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Kyle Wadsworth arrives at Harvard eager to start his new life as a college student away from the cold and distant great-aunt who has raised him. But he walks into a building that only magical people can see, confusing both himself and the administrators of Veritas, the secret magical university hidden inside Harvard. There he first sees a beautiful girl who seems magical t Kyle Wadsworth arrives at Harvard eager to start his new life as a college student away from the cold and distant great-aunt who has raised him. But he walks into a building that only magical people can see, confusing both himself and the administrators of Veritas, the secret magical university hidden inside Harvard. There he first sees a beautiful girl who seems magical to him in every way. Soon Jess Torralva is tutoring Kyle in the ways of magic, sex, and love. But trouble is afoot at Veritas. Rumors abound that a siren is haunting the library, and when Kyle's best friend is attacked, Kyle is determined to use his newly learned skills in erotic magic to catch the culprit. But which is more important, his quest for justice or his search for true love?


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Kyle Wadsworth arrives at Harvard eager to start his new life as a college student away from the cold and distant great-aunt who has raised him. But he walks into a building that only magical people can see, confusing both himself and the administrators of Veritas, the secret magical university hidden inside Harvard. There he first sees a beautiful girl who seems magical t Kyle Wadsworth arrives at Harvard eager to start his new life as a college student away from the cold and distant great-aunt who has raised him. But he walks into a building that only magical people can see, confusing both himself and the administrators of Veritas, the secret magical university hidden inside Harvard. There he first sees a beautiful girl who seems magical to him in every way. Soon Jess Torralva is tutoring Kyle in the ways of magic, sex, and love. But trouble is afoot at Veritas. Rumors abound that a siren is haunting the library, and when Kyle's best friend is attacked, Kyle is determined to use his newly learned skills in erotic magic to catch the culprit. But which is more important, his quest for justice or his search for true love?

30 review for The Siren and the Sword

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

    I guess when a book opens with a paranormal sexual encounter in a college library after-hours, you should kinda know what you're getting yourself into, right? (That, and Cecila Tan seems to be a fairly well known Erotica writer.) Don't get me wrong; While I enjoy sexy-times as much as the next red-blooded guy, and I don't discount novels simply because they're based on a premise of erotica, I found myself craving something a bit more substanstial from this novel that it just ultimately failed to I guess when a book opens with a paranormal sexual encounter in a college library after-hours, you should kinda know what you're getting yourself into, right? (That, and Cecila Tan seems to be a fairly well known Erotica writer.) Don't get me wrong; While I enjoy sexy-times as much as the next red-blooded guy, and I don't discount novels simply because they're based on a premise of erotica, I found myself craving something a bit more substanstial from this novel that it just ultimately failed to deliver. I was expecting more of an "Adult Harry Potter", and, while the story is pretty straightforward and easy-to-follow, it somehow lacks the depth, elegance, complexity and world-building that the Harry Potter series possessed. Worse, the erotica and story in this book just don't meld togehter that fluidly; it's almost like the actual "Story" pieces are really just lead-in's to the sexual encounters. Additionally, the characters are (for the most part) not particularly well-defined, [Kyle, in particular, seems almost too dumb to live, let alone be accepted to Harvard Univestory!], and the locations (despite the fact that it's set on the Harvard University campus) are mostly glossed over, non-descript set pieces. A disappointing 2.5 stars (rounded down to 2.) Full Disclosure: I got this copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MLE

    I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book, and I was pleasantly surprised by exactly how much I liked it. I liked that in some ways it felt like a bit of a nod to Harry Potter, and other stories without feeling like a rip off, or a trite copy. The world building was well done, and complex. I liked how the sex fit into the story line, and how virginity had a purpose, and a function within the world. I really I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book, and I was pleasantly surprised by exactly how much I liked it. I liked that in some ways it felt like a bit of a nod to Harry Potter, and other stories without feeling like a rip off, or a trite copy. The world building was well done, and complex. I liked how the sex fit into the story line, and how virginity had a purpose, and a function within the world. I really liked reading a book that explored all exiting possibilities of sex between and man and woman that didn't include penetration. It was refreshing seeing a wider world of heterosexual sex than is usually presented even in erotica. It was sexy and fun, and I loved how active and in charge Jess was. I also loved the open nature of sexuality in this world, and relationships. The plot was well done, and engaging. I felt drawn into what was happening, and why. I liked the complexity to the full cast of characters, and I liked how much everyone added to the story. I liked the ending, and appreciated that things didn't work out in quite the way that I expected. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shehreyar

