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Seventh Born

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Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she's the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life. Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium's Witchl Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she's the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life. Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium's Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for. The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he'll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she'll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn't the only thing that makes a witch burn.


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Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she's the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life. Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium's Witchl Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she's the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life. Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium's Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for. The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he'll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she'll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn't the only thing that makes a witch burn.

30 review for Seventh Born

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    I enjoyed it so much more than I expected! Listen up, folks. Seventh Born is definitely neither a miracle nor a flawless piece of art. One of my biggest pet peeves (aside from love triangles, instalovetriangles, love squares and every other variation of love geometry) is the lack of solid worldbuilding, and in this case there was zero. Zilch. Nada. Rien. There were also some things about seventhborns, their power and the hatred towards them that were fuzzy to say the least, and Sera was your typ I enjoyed it so much more than I expected! Listen up, folks. Seventh Born is definitely neither a miracle nor a flawless piece of art. One of my biggest pet peeves (aside from love triangles, instalovetriangles, love squares and every other variation of love geometry) is the lack of solid worldbuilding, and in this case there was zero. Zilch. Nada. Rien. There were also some things about seventhborns, their power and the hatred towards them that were fuzzy to say the least, and Sera was your typical act first-think of consequences later YA heroine. I am sure you're perplexed by now, but there are some serious reasons to grab Seventh Born, since it was an utterly fun and addictive ride. ✔️ Professor Nikolai Barrington ✔️ Witchling Academy ✔️ Mystery ✔️ Magic ✔️ Barrington ✔️ Gruesome murders ✔️ Necromancy ✔️ Slow burn romance ✔️ Dangerous cult ✔️ Cute supernatural pet ✔️ BARRINGTON “Safety, companionship, and adventure with the possibility of blood, murder, and death, all the while investigating love.” Monica Sanz inadvertently (or not so much?) described her novel in the above sentence. Seventh Born emanates a sinister vibe, coated in mist, smoke, and scars, smelling of burning flesh and sulfur, touching forbidden aspects of magic. It's the story of a seventhborn, a pariah constantly bullied because of her birth order and things out of her control; about a girl who wishes nothing but to become an investigator and find her family, and is brought one step closer to her goal when her moody and brooding professor asks her help in order to solve some mysterious deaths. Their research will bring them to dangerous paths that will uncover secrets that may shake their beliefs to the core, but they cannot stop, or else more bodies will pile up. And Sera might be one of them. “There would always be monsters to find.” And oh my, this novel was full of monsters of all kinds. Most of them were human, embracing cruelty over compassion, power over gentleness, prejudice over justice. And you simply wanted to wear a cape, shed your glasses and defend Sera and all those unfortunate souls like her. But enough with the somber tone, let's focus on other aspects of the story. Namely, Barrington. The boorish professor clad in black is definitely made of book boyfriend material. That is if you like your book boyfriends shady, mysterious and dangerous but also big softies when it comes to all the things that matter. I loved how he respected Sera, gave her space and time and treated her like a partner (most of the times). There was swooning involved, which arised out of simple gestures and light touches. Setting Barrington aside, the writing flow was fluid, and the combination of crime, suspense and magic made it difficult to put it down. Mind, though, that there are aspects of the lore that will left you confused, and questions about the world outside the Academy that will not be answered, cue minor frustration. In my case, though, these deficiencies, albeit important, did not deter me from savoring all the things that were done right. Seventh Born is a delicious lil' candy waiting to be relished, and I had a great time doing so! *ARC generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* Note: The quotes used in this review are from an uncorrected text and subject to changes. Review also posted on BookNest!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Seventh Born by Monica Sanz is the first book of the young adult paranormal fantasy The Witchling Academy. Really this series has a bit of everything wrapped into it with some romance, a historical feel and a murder mystery. Seraphina Dovetail is a seventh born, and seventh borns are not exactly at the top of the list in the witch community. Despite her unlucky birth order and being abandoned as a child Sera has managed to fulfill her dream of studying at Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Things are Seventh Born by Monica Sanz is the first book of the young adult paranormal fantasy The Witchling Academy. Really this series has a bit of everything wrapped into it with some romance, a historical feel and a murder mystery. Seraphina Dovetail is a seventh born, and seventh borns are not exactly at the top of the list in the witch community. Despite her unlucky birth order and being abandoned as a child Sera has managed to fulfill her dream of studying at Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Things are not easy for Sera at the academy however and when pushed a bit too far Sera finds herself caught using magic without a wand. However instead of punishment Professor Barrington proposes an offer to make Sera his assistant to help with solving murders. Nope, not for me at all. I really wanted to love this one as it had such an intriguing mix of elements to the story but there were a few things holding me back. First, I felt like this is one that the world and character building were lacking and it was more like being thrust into the deep end without a life jacket. On the other hand I also felt the story dragged and could get a little overly wordy so figure that out, not enough but too much. Then I’m really not a fan of pushing towards a teacher/student relationship so I think I will be skipping any more of the series unfortunately. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    D.M.

    The seventh-born daughter is brought into the world with distaste, her mother is gone and the world is unwelcoming. The seventh-born has to fight for what she wants and will find many doors closed. She is said to be cursed and many will not give her a chance, but the seventh-born daughter is truly special. Seraphina Dovetail wants to become an inspector. She works hard at her magic, but her temper sometimes gets the best of her. Her past is painful and she doesn't remember her family. Her hopes The seventh-born daughter is brought into the world with distaste, her mother is gone and the world is unwelcoming. The seventh-born has to fight for what she wants and will find many doors closed. She is said to be cursed and many will not give her a chance, but the seventh-born daughter is truly special. Seraphina Dovetail wants to become an inspector. She works hard at her magic, but her temper sometimes gets the best of her. Her past is painful and she doesn't remember her family. Her hopes lie with the witchling school, where she is a scholarship student. She is a seventh-born and people tend to avoid her or make fun of her. Her teachers are cruel and she has to be on her best behaviour at all times. Unfortunately, it isn't easy for Sera to stay out of trouble. The word seems to follow her around. She has a secret best friend who she loves dearly and she tries to keep her head down. Unfortunately, she isn't very successful and becomes a target. She attracts the attention of the cruel boy, Whittaker but also the most desirable boy, Timothy and her Professor. Professor Barrington is in need of an assistant and after seeing Sera display of anger he approaches her. He offers to help her with her studies and recommendations, in exchange for her help with some murders. This unlikely friendship becomes a bond Sera never imaged she would have. Timothy Delacort is from a respectable, powerful family. He is destined for great things. Unfortunately, they are not what he wants. Sera catches his eye and he hopes for a chance with her. He doesn't care his family will not approve. Sera doesn't really know what to do with Timothy affections, especially since her best friend Mary has a crush on him. Her friend means the world to her and she doesn't want to do anything that may upset her. The murders are brutal rituals and the victims suffered a painful death. The authorities are clueless. They cannot link the victims together. It's up to Sera and Professor Barrington to solve the case. This book is excellent and I was hooked on every word. Luckily there is more to be added to this series. Seventh born is a full-length novel which you can really sink your teeth into. It is dark and Sera becomes the light. She isn't perfect but her actions are understandable. She has had a tough life and she still fights for what she wants. She's a powerful witch in training but not everyone sees the good in her. There are also some great supporting characters in this book and the plot came together nicely. It can be read as a standalone but the door is left open a slither for more. Seventh born is a fantastic gripping story. It's imaginative and creates a believable world with magic. I could easily read this book again which is unusual for me. A modern-day fantasy Sherlock Holmes. 5 + stars out of 5. Very highly recommended. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Blog tour date 6th September 2018.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    *Thanks again to Entangled Teen for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* Seraphina Dovetail is a witch. But not just any witch. She is a seventh-born one and in order for her to live, her mother had to die. Thus, she’s subject to a lot of hostility. All kinds of horrible names are hurled at her on a daily basis at the academy she’s training at, but Seraphina willingly puts up with all that because she has one dream. She wants to become an inspector and *Thanks again to Entangled Teen for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* Seraphina Dovetail is a witch. But not just any witch. She is a seventh-born one and in order for her to live, her mother had to die. Thus, she’s subject to a lot of hostility. All kinds of horrible names are hurled at her on a daily basis at the academy she’s training at, but Seraphina willingly puts up with all that because she has one dream. She wants to become an inspector and find her real family. For that to happen though she needs a referral for the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy to start training there and getting a referral sounds easier than it is for someone like her. But one of her professors seems to have a solution. He needs her help with one of his projects and in return, he’ll give her the referral she needs. But will that really be as easy as it sounds? Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t for me. I originally requested it because I thought the premise of “Seventh Born” sounded very promising and like something I might really enjoy but there were just so many things that ultimately resulted in me losing interest in this novel quite quickly. My main problem with the book was definitely that there was almost zero world-building and that a lot of information and context I would’ve needed to fully understand the story was just missing. Quite early in the book, I already started feeling pretty lost and the whole plot just began being very confusing because it often just wasn’t explained what they’re doing and how things work in the magical world Sanz created. It was a little like starting a good fantasy series but deciding to skip the first few books and just reading the third or fourth part right away. Due to this, the story also dove right into action and the first half of the book was just way too rushed and the pacing was really off. But not only the world wasn’t properly introduced, I also felt like a proper introduction of most of the characters was missing completely and thus I just didn’t care about any of them. This also meant that the romance in this book wasn’t really that interesting to me. Also, quite early on it is said that Seraphina is actually scared of closeness to men due to something that happened in her past and so I found it extremely weird and random that suddenly from one chapter to the next one, she completely trusted her professor and even began fancying him. Furthermore, she also just let one of her classmates kiss her and didn’t seem to have any problem with that which I think just didn’t make sense when you keep in mind how scared she’d still been of men just a few pages earlier. So due to all of this, I just didn’t enjoy reading the book and lost interest in it quite quickly. I actually only skimmed the last 40% of it and it’s definitely a series I unfortunately won’t be continuing. I have to say though that I actually liked the author’s writing style and that I wouldn’t be averse to reading some of her future work if she ends up publishing a new series at some point. However, “Seventh Born” ultimately just wasn’t for me and even though I always hate giving only one star to a book, I just can’t give this a higher rating. instagram || my blog || twitter

