Noctis Magicae, Book 1
Synopsis: In the hallowed halls of Oxford’s Merlin College, the most talented—and highest born—sons of the Kingdom of Britain are taught the intricacies of magickal theory. But what dazzles can also destroy, as Gray Marshall is about to discover…
Gray’s deep talent for magick has won him a place at Merlin College. But when he accompanies four fellow students on a mysterious midnight errand that ends in disaster and death, he is sent away in disgrace—and without a trace of his power. He must spend the summer under the watchful eye of his domineering professor, Appius Callender, working in the gardens of Callender’s country estate and hoping to recover his abilities. And it is there, toiling away on a summer afternoon, that he meets the professor’s daughter.
Even though she has no talent of her own, Sophie Callender longs to be educated in the lore of magick. Her father has kept her isolated at the estate and forbidden her interest; everyone knows that teaching arcane magickal theory to women is the height of impropriety. But against her father’s wishes, Sophie has studied his ancient volumes on the subject. And in the tall, stammering, yet oddly charming Gray, she finally finds someone who encourages her interest and awakens new ideas and feelings.
Sophie and Gray’s meeting touches off a series of events that begins to unravel secrets about each of them. And after the king’s closest advisor pays the professor a closed-door visit, they begin to wonder if what Gray witnessed in Oxford might be even more sinister than it seemed. They are determined to find out, no matter the cost…
Review: The idea of the book was really intriguing and I am rarely disappointed by the novels of this editor so when I saw the reissue of the series, I took my chance and asked for it. This is also why, moreover, I had high expectations before even starting it.
I was immediately curious about the story, a mixture of fantasy and history that we don’t find a lot in literature. We especially follow two main characters: Gray and Sophie. Gray is a young man who, after a terrible event, ends up working as a pupil for a famous teacher, this is also where he meets with Sophie. Sophie, she is the daughter of the said professor and despite the state of isolation in which she is, she is determined to learn magic whatever her father has decided. They’ll become friends and will start to understand together what is happening and how they can take action regarding the events of the novel.
It was easy to get into the story at first but I confess that once past the first chapter it started to get a little more difficult to hang to the characters or their stories, and I stayed a little behind everything. Although I think the novel will appeal to many readers, I do not think I actually managed to hang on the whole thing.