    I got 3/4 through it and just stopped reading altogether. I don't know what it was, but something about this books seriously annoyed me. It could have been the attempt to float the entire story on a foundation of erotica. Forgive me if I'm skeptical toward a book because it's premise is sex. I would read fifty shades of grey if I wanted that, and I have read it, and it sucked, so there.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ The Siren and the Sword is an erotic urban fantasy that both succeeds and misses the mark as a successful story. The plot is fun and easy to follow. But the writing is substandard and characters paper thin - so much so that is was hard to care about any of them. The author clearly had fun with the erotic scenes, which aren't lurid or over the top. It's a simplistic piece of eye candy that could count as a guilty pleasure More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ The Siren and the Sword is an erotic urban fantasy that both succeeds and misses the mark as a successful story. The plot is fun and easy to follow. But the writing is substandard and characters paper thin - so much so that is was hard to care about any of them. The author clearly had fun with the erotic scenes, which aren't lurid or over the top. It's a simplistic piece of eye candy that could count as a guilty pleasure. Story: Kyle receives a grant to Harvard but instead winds up at a different part of the university - one hidden to most. It's there, at Veritas, that students with magical abilities (most having fae backgrounds) learn their crafts. Kyle was an orphan, adopted early in life, and had no idea he had any gifts other than being a descendant of Wordsworth. But he's about to be flung headfirst into a mystery as a succubus attacks and nearly kills one of his friends. He has to find his powers, and fast, if he wants to save Alex's life. What I did like about this book is that the sex is nice rather than kinky. People enjoy it without reservations (or regard to gender or audience). It's erotic fiction that once you've read it, you won't really feel like you'll need to take a shower afterwards to get the 'filth' off (and I mean that in a really good way). As well, the story flows easily and is a very smooth read. Problematic is that it is a very shallow story, lacking nuances and depth. Sometimes, a very simple read can be lovely but those with a more sophisticated reading palette will immediately discern the lack of writing chops. Tan is a great storyteller but definitely needs more experience with the writing aspect. I neither loved nor hated the book. There are four in the series and this first book felt more like bloated introduction filler rather than the beginning of a series arc. But it is also pleasant enough that it is worth continuing. Reviewed from a free copy from the publisher.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Frk. Hyms

    Forfærdelig. Ingen dybde i hverken historie eller personer. Ingen forklaring på magien. Alt for hurtigt med både accept af magi og kærlighed og så var forsøget på at blande magi og erotik bare virkelig underlig. Slutningen var desuden kun til at grine af så mærkelig var den - så urealistisk og så dumt!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sara Winters

    I was dreadfully late in reviewing this story (several months after I read it) for two reasons. The first, I bought it and the sequel together and I rushed to read both of them in about 31ish hours. The second, I wasn't sure I could put what I thought about it into words. I'm going to try now. I think it has to be said, there are characters in this book that remind me of specific Harry Potter characters. As the story (and series) progresses, that similarity lessens as I get to know these characte I was dreadfully late in reviewing this story (several months after I read it) for two reasons. The first, I bought it and the sequel together and I rushed to read both of them in about 31ish hours. The second, I wasn't sure I could put what I thought about it into words. I'm going to try now. I think it has to be said, there are characters in this book that remind me of specific Harry Potter characters. As the story (and series) progresses, that similarity lessens as I get to know these characters in their own right. That development can be said about no one more than Timothy Frost. I find him to be the most complex and fascinating character - he varies from ascerbic to intriguing and mysterious in the first book and further in the following two. I guess that's strange given that he is not the main character, but the most well-written secondary characters sometimes take on a life of their own. I'm drawn to all of the major players in different ways: Master Brandish and Dean Bell, about whom a colorful and slowly revealed mystery is woven, Alex Kimble, whose relationship with Kyle takes on so many dimensions, it would be both apropos and an understatement to merely refer to it as a "friendship" and main character Kyle Wadworth himself, who embodies the sometimes sweet hero complex and innocence I liked in Harry Potter while employing a maturity the boy wizard had to grow into. There are quite a number of other rich characters in this series (in fact, I would be hard-pressed to find one that didn't interest me in some way), but what I find most refreshing about this book and its characters is that we as readers are immediately aware of a correlation between a popular series of children's books, but it never feels as if this is merely an adult Harry Potter with sex. The story is told in a way I felt was unique - and, frankly, hard to part from when doing little necessary things like going to work and sleep - there are fantastic moments of humor, romance and drama and most of all, the main character is easily relatable. Another great comparison to the Harry Potter series: upon rereading, I find little details that make the story that much richer, things I may have glossed over as less than important during the first read. In other words, a book that only gets better with repeat reads. I would love to describe the plot and how I became immersed in it in detail. In fact, I reworded the beginning of this review several times trying to figure out how to summarize it without giving too much away. On my second read, I decided talking in circles around the plot would be more a disservice than a selling point. Finding out what's going as it unfolds is one of the best reasons to get into this series. The best way I can describe it is this: Upon visiting Harvard for an interview, Kyle stumbles upon Veritas, the school for magic users hidden on Harvard's campus. While struggling with his newfound ability, Kyle learns of the existence of a siren and makes it his mission to help capture and control the creature before it can hurt any more students. This story is about more than any one of Kyle's accomplishments. There's a bigger picture here, more tightly drawn and suspenseful than one book could contain. For this one, I wish it was possible to add another star. At the risk of saying what I fear is too little, I hope anyone who enjoys a great ongoing mystery imbued with fantasy, erotica, love and drama opts to read this and the rest of the books in the Magic University series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andy Capricorn