  5. 5 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    ARC received via Publisher!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary Standeven

    I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a great twist on the 7th child theme. The 7th son of a 7th son is always very positive for male wizards – but here the 7th daughter is marked (literally) as socially undesirable, cursed, and is to have her magic constrained. The same does not applied to seventh sons, so definitely some misogyny here. Reportedly, the mother dies giving birth to the seventh daughter – thus accenting the daughter’s maliciousness. Personally, I am always amazed that wome I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a great twist on the 7th child theme. The 7th son of a 7th son is always very positive for male wizards – but here the 7th daughter is marked (literally) as socially undesirable, cursed, and is to have her magic constrained. The same does not applied to seventh sons, so definitely some misogyny here. Reportedly, the mother dies giving birth to the seventh daughter – thus accenting the daughter’s maliciousness. Personally, I am always amazed that women chose to give birth even once, being such a painful and fraught affair – so dying after the seventh birth seems pretty logical to me (This world definitely needs some birth control and celibacy!). In former days, the seventh born daughters were persecuted, hunted and killed, so there has been some little progress on the moral front. The book’s heroine, Sera Dovetail, is seventh born, a trainee witch enrolled in the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. She is limited in which courses she may take, and which books she may read. Any trouble, and – guilty or no – she gets the blame. It does not help that picking on the seventh-born is an accepted Academy pastime, and that she is very quick to react and retaliate. Because of her painful past experiences (not all of which she can remember), Sera has serious trust issues, and repulses most attempts to connect with her. Only her one true friend, Mary, is allowed to get close – and certainly not the highly desirable Timothy Delcourt. When the tall, dark, handsome and brooding Professor Barrington (a romantic hero in waiting if ever there was one – Mr D’arcy eat your heart out!) offers Sera private lessons and the much needed referral for future studies, in exchange for her working as his assistant, she reservedly agrees. Their relationship has to remain secret, as it is completely inappropriate for a professor to be alone with a pupil – especially a derided seventh born. Family plays a huge part for all the main characters. Sera needs to become an inspector, to find her family and uncover her history. Barrington is an unofficial inspector, and is determined to absolve his dead father and brother of the crimes of which they are accused. Both are driven by a desire to bring to justice the necromancers and murderers who are leaving a trail of exhumed and burned corpses behind them. Timothy and Mary are driven by the demands of their respective families, pushing them against their true desires, and leaving them feeling inadequate and hopeless. The world and its characters are beautifully drawn, and you quickly become involved. Even the minor characters – such as Mrs York, Lucas Davenport (cf John Sandford?) and the Barghest – really grab your attention. There is romance (just the right amount for me), mystery, friendship and betrayal. While you may guess the eventual outcome, you would be hard-pressed to work out how the ending is reached. Although much is resolved, there is still enough left for many more books in this series. I can hardly wait. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    I really enjoyed the magic in this story. Sera is the seventh-born daughter to her witch mother.  The seventhborns take their mother's magic which in turn kills them.  Seventhborns were looked upon as bad for a long time, beaten, and even killed.  While this changed a bit, they are still looked at as less than human.  Most people won't even talk to them.   Sera was taken in to a school with a program for seventhborns.  Most of the kids are horrible to her.  Even the teachers are.  She does have o I really enjoyed the magic in this story. Sera is the seventh-born daughter to her witch mother.  The seventhborns take their mother's magic which in turn kills them.  Seventhborns were looked upon as bad for a long time, beaten, and even killed.  While this changed a bit, they are still looked at as less than human.  Most people won't even talk to them.   Sera was taken in to a school with a program for seventhborns.  Most of the kids are horrible to her.  Even the teachers are.  She does have one best friend, Mary. Sera has no real memory of her life except the past two years.  She wants to become an inspector and find her family.  She does remember Noah.  Noah took her in and was nice to her at first.  But then he began taking her power and abusing her.  Sera set fire to his house with him inside, but she still fears him. Professor Barrington is an inspector that asks Sera for her help.  It has to be kept secret, but he promises to give her a referral which she knows she won't get from anyone else.  Barrington is looking into murders of other witches.  He sees the potential in Sera, even when she struggles to control her emotions and powers.  Seventhborns get the second site when they come into their powers and Sera is able to see the ghosts of the dead witches.  The investigation is dangerous and Sera has to confront ghosts of her past, too. The pacing of the book was a bit slow for me, but I did enjoy how descriptive the writing was.  The ending felt a bit rushed compared to the lead up, so I do wish that would have been a bit more detailed.  But I enjoyed the story, characters, and writing.  I really hope we get a book two because there were definitely things left open and unfinished. There is a bit of a love triangle in a way.  Also, the teacher/student relationship was definitely heading towards romantic, but it never quite got there.  This didn't bother me because Sera is eighteen, and this obviously took place in a different time.  But just a little warning in case these things bother you. I gave this book 4 stars.  Thank you to netgalley and Entangled Teen for the chance to read this one early. 

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I adored this charming clean YA magical novel and cannot wait for the next book in this series! When we meet Seraphina, she is justifiably wild and easy to set off, as she is unfairly targeted and bullied due to her birth order. She is a likable and relatable character with aspirations, goals, and amazing strength of character. Professor Barrington manages to be absolutely charming at all times, even when he’s a bit infuriating. As Seraphina learns more about him while working together, she grows I adored this charming clean YA magical novel and cannot wait for the next book in this series! When we meet Seraphina, she is justifiably wild and easy to set off, as she is unfairly targeted and bullied due to her birth order. She is a likable and relatable character with aspirations, goals, and amazing strength of character. Professor Barrington manages to be absolutely charming at all times, even when he’s a bit infuriating. As Seraphina learns more about him while working together, she grows to trust him and understand his motives. Barrington is the epitome of a ‘historical romance’ gentleman; gentle and kind, but efficient, effective, and capable of anything to protect those he cares about. ‘Seventh Born’ had elements that reminded me of Harry Potter, which is a good thing. Author Monica Sanz introduces a new system of magic, including magic school for teenagers and advanced education for specific careers in the magical community. I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. Read more reviews! http://dreamerjbookreviews.blogspot.com #SeventhBorn #NetGalley

