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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

{Blog Tour} MAGIC ACADEMY by JILLIAN KEEP -- with review and giveaway

Out of a young woman’s ambition comes a love triangle that could destroy more than her heart.

Firia has always wanted to be a witch, but even though she’s a natural in magic, there’s a problem: She’s human.

Considered by the elven elite to be inferior, Firia needs an edge to be accepted into the Magic Academy. Out of sheer desperation, she summons the demon Varuj, a terrifyingly gorgeous spirit who helps her win the entrance competition. But at what price?

As the commanding demon does everything he can to penetrate every aspect of her innocent life, Firia still finds herself drawn to her study partner, Mae’lin. Not only is the sweet elf completely different from the powerful Varuj, but their relationship is forbidden.

How is she supposed to choose between the demon she owes her life to and the innocent elf who makes her a better person?

This thrilling new adult romance is from fantasy author, Jillian Keep.

This thrilling coming of age new adult romance is from fantasy romance author, Jillian Keep.

Jillian Keep is the softer and more romantic side of J.E. & M. Keep. They love to combine fantasy, scifi, horror, romance and mystery into exciting and titillating novels.

They are long term, loving partners in a very happy relationship and because of this; they love to torture their characters. Dark romance touches all of their stories in one way or another; from elicit trysts to forbidden love.
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Firia is a human with a talent for witchraft and a desire to break her family's rut by entering the magic academy and raising her social standing. In her world, humans are looked down upon by the elite elves. Her father is a groundskeeper and they have been struggling financially all her life. Firia is powerful, as is evident by the forbidden spell she casts, summoning a demon to her, something most young magic users would never be able to do. In fact, it is something most adept magic users wouldn't be able to do. Firia and Varuj start to bond, with Firia resisting often and Varuj cajoling. She feels complete with him, however, as his presence is always warming.

Varuj is actually more likable than Firia. I found Firia annoying, simpering, and constantly vacillating between extremes. Varuj is straightforward with his request to be treated like an equal, not a slave and he promises to grant her all the help he can in order to make sure they are a successful pair.

Nearly denied the "token" human spot, Firia fights for a chance to be seen and to impress, and it works. Once at the Academy, she befriends an elven woman, and her opponent at the trials, a farmer elf named Mae'lin, who, like Firia, is trying to change his lot in life by attending the academy and breaking out of the role seeming set in stone as the family standing.

I was fully on Varuj's side, cheering him on as Firia's love interest even as she expressed interest in Mae'lin. I disliked her more and more as she lusts after one but flirts with another. It made me question why the heck Varuj wants her to begin with! But ******WARNING WARNING SPOILER AHEAD. SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH NOW IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO READ IT****** Varuj's rape of Ala'nase made me recoil and withdraw my support. Now, the only one to like in this story is Mae'lin, who is steadfast and sweet. There isn't anything wrong with steadfast and sweet, but I liked the alpha male, dark, brooding, misunderstood even though powerful, sexy thing Varuj had going on. Even his words to Firia after when he says "I would see the world burn for you, Firi, and judge it worthy" could not sway me back to his side. Rape is rape - spelled, ensorcelled, and then physically forced with Ala'nase wondering why she cannot fight him off just utterly destroyed any support I had for Varuj.

As the book ends, Firia has completed her first year at the academy, Mae'lin's condition is unknown, and it's a safe bet that she is once again friendless. A cliffhanger? Most definitely. I do wonder what will happen to the trio  - Mae'lin, Firia, and Ala'nase, and if Varuj is truly looking for his equal, his mate, his partner or if he's just manipulating something for his own good.

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