    I got a Galley of this book from Riverdale Avenue Books for review. I was drawn to this title because it was recommended for people who where looking for a more adult version of Harry Potter. This was nothing like an adult Harry Potter. This book was listed as New Adult and Sci Fi & Fantasy, but that is missing one very important marker, Erotica. I was so excited to start reading what they hailed the 'American Harry Potter' and on the second page I wanted to gouge my eyes out, and it just got I got a Galley of this book from Riverdale Avenue Books for review. I was drawn to this title because it was recommended for people who where looking for a more adult version of Harry Potter. This was nothing like an adult Harry Potter. This book was listed as New Adult and Sci Fi & Fantasy, but that is missing one very important marker, Erotica. I was so excited to start reading what they hailed the 'American Harry Potter' and on the second page I wanted to gouge my eyes out, and it just got worse from there. First off, the main character Kyle was suppose to go to his senior year of high school but because he's such a special snowflake he gets to skip his senior year and jump straight into the magical side of Harvard. From here he remains pretty damn clueless about everything. "So… Magic people eat Spanish food?" "Magic people drink soda?" No, Kyle, they only drink the blood of innocent animals and potions with eye of newt. Now, at this school, he falls in love with the very first girl he meets. She is saving her virginity for 'esoteric studies' but they do date and get each other off, in vivid and horrifying detail. In fact, that is pretty much the first half of the book. The second half is where the plot gets involved, Alex, Kyle's best friend is attacked by the Siren that haunts the library and put into a coma. Which means clueless little Kyle is going to try to find the Siren. The end part where he may or may not find the siren was the only real part that I enjoyed. It was a surprise I didn't see coming but the ending was also horrific. ' Yes, you can now have sex with your girlfriend to save someone's life, but she's no longer your girlfriend because she found the man she dreamed of when she was a little girl. Oh and you have to make her come twice. ' Not to mention the detail to the sex scenes… Odd wording and too detailed about weird aspects of it. Not to mention it was like 75% of the book. Honestly I've read better erotica in fanfictions. This was just horrible. Needless to say I will not be continuing this series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I met Cecelia Tan at GKE while browsing the author's room. We chatted a bit about Harry Potter, and she recommended a series she had written that was similar to those books, but at the university level, with a different view on magic, and with sex. Normally that sort of introduction would raise an eyebrow for me, but it was obvious both that Tan was a Harry Potter fan, not just someone riding Rowling's coat tails, and that she honestly meant it as a rethinking/different approach to Harry Potter I met Cecelia Tan at GKE while browsing the author's room. We chatted a bit about Harry Potter, and she recommended a series she had written that was similar to those books, but at the university level, with a different view on magic, and with sex. Normally that sort of introduction would raise an eyebrow for me, but it was obvious both that Tan was a Harry Potter fan, not just someone riding Rowling's coat tails, and that she honestly meant it as a rethinking/different approach to Harry Potter and the genre of fantasy going-off-to-school books. I bought the first book in the series, and started reading a little while later. I was totally hooked. One part Harry Potter parody, one part loving homage to Harry Potter, one point stern critique of J K Rowling's world, and one part erotica (no more Cho making eyes at Harry...), this delightfully written book tells the story of Kyle Wadsworth who attends Harvard, and discovers there is a magical university co-existing with the school that we mundanes know. As he moves through his freshman year he inhabits a world that is both familiar and new. Not as jaded as The Magicians, and less fantastic than 1980's urban fantasy, and with a healthy dose of Brust and Zelanzy, this book confronts tough issues (discrimination against witches, for example) head on and shows a much more realistic view of what going off to magical school might be like. It is a different, more nuanced world where students can be gay, magic doesn't have to involve waving a wand and using Latin, and evil is a much more slippery concept. Of course, there are some issues—the pacing and plot could use a little polish, and I would have loved to know more about the professors and classes, but what is addictive about this work is the world and the possibilities it offers as well as Tan's wit and obvious experience in the world of fantasy. It is an easy, fun, addictive read that also makes you think.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jules Jones