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Seraphina “Sera” Dovetail is a witch studying at the Aetheriums Witchling Academy. Not only a witch, Sera is also the seventh-born daughter to a witch. Cursed from birth, she is also the reason why her mother lost all of her powers and ultimately her life as well. Her cursed birthright afforded her no luxuries at the Aetheriums Witchling Academy. She is shunned by the other students and the professors at the academy treat her as if she was nothing. Sera should be grateful to even be attending th Seraphina “Sera” Dovetail is a witch studying at the Aetheriums Witchling Academy. Not only a witch, Sera is also the seventh-born daughter to a witch. Cursed from birth, she is also the reason why her mother lost all of her powers and ultimately her life as well. Her cursed birthright afforded her no luxuries at the Aetheriums Witchling Academy. She is shunned by the other students and the professors at the academy treat her as if she was nothing. Sera should be grateful to even be attending the witchling academy given her status as a seventhborn. All Sera wants to do is study hard and pass her exams and gain a referral so she can attend The Aetherium School of Continuing Magic. Her only goal is to become an inspector and to hopefully find her father and her other brothers and sisters. Sera’s life is about to change though with the help of Professor Barrington who requires her assistance on a case he is working on and in turn he will give Sera the referral she needs, but what does the case have to do with her and does the case have anything to do with the troubled past she was rescued from? Seventh Born by Monica Sanz is everything! I cannot gush enough about how much I absolutely adored this story. I will admit I do not read enough books based on the paranormal, but Sanz opened me up to world and a genre I mostly shied away from. The world building is absolutely phenomenal and I felt as if I was taken to a different time and place. The historical aspect of the story really drew me in. I love anything historical from the gowns to the carriages and just the different mannerisms that are so different than today. The magical aspect really shines here because the way Sanz describes magic really feels as if it is brought to life and you can feel the heat radiating in your belly and through your fingertips. The magical aspect was superbly done and really made me fall in love with the lure of magic. Sera is a character you will instantly feel a connection to. She might not be the most grounded, but she is spirited and has heart. She shows real feelings such as anger and passion and although she may not be able to control her anger at times, hence her always getting into trouble at the academy, she is still passionate about what she is learning as she works to her goal of becoming an inspector. She is faced with many obstacles in her way including the cruelty of the other students making fun of her or just being downright cruel. I am so glad her spirit was never broken during these times. Although, I did feel sorry for her having to go through life feeling as if she didn’t matter. Sera has a heartbreaking backstory, one that is so evil and so emotional, but yet she survived it and even though it made her stronger, you can still see and feel the lingering effects it has on her today. Little by little Professor barrington starts to break down her barriers and in turn it allows Sera to grow as a person and also become stronger. I loved seeing her growth and progress throughout the story. Professor NIkolai Barrington is definitely my new book boyfriend. He is just so swoon worthy! He is very mysterious, demanding, confident, and definitely very alpha in both demeanor and through his words. He is in his early twenties, but he demands attention. I love the secrecy surrounding him and his family and felt his story interweaved between the main story was done quite well. His interactions with Sera were definitely of the professor and assistant variety, but you can see the spark instantly between Barrington and Sera right from the beginning. I loved seeing the connection they both shared and even though they both tried to fight it, you can feel the passion building up between the both of them. I have to say Barrington was very much a gentleman to Sera as he gained her trust little by little. Like Sera, Barrington also grew as a character and came into his own with the help of Sera. He was also very protective of Sera throughout all of their time together. Barrington is just to die for! Seventh Born by Monica sanz is a captivating and richly told story full of magic and lure that had me hooked right from the beginning! The story is beautifully written and grabs your attention right from the first page. The story is shrouded in mystery and as you peel back the layers one by one you will be deeply entranced by what is discovered. I highly recommend Seventh Born to be read by fans of both fantasy and the paranormal. Seventh Born is the first book in the Witchling Academy series and I, for one, am wholeheartedly looking forward to more of Sera and Barrington.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zoë ☆

    I unfortunately did not like this. I mean it started off interesting and I got kind of Harry Potter vibes from it, but the world (and loads of other stuff) were kept so extremely vague to me that I could not keep my attention anymore. I had to kind of skim the last 50% of the book. I just could not get into it. I cared a little bit about the romance, but not the witchy/murdery stuff. It was just so vague.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Raven_Blake (dreamy addictions)

    Same Review Also Posted On My Blog: Dreamy Addictions *ARC Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* Seventh born is a first book in The Witchling Academy series. I didn't put any high expectations on this book because I'm not familiar with this author, but boy this book was really good. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The witchy magic in this book was the best thing I loved about it and I quite enjoyed the main characters Sera and Mr. Barrington. Besi Same Review Also Posted On My Blog: Dreamy Addictions *ARC Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* Seventh born is a first book in The Witchling Academy series. I didn't put any high expectations on this book because I'm not familiar with this author, but boy this book was really good. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The witchy magic in this book was the best thing I loved about it and I quite enjoyed the main characters Sera and Mr. Barrington. Besides the slow burn romance, I really liked the historical vibes, necromancy aspect, and murder mystery in this novel. There is a triangle in this book which is so many reader's pet peeve, but don't worry it's not really central focus of the book and it won't hinder your enjoyment at all. The story was very entertaining and I enjoyed every minute of it. This isn't an action packed novel, it's more like a murder investigation novel and trust me, the twists really surprised me even though I had my suspicions on some of the characters. The Seventh born witches are cursed abominations in Seraphina Dovetail's world because they not only take away their birth mother's powers but also their life.  They're treated like a bad omen because of their birth order. After Seraphina's mother died giving birth to her, she was abandoned. She remembers nothing about her family and her life before except for the past two years. To bring a new change regarding their cruel treatment towards the Seventh born's, the prestigious Aetherium’s Witchling Academy accepts her as a student in their school, but sadly she wasn't treated as their equal. She was always look down on with disdain by her fellow students and teachers. Sera dreams to become inspector and find her family, but rebelling against them will jeopardize everything and she tries hard to control her quick temper which always sets things on fire. Then she meets the tall, handsome and brooding Young Professor Barrington who makes an offer to become his assistant in exchange for his referral which she really needs. Sera agrees to be his assistant and soon she was thrust into a world filled with illegal and dangerous murder investigations, forbidden necromancy magic, and dark secrets. If the Witchling academy finds about their secret investigations, it'll ruin both of their careers.  I really enjoyed the main characters Sera and Mr. Barrington. Both of them were pretty much flawed and complex. Sera was fierce, stubborn, and a strong girl with quick temper. I really liked her character. She's a survivor who's gone through physical abuse in her past and I'm glad that she fought back her abuser. Mr. Barrington is a broody and handsome guy who harbored many secrets. His character was very intriguing and I really wanted to know more about him. He's totally swoon worthy. I enjoyed Sera and Barrington working as a team. There is a very light slow burning romance between them, and I can't wait to see how it develops in the second book. Timothy Delacort was the second love interest. He was a pretty likeable guy with sweet personality. He genuinely loves Sera and I felt bad for him at the end. Mary was another character that I liked. She's the only friend of Sera in Witchling Academy. I really liked her, but she does something at the end which really disappointed me.  The plot was very interesting filled with mystery, suspense, crime, dark magic, horror, and a light romance. Even though it's a little bit slow paced read, the story held my attention throughout. I expected this to be another cliched YA love story, but it really surprised me. The story was very unique and there are a lot of twists and turns which I didn't see coming. I quite enjoyed the mystery surrounding the gruesome murders and also the magic. I enjoyed the writing style of the author. It was very descriptive and easy to understand. The whole book was written in Seraphina's third person pov. The world the author created was pretty good. I loved the historical stetting and the dark atmosphere she has created in the story. The magic was the best thing I loved about this book. I love necromancy and cult aspects in my fantasy reads.   Overall, I had a great time reading this book! It was a fun read with enjoyable characters. The book finally concluded with no cliffhangers but there are still lots of unresolved questions and I can't wait to find them out in the next book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Loretta (Laughing Listener)

