Akarnae, Lynette Noni

I’ve heard this was an excellent new fantasy series and was intrigued to read it. Alex was dreading her first day at the new boarding school, but she could never have expected she’d be pulled into another world entirely, Medorea. Now stuck in a new land full of strange rules and magic, Alex becomes a student at Akarnae Academy, the best school in the world. Classes on topics from self-defence to magical creature biology, history to maths, and worse of all; how to control your magic abilities.

Everyone in this strange new world has a supernatural gift, but Alex seems to be the only one without one. Throughout the book, I was intrigued to find out what her ability would be and was pleased with the reveal. Whenever we met a new character, I was fascinated to see what their unique gift would be. I loved the magical abilities and enjoyed who was gifted or not, and what their gift would be.

Within the first hour of waking up in Akarnae, Alex makes two new best friends, Jordan and Bear. These two were fun right from their first scene and were good at introducing Alex to the new world and instigating various mischievous adventures. It was a great change that she didn’t secretly develop feelings for either of her new friends or any of the students. She is realistically focused on adjusting to the new world and strange classes while searching for a way back to her world.

Jordan’s gift allows him to become invisible and faze through objects which let him and his friends sneak into any and every room. A joker with constant sarcastic quips and flirty comments, Jordan is your typical troublemaker, but he has some surprising personal struggles which only made him an even better character.

Bear is kind, compassionate and huge; a wonderful person to give a big bear hug! He is gifted as a Charmer, he can persuade anyone to do anything. A good friend to have when you want to get out of homework. His compassion and understanding made him a good counterpart for Jordan, and their brotherly bond was incredibly sweet.

Secretly hidden underneath the academy’s own library is a legendary one, full of powerful books and artefacts. But only certain people are permitted to get into the hidden

library. Bear and Jordan are excited to show their new friend the school’s library yet never could have guessed the adventures their exploring would take them on.

This was a great new fantasy with entertaining and original characters, I particularly loved how it didn’t fall prey to common tropes or archetypes (falls in love with the popular boy who doesn’t notice her, etc.). I give it 4/5 and am intrigued to read the next book.

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