystopian world, Mages are in the open. They are known since the so-called Unveiling. And since then, The North American Confederation of Mages have been recruiting every 16 -year-old Novices across the country to be assessed. Some are Chosen and can join the Academy with no problems but most aren't and they can choose to take a certain exam that's said to be brutal and fatal but once they became a Champion you can enter the Academy with the chosen. Or they can just accept their fate and be Dampened (Magic is lessened into one note) instead of taking the exam and take the risk of being BurnOut (No Magic at all).

Apparently the Confederation is the one behind all these which at first I thought is the government but they're not though they are supported by the government. The Confederation is governed by Ten Members of the Inner Circle. 

I really like the whole concept of this book, something like "Defy the Odds, Defend Your Magic", because that's what this book really is, at least in this first instalment. The MC's trying to defend their magic so they're not to be Dampened. Rocio Lopez wasn't chosen, thanks to her family background, so she declared to take the exam. On the other hand, Finn Lockwood, thanks to his family's connections, he was chosen but he knew his abilities are mediocre and so he declared for the exam too just so he can prove himself. But then the exam was truly dangerous and deadly that the MCs found themselves not only fighting to keep their magic but for so much more and they didn't like it. The exams sound very intriguing and it caught my interesting upon reading the description. And I must say, somehow it delivered. I really liked it. BUT there are just so many other aspects in the book I found lacking.

The entire world is confusing. Like, okay there's the Confed who's clearly doing something wrong but since supported by the Government, they get away with it. But still we're talking about 16-year olds here that's being put to danger. I think no matter what their goal is, the Confed should be sued or something. I mean they're not really the Government unlike in The Hunger Games. And why can't the entire Magical population just do something about it? Because 16-year olds die in that exam and they're juts letting their children take that. But of course there will be a rebellion, maybe in book 2. But why only now? Well, maybe, it will all be cleared/explained why in Book 2. 

I don't get the whole concept of the magic as well. The only thing I know is that it's based on Sound and that vibration and rythm are big factors that humming can produce magic. And that words, as in chants, just help the mage to focus. But I didn't get where they came from and the things they can do just felt random. Like, Rocio can produce  a gleaming dragon, not a real one, but it can hurt if she wants too. Something like that. They're too random. I don't see what's their connection with sound. So obviously I'm not a fan of the magic in this fantasy world, though it IS Unique.

The Characters. They're okay. No one's really memorable but they all did OK. Rocio and Finn are promising characters and I  wouldn't mind seeing them again. Although I was a bit put off by Finn's almost insta-love to Rocio to the point that Rocio's approval became one of his main goals in the exam. Not literally but hinted it. So yeah, I'm not a fan of the Romance too. 

WARNING: There's a scene in the first quarter of the book that involves brutal animal cruelty. It's with a rat and personally I didn't like it because I'm planning on getting hamsters as pets so OMG!!!

Do I recommend this? Maybe. I'll read book 2 if there's no death of a rat or anyone from the rodents family because by that time I already have hamsters and they'll be like my babies.

Hope you guys read this more than I did. :) :) :)
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#RuthlessMagic #NetGalley
A great book for young adults who enjoy fantasy, magic, or even dystopian. The plot focuses of social class and the ability to practice magic. The series begins with this novel and I can't wait to read the next. The two main characters must work together against a setting that has been established for them to fail. It is a great novel that uses fantasy to reflect the societal disavantages that we can reflect on in today's society,
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A complete delightful surprised. I will definitely recommend it to other YA book lovers. This book deals with a lot of issues. I like the magic concept and it is fast paced and action packed. The characters are all interesting. Also, there are lessons that are relevant nowadays.
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This story took a little bit to pick up. Which is understandable as this story has a depth to it that’s refreshing and unique. I love the characters and the non-stop action. This reminds me of Hunger Games in its rawness. An epic adventure in the making.
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I’ve heard a lot of chat on the blogosphere about Ruthless Magic reading like a retread of The Hunger Games. And while there are elements of that in this story, it’s also so much more- and damn enjoyable, too.

From the start, Crewe imbues her magical world with a sense of wonder and excitement that matches anything in Harry Potter. This is a parallel world where people with magical abilities live alongside non-magical ‘Dulls’, in a world regulated by The North American Confederation of Mages. Every year, young Mages compete for places in the Academy, to secure their future. Those that don’t make it have their magical abilities ‘Dampened’, or taken away. Those that don’t accept it can compete in the Mage’s Exam for their chance to retain their magical powers. There’s only one problem: the Mage’s Exam has only one winner. And it’s infamously brutal.

Our two heroes therefore have to fight for their chance to survive- and win. Finn Lockwood is part of an established, ancient magical family- who has next to no abilities at all. And Rocío Lopez is poor, the child of Dampened parents, extremely talented- but she has no connections, and therefore misses out on her Academy place. From the start, Crewe invests time into making the two protagonists likeable- Finn is desperate to prove himself to his family, and Rocio wants to show the Confederation that they were wrong to pass her over- and switching between both POVs means that we get inside both their heads from the start.

And what we see is bewitching. Crewe has a real gift for worldbuilding, and what she conjures up in the first five or six chapters alone is enough to flesh out an exciting, fully realised and intriguing world that I wanted to dive into. It’s almost a shame that we’re taken away to the confines of the Mage’s Exam for the rest of the novel, because I wanted to find out more about magical New York! From magical, illusionary dragons that fly above the skyline, to the way in which Mages conjure the magic- through music and poetry- feels fresh and exciting.

Fortunately, the Mage’s Exam makes up for my curiosity in nail-biting thrills. The challenges start slow- but part of the fun is seeing how our heroes, and their friends, try to puzzle their way through increasing difficulty, from a writing test, to the end where they’re battling automated machines to try and obtain a mysterious artefact as part of their test. People get mown down in ever-more inventive ways, and the twist- when it comes- is very satisfying, if a little predictable. You’re rooting for the main characters to win- not just Finn and Rocío, but their friends, too- as well as the romance subplot, which feels natural and sweet.

The ending is just as high-stakes- though I do feel that this is where it slips a little, and becomes a lot more Hunger Games thrills than magical test. Likewise, the Confederation comes across a little too much as ‘generic evil’ for this to feel like much more than a YA ‘kids fight the system’ type of novel.

But despite that, this was a solid, exciting debut that delivers thrills in spades.

In three words: magical. Different. Nail-biting.
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First off, this book reminded me of a cross between The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Sky and Divergent or possibly Ender’s Game -in a really good way. It had two main POVs, Finn and Rocíco. I really loved Rocíco, she was such a determined and interesting character! Finn was great too, but he definitely shined more in the second half of the book -his humour showed a lot more. The beginning was a bit slow, but once we got to the trials (our two MCs have to compete in trials when for various reasons they can not go to magic school) things really picked up and got very interesting. I loved the trials/exams -the plot got quite interesting during them and I loved how brutal and vicious the trials got. I’ll have a more in depth review up on my blog this week sometime, but overall I enjoyed this one. I’m looking forward to the world building expanded on in the next book. I’ll definitely be continuing with the series.
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I have to say this book ended up being a lot better than I thought it would be. I wasn't expecting much at all, but what I got was a thrilling ride of a book that one might mistake as the love child of the Hunger Games and the Maze Runner, but with magicians! This book is really well paced and had quite intense moments which drive the plot along effortlessly. The character arcs are not bad either as they feel realistic and honest. This is an action-packed magical journey like nothing I have read before. This is not your average magic fiction story, instead, it is refreshingly original and I really do look forward to reading the other books in this series.
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