    The Laughing Listener September 2018 Format: Ebook *I was graciously given a free copy in exchange for an honest review* Rating: 4 Stars Yet another book that was nothing like I had imagined! I have no idea why, but for some reason I thought this was going to be a witch story set in present day. In my head it was like the girl version of The Covenant, but with less nudity and more actual plot. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this actually leans more toward historical fiction, which I loved! I The Laughing Listener September 2018 Format: Ebook *I was graciously given a free copy in exchange for an honest review* Rating: 4 Stars Yet another book that was nothing like I had imagined! I have no idea why, but for some reason I thought this was going to be a witch story set in present day. In my head it was like the girl version of The Covenant, but with less nudity and more actual plot. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this actually leans more toward historical fiction, which I loved! I admit that I was a little unsure in the beginning, mostly because I couldn’t tell what Professor Barrington’s intentions were. Both his age and position gave him power over Sera and I was worried he would take advantage. Luckily I had nothing to fear! And as I kept reading, I was captivated by this world and the mystery they were trying to solve so much that it became easy to forget about my initial hesitations. Actually I really loved both Sera and Professor Barrington! Sera is so fiesty and she doesn’t take anyone’s bad mouthing, so obviously she was my favorite. She’s a seventh born and in this world, every seventh child born causes their mother to die. Because of this, all seventh borns are looked down upon and lead harsh lives filled with prejudice. Just to give you a taste, Sera has to constantly deal with horrid comments like this on a regular basis: “Unlike you, the students in this school hope to contribute to the magical community. At least have the dignity to appreciate you mother’s sacrifice… or stupidity.” WHOA. Watching Sera deal with this kind of hostility made me feel for her and I loved that she didn’t lose that fire to fight back. I think that’s really what made me fall for Barrington because he’s the only one that treats her with respect and kindness. Watching their relationship slowly grow over the book was so great and now I’m dying for more! They’re so cute together and I liked watching them lean on one another for support. I also really had fun with the story itself. It’s cool combination of historical fiction meets Sherlock Holmes meets romance. But with witches!! And I’m totally here for it. I can’t wait for the next installment! FINAL WORD This was a super fun book that I totally recommend to anyone who loves mysteries, witches, and historical fiction!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emily W.

    **I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review** **And since this is an ARC book opinions or details may change by the time of publication** Thank you Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for letting me read and review this book!! ^_^ Before Thoughts: I actually didn't know about the book until the author told me through email that it was available on Netgalley as ARC editions. And does it sound like stories I've read before?? Yes it does. But does that mean it'll be bad?? No, the bo **I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review** **And since this is an ARC book opinions or details may change by the time of publication** Thank you Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for letting me read and review this book!! ^_^ Before Thoughts: I actually didn't know about the book until the author told me through email that it was available on Netgalley as ARC editions. And does it sound like stories I've read before?? Yes it does. But does that mean it'll be bad?? No, the book might be really good which is why I need to read through it first so I can give my most honest of opinions. Review: Read on: _/_/18 To be Published: 09/04/18 Plot: Character(s): Final Thoughts: Recommends to: Hope you enjoyed my review!! Thanks for reading!! ^_^ And go catch that good book!! ^_^ My Blog Site

  14. 5 out of 5

    Misty

    Review here (will be live on 10/19/18)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Briennai Jackson

    This was definitely one of the best dark fantasy novels I have read in a long time. Even though it was fairly long, I finished it all in one day in about 2 sittings. It was just that addictive! For starters, let me talk about Sera. She has been through a lot as a seventhborn and has traumatic memories from some of the things that she went through earlier in her life. This is also discussed throughout the story, as she has to come to terms with some of these horrible memories. She meets Professor This was definitely one of the best dark fantasy novels I have read in a long time. Even though it was fairly long, I finished it all in one day in about 2 sittings. It was just that addictive! For starters, let me talk about Sera. She has been through a lot as a seventhborn and has traumatic memories from some of the things that she went through earlier in her life. This is also discussed throughout the story, as she has to come to terms with some of these horrible memories. She meets Professor Barrington and is not sure whether or not she wants to help him. Soon, she is drawn into the world of witches being drained and used to raise others from the dead, and some of the links seem to trace back to her school, the place where she has felt trapped for several years of her life. She wants to be able to avenge the witches who had been killed, but she is afraid of getting close to Professor Barrington. What if his intentions aren't as pure as she thinks that they are? She must learn to trust again before she can enhance her skill and make sure that no other witches are killed.  I was astonished by how detailed this universe was. The seventhborns were considered as less than human by certain groups, but the poor sometimes envied the seventhborns who were sometimes supported by the government so that they wouldn't be killed. Then, there were extremist groups who wanted to kill all seventhborns without any remorse. This world seemed to be so alive, and each person in the book had their own unique backstory and their own unique personality.  The only thing that I felt wasn't explained was why women chose to have seventh children. If they knew that having a seventh child would kill them and leave their families motherless, why would the family not just stop at 6? I'm sure there is probably some sort of reason behind this, but I might have just missed it as I was reading the story.  I enjoyed the romance that was in this story, even though there wasn't that much of it. I felt that it allowed the readers to focus more on Sera's character rather than who she wanted to be with. She was such a strong character that I just wanted to read about her without too much distraction.  I hope that there is going to be a sequel to this book, I need to know more about Sera and Professor Barrington ASAP! I have officially fallen in love with the both of them and I want to see more of their future adventures.  Also, I didn't notice this until I saw the author, but even though Sera looks "white" on the cover, her ethnicity isn't really specified in the book. This definitely makes it easy for readers of all ethnicities to related to her and enjoy this book even more! I would recommend this book to lovers of NA/upper YA fantasy novels with detailed universes and strong female main characters.  I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review. 

  16. 4 out of 5

    Janine

    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 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angie Crabtree-Liezel and Angie's Book Blog

    Seventh Born is a book full of surprises. You think at first that this book might not be everything you thought it to be but you’re quickly proven wrong. It’s addicting. Fast paced. Suspenseful. Gory. Scary. Full of twist and turns that leaves your jaw on the floor and keeping it that way until the last page. I had a lot of fun reading this book. I finally found a Witch book that was addicting and exciting. One that is still on my mind. I loved it so much that I dreamt about dead girls being rai Seventh Born is a book full of surprises. You think at first that this book might not be everything you thought it to be but you’re quickly proven wrong. It’s addicting. Fast paced. Suspenseful. Gory. Scary. Full of twist and turns that leaves your jaw on the floor and keeping it that way until the last page. I had a lot of fun reading this book. I finally found a Witch book that was addicting and exciting. One that is still on my mind. I loved it so much that I dreamt about dead girls being raised from the dead and the mysterious Professor Barrington. You may think that sounds like a nightmare but to me it wasn’t. When a book gets under your skin that much that you dream about it, to me, is a great book. This book is about seventh born witches. They are born of death and therefore hated. The prejudice is real in this book and I found myself seriously pissed off at some of the side characters. My emotions were everywhere. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and sometimes I did both. I loved Sera so much. She’s lost everything and went through some horrible things but she was so strong. She’s like a willow tree bending in the wind. You think it might break but it still stands strong and tall. My heart went out to her so much. I was also proud of her. She’s a strong feminine character. She’s really a badass. Lol Professor Barrington is book boyfriend material. He’s mysterious, strong, handsome, and a bad boy we all love to hate. At first you think he’s a jerk but there’s so much behind his tough guy exterior. I have so much hope for him in the next book. Overall, this is one book you don’t want to miss out on. The writing isn’t perfect by any means but I think it added to the eerie feel of the book. Book 2 can’t come quick enough. I’m itching to read more!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tika

    Review I really enjoyed this YA fantasy novel, the first in the Witching Academy series.  Basically Sera is an outcast, only accepted into the Academy because of an 'outreach' program of sorts, which is trying to reinforce that seventhborns aren't quite the cursed witches as they were perceived years ago.  Sera was found two years prior to the events in the book, having escaped from a year of abuse at the hands of an evil Warlock who held her captive - she knew nothing other than her name and age Review I really enjoyed this YA fantasy novel, the first in the Witching Academy series.  Basically Sera is an outcast, only accepted into the Academy because of an 'outreach' program of sorts, which is trying to reinforce that seventhborns aren't quite the cursed witches as they were perceived years ago.  Sera was found two years prior to the events in the book, having escaped from a year of abuse at the hands of an evil Warlock who held her captive - she knew nothing other than her name and age and doesn't know where she came from.  Her only friend, a friendly witch named Mary, brings joy into her otherwise lonely life, until a chance encounter with the mysterious Professor Barrington *swoon* brings some intrigue too.  And so Sera and Barrington begin to work together to try to discover who is using seventhborns to raise the dead, and Sera may just discover a bit more about herself in the process... Age Range I’d say that this book is marketed at the YA category; so would suit ages 13+ Summary This YA fantasy novel is well written, I found the characters very likeable and the story engaging.  Whilst I was reading it, the one thing I thought to compare it as would be Sherlock with witches - which is great because I love Sherlock, and witches. Also can we just take a minute to talk about Barrington? Aside from the fact that he shares the name of a character in The Raven Boys which is only one of my favourite series ever (though TRC Barrington isn't...well...very nice); I just loved the character! Finally – Would I Recommend It? Yes definitely – my only issue is that it isn't even out yet so I have a while to wait for the sequel! 4/5 ✰

