Seventh Born (Witching Academy)

von Monica Sanz 
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Seventh Born (Witching Academy)
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Sera and Barrington, their story is so very intense, deep and heartwarmingly beautiful. My personal highlight of 2018.

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Ausgabe:Flexibler Einband
Umfang:400 Seiten
Verlag:Entangled: Teen

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    Artemis_25s avatar
    Artemis_25vor 3 Monaten
    Kurzmeinung: Sera and Barrington, their story is so very intense, deep and heartwarmingly beautiful. My personal highlight of 2018.
    A magical murder mystery and a beautiful slow-burn love story

    I am in love with this story! Why? Because it entails all my favourite genres - fantasy, crime, thriller and romance - the characters are very complex and the love story is wonderfully slow-burn.

    The story is told in third person, but still we only experience the events through Sera's eyes. The poor girl; only 18 years of age and she already went through hell. As a seventhborn, she is constantly confronted with prejudice, disgust and varying degrees of cruelty. Kindness is rare and it is hard for her accepting and trusting it when it is directed at her. More often than not, her kind is blamed for any bad thing happening, the circumstances of their birth alone - stripping their mother of her powers which in turn kills her - being seen as a bad omen. Although the persecution of seventhborns is not allowed anymore, they are still treated as inferiors. They have a hard time to start a career of their choosing, most of them having to work as mediums because they are so close to death since birth. Sera has had a bit more luck there, she got into the seventhborn program and currently studies magic, aspiring to become an inspector. In such a position she might be able to search for her family and acquire the memories she has lost. Everything that has happened before the time she has spent in the hands of her cruel captor and then, after her escape, at the Academy she cannot remember. The problem is that Sera needs a referral from a professor at the Academy in order to be able to get into the higher studies which in turn would get her closer to make her dream of becoming an inspector come true. But who would give such a chance to a seventhborn like her? As it turns out, there is someone - the brooding, melancholy and boorish Professor Nikolai Barrington - who is suspiciously eager to do just that in exchange for Seras help in the investigation of a series of atrocious murders.
    These two characters and the development of their relationship make this book so special, in my opinion. There are so many layers and hidden depths to discover, so many reasons they act and react the way they do. Their pain, sorrow, shame and regrets connect them in the most beautiful way. So much emotion is involved, making the reading experience a highly intense one. I simply loved following all the steps they had to take to enable them to trust each other. Of course, there were many setbacks to return from, but the apologies have been so touching that all the fighting was somehow worth it. It only made them grow closer. The reader can conclude a lot from their actions, much more than Sera and Barrington actually say out loud. They have still some way to go, e.g. they still call each other by their last names, apart from the very few dire situations where they use each other's Christian names. I really appreciated the realistically slow progress they make. There is the professor/student thing to consider as well. Whereas Barrington is not teaching her officially, any relationship beyond the professional is naturally frowned upon. It is just one of several examples of how the author cleverly circumvents clishes, things some readers might be thoroughly sick of.
    Another example: Barrington may at first seem like a typical bad boy. He is not, not really. He is conceited and likes to break the rules (he would most likely use the verb 'bend' here, haha), but he is so very gentle with Sera a lot of the time, too. There is so much more to him.
    Example number 3: the love triangle. Yes, one can detect it here as well but it is made pretty clear from the start that there is no real competition. I don't know, it is hard to explain. I can say that the entire thing is very important for the plot. Additionally, I quite liked the scenes. Somehow they added a kind of innocence to all the darkness and sorrow.
    In the beginning the setting reminded me of Harry Potter, of Hogwarts in particular. A magic school, wands used to wield magic, potions classes, etc. But how magic works in this world is quite different indeed and I liked to discover all of it, light and black magic, blood magic, necromancy. I thought it quite amusing that for some things the wand is used backwards (Barrington would express this in a much fancier way, of course).
    The murder investigation has been very intriguing to follow as well. I never would have expected the true extent of what has been going on and the people involved. In hindsight, it made perfect sense and I was asking myself how I could not have seen it sooner.

    As I have already stated in the beginning: I loved this book. Sera and Barrington's journey together was amazing, so rich in emotion. Book 2 and their next case cannot come soon enough. I can wholeheartedly recommend reading this first installment of the series to anyone who likes a mix of intense emotions, a very slow-burn love story, a lot of magic, a gripping murder investigation and who does not mind that things can get quite dark at times.


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