Keeping my head down shouldn’t be too hard… Right?
Unhappy with how everything with the Amazons went down, the Slayers are now investigating Ember Academy.
But not me. Not as long as I keep my head down.
Which would have been a hell of a lot easier if students hadn’t started dropping unconscious.
No one knows how to wake them, but I have ways to find answers that they don’t
The question is if I risk it with the Slayers watching me so closely…
Especially when it would mean reaching out to the very criminal the Slayers are trying to find.
There are lots of things that I’d gotten disturbingly used to since finding out that I was a Witch.
First and foremost probably being the fact that I’m a Witch.
But spending my dream-time psychically linked to an ancient Witch who almost killed me was definitely up there.
But it’s okay, we got past that.
It was an accident, and she was trying to help lift the curse she left on me.
And I was helping, given that there wasn’t much else to do when I arrived at her tower at night.
“Wait, hang on, stop,” I said as I realised what she was doing.
“What?” she said, huffing as she placed one hand on her hip, the other holding marigold flowers.
“You have to dry them first. You never use fresh marigold in a dermal solution.”
Maria ground her teeth a little, but she did pull out her wand.
“How are you considered one of the greatest Witches of history and you’re this bad at potion-making?”
“Because it takes too long,” Maria admitted as she waited for her drying spell to work.
I grimaced. That would work, but not as well as letting them dry naturally.
“I take shortcuts because I don’t have the patience for the long way, and then my potions are never that strong.”
I took some more marigold flowers from her supplies and removed them from the preservation spell, putting them out to dry.
This potion wasn’t going to be strong enough the way she was making it, so I might as well set up the next one now.
“At least you’re aware of your pitfalls.”
“Being one of the greatest Witches of history demands it. Especially if you’re neurodivergent. You can’t succeed when you don’t understand your limits, Amelia. Pushing past them will only harm you in the long-run.”
I folded my arms tight across my chest. “What if you don’t like thinking about the fact that you’re not good at something?”
She turned and gave me a reassuring smile. “Then that is understandable. But that’s one of those pitfalls that you really do need to acknowledge.”
I leaned back against the table I was standing next to. “Yeah, I guess…”
“For example, if you hadn’t acknowledged that you struggle with Light magic enough to have difficulty casting healing spells, you would have kept pushing yourself to succeed in using traditional healing spells, rather than focusing on your connection to Nature.”
“I don’t struggle with Light magic.”
Maria raised an eyebrow.
“I stopped you from freeing your coven by focusing on Light magic.”
“I didn’t say that you can’t access it at all, I’m just saying that you seem to be favouring Dark magic. And why are you arguing? I thought you wanted to be a Dark Witch so that you could go to the Underworld and get your sister’s protection.”
“I just don’t want to end up like you.”
“I’m not a Dark Witch.”
I frowned. “Wait, you’re not?”
“No, I’m not Dark or Light. It’s not a binary, Amelia. You can draw from both. Or the odd Witch like you can draw from Nature.
“I’ve never been a fan of thinking of it in the binary anyway. ‘Dark’ and ‘Light’ were just terms that Witches made up because the Demons and Council of Light demanded that we be one or the other to work with them.”
The Slayers are at the Academy, but they will have to wait their turn for an attack on Amelia as another mysterious enemy has attacked the residents at the Academy. This is what makes this series sooooo good. L.C. Mawson just keeps the surprises coming. To me, Mawson is right up there with Joss Whedon, who I adore because he gave me Buffy. As I am writing this review all I can think about is how this is just like another episode of Buffy. You think this book is going to be all about how Amelia battles the Slayers now (not Buffy), when wham! Mawson sidetracks the whole battle with another enemy – every Whedon type enemy.
I love this series. I have said this before and will probably say it again. If you have not started this series, you need to. You could actually start with this one and go back and read the rest because this book can be read as a standalone. It is like an episode outside of the series, but part of. Very cool of Mawson to write it like this.
Mawson stated in a recent newsletter that this series is at the halfway point and I cannot see how as I have not had enough of Amelia. Amelia is feisty, self-sacrificing, and still trying to figure things out. Amelia is in the lead and pretty much solitary in this fight as the secondary cast is occupied in this book. We meet a new character who I have to say is quite intriguing. I cannot wait to see more!
There is nothing to not like about this book or series. I love it. Simple as that.
I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
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