    (Disclosure: I don't know the author particularly well, but I've long admired her work as an editor, and have submitted material to her publishing house in the past. This hasn't had any impact on my reaction to the book, other than I wouldn't have known about a promo deal on the new edition and run off to buy it if I didn't have her blog on my LiveJournal feed.) Erotic fantasy novel which is quite openly inspired by Harry Potter. "Inspired by" means "loving homage", not "rip-off"; this is a worth (Disclosure: I don't know the author particularly well, but I've long admired her work as an editor, and have submitted material to her publishing house in the past. This hasn't had any impact on my reaction to the book, other than I wouldn't have known about a promo deal on the new edition and run off to buy it if I didn't have her blog on my LiveJournal feed.) Erotic fantasy novel which is quite openly inspired by Harry Potter. "Inspired by" means "loving homage", not "rip-off"; this is a worthy novel in its own right, and could be enjoyed as such by someone who's never read any of Rowling's books (or indeed any of the other speculative fiction Tan pays homage to). But it's most easily described as what would happen if Harry Potter was an American taking up a scholarship at Harvard University, and on arrival walking into the admin office of a faculty housed in buildings which aren't findable by most people on the campus, to the confusion of himself and the faculty administrators. Since we're dealing with undergraduates here, there's sex. Lots of sex. Sex for actual plot purposes, no less, and all the better for it. For there is indeed a plot, concerning the covert presence on campus of a siren, what that is, and the dangers it poses to the students. It's intertwined with various other plot threads, most of which are resolved satisfactorily while leaving openings for further stories about next year's adventures. While I think there's some room for improvement, it's well written, by someone who understands her material. I liked it a lot, enough to want to read the next one in the series (a quartet of novels plus a collection of short stories). If that brief description sounds like something you'd be interested in reading, I'd recommend you try it out -- the prologue and first chapter are available as free samples on Amazon and other online retailers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    The Siren and The Sword is a very good erotic LGBTQ sci-fi fantasy. When I asked to review this book I saw the cover, the category, and the title and didn't realize it was erotic which I seldom read because it often is a let down. Let down in the terms of focusing on the sex and not the plot, but this book the plot and characters are first and the sex is part of the story. The young man of the story goes to the college and thinks he is signing up for Harvard but doesn't know he has "the sight" a The Siren and The Sword is a very good erotic LGBTQ sci-fi fantasy. When I asked to review this book I saw the cover, the category, and the title and didn't realize it was erotic which I seldom read because it often is a let down. Let down in the terms of focusing on the sex and not the plot, but this book the plot and characters are first and the sex is part of the story. The young man of the story goes to the college and thinks he is signing up for Harvard but doesn't know he has "the sight" and goes to a building no one can see unless they have some magical powers. Kyle doesn't know he has magical abilities. Because he found this building, and other reasons, he is enrolled in the school to learn magic. There he meets some of interesting peers, one of which is a siren that is sexual sucking the life out of people. To find out who, Kyle takes it upon himself to risk his life to find out. Very interesting. It takes a sexual spell to break the sirens curse on the person the siren has almost killed in the end. Lots of sex so if this offends, don't read. The plot is full of twists and turns and characters are well developed. I reviewed this book for NetGalley.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Beagley

    Ellen told me to read it, and I love Ellen. It's Harry Potter at college turned into an erotica meander. The writing fails to create memorable locations, characters, and only a few memorable actions. I found all the characters so nondescript that I had trouble remembering who anyone was, even just a page or two after their introduction. If the sexual content had been really well done, that would be something... I mean, maybe fun grown-up reading? But it didn't really grab me as the character mot Ellen told me to read it, and I love Ellen. It's Harry Potter at college turned into an erotica meander. The writing fails to create memorable locations, characters, and only a few memorable actions. I found all the characters so nondescript that I had trouble remembering who anyone was, even just a page or two after their introduction. If the sexual content had been really well done, that would be something... I mean, maybe fun grown-up reading? But it didn't really grab me as the character motivations for the sex were usually vague and uninspiring. Plenty of sexiness, but not enough true passion. I kept reading, though. It was distracting, vaguely satisfying, and there were one or two aspects of the world-building that really worked. High marks for creativity and boldness. Low marks for traditional novel elements (character, especially).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Probably I'm not the audience for this book. I think it was described as Harry Potter but hotter. Never read the Harry Potter books and I'm not a prude, but reading about this much teenaged sex skeeved me a little. It had an interesting plot but wasn't my cup of tea.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ian Wood

