Wizard's Masquerade

A Medieval Fantasy Romance for New Adults

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Pub Date 30 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2022

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Description

Wizard's Masquerade is Book 1 of the Huskarl Duology

| Fantasy & Slow Burn Romance | Wizards, Castles & Ballrooms | Soft Magic System | Secrets, Deception & Political Intrigue | Grumpy/Sunshine trope |  Flirty Witty Banter |

Who knew the jester was dangerous, or that he would try to steal her heart?

After surviving a horrendous injury, twenty-two-year-old wizard Leyna finds her dream of a glorious career in ruins—until she receives an offer to join the Royal Guard.

But Leyna’s dream soon turns into a nightmare when tragic news arrives of an attack on the king and his court during their travels.

As Leyna’s world is turned upside down, she devotes herself to restoring normalcy at Rutherford Castle and uncovering the true culprit of the attacks.

But the castle’s inhabitants hold dangerous secrets, including the mysterious jester, who is both infuriating and charming. As Leyna is drawn deeper into a web of secrets and lies, they become entangled in a treacherous game of trust and betrayal—but can she trust the jester with her heart?

AWARDED READERS’ FAVORITE 5-STAR SEAL, this medieval fantasy romance blends magic, castles, ballrooms and a steamy slow-burn romance for a seductive, page-turning escape.

Wizard's Masquerade is Book 1 of the Huskarl Duology

| Fantasy & Slow Burn Romance | Wizards, Castles & Ballrooms | Soft Magic System | Secrets, Deception & Political Intrigue | Grumpy/Sunshine trope...


A Note From the Publisher

An earlier version of the ARC for Wizard's Masquerade was featured on NetGalley in Aug 2022 under BooksGoSocial. Thank you to all the ARC readers whose love, support & feedback helped improve the story.

Wizard's Masquerade is available on Ebook, Paperback and Hardcover from Sep 30th via Amazon and other popular stores.

Audiobook ARC coming soon, ETA: Nov 2022

An earlier version of the ARC for Wizard's Masquerade was featured on NetGalley in Aug 2022 under BooksGoSocial. Thank you to all the ARC readers whose love, support & feedback helped improve...


Advance Praise

“It's the Night Circus meets Harry Potter. It's gothic royal magic. I'm obsessed, completely.” – KAT BLACKTHORNE

"The wit and intelligence are pitch-perfect..." – READERS' FAVORITE

"Leyna finds love and reunites with family in a novel that creatively connects scenes filled with crushing grief, sheer teror, sexual tension, fierce loyalty and longing. It’s dramatic, romantic, and an absolute pleasure to read." – INDEPENDENT BOOK REVIEW

"A refreshing take on fantasy romance!...I loved the spice and the intrigue, as well as the dark and sometimes sinister moments. I couldn't put it down!" – GABRIELA LAVARELLO

“It's the Night Circus meets Harry Potter. It's gothic royal magic. I'm obsessed, completely.” – KAT BLACKTHORNE

"The wit and intelligence are pitch-perfect..." – READERS' FAVORITE

"Leyna finds love...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9780645441307
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Average rating from 52 members


Featured Reviews

"Could she reimagine herself and her beliefs? Because if she could, it was like the opening of a mental portcullis, the lowering of a drawbridge, and there, beyond the rigid walls she'd built for herself, a world of possibility awaited.
It was liberating to realize that her past self's convictions did not have to dictate her future."

Leyna is days away from completing her exams, passing her 7 year long studies at the Wizard Guild, and her dreams of being a Wizard and Huskarl, a guard to the royal family.

Everything about her dream isn't playing out the way she had envisioned all her life. Starting with an accident that almost set her back a year, that perfect dream is cracking. After finally getting her offer letter to be a Huskarl, Leyna leaves the Guild with Grace and Quinn, friends from her class, to head to the castle and accept her official Huskarl title from the king.

Only a couple days after arriving, word arrives that the king, queen, and their entire court and guards were attacked while traveling. With her world completely thrown off its axis, she is determined to figure out what happened.

The more she digs, the more she begins to question everything she's ever known. It isn't much easier with the Jester constantly around. She knows he has secrets, and is possibly dangerous, but can't help but be drawn to him. Leyna has to figure out who to trust, including unraveling her life and ambitions as a Huskarl.

