by Katie Cross
Series: Network Series, #1
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Never underestimate the power of a determined witch. Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic. Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel. Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful? Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.
I first learned about Miss Mabel’s School for Girls on Candace’s Book Blog where I mistakenly confused the author with another. Can you guess who? Therefore, when Katie Cross asked if I would like to review the first book of the Network series I could not help, but say yes. Miss Mabel’s School for Girls was a delightful, magical witch tale with moments of darkness and an overall plot that already has me intrigued.
I knew going into the tale that we would be attending a boarding school for witches located near Letum Woods. What I did not expect was the wonderful world building. Politics, spies, curses and a fascinating history of the territories that make up this world drew me in and never let go.
The tale introduces us to Bianca Monroe. Poor Bianca has inherited a deadly curse and to be free of it; she must outsmart a witch who is both respected and feared. The tale that unfolds has everything from friendship to dark magic. Bianca is a strong, determined character, and I easily connected with her. She has secrets, and Cross did an excellent job of slowly revealing both her skills and plans. Bianca befriends a few of the other girls adding interest and creating allies. I especially liked Leda she is a non-conformist, with oodles of opinions and the gift of sight. I have a feeling she will need these friends as the tale continues.
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls was well paced, with fleshed out characters, mystery and moments of darkness. I became completely wrapped up in the tale from the classrooms to the hexing spells. I loved that it had moments of darkness. The tale remained young adult, but had an edge and serious tone to it allowing it to stand out among others in this genre. Miss Mabel is a formidable enemy, and I am anxious to see where the next installment takes us. We meet other players in the political games afoot, and there are hints of war. I am not a hundred percent sure of these character’s intentions and love that unsettled feeling as I read.
Fans of boarding schools, witches, and excellent world building with elements of mystery will find Miss Mabel’s School for Girls the perfect beginning to this series.