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tika

    ★★★★☆/★★★★★ ARC Book Review: Seventh Born Positives ⚰ developed characters ⚰ good storyline ⚰ BARRINGTON!!! Negatives ⚰ it did initially take me a while to get into, but once I got around 15% I was hooked I really enjoyed this YA fantasy novel, the first in the Witching Academy series. Basically Sera is an outcast, only accepted into the Academy because of an 'outreach' program of sorts, which is trying to reinforce that seventhborns aren't quite the cursed witches as they were perceived years ago. Ser ★★★★☆/★★★★★ ARC Book Review: Seventh Born Positives ⚰ developed characters ⚰ good storyline ⚰ BARRINGTON!!! Negatives ⚰ it did initially take me a while to get into, but once I got around 15% I was hooked I really enjoyed this YA fantasy novel, the first in the Witching Academy series. Basically Sera is an outcast, only accepted into the Academy because of an 'outreach' program of sorts, which is trying to reinforce that seventhborns aren't quite the cursed witches as they were perceived years ago. Sera was found two years prior to the events in the book, having escaped from a year of physical and mental abuse at the hands of an evil Warlock who held her captive - she knew nothing other than her name and age and doesn't know where she came from. Her only friend, a friendly witch named Mary, brings joy into her otherwise lonely life, until a chance encounter with the mysterious Professor Barrington *swoon* brings some intrigue too. And so Sera and Barrington begin to work together to try to discover who is using seventhborns to raise the dead, and Sera may just discover a bit more about herself in the process... This YA fantasy novel is well written, I found the characters very likeable and the story engaging. Whilst I was reading it, the one thing I thought to compare it as would be Sherlock with witches - which is great because I love Sherlock, and witches. Also can we just take a minute to talk about Barrington? Aside from the fact that he shares the name of a character in The Raven Boys which is only one of my favourite series ever (though TRC Barrington isn't...well...very nice); but Seventh Born Barrington I just loved.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ☆Tweety ☆

    Seventh Born tells the story of Seraphina Dovetail, a witch who is attending a witchling academy and is about to graduate. She hasn't it easy because she is a seventhborn. The 7th daughter or son born brings disgrace to the whole family and leads the mother to die. Many regard seventhborns as disguting and Sera is not treated well at the school she goes to because of this, save for a few people. One of these people is Professor Barrington, a handsome professor of the Academy that asks for her he Seventh Born tells the story of Seraphina Dovetail, a witch who is attending a witchling academy and is about to graduate. She hasn't it easy because she is a seventhborn. The 7th daughter or son born brings disgrace to the whole family and leads the mother to die. Many regard seventhborns as disguting and Sera is not treated well at the school she goes to because of this, save for a few people. One of these people is Professor Barrington, a handsome professor of the Academy that asks for her help in solving a mystery behind a series of murders. I liked the story overall. It was a mix of Harry Potter and other fantasy books, so it was 50/50 predictable but it had its surprising moments. There are many sides to this story that are slowly uncovered and the relationship of the main characters, Sera and Barrington, is a slow-burn type. They are professor and student, but he isn't much older than her. We'll see what will happen with them in the next book. The reason why I gave 4 stars instead of 5 is the style of writing. I am not a fan of third POV narration, because it can be confusing. The scenes were very descriptive but sometimes I got lost in the words. I think that a 1st person POV of either Sera or Sera and Barrington would have been better so the characters would have been deeper. They are not monodimensional, but maybe if we read their thoughts we would have had more insight and connection.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Romancing the Book

    Reviewed by Shyla Book provided by NetGalley Originally posted at Romancing the Book A story any Slytherin would die for. This darkly delicious stale explores a magical school from the perspective of the outcast. Sera is the seventh daughter. A magical child who drains their mother of all her magic and her life force. Once hunted down in an event akin to the witch-hunts of the eighteen hundreds, they are still feared, discriminated against and seen as lower class citizens. Abandoned, Sera is fortuna Reviewed by Shyla Book provided by NetGalley Originally posted at Romancing the Book A story any Slytherin would die for. This darkly delicious stale explores a magical school from the perspective of the outcast. Sera is the seventh daughter. A magical child who drains their mother of all her magic and her life force. Once hunted down in an event akin to the witch-hunts of the eighteen hundreds, they are still feared, discriminated against and seen as lower class citizens. Abandoned, Sera is fortunate to be sent to a prestigious magical school to learn her craft. Despite the modern-day push toward reform, the cards are stacked against the stubborn Sera. Bound by rules, false assumptions, and poor treatment, she struggles to achieve the grades she needs to gain her dream job. Alone in a sea full of people who should understand her best, Sera faces a number of challenges. When you throw in a mystery, and a professor who’s not what he seems to be you have a turn paging tale. I liked that Sera was human. She broke, made mistakes, and doubted herself. It kept her from being too perfect, or all powerful. Sanz kept me on my toes with her secret reveals, and plot twists. I loved the universe she created, and the darker tone of the story. This is a must-read for fans of Urban Fantasy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michaela Whitney

    I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for review. Seraphina Dovetail is a Seventhborn, the seventh child born of a witch, will spend their lives connected with the power of death and the aether because of their entrance in the world, the ending of their mother's lives upon birth. Believed to be cursed and treated as second class citizens, they face a high amount of prejudice and persecution for merely existing. But the history of the Seventhborn is even worse, shrouded in plague, and m I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for review. Seraphina Dovetail is a Seventhborn, the seventh child born of a witch, will spend their lives connected with the power of death and the aether because of their entrance in the world, the ending of their mother's lives upon birth. Believed to be cursed and treated as second class citizens, they face a high amount of prejudice and persecution for merely existing. But the history of the Seventhborn is even worse, shrouded in plague, and murders of the worst kind at the hands of Purists. A sect who abused and absorbed Seventhborn's powers until death, all in a quest to gain control over time. Things may have changed, but history has a way of repeating its self... And soon Seraphina, finds herself in the middle of a dark plot. As a student at the Aetherium's Witchling Academy all she wants to do is make it though her exams, and get a referral to move on to have a chance to become an Inspector. With her classmates and professors making her life harder than necessary and keep a lid on her powers from blowing the place up she's already well occupied. I really enjoyed this one, It's a story of two people racing into the unknown to clear the mystery surrounding their pasts and family. Friends come in the most unlikely forms, betrayal, intrigue, and a generations long murder plot await you. I look forward to seeing where her, and Barrington's story and partnership take them next.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Fenner

    Seventh Born kind of reminded me of a watered down mash-up of Harry Potter and K E O'Connor's School of Exorcists series. The book overall could use some extra detail, the world is underdeveloped, the magic system isn't really explained, and the characters are one dimensional. I felt sorry for Sera who is treated awfully for being the dreaded "seventh born" child in her family and the cause of her mother's death but at the same time she constantly complains about the things she's not allowed to Seventh Born kind of reminded me of a watered down mash-up of Harry Potter and K E O'Connor's School of Exorcists series. The book overall could use some extra detail, the world is underdeveloped, the magic system isn't really explained, and the characters are one dimensional. I felt sorry for Sera who is treated awfully for being the dreaded "seventh born" child in her family and the cause of her mother's death but at the same time she constantly complains about the things she's not allowed to do as a seventh born which gets annoying fast. I did like that Sera tried to rebel against her status as a seventh born but I disliked her relationship with her teacher. This is a YA novel and it's a little inappropriate. Overall, this book holds some appeal but I found myself wanting more from the worldbuilding and plot.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)