MY GOD THIS BOOK IS CAPTIVATING!! Jay Pellegrin's world takes me right back to the years of reading fantasy as a teenager, but higher stakes, and definitely with an adult spin on it. We have magic schools, a castle, spells, wizards, shapeshifters, demons, royal hierarchy, secrets and betrayals, AND A JESTER!!

This is a world you really can immerse yourself in while reading, and characters that develop really well throughout. Pellegrin admits herself that Leyna is a "strong flawed female protagonist" and it's a perfect description for her. She has a one track mind, only dreaming of ever being a Huskarl, and she is naïve, selfish, jealous, spoiled, and infuriating when the book starts. Everything that is happening around her forces her to dismantle her belief system, and it really isn't easy for anyone, especially with Leyna, it's like pulling teeth. By the end it's like a huge sigh of relief, she had wonderful character development and her story is set up perfect for more growth into the second book of this duology.

The shining star of this book is Jester. We are told right off the bat that he is dangerous and charming. Both so true, and he is the perfect MC in a story with lies and secrets. We are along with Leyna on the journey and get to watch her figure out how much she's going to let him in. He is snarky, rude, and dazzling to say the least. I was constantly looking forward to any scene with him in it, because it really forced Leyna to think and evolve. I fell in love with him and I really hope there is a lot more of him in the next book and the chance for them really explore their feelings.

The story is very long and could definitely do with a lot of trimming for some parts that felt repetitive, but Pellegrin announced on Instagram that they worked with editors and are cutting it down, so I have high hopes that the published copy will fix this issue. I definitely think we could have gotten a little more back story from the side characters, especially Grace, Quinn, and Seth. Their relationships with Leyna would give her that extra bit of dimension that I think she could benefit from.

Overall this is a fantastic first book, and Medival Fantasy Romance. I am 100% invested and will be reading the second one. This first part of the duology is out soon, and I think is a great read if you want a longish romantic fantasy that has reverse grumpy x sunshine, enemies to lovers, lots of banter, a flawed (BUT EVOLVING) FMC, dances in castles, magic/wizards and a smidge of spice.

UPDATE 09/23/22: Since reading this copy, the author has made many changes based on feedback provided by readers! From the author's suggestion, I went back and reread the end of the book and absolutely loved the changes. Overall there is more jester in the story, and minor story changes that made the book flow better! I will be (not so) patiently waiting for the second half of this duology.

Thank you Netgalley, Jay Pellegrin, and BooksGoSocial/Pellegrin for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

↠ 4.75 stars

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"I don't have any dreams of my own, you see---at least, I didn't, until I met you..."

Leyna Saunders has a plan set in stone for her life: graduate from the Guild as a wizard and become a Huskarl of the Royal Guard, serving the king.

All this and more DOES happen, but at what cost? The picture-perfect life Leyna painted for herself is derailed as lies, courtships from a meddling mother, Royal politics, and a sneaky Jester shatter the life Leyna always thought she wanted.

Castles and wizards and magic, oh my! This BOOK. I'm a sucker for fantasy romance, so this one took my heart and RAN WITH IT. The world that Jay Pellegrin creates in "Wizard's Masquerade" is full of vibrant, magical wonder. There's nothing better than being sucked into a fantasy book and I was intrigued from the very first chapter!

I absolutely loved Leyna and her thorough character arc. She had a SET vision for her life, but when that vision didn't pan out as expected, reality sunk in and she was left with a life at the castle full of mystery and deception. Reading her from beginning to end was SUCH a treat. She's definitely a character that comes with her flaws, but I'm so excited to see how she grows throughout book 2.

JESTER. My sweet Jester. An absolute little sh*t, but I adored every second of it. He has his secrets, and divulging them was a hardship, but getting to know him was a WHIRLWIND. His character arc in particular was fantastic, and as he and Leyna grew closer, that emotional wall was chipped away bit by bit.

I was SOBBING BY THE END. I was in absolute SHAMBLES as the story wrapped up. Such a fantastic start to a new series! I highly recommend this if you're into fantasy romance, castles, magic, a charming Jester, fluffy little pets, a sloooow burn, and a protagonist with a good head on her shoulders! I can't wait to see how everything pans out in book 2.

Thank you to Jay Pellegrin and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

RATING: 5 out of 5 🤍

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Update: Based on feedback, the author made some revisions to the book - and in my opinion, these have only strengthened an already very strong, well-paced narrative. My rating remains a solid 5/5 - this book is a delight and I am so excited for readers to have the chance to check it out!

