Antonia's Antics · Everything & Anything

Institute of Magic by Linsey Hall

Summary: Where winning means survival.

According to legend, I’m supposed to be some kind of all-powerful DragonGod—gifted with the magic of gods. Instead, I’m a dud. In fact, I’m currently failing out of the Undercover Protectorate’s magical institute.

It’s the supernatural version of Scotland Yard, and I’ve got one chance left to earn my place here. To do so, I have to compete in a deadly race across the world. In order to win, I need to survive. And I’ll need the help of a sexy and powerful shifter mage named Lachlan Munroe.

When we figure out that the race is rigged, Lachlan and I must rely on each other to make it through. But will I be able to learn enough magic to save my life?

Institute of Magic is a fast-paced urban fantasy adventure starring a kick butt heroine, a powerful hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

Review: This is the first book in Hall’s Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series. It’s the fifth series she’s written connected by the same magical world and characters. This one follows Ana Blackwood as she tries to master her magical powers and save the world at the same time. I’ve been really excited for this series to come out because I’ve always loved Ana from the previous series.
First, I was a little thrown off by the misleading book summary. (Don’t you hate when that happens?) Mainly the bit about the “deadly race across the world”. When dangerous magic is stolen, the Undercover Protectorate is called on to help retrieve it. Everyone splits up into small groups and spread out to try to find clues and there’s also reward money for whoever actually retrieves the spell but they’re still essentially working together. As soon as someone finds a clue they let everyone else know and they all team up for the big fight. There’s certainly a lot of obstacles but nothing’s actually rigged. No, it’s not actually a problem. The description just had me expecting something like The Amazing Race and it was nothing like that.
I liked Ana as much as ever. Now that I got to see things from her POV, I hated seeing all the doubts she had as she struggled to fit everyone’s expectations of her. Her sister, Bree, has already come into her DragonGod powers; she basically has most of the powers of the Norse gods. Everyone’s waiting for Ana’s powers to expand too and find out which pantheon she belongs to but it’s happening a lot slower for her than it did her sister and she kept comparing herself to Bree and feeling like she was failing. I can’t wait to see how she grows in the next books and hope she gains more confidence in herself.
Lachlan is still a bit of a mystery to me. He’s crazy powerful but we’ve only seen a handful of the twelve powers he possesses. I also really like the way he and Ana interact with each other. I’m excited to see where their romance goes. I just didn’t get to find out too much about him yet so I’m reserving some of my judgement but I think I’m really going to like him.
Overall this was a really fun story. It followed the same basic setup as her other books but there’s enough differences between the characters and the details of the plot that I never feel like I’m reading the same story over and over. It’s a really quick, enjoyable read that I’d recommend to anyone who likes paranormal or urban fantasy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.
-Antonia

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