    And I'm finally, finally done with this title. 2.5/5 But where do I begin? Will it turn people off when I say that this was like a Snape x Hermione fanfiction? But don't worry, this time Snape is actually the youngest professor in this magical school and is actually good looking. Will it also piss people off if I mention that there is a scene in this novel that is reminiscent to a scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? There is literally a spare in this one and I hated it. Needless to say, And I'm finally, finally done with this title. 2.5/5 But where do I begin? Will it turn people off when I say that this was like a Snape x Hermione fanfiction? But don't worry, this time Snape is actually the youngest professor in this magical school and is actually good looking. Will it also piss people off if I mention that there is a scene in this novel that is reminiscent to a scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? There is literally a spare in this one and I hated it. Needless to say, this is another "like Harry Potter" book, except the chosen one is a muggle born. I mean, a seventh born. Sorry, I got confused for a second (not really). Then Snape, I mean, Barrington (LOL THAT NAME), employs the help of a seventh born to assist him in his investigation regarding some magic stuff I'm not exactly clear about. You see, there is a magic system in this book. It was just unmemorable so I could say there are plot holes, when in reality I could have just forgotten some details. This could either mean that (A.) I'm inattentive with what I'm reading, or (B.) The magic system needs to be clearer than what was presented. In exchange for Sera's help, Barrington was willing to write her a recommendation (you know, for her future career!) or referral? However, the reader (such as myself) can't help but wonder if a recommendation will even make a difference. Most magical people were against Seventh borns and it's unclear why. The only explanation I remembered was because some people believed that Seventh borns caused a plague. I might be wrong though (which is why I don't mind mentioning it) because this had been an unnecessarily long and "too-wordy" young adult novel with A LOT of information dump. I'm not exaggerating. While this novel appealed to me at first, I didn't think the magical system or even the world building was explained very well. The reader was just supposed to assume details and rely on info dumping. The characters were seemingly ordinary and one-dimensional. They weren't complex, like this is a book that defines good vs. bad characters. The bad characters become bad because they target seventh borns for their own reasons, which again, I am not sure about. I don't even remember how and why they were targeted by the antagonist. As for the romance, again, Snape and Hermione shippers... there is a chance for you yet. I just won't be reading the sequel to see it happening. **Huge thanks to Entangled Teen for approving my request to read this book in exchanging for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annie Deo

    This is one of those guilty pleasure reads - there were a few glaring flaws that detracted from the quality of the story, and yet I was having such a good time reading this that I wilfully overlooked them! The writing flowed smoothly, the main characters were engaging, and the plot took a few twists and turns I didn't see coming. I was legitimately shocked by some of the developments, which is novel for me in YA where I've come to find a lot of storylines predictable. I like that the author took This is one of those guilty pleasure reads - there were a few glaring flaws that detracted from the quality of the story, and yet I was having such a good time reading this that I wilfully overlooked them! The writing flowed smoothly, the main characters were engaging, and the plot took a few twists and turns I didn't see coming. I was legitimately shocked by some of the developments, which is novel for me in YA where I've come to find a lot of storylines predictable. I like that the author took some chances and made a few creative choices! (review crossposted at my blog ) Let's get this out of the way: a few reviews have questioned the professor/student romance angle, but if you're squeamish about abuse of authority, that never comes into play here as the chemistry between Barrington and Sera isn't consummated. Instead, there is this perfectly delightful rapport that builds between them outside of the classroom as they work together to solve the serial murder of seventhborns. They grow to respect each other's talent and abilities and forge a strong bond while protecting each other in the face of danger. I love this kind of blurring of boundaries when it's done right, ie. the student is of age (Sera is over eighteen), the teacher isn't grading her work so there's no conflict of interest (she isn't in Barrington's class) and he isn't acting in a morally dubious or predatory manner. Nothing that Barrington does is in the least bit skeevy, he is the perfect gentleman and behaves with honor and the best of intentions; he wants to apprehend the killers at large to keep seventhborns safe, and he wants to protect Sera in particular and help her overcome the burdens she faces at school with practically everyone working against her. Honestly, the man is swoonworthy! And his patience in the face of Sera's constant aggression and hostility is remarkable. Which isn't to say that Sera is out of line for being under the misapprehension that he was trying to proposition her - for someone with a heart of gold, he really did work hard to portray himself in the worst light by offering her the much coveted referral that would allow her to become an inspector...in exchange for having her 'services' whenever he required. Come on! Sera hasn't had an easy life, what with being seriously abused by someone she thought she loved and was loved by, prior to coming to the academy where she continued to be abused, if to a lesser degree, by students and teachers alike who all thought of her as sub-human. So as much as I felt frustrated with her constantly misjudging Barrington and flying into a fit of rage with him, I could see how it made sense with her jaded worldview of expecting the worst of people, due to her history. And it made her growing trust and faith in him all the more touching because she had so much to overcome to get to the point where her feelings would lead her to risk her life for him! Basically, the romantic tension was one of the best things about this book for me, because it wasn't insta-love and it's so slow-burn that there hasn't been so much as a kiss yet! Instead there was a solid foundation laid with the  partnership between Sera and Barrington leading to tender feelings between the two of them, which could easily lead to more in the sequel. I really appreciate when an author doesn't feel the need to pull the trigger when it isn't right for the characters yet, it was enough to see them move from strangers to allies to friends.  Speaking of friends, Sera's only peer who went against the grain and supported her was Mary, a bright and bubbly girl who was a constant at Sera's side throughout the story. I did appreciate that she added a bit of lightness to the otherwise neverending cycle of disdain and outright vicious bullying that Sera had to endure. Another student who defied the common attitude towards seventhborns was Timothy, who fancied himself in love with Sera despite barely even knowing her - I had a hard time with his character because I rolled my eyes at how desperately he pursued her and wished he'd just leave her alone. I do wonder if this was the author poking fun at traditional love interests in the YA genre...they're only seen as romantic because the female protagonist returns their feelings and encourages their interest, but when you have Sera steadfastly denying him any hope of a relationship and brutally rejecting him over and over, it highlights how romantic in one context turns to creepy and problematic when a guy just can't take no for an answer.  Now to the real problem of this story...the whole seventhborn stigma. It is just so ridiculous and defies rational belief, and unfortunately it's the underpinning of the plot - it's even the TITLE, for goodness sake! I can accept that there is a world where a woman bearing a seventh child will die in childbirth, that's fine, and even the concept that those seventhborns will have special powers makes sense as there is historically symbolic significance to this status. But the widespread contempt and abuse of seventhborns in society to the point where it's considered odd NOT to belittle and despise them is crazy. A father grieving his wife's loss and blaming the child makes sense on an emotional level; all of society condemning every single seventhborn for merely being alive when they had no choice in the matter is completely absurd. People blame all seventhborns for hypothetical scenarios like a father becoming alcoholic and non-functioning, leading to him neglecting his children...instead of holding the father himself accountable! Why do so many families even HAVE seven children to begin with? And what couple would knowingly carry a child to term knowing the inevitable outcome would be the woman dying and their child living a life of misery and suffering?  So that was a pretty massive obstacle for me to get past when reading this, but I just turned my brain off and kept reading because it was so addictive and fun. :) Personal Rating: 3.5 out of 5. Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a digital copy free from Entangled Teen via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin (Undercover Binge Reader)