I picked this up purely based on the cover art, which I found so beautiful and intriguing that I simply had to know what this book was about. I tried not to get my hopes up - I’ve been pulled in by too many beautiful covers before only to be disappointed. I am happy to report, however, that Wizard’s Masquerade is a wonderful romantic fantasy that far exceeded my expectations!

The Plot:

“After surviving a horrendous injury, Leyna knows her chances of becoming a wizard are dashed—so no one is more surprised than her when the Wizarding Guild allows her to graduate and she receives her offer to join the Royal Guard.

But when tragic news arrives of a monstrous attack on the king and his court, Leyna devotes herself to hunting down the traitors responsible and restoring the kingdom’s peace and way of life.

As Leyna is drawn deeper into a web of secrets and lies, she soon becomes entangled with the jester in a treacherous game of trust and betrayal.”

I loved our heroine Leyna - she’s ambitious, strong-willed, and a bit stubborn. This makes her slow burn romance with the Jester who just can’t seem to stop teasing her absolutely delicious. Their dynamic is one of my favorites, and I miss them already. And speaking of the Jester - never did I expect that a man wearing bells could make me blush!

This book is also simply a pleasure to read - the prose is elegant and the story flows along at the perfect pace. The settings and spaces are described so well that I could perfectly envision them, and I found myself wishing I could occupy a cozy little corner of the castle myself. I adored the side characters, who all got the chance to shine. I cannot wait for the next installment!

If you love slow burn romances, ballrooms, gowns, political intrigue, courtly manners, spies, steamy encounters in secret, and of course, magic, Wizard’s Masquerade is the book for you!

5 Stars ⭐

Wizard’s Masquerade will be released on September 30, 2022.

Thank you to the publisher & NetGalley for the ARC!

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Can you imagine Harry Potter mixed with Hamlet mixed with demons? Yeah, I didn't expect it to work, but Jay Pellegrin managed to do it!

Honestly, it was not what I was expecting based off of the cover art. If you are looking just for a smut in this New Adult novel, turn around. While there IS romance, there is lots more included in the storyline, such as politics, secrets, personal growth, magic, demons, and more...

An intriguing new voice to fantasy and New Adult fiction. I'm looking forward to the next book in this duology.

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Wizard's Masquerade
A Medieval Fantasy Romance for New Adults
by Jay Pellegrin
Earc: NetGalley
Publisher: Pellegrin Books
Publication Date: 30 Sep 2022
Genre:Romance, New Adult, Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Absolutely loved this book. Somehow, I was hooked from beginning to end.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't give it 5 stars because of some imperfections. The sometimes predictable plot and lack of development of the magic system deducted one star from my rating, but the romance between Layla and the Fool and the easy-to-understand writing fully make up for it.

I'm not usually a fan of romance, but these two were fun to read. I kept reading chapter after chapter, with jokes, chemistry, angst, dialogue, and sharp enough scenes, but dreaded getting to the end, knowing I'd have to wait for the sequel to come out to read more. was

#bookreview #goodreads#romance #SciFiandFantasy #romance #newadult

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Thank you to Pellegrin books and NetGalley for the ARC. I absolutely loved reading this book. For anyone who’s a fan of “once upon a broken heart”, I think you’ll enjoy this book. There are similar elements of magic, balls, and the big mystery in the plot.
The first few chapters were action-packed but a bit slow, I wanted the action to begin earlier than expected. But I think the way the author paced the scenes went really well with the plot and its many twists (which I loved). The last half of the book kept me on my toes. And when you think you know the characters well, think again! You’re in for a treat! It was almost like reading a mystery book and figuring out what characters contributed negatively and positively to the plot (trying not to include spoilers). The two main characters were great. I gravitated more toward the jester, he is such a funny character. And the slow burn between the jester and the female protagonist was written so well. Their dynamics complimented each other. The ending of the book crushed me, I’m so glad that there’s another book on the way. I thought it couldn’t possibly end the way it did! This story was so much fun to read it has everything: humor, action, love, and magic.
My Goodreads review will be posted on 10/24/22.
as of 10/25/22 this review was posted on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3LEBO5P5DW8BY/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

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New adult romantacy that is full of mystery and intrigue. Journey of a young inexperienced woman of magic eventually discovering her strong side to making mature decisions. This is the first book in a duology. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read the book for an honest review.

