by Megan O'Russell5 out of 5
All sixteen-year-old Jacob Evans wants is to win the heart of Emilia Gray, but with order in the magical world crumbling, war threatening, and Emilia’s boyfriend living across the hall, he may never have the chance.
Jacob Evans loses everything he has ever known and is tossed into a world of magic. The Dragons, a group of rebel wizards, are threatening to expose the existence of magic to humans. Jacob is determined to find a way to fit into Emilia’s family, but as his powers grow, so does the danger. With the death toll mounting, Jacob is accused of acts of rebel terrorism and must fight to stay in a world he’s only just beginning to discover.
When Emilia’s life is threatened, Jacob must risk everything to save her. Does he have the power to rescue her in time? And what could their survival cost?
Jacob has never had an easy life, from a young age he has had to rely on himself and work for every little thing. His one incentive was to one day make himself worthy of his best friend and first love, Emilia. What he doesn't know is that Emilia is a witch; and he isn't as human as he had always thought.
This book kicks off with snapshots that show the sweet story of Jacob and Emilia as children. Jacob is a young boy trying to survive without his father around, he has to worry about stretching out meagre food, and getting himself to school. Emilia comes from a well-to-do family, but quickly becomes friends with the strange, unpopular boy.
I really enjoyed the two main characters and the interaction between them. Even when it becomes obvious that Jacob is in love with Emilia, it is still ever so sweet, but still very mature.
The world of witches and wizards (and all other magical beings) is introduced slowly, as Jacob is taken into Aunt Iz's home to begin his training as a wizard. The rules of O'Russell's world are set, in a way that is light and easy to absorb.
I loved the conflict from the rebel Dragon group, and the political angst of the Council. It keeps you guessing who is supporting whom in this magical world.
The things I wasn't so keen on were parts of the story where I had to pause and ask "really?".
I didn't really get Dexter. He's a bit of a prick, and I have no idea why Emilia is with him, especially as until recently (when she had to leave) the most important boy in her life was Jacob.
I didn't understand whether Jacob was considered powerful or not. There were a couple of hints, but nothing consistent. (I'm kinda hoping this is settled in the next book!)
Samuel? What happened?! One minute he's there, the next he's out of the picture for three days, followed by no real answer! *deep breath* nope, I'm fine. I just need to know.
One final point, to finish on a positive. I love how it finished, I love the balance of the relationship between Jacob and Emilia; I can't wait to see where this goes.
Overall a 4.5 out of 5 for me, I suppose I'll round it to a 5. A great new series, which I can't wait to continue.