    I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher, so thank you to Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review it! Seventh Born is the first book in The Witchling Academy series by Monica Sanz and was just release so you can read it now! It is a YA/NA paranormal story with some light romance, mystery, and historical vibe. I was quite surprised by how much I liked this story - I finished it in two days and I plan to read the future installments.  I'll start with my biggest critique fi I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher, so thank you to Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review it! Seventh Born is the first book in The Witchling Academy series by Monica Sanz and was just release so you can read it now! It is a YA/NA paranormal story with some light romance, mystery, and historical vibe. I was quite surprised by how much I liked this story - I finished it in two days and I plan to read the future installments.  I'll start with my biggest critique first though, as it has to do with the setting and I can't really discuss the rest without addressing it.  The description of the story and even the first few chapters make it really difficult to discern the setting of the story and world. They way it's written is almost as if the story and locations of the scenes exist in a vacuum.  There is basically no context to where and when the characters are - is this a fictional world, is it the past, is it the future? - we really have no idea.  Through context clues, the language, horse drawn carriages and lack of modern technology or mentions of our modern world - it has more of a historical feel but likely takes place is a different world rather than our past.  There are never any mentions to what country, planet, realm, city or etc. that the characters live in or are from.  There are mentions of small towns briefly when the characters are there but it's in passing and does nothing to develop the world. The magic and how everything is the way it is wasn't really explained either, so you just take what you're given and accept it as is and learn the rest as you go along from actions of the characters.  From the title of the series and beginning of the book you'd also think that the main character would be spending more time in the actual academy and that the academy would have more of role and personality like Hogwarts but it was often just a place Sera was between the action.  My second biggest criticism is the seventh borns - why are so many people having SEVEN children, especially when they know the consequences of having a seventh!? Is there no birth control?! If seventh borns were rare I'd maybe get it but throughout the story is seems like there are or have been TONS - maybe this could have been explained if we knew more about how big the world is and how it worked better. Okay on to the good stuff!! Despite lacking in the world building - the book was well written and the writing was atmospheric and spooky and gave me the right kind of feels.  The historical vibe added to the spook and gloom and made everything feel even more mysterious and magical.  There are lots of dead bodies, graveyards, and ghosts! Sera is a seventh born, but what's most intriguing about her is her temper and tendency to light things and people on fire - she literally does not take shit people. And oh yeah, she has NO memories of her past except spending a year or so being tormented and tortured by some evil dude who wanted to steal all her magic for himself.  Sera has got spirit, morals, and a drive to achieve what she wants despite the odds. She has a friend named Mary who is quite hard to read and I couldn't tell if it was due to the confusing setting - she was always calling Sera "my dearest".  Then there is Timothy, a high class very attractive student in the school that Mary likes, but he seems to be interested in Sera instead.  Also it seems like marriage happens really young for people in this world, again the ambiguous setting made it confusing. I also found it confusing why either of these students would be interested in Sera if she was this detested seventh born by everyone else.  We do learn some more about their motivations as the story continues, but again I felt like better world context could have made it easier to understand these characters - though this did add to the mysterious feeling of the story and had me reading faster. Then there is Barrington and oh man. I reALLY liked him.  He's swoony, brooding, mysterious, snarky, smart, strong, protective, flawed etc etc.  I loved learning more about him and seeing what he could do.  He's an inspector which is basically like a detective and he hires Sera to be his assistant to solve a mystery - he even carries a little notepad with him! I was shipping him and Sera basically from the start (he's 25 and she's 18, and he's not *technically* her professor) and their interactions are a slow burn subtle growing of affection and trust but has yet to turn full on romantic. We really get a lot from him as the story moves forward and I will be continuing this series for him. Also because I'm so curious about both his and Sera's past and family history. Recommend to fans of historical paranormal YA/NA about witches, necromancy, and investigating mysteries.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Farr

    "Seventh Born" is a YA fantasy that follows the (literally) fiery Seraphina (Sera) Dovetail. Sera is a seventhborn, which is the seventh child born to a witch which saps her magic and kills her. Seventhborns are generally despised and strongly prejudiced against. In the past, they were blamed for plagues and other societal problems and killed. Now, society is trying to move past this and has allowed Sera to enroll in the Aetherium's Witchling Academy in the seventhborn program. The Aetherium rul "Seventh Born" is a YA fantasy that follows the (literally) fiery Seraphina (Sera) Dovetail. Sera is a seventhborn, which is the seventh child born to a witch which saps her magic and kills her. Seventhborns are generally despised and strongly prejudiced against. In the past, they were blamed for plagues and other societal problems and killed. Now, society is trying to move past this and has allowed Sera to enroll in the Aetherium's Witchling Academy in the seventhborn program. The Aetherium rules the witch/wizard world. Sera has no memory of her life before she was taken and tortured by a warlock, Noah. However, bearing the mark of a seventhborn, she knows that she must have a father and 6 siblings somewhere. She is trying to study hard at the Academy to become an Inspector and thus be able to right wrongs plus find her family. However, with the prejudiced and cruel remarks of her teachers and classmates, Sera's temper often flares and her magic starts fires. Everything changes when the attractive, young Professor Barrington offers to train Sera as his assistant and in turn, provide the recommendation she needs to enter into the school to become an Inspector. Barrington involves Sera in an investigation he is conducting into the brutal murder of seventhborns at grave sites seemingly unconnected to the seventhborns. Through the investigation, they uncover more than expected with a larger conspiracy that may threaten Sera directly. While the writing was pretty good and I definitely read the whole thing, I felt like we were missing a lot of background and world-building. This almost felt like the second book in a series or like a couple chapters at the beginning were missing. It's unclear why seventhborns are so hated. Presumably, in a world of magic, people can choose about having kids- if they don't want or hate seventhborns so much, why have them (and why do so many people have seven kids- that's expensive! Not to mention hard on the body...)? Also, if their parents choose to have a seventh, they know what the consequences are. I feel like we needed more reasons/background on this. I would actually expect they would be honored for their mothers' sacrifices plus their immense power. It didn't quite make sense to me, and I feel like I was missing some additional context. Also, about the world, it was not clear if it takes place alongside our own- there are some nonmagical areas revealed later- are those the ones that we know about? Or is this a completely different world? Beyond that, most of the relationships are preexisting and not explained. For example, the friendship between Sera and Mary- how did they become friends? Why are they so close? It is just preexisting in the book, but it would have been nice to have a flashback to how they met and why they are so devoted to each other. Also, the boy who is "in love" with Sera- they have barely ever spoken and yet he would die for her. We get some explanation at 90% of the way through, but even that did not explain everything. Considering it was also accompanied by some sexual harassment/assault (she said who knows how many times she wasn't interested and he forces her into kisses she doesn't want a few times plus has some unexplained obsession with her that is never prevented or dealt with), I was not sure how I felt about it. I believe this was unnecessary in a YA book and did not feel that I understood what the message was here (stalkers are OK? Allow people to do things to you that you don't want if they seem nice to others?). She forces herself to relax and accepts the kisses she doesn't want, which to me, sends the very wrong message to younger readers. Finally, the other issue I have is the feelings between Sera and Barrington, which also made me a bit squeamish. Their relationship is teacher/student (formally) and boss/assistant informally. Considering this, the hints of romance throughout did not seem appropriate- there's a big difference in power. However, not much actually happens, so I am not sure if this will be developed in future books. Regarding Sera, she seems very young with feelings that get out of control and slowly learns to contain them. I think she is appropriate for a YA heroine, and the mysteries of the murders really keeps the plot moving well. I wish the book had more background and explanations for things, plus different romantic relationships. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (The Rest Is Still Unwritten)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and author Monica Sanz for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review! Find this review and more on my blog The Rest Is Still Unwritten! Seventh Born by Monica Sanz is a well written and highly enjoyable novel that will bewitch readers with its tangible characters, murder mystery and haunting ambiance. Eighteen year old witch Serephina Dovetail is an outcast amongst her people. As the seventh daughter born and the cause of her mother’s death a Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and author Monica Sanz for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review! Find this review and more on my blog The Rest Is Still Unwritten! Seventh Born by Monica Sanz is a well written and highly enjoyable novel that will bewitch readers with its tangible characters, murder mystery and haunting ambiance. Eighteen year old witch Serephina Dovetail is an outcast amongst her people. As the seventh daughter born and the cause of her mother’s death at her birth, Sera is used to being seeing as cursed. She been called an abomination, ostracised and treated with cruelty but as a student of the Aetherium Witchling Academy, Sera is determined to get into the Advanced Studies Program and become an inspector. Yet to do so, she needs a referral and given how people perceive her, Sera is sure no one will take a chance on her. Until she is approached by Professor Nikolai Barrington, a young, handsome but brooding teacher at the Aetherium Witchling Academy who approaches Sera with a proposition; he will give Sera the referral she so desperately craves in exchange for her assistance on a case he is working on. Faced with no other options, Sera agrees but as she and Professor Barrington delve into the case of murdered seventh born women, painful memories of her past begin to resurface and soon Sera will have to accept that the monsters that haunt her may not be as dead and buried as she thought…. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Seventh Born. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting when I began this novel but whatever it was Seventh Born definitely exceeded my expectations. Beginning the novel, I was immediately entranced by this magical world of mystery and discovery that was set in a Victorian-era-esq world. Though author Monica Sanz never mentions the specific time period in which the story is set, her use of language and propriety paints a clear picture of what society is like when Seventh Born takes place. Mixing elements of mystery, magic and danger, I really liked the world Monia Sanz has created within Seventh Born. I found the concept of seventh born witches to be intriguing and feel Sanz went into the perfect amount of detail to describe the persecution and treatment they had experienced throughout the years. I do feel like we’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg where the Aetherium Witchling Academy was concerned although I did really like what I’ve seen so far. Seventh Born is depicted through the vivid voice of protagonist Serphina “Sera” Dovetail, someone I really enjoyed following. Monica Sanz makes it clear early on in the novel that Sera has painful secrets about her past and as the novel progresses the atrocities she experienced are revealed. Sera is a scared individual, both figuratively and literally, but I do feel this actually gives her so much more substance as a character. Sera is a determined and capable young woman and I felt for her as she struggled to harness her abilities. Sera has been treated so cruelly by so many people and as a result her ability to trust are lacking. I highly enjoyed seeing her begin to come into her own though and can't see where she does. The driving force of the storyline is the series of gruesome murders Sera and her Professor Barrington investigate and while I appreciated the way this was explored and depicted, I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the relationship that is developing between Sera and Barrington. They are adorable! Theirs is the kind of slow burning romance that is a subtle undertone to the overall story that burns through the novel. Barrington is gruff and brooding but the soft moments of tender touches and kind gestures really make me swoon. Sera and Barrington really have such potential to soar and as things hopefully continue to heat up and develop, I for one can wait to see where their relationship progresses to. Building to an exciting and thrilling ending that leaves me dying for more, Seventh Born was a very promising start to what I’m sure will be a wonderful series. Moncia Sanz has very much piqued by interest with this series and I cannot wait for more of Sera and Barrington. I’m already hankering to get my hands on their next tale!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra **The Bibliophagist**