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*** I received an ARC Copy through Netgalley and this is my honest review***

This is a longer read for most readers but it has some vivid and enchanting characters. We are introduced to Layna whose goal is to graduate the wizard guild and become a huskarl to the king. The early part of the book does seem reminiscent of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire only because we are in a maze and at a magic school, but after that I failed to see the comparison. Most of the plot takes place at the kings castle and capitol city.

The book has some strong themes of secrets, court intrigue, slow burn romance, and betrayal. It started off slow for me, but finally picked up shortly before the 50% mark. Honestly what kept me reading was the characters, specifically the Jester (and Floofy of course).
There is some time dedicated to the romance but the plot heavily focuses on the mystery and court intrigue. However, the mystery fell short for me. Layna had far too many suspects when the true villain was revealed and I just wasn't drawn into the court mystery as much. HOWEVER, I was drawn into the mystery of the Jester and have to admit that the ending left me slightly frustrated. This is a duology though, so I should have expected something to pull me along to the next book.

There were several times where we were given the same information again and again (particularly about the magic system) that could have been better used to expand on the magic system or world. I did miss further worldbuilding in this book, probably because something of this length tends to paint a more vivid picture of the place and history. I wanted to know a bit more about the magic system, the war that was mentioned often, the current political situation which seemed stable but people immediately thought it wasn't when things went wrong.

I did really enjoy the continued discussion/theme that nothing is ever good or evil. There are many shades of grey. Always following the rules or adhering to your duty does not insure that you will not commit wrongs. I also appreciated the character development of both the jester and Layna. It was slow but well done and felt natural within the plot. The action sequences and battles were also well written and engaging.

This is definitely a NEW ADULT or adult fantasy. Layna is 22 and there are a few spicy scenes included. There's a strong coming of age theme as Layna learns a lot about how the world really works. The romance was absolutely there but I think it will be more fulfilling to the reader when the duology is complete.

Overall a solid read and I will probably be grabbing the 2nd book. The Jester stuck out the most just in how he was written but Layna also has an interesting character arc and I appreciate that she was believably flawed.

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Well can I first say the cover for this book is amazing and so pretty. This was the first thing that drew me into the book and made me want to review it.

I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other and how their friendships developed into more in 2 occasions, The story starts with a bang and does not slow down throughout the story with its twists and turns and never knowing who you can trust.

Pick this up and have as much fun as i did.

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Thank you to the publisher, Pellegrin Books, for providing me with an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review!

🌟🌟🌟🌟
📚 - Adult Fantasy / Mythology Romance
📖 - 550 pages
💃 - 🌶

I really enjoyed this book! The opening setting was a fun nod to a Hogwarts-esque kind of school, but I found that from there things went their own way rather quickly. The magic system was unique (although I'm hoping we get more about that in the next book!) and I found the main character, Leyna very easy to relate to. Growing up and having to choose between what is right and wrong or moral or not can be so hard. Leyna had big decisions to make and wrestled with them.

I did find that the mystery portion of this book was very easy to guess. The ending did come as a bit of a surprise though, and I look forward to book 2 and continuing Leyna's adventure!

This book got one pepper for the spice scale. The first spicy scene was more than 40% of the way through the book and there was one more after that.