    This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here. Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three- This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here. Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately). I rated this book WARTY! WARNING! MAY CONTAIN UNHIDDEN SPOILERS! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! This novel is a huge rip-off of the Harry Potter stories (and the author admits it - kinda!). It's book one of the Magic University series, because one novel is never enough any more in the YA world. There was a prologue which I skipped as I always do. If the writer doesn’t consider it important enough to put into chapter one or later, then it’s not important enough for me to waste my time reading it. I've followed this philosophy consistently and I've never come across a novel (including this one) where I've had to go back and read the prologue because I felt I missed something. QED. The novel is about main character Kyle's integration into magic college, his making of friends, and his resolving the issue of who is the siren who haunts the college library, but I use the word "story" very loosely because there really isn't one. What there is, is really thin and not nourishing at all. There's nothing new, original, or even interesting here, unless all you want is a cheap non-romance and some raunchy sex (Celia Tan is primarily a writer of erotica). That isn't enough for me. There are no interesting characters here: no one who stands out, or who registers as engaging or fun, or admirable. There's no villain as such, and there's really no attempt whatsoever at world-building, so we're treated to a tale that's essentially just a series of sketches or vignettes rather than a real story. The best thing about his novel is that it’s not told in first person PoV - the most self-centered, pretentious, and inauthentic of writing styles. I commend the author for that, but the rest is pretty much boiler-plate Harry Potter. Kyle Wadsworth is in the trope position of starting his first day at a new and surprisingly unexpected school. He's an orphan boy who isn’t wanted at home, who suddenly finds out that he's magical, and sees 'new school' as synonymous with 'new home'. The only real difference is that Kyle is eighteen and starting college instead of just launching into a middle and high school education. You might want to make a note that there's a strong and very prevalent sexual content in this novel - which definitely wasn't in Harry Potter and which is much more graphic than you usually find in YA stories. That didn't bother me, and in some ways it was quite well done, but I never trusted it for some reason, and given how the story turned out in the end, it made everything that went before seem farcical and inauthentic. We're quickly introduced to Jess, who's a stand-in for Ginny Weasley (after a fashion), but who has nowhere near the power which Ginny had. Next we meet Alex, who is pretty much Ron Weasley, and we meet Lindy, who is a clone of Hermione Granger, right down to her being born of non-magical parents and having wild hair. Not only is Kyle magical, but he's a special magical person - just like Harry Potter - and there's a prophecy about him. And just like Hogwarts, there are four school houses which follow the four suits of (tarot) cards: Camella (Latin for a bowl or a cup Gladius (Latin for a short sword - the primary fighting instrument of the Roman legions) Nummus (the Latin term for copper coins) Scipionis means that which belongs to Scipio (who was a Roman general), but it also means a rod or a staff Just like Harry, Kyle is placed into one of these houses by magical means. Unlike Harry, he gets Gladius, which isn't the one he wanted. Like Harry, his dorm room is way up in the top of a tower above the common room. Oh! And there's even an underground chamber. This one isn't hidden, although it probably contains secrets. Unlike Harry, Kyle has no problem whatsoever completely swallowing everything he's told - including, of course, the revelation that there are magical and non-magical people. None of this freaks him out, or even imbues him with a modicum of skepticism. He immediately and completely believes it all. I didn't like Kyle. There's a really funny instance of cluelessness from Jess when the two of them 'magically' hook up and go out to eat. Jess claims she had a prophetic dream of meeting a man at a carnavale. That dream has never come true, so why on Earth is she claiming it was prophetic? Just because she remembers it? Lol! This struck me as completely nonsensical. I didn't like Jess. Suddenly on their way to get pizza, her eyes look like deep pools to Kyle, and now the two of them are no longer hungry but horny! Once again we have a relationship in a YA novel which is all about looks, skin deep, carnality - and nothing to do with actually getting to know and value - or even like - a person. It's sad that this was written by a woman. The classes Kyle is assigned make no sense. He's assigned a class on poetry! Why? Isn’t he supposed to be training to be some kind of a magician? He's a late starter (how that's so when he's just applying to the college is a complete mystery - students don’t normally apply to start when it's already two weeks after the semester begins) - but if he's late as we're told, and magically clueless, as we're told, then why isn't he being assigned some intensive introductory courses? There's no explanation for this. At one point, we meet Kyle sitting outside a building with gryphons at the door (gryphon-door get it?!) and our hero is so clueless that he can’t think of a single thing to say about a TS Eliot poem. He's not the sharpest sword in the house is he? Fortunately this is where his magical powers come in, and he breezes the class. Apparent his magical power is understanding poetry.... Excuse me? Next we're having broomstick races and someone is injured. I wonder where I read that before? Keep an eye on the person who gets injured - he fades from view in the story, and then comes roaring back completely out of the blue (and making no sense whatsoever plot-wise) towards the end. Once again on page 69 (how appropriate) we get prettiness specified as the most important trait in a woman. Shame on Celia Tan. She also writes a conversation in which a nineteen-year-old uses the word "honey" as an endearment. Really? That struck me as highly unlikely. Which teens use that word any more? The author has Kyle talking about being in love with Jess when they hardly know each other, and when the only thing they evidently have in common is sex. It made me lose respect for Kyle that he "fell in love" with someone as shallow, one-dimensional, and cardboard as Jess. The author does make an effort to pull it out of the fire in the second half, and things began to get a bit more readable with some unexpected twists and turns, but in the end, this wasn't a good story. It was too flimsy and lacking in any real substance. The characters were readily forgettable. The novel had far too little to offer. it had nothing new, and I can't generate any enthusiasm for reading a whole series like this. I barely managed to talk myself into finishing this and would not have done so were it not so short.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bethany T

    Good grief! I couldn't stop reading. At all! Just kept swiping through my reading app and calling my friend who gifted me this series to rant about how much I loved it! As my friend said, Harry Potter for adults with sex but really, really good plot, where the sex makes sense instead of giving you pages to swipe through out of boredom.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christa L

    I jumped into this book, despite the erotica, after going to a con panel with the author. I like it quite a bit. Enjoyed the world building and characters quite a bit. Could it be better? Well, I’ve read fanfic with better world building, but not too much. Overall a very interesting take on a magic school story. Will def read the rest.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Blooded Bay