    First, I really loved the cover if this novel. Black and the various shades of blue work well together. Seeing a woman (Ms. Dovetail) in a spellcasting circle instantly lets you know what type of story this is. Though I like the cover, it is part of what made me skeptical. It has an armature vibe but really hides a story with good bones that needs some work. Things I didn't like: Lack of world building I felt lost at the beginning of this book. The reader is not told where this academy is located First, I really loved the cover if this novel. Black and the various shades of blue work well together. Seeing a woman (Ms. Dovetail) in a spellcasting circle instantly lets you know what type of story this is. Though I like the cover, it is part of what made me skeptical. It has an armature vibe but really hides a story with good bones that needs some work. Things I didn't like: Lack of world building I felt lost at the beginning of this book. The reader is not told where this academy is located or even what time period the story is taking place in. It was almost as if the academy was the only place that existed...until further into the story. Give me at least something!! Heck, Harry Potter had more than simply Hogwarts! Smaller towns are mentioned here, but only in passing. It was really frustrating to have no idea where this was taking place. No background information about magic I wanted to know more about how the magic was used, where it came from...what was it? I was given nothing. The story really leaves a reader having to take what they are given without leaving room for questions to be asked. Are there those that are only partly magical? I just need so much more here. Again, I just feel it was lacking development. Why so many kids?!?! I just have to ask...how common is it to have SEVEN kids?! I have two and love them to pieces but I do not think I could handle seven. Maybe with magic...but knowing the consequences of having a seventh child wouldn't you avoid that? Why have a child for them to live that kind of life? In this magical realm, is there no condoms or other forms of birth control? Why are people not taking precautions? I mean if they are withces, why not cast a spell to prevent pregnancy? I would have loved more background on this. I think it would have fit the story better if it was rare to have a seventh child or something along those lines. Kind of how "mudbloods" were treated poorly in Harry Potter. Things I liked: Well written I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. It was the perfect October read! Spooky and engrossing. I mean honestly, what is better for October than dead bodies, witches, graveyards, etc... Characters Sera Now...I really enjoyed Sera. The fact that she has no memories of her past makes her a mystery that I simply must solve! She is strong-willed, she does not take being bullied. She takes advantage of her affinity for fire and it is amazing. She doesn't even need a wand!! How amazing is that, though it is frowned upon to use magic with no wand... Barrington Oh man! Talk about the older man trope. He is swoon-worthy. Mysterious but also smart and protective, he is everything a young woman would look for. And he is not reeeeaaally her professor, or that much older. Sera is 18 and he is 25, seven years apart is less than the ten my husband and I are. I really love that their interactions have not turned into an instant love romance. They slowly learn to trust one another as their affection grows but they have shown no specific romantic interest as of yet. Plot and pacing I really enjoyed the underlying plot. Mystery, magic, handsome men...what more do you want? The ending of the story leaves the reader knowing there is more to come and I am looking forward to it. As far as pacing goes, I only felt my reading was slowed when I had no barrings...no idea where this was all taking place. Once more things began taking place, the pace picked up and never really came back down. Final Thoughts In the end, I really was surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. I was really hoping it wasn't going to become a cheezy witch story. It was the complete opposite. If you are looking for a wonderful witchy read for October...or maybe for SCAREtober BINGO (hint hint) be sure to check out this book. It is the first in the series and I really hope the author expands the world building in the sequel.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Quick Review Underdeveloped world, magic system, and characters Mary Sue main character  Fun read with interesting combination of magic, murder, and romance Detailed Review *I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* At the very beginning of their lives, seventhborn witches are surrounded by death. Their birth leads to the death of their mothers and inheritance of her power. And though persecutions are no longer commonplace for seventhborn wit Quick Review Underdeveloped world, magic system, and characters Mary Sue main character  Fun read with interesting combination of magic, murder, and romance Detailed Review *I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* At the very beginning of their lives, seventhborn witches are surrounded by death. Their birth leads to the death of their mothers and inheritance of her power. And though persecutions are no longer commonplace for seventhborn witches, they are still seen as less, as something terrible. Seraphina Dovetail seeks to become more than her status: she dreams of becoming an inspector. But she's impulsive, quick-tempered, and has a habit of setting things on fire.  But it's exactly this that lands her a proposition from the handsome and young Professor Barrington: a referral in exchange for her being his assistant into the investigation into a recent string of murders.  The very basis of this book is problematic, and the reason it was problematic was because it was difficult to suspend disbelief. This is one of the most important things you must accomplish when writing a book, especially if you're writing fantasy or science fiction. With Seventh Born,I had a very difficult time believing the premise of the story. The prejudice against seventhborns felt so silly and so trivial, and yet this was a major part of the world Sera lived in. It didn't make much sense, and part of that was because nothing was really fully developed: the magic system, the world, the characters. It all skimmed the surface at best.  There was only one character that felt somewhat developed: Barrington. Or maybe he was just the only character I liked. Sera, the protagonist, was a bit of a Mary Sue. She has the tragic past, she's smart, and she's exceedingly beautiful. Furthermore, the fact that she's a victim is used to make the reader and other characters more sympathetic to her rather than to actually explore abuse and trauma. I hate when being a victim is used to make a character more likable to other characters, especially when it becomes the foundation of relationships. It cheapens it.  The other characters were rather bland as well. There's the boy who is just so in love with Sera, but in reality, they don't actually know each other. And you know, he's just a super good dude. There's also the silly-boy obsessed best friend, the bully who's just a bully because he sucks, and the doting/lovable maid. Oh, and the super-obsessed villain. Yep, that sums it up pretty damn well.  Fair warning: this is a slight spoiler (but it's also something heavily implied in the book description, so I'd hardly call it one). Anyway, there's also the romance, which definitely felt inspired by Mr.Rochester/Jane Eyre. That said, I had two problems with it. One, it felt a little rushed and unrealistic. And two, I wasn't sold on this relationship being in a YOUNG ADULT novel. Professor (person of authority)/student (eighteen-year-old girl)...it made me a little uncomfortable. Despite this, Seventhborn  was still a fun read, but this is because a contained a combination I've been wanting to read for awhile. I liked that it had witchery, detective work, and romance. That was fun., and quite honestly, it's also better than some of the other books I have read recently. That said, I just wish it had been better executed.

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