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Leyna Saunders dreams of becoming a wizard huskarl, a protector of the royal family. She almost loses her chance after a harrowing incident leaves her injured. A mysterious wizard gives Leyna an opportunity to achieve her career goals. Her first task as a huskarl is to escort an annoying jester and his troupe to the royal castle. The man exasperates Leyna at every turn. She soon finds herself deeply entrenched in a dangerous game of intrigue, secrets, and lies. Can Leyna find the true perpetrator behind the king’s death? Is the Jester an ally? Or is he, her foe?
Jester is just one of the many personas he adopts to hide being the king’s spy. He cannot help but taunt the moralistic huskarl escorting him to the castle. There is something about the young woman that fascinates him. News of the king and his court’s demise forces him to include Leyna into his dangerous world. She could prove instrumental in ferreting out the perpetrators behind the massacre and ensuring the crown prince’s safety. Can Jester entrust Leyna with the truth of his identity and his job? Or will her strict morals doom them?
Leyna really annoyed me at the start of the book. She came off as too sanctimonious, self-absorbed, and ambitious for my tastes. However, my opinion of Leyna started to change as the story progressed. Her moments of vulnerability and doubts helped endear her to me. I like how Leyna’s mindset changes for the good. She learns the valuable lesson that the things she wants are always best for her or what she needs. Leyna also realizes that everything is not laid out in black and white, but in shades of gray. This change allows her to adapt to situations and her surroundings.
Jester won my heart instantly! He is such an entertaining and delightful hero. I never thought I would enjoy his character type the way I did. It is a nice change of pace than the usual brooding, alpha warrior-types in the fantasy genre. I absolutely adore Jester’s banter and interaction with Leyna. It helped lighten the serious mood in certain places of the storyline. His ne’er-do-well persona helped balance out Leyna’s strait-laced attitude. What I love the most about Jester is how he secretly admired Leyna for her single-minded drive. He may have teased her mercilessly about it, but he respected that aspect of her nature.
WIZARD’S MASQUERADE is the first book in Jay Pellegrin’s fantasy romance series, THE HUSKARL DUOLOGY. I believe this is the author’s debut novel. I admit the cover is what first drew me to the book, then the synopsis. The concept of a jester being the hero intrigued me. And it did not disappoint! I found myself quickly and deeply immersed in the plot and characters. The author does a superb job setting up the intricacies of her world, especially their magic system.
WIZARD’S MASQUERADE is a must read for high fantasy readers. It has a little bit of everything from wizards to demons, castles and political intrigue all wrapped in a spellbinding romantical tale. I cannot wait for the next installment!

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Wizard's Masquerade is the first book of the Huskarl duology.
Enchanting from the very first page!
The cover is exquisite like a fine wine and to be honest, the cover is what grabbed my attention instantly!
With the atmosphere of a gorgeous painting yet with some modern vibe, all blended into one gorgeous result.
Straight from the beginning, we dive into heart pounding action as our female lead Leyna makes her final steps towards her dream.
To become an esteemed wizard and part of the Royal Guard.
After plenty of obstacles, she finally receives the much desired offer to be a huskarl.
But soon she realizes that not everything is black and white and everyone plays a game of their own.
Entangled in a web of lies, spies, and a jester that is so alluring and charming as the lies he tells, she no longer knows what to believe and what to do.
Leyna's character was most impressive to follow as you witness her shift to self-righteous and little arrogant to humble self discovery.
And I think the mantra is suiting her perfectly :
“We fight, even without hope.”
I loved how well-made and complex was the character of the jester, and the fact that we follow the story only from Leyna's POV gives him more mystery.
And although I was dying to learn what goes through his head, it was a bittersweet to anticipate all his reactions and trying to decipher the enigma that he is.
I'm in abstinence after finishing the book and desperately want to see where the story will lead us.

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A fantasy Romance that left me wanting more, I loved reading this story. It was well written and the cover itself is eye catching. A whodunit mystery with a splash of magic, it was a great adventure, I loved the moments between the Jester and Leyna, they were great characters that made the story all the more amazing. I can not wait for the second book, which I know will be just as great as this one.

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Thankyou so much Netgalley and Jay Pellegrin for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review,

Wizard's Masquerade is the first book in Huskral Duology. It is a NA, medieval Fantasy and Romance with a little bit of Spice..
Well actually the first thing that I like about the book is its cover (ngl, I requested the book for its super awesome cover) But then after receiving the book, I started reading and OMFG, I fell in love with the book!!
The book was well - written! I started and completed this book very soon.. though it has like 500+ pages, it took me just three days to complete it. It has an amazing plot and all the characters are so interesting and fascinating and intriguing! Speaking about the characters, Jester ( tall. mysterious, handsome, hot, flirty court fool?????? so much description for a court fool??? read the book to find who this man is) has my heart mannnn!!! and also also about Leyna, like bro, she is such a smartas* and harworking woman and also has a sexy brain! I love the author's writing style ( I'm on my knees for your writing style ma'am )
And speaking about the romance, this book *for no freaking reason* made me blush *during Jester and Leyna's interactions and conversations!!! I've always envied Leyna for having Jester by her side *huhhh, kinda hurts you know* *I'm jealous gurl* <Amazing and sexy characters *wink wink*> The ending is lit!!!!! and??? it made me emotional??? YESSS YESSSS!! And am I waiting for the second boookkk??? YESSS!
FINALLY,
I enjoyed and adored this book so much! A perfect book with a super hot and page turning plot!
People, looking for a magical adventure? with a bit of spice? Fantasy, spells and wizards? bit of action? super hot MCs? then this book is a perfect treat for y'all!!!