    In the Afterword, Cecilia Tan explains her own Magic University series as a love letter to not only J.K. Rowling, but many other fantasy authors. A few of which I’ve even heard of, though not read. Honestly, I think she’s leaving something out. This is just as much an homage to Hogwarts (and other established magic educational facilities) as it is to the city of Boston. Page 66 begins a day trip to The Garment District and a Puerto Rican eatery. As a resident of the next big city south on I-95, I In the Afterword, Cecilia Tan explains her own Magic University series as a love letter to not only J.K. Rowling, but many other fantasy authors. A few of which I’ve even heard of, though not read. Honestly, I think she’s leaving something out. This is just as much an homage to Hogwarts (and other established magic educational facilities) as it is to the city of Boston. Page 66 begins a day trip to The Garment District and a Puerto Rican eatery. As a resident of the next big city south on I-95, I’ve heard of the famed clothing/costume shop and know there’s some very good eating in Boston, including cuisines from every corner of the world. But this scene is so amusing, because it feels like the author’s enthusiasm for Boston is so huge, she can’t help but use her characters to show us more than just the Harvard campus and some eating out in nearby Central Square. For the most part, I found myself along for the ride. Tan’s characters are engaging and memorable, particularly the slacker trickster Alex. It’s no surprise to me, writing this very review a few days after I promised myself I would, that a world-class procrastinator who makes magic looks easy is the character I identify with most. The sex scenes themselves are quite yummy, the central couple are virgins. When’s the last time you read a scene about nervous young adults having oral sex, using hand stimulation, and for the big finish, outercourse? Do you even know what outercourse is? A lot of couples skip it, and that’s a shame, it’s one of my favorite things to do in bed. There’s also a lot of enthusiastic consent, a lot of the hornier Kyle asking his girlfriend Jess exactly what she’d like. One minor quibble is that it is usually Kyle doing the asking, and Jess demurely answering. Based on our initial impressions of her, I would’ve expected Jess to be fiercer between the sheets. It does make sense why she isn’t with Kyle, but I’m always a fan of seeing women with fiery libidos, it makes me feel less like a freak. Speaking of representation, our main hero Kyle is bisexual! It’s already been hinted at, and he gets his first boy-kiss in this book, but I’m eager to read on in the series. I know I’m going to shriek with joy when I just see that hardly-ever-mentioned word for my sexuality on the printed page. In general, there’s a lot of queer couples in Veritas, the Magic University in the series’ title. Plenty of racial diversity, as well. I haven’t noticed much in the way of gender variant people, women of size, non-monogamous people, or even kinky people. This is Cecilia Tan we’re talking about, though, I have faith we’ll see at least some kinksters in future books. Kyle seems completely devoid of jealousy, that bodes well for possible future polyamorous notions as well, another aspect of my life I’ve so rarely seen in print. The magic of the world is a little disappointing. Harry Potter’s world is so vivrant and magic-full, it can’t help but be a letdown that Tan’s world has barely any magic at all. Brooms need an entire year of treating to be flyable for just a few hours. Most of the magic creatures are long-dead, perhaps extinct shortly after they were woven into medival tapestries. A lot of students who are in Esoteric Studies, the sex magic major, are virgins. They seem to be saving their virginity for casting one big spell, once in their lives. Disappointingly, despite so much other forward-thinking about sex, virginity is yet again defined in the standard phallocentric way: both Jess and Kyle will stay virgins until penetrative vaginal intercourse. Which of course leaves one wondering exactly what’s the virgin-losing moment for the plentiful lesbians or gay men in Veritas. When a big spell finally happens, it’s described in steps and corresponding colors that feel more like a recipe than how I imagine magic. Those are my only complaints. I loved this book! I devoured it in just a handful of sittings, even though I’ve been extremely busy lately. Who needs sleep, I need to see if this next big grand romantic gesture of Kyle’s will pan out. The kids are so easily relatable, even though I am far from a young adult, I just felt like I was hanging out with them in one long mellow night. Pass the psychadellic potion and the orange clove, please. Oh no, I’m not in Esoteric Studies- if you wanna come back to my room later, I have no restrictions. One of the major criticisms of Hogwarts is its lack of Muggle school subjects. Tan answers that by having her magic students also taking classes in the normal part of Harvard. This means we get a little bit of poetry in amongst the sex and siren-hunting, and that’s lovely. Are you tired of prophecies yet? I am, and other than Harry Potter, I’ve read very few fantasy books. But the central prophecies of this story are about a pair of lovers. I’m already thinking about the numerous possibilities of who will be the partner that helps Kyle fulfill those prophecies, and I know as of the close of book one, we probably haven’t met her or him yet! On to The Tower and the Tears with me, and trust me, you’ll be just as eager once you’ve finished The Siren and the Sword.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Skye

    I was immediately drawn into the story and the characters Cecilia has created, and when I finished Book 1 I immediately went to my bookcase and got out the next book--I couldn't wait to find out what happened next!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Book Minx

    I like a lot of the world building here but it’s a bit too close to both HP and Grossman’s “The Magicians” to come off well. The author does get points for avoiding many of the new adult love story traps and I’m hopeful her romance novels hit a bit closer to the mark.