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After an injury Leyna finds her career that she worked so hard for in ruins. That is until she receives an offer to join the royal guard. This soon turns into a nightmare when news arrives of an attack. Leyna throws everything she has in a quest to find out who the real curpits of this attack are in a story about friendship, deception and a lot of secrets and magic.

I loved this book and it pulled me in almost from the beginning! The characters where well written and I really liked following Leyna her journey and learning with her who was to be trusted and who was not. In the end, I don't think anything I thought to be true was true. I felt her annoyance and her love and adored every minute of this book. For me, this is a definite 4 star read and I can't wait for book 2!

Thank you for Pellegrin Books and Netgalley for giving me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. #WizardsMasquerade #NetGalley

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This book opened with a bang and the pace didn’t slow down….I was gripped from the start.

I absolutely loved the dynamic of the two MCs and cannot wait for the second instalment.

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Do you ever read a book and have to take a break from reading for a while? That’s exactly what happened to me after finishing this book.

Wizards Masquerade is a long, slow burn fantasy novel that features wizards, demons, and court politics. I often found myself envisioning Hogwarts from the 1800s, as much of this book takes place in a castle.

I thoroughly enjoyed the romance in this novel, though much of the book felt like it dragged on. This book is over 500 pages long and took me 8 days to read. It’s not a book you can read in one sitting, and I found myself only able to consume it a few chapters at a time, otherwise I was too overwhelmed and drained to keep reading. In short, the world building is heavy and the court politics is very prevalent.

If you’re someone who enjoys fantasy with an edge of mystery, and romance as a subplot, then this is the book for you.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5033632000

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I am obsessed, I don't know how much more there is to say, I started this and finished it in two days and loved every second of it.

Beautiful, haunting, dark, and magical, everything I look for in a fantasy is within these pages, from the sweeping scenery to magical creatures I'm in love with this book.

We begin with a trio of friends competing to finish their education at a magical academy so that they can begin their adult lives, through good and bad, life and death we see our characters blossom into the adults they were always meant to be.

Without saying too much I'll say this, Layla has lived a lifetime and died a thousand little deaths in this coming of age saga.

Having her trust and faith tested more than once we get to see her evolution just as her magic is evolving.

In the end this book is the perfect setup for the second book and I can't wait to get my hands on that one. After reading this it feels like Jay Pellegrin could write anything and I'd just say ok sign me up.

Thank you to NetGalley and Pellegrin Books for this beautiful book, I've voluntarily read and reviewed it and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I am so glad I gave this book a try! I went into it not knowing what to expect but I was in the mood for a romance and I was not disappointed!

The plot itself was interesting but I would say that it is slower in the beginning but once you get about half way through it gets more pacy and by that point I was flipping through this book at rapid speed.

All the characters were indepth and I found myself being able to predict their reactions to things just because I felt that I knew them so well.

I really found it interesting how the MC had all these achievements she wanted for herself but when she got them she noted how underwhelmed she was when it became a reality. Even though she was extremely arrogant and conceited at the beginning I could see that this was a part of her that was going to change as the book progressed and I was glad to see I was right.

The romance was SO good. I guessed who Jester was from the offset but that doesn't ruin anything, it's fun to see the MC wonder who he is and how she behaves when she is around him and his other identity. I loved the interactions they had throughout, the Jester was amazing and so fun!

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Our heroine, Leyna, initially dreams of joining the Wizarding Guild, and the book starts out with the fairly-terrifying Maze Trials, and from here she goes to a wizarding school, reminiscent of Harry Potter's Hogwarts, where she makes friends and rivals, until she is injured in a terrible conjuring accident.

The story picks up when we meet the Jester, who honestly lights up every scene he's in, and though I never really grew attached to Leyna herself, he is a delight. We also have a mystery involving a Demon Book and the murder of the king.

However, I don't think this was quite the book for me -- I was drawn in by the promise of romantic fantasy, with sparks practically flying from that glorious cover and a blurb that focuses more on the romance than the magic and the mystery. Too much time is spent in exposition and unnecessary dialogue. The characters discuss everything that is on their minds, and this unfortunately brought down the pace of the story. I think a reader looking for more of a coming-of-age story would have enjoyed reading how Leyna got where she was, but I would have preferred if the story started afterwards.

The magic system was intriguing, and I would have loved to see it developed more. The story has a lot of potential, and I know some readers who will love the leisurely pace -- I just prefer a bit more unpredictability.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy to review!

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