  19. 4 out of 5

    CAS.JW

    Well paced, enjoyable romp of a read Exactly as billed, the story was a solid mix of sorcery and sex. As a fellow Cantabrigian, I enjoyed the faithful references to Harvard and surrounding environs. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amberfaye

    Rambling at times, but definitely found it's footing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aj

    Meh. Not for me but decently written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eboni

    I really enjoyed this story once I got into it. the magical world was interesting and I loved the erotic elements

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I took the opportunity to review this book free on Kindle through the NetGalley website even though, as a matter of policy, I avoid books that are hidden behind the "adults only" wall at Fantastic Fiction. Pretty much everything by Cecilia Tan is, though. I'm told she's a leading name in erotic fiction and LGBT literature. It's the fact that her "Magic University" series riffs on the Harry Potter "school of magic" theme that caught my interest. In an afterword to this book, Tan admits she was in I took the opportunity to review this book free on Kindle through the NetGalley website even though, as a matter of policy, I avoid books that are hidden behind the "adults only" wall at Fantastic Fiction. Pretty much everything by Cecilia Tan is, though. I'm told she's a leading name in erotic fiction and LGBT literature. It's the fact that her "Magic University" series riffs on the Harry Potter "school of magic" theme that caught my interest. In an afterword to this book, Tan admits she was inspired by Harry Potter. At its weaker moments, it reads like a piece of erotic fan-fiction, with the difference that the characters are original and the setting is Veritas, a hidden college of magic within Harvard University. Like at Hogwarts, the students at Veritas are divided into houses and the professors veer rapidly from seeming whimsically odd to dark and menacing. Instead of a shrimpy orphan with messy hair who has been raised by relatives who deliberately tried to squash the magic out of him, the main character is a studly scholarship student named Kyle Wadsworth who stumbles on Veritas during a visit to the Harvard campus during his senior year in high school. His ability even to see the Veritas buildings proves he has talent, but since he grew up knowing nothing about magic, nobody knows what his talent is. This book comprises Kyle's first of four years at Veritas, learning his place in the magical world. While he takes ordinary poetry classes and some classes on basic magical theory, he develops relationships with other students and gets involved in a creepy mystery involving a creature that preys on students who sneak into the library at night. He also starts to understand where his particular gifts lie, and that his unique gifts may be what it takes to save a fellow student from the deadly effects of the siren in the library. As for 'shipping, this variant leaves nothing to the reader's imagination. Every time the story builds up a nice momentum of magical mystery laced with unique fantasy concepts, Kyle suddenly takes his clothes off and, either alone or with another student, engages in scenes that broke the needle on my Adult Content meter. We're talking naughty body parts, detailed play-by-plays and lots of vividly described bodily fluids. This isn't just an Adult Content Advisory, it's a Pornography Warning. Other books in the "Magic University" series include The Tower and the Tears, The Incubus and the Angel, The Poet and the Prophecy and the short story collection Spellbinding. After writing that her other works frequently combine fantasy tropes with romance, graphic sex and kinky elements like fetishes and BDSM, I kind of want to wash my hands. She's obviously an expert on this kind of thing, and I frankly admit I was titillated by them. Yet I also thought the explicit-sex parts of this book strangely lacked the originality and lyricism of the rest. There was a weird disjointedness in it, where distinctively excellent passages ran straight into sections where blue writing served in the place of good writing. I was pleasantly surprised that it rose to a level above slash fanfic... but even without sacrificing eroticism, I think it could have risen higher.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cris

    As a Harry Potter fan, this book is a little like coming home again- except, you know, not really. Fans of the previous will clearly be able to see Magic University's roots in J.K. Rowling's world. The characters Kyle, Frost, and Alex, for example, obviously take inspiration from Harry, Draco, and Ron. There is obviously the magical school element, along with four distinct "houses" that people get placed into upon arrival and prejudice against people who don't come from magical families. However As a Harry Potter fan, this book is a little like coming home again- except, you know, not really. Fans of the previous will clearly be able to see Magic University's roots in J.K. Rowling's world. The characters Kyle, Frost, and Alex, for example, obviously take inspiration from Harry, Draco, and Ron. There is obviously the magical school element, along with four distinct "houses" that people get placed into upon arrival and prejudice against people who don't come from magical families. However, don't think that this is a ripoff. As much as it might be tempting to describe this as simply "Harry Potter with sex," and to a point it is, Cecilia Tan also creates her own characters and her own world. The rules are often very different from what we're used to seeing. Veritas blends in seamlessly with the surrounding Harvard. Magic users are hidden in plain sight instead of squirreling themselves away from the scary non-magical people. One of the these rule changes that I really appreciated here is that there are limits to magic. Casting spells comes at a price- maybe the ultimate price, if you're not careful. Brooms can only be ridden for so long because they're only filled with a certain amount of magic. There's a lot less of "I can do whatever I want because magic!" and more thoughtful consideration of consequences. Not that Kyle doesn't fly by the seat of his pants half the time, because he does. What fun would it be if he didn't? I appreciate that as much as Frost can be a complete dick, he's also set up to be a much more human character than Draco is, much earlier than he does. The book also did a good job of pulling me into the story, which is ultimately the most important thing when reading for pleasure. I also really enjoyed how literary references and poetry are woven seamlessly into everything. It never feels forced or contrived. Those are definitely things that Magic University does very well. Oh yeah, and the new cover is absolutely stunning. That has nothing to do with the actual writing, but I felt it was worth a mention nonetheless. That being said, my main criticism is that because of the closeness of some of these characters to Harry Potter ones, it's sometimes tricky remembering that they're different characters with different motivations, backgrounds, and appearances. I couldn't help but picture Frost as Draco, for example, even though that's not the way that Frost is described and they're supposed to be two separate characters. Oops. I also tended to mix up minor characters or not remember them at all (though to be fair, my brain is like a sieve, so that may be completely my fault.) I assume this confusion will get better as I get to know these characters more, but as I'm just looking at this first book, I have to take it for what it is right now. Overall, if you like Harry Potter and you like erotica, I'm betting that Magic University is right up your alley. Sometimes I felt like there was a little too much overlap between the two, but it's a quick, enjoyable read, and I'm eager to find out what happens next.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    THIS IS EROTICA. Thought i'd clear that up, because this book's marketing department didn't. It's disturbing how the cover style (and even font) evokes G-rated Harry Potter, and how the book is shelved (on NetGalley) as science fiction/fantasy, not erotica. An incautious child reader (or her purchasing/recommending teacher, grandparent, parent) could easily be misled into purchasing this book thinking it's safe for kids to read. A gay teen could think this is Harry Potter, but with a sweet male- THIS IS EROTICA. Thought i'd clear that up, because this book's marketing department didn't. It's disturbing how the cover style (and even font) evokes G-rated Harry Potter, and how the book is shelved (on NetGalley) as science fiction/fantasy, not erotica. An incautious child reader (or her purchasing/recommending teacher, grandparent, parent) could easily be misled into purchasing this book thinking it's safe for kids to read. A gay teen could think this is Harry Potter, but with a sweet male-male romance element. Instead, there're a blow job and 4-letter words on page 2! Compare this book's marketing to that of the author's other adult series: blurb text clearly erotica, covers of softly-lit pearls on silk bedsheets. I'm cynical that the incorrect marketing of "Siren and the Sword" was accidental. Given that caution, for its intended audience - adult fans of Harry Potter AND Anais Nin, or even readers of 9 1/2 Weeks/50 Shades of Grey who want more sex-positivity and humor, less angst, better writing (although that's a low bar) - this book's a winner. Main character Kyle Wadsworth, an orphan with no knowledge that he has magic powers, enters magic college as possibly a prophesied hero. He immediately shares friendly sex adventures with fellow students while obsessing over a Draco Malfoy-like classmate. There's a thin mystery of a siren in the library, to move the plot (or series of sex scenes) along, together with questions of What Will Kyle Major In? and Is He Really The Prophesied One? There's surprisingly little magic in this book: the ability to see the magic-university buildings hidden at Harvard, Tarot reading and conjuration of a plant sprigs where even magic students suspect a trick rather than actual magic. There's only a little world-building (mostly borrowed from Harry Potter, eg a thinly disguised Hogwarts and its four houses), little character background (a renamed Harry/Hermione/Ron/Ginny clique and similar profs), little character depth or growth. But there's LOTS of sex, and sex-positivity, in almost every variety except PIV (the excuse for this omission being that virginity has power in spellcasting). Oral sex, anal sex, threesomes, quads, straight, gay, trans - it's all here, graphic, and fun (versus sensuous). And Cecilia Tan hides wordplay like Easter eggs: the bookworm-dorm's front doors have a plinth from which a giant griffin is missing (Gryfindors), student Timothy Frost conjures some icy hay (Timothy Frost), etc. It's a lighthearted romp for those who want fun erotica, not melodramatic realism. Tan is not Rowling - who can be, but Rowling? - but has her own consistent writing style. Recommended highly for its (limited) audience, with that capitalized caution (really, I wish the cover had a red warning label like music albums do) for everyone else. NOT for kids! NetGalley gave me a free copy, which did not affect the content of my review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Oh man, this was badly written. It was like something out of my freshman creative writing class (if we were allowed to try to write sex scenes). Apparently Cecilia Tan is a pretty prolific writer in the erotica genre but I want to know who the hell is managing to get off on her clunky descriptions. It was like she learned how to write a sex scene by reading Harlequin romances from the eighties rather than any actual life experience. And writers, for the love of all that is holy, if you're trying Oh man, this was badly written. It was like something out of my freshman creative writing class (if we were allowed to try to write sex scenes). Apparently Cecilia Tan is a pretty prolific writer in the erotica genre but I want to know who the hell is managing to get off on her clunky descriptions. It was like she learned how to write a sex scene by reading Harlequin romances from the eighties rather than any actual life experience. And writers, for the love of all that is holy, if you're trying to make your story graphically erotic, read some work by Karina Halle or Sabrina Paige. Those ladies know how to get down and dirty with the written word. Sometimes I feel like I should be on the pill before I read their books. Also, enough with the fan fiction posing as something that should be published. Keep it in the forums where expectations are lower and it's free. Just because you *can* publish something doesn't mean you should.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Martina

    Thank you for this copy, NetGalley! "The Siren and the Sword" è il primo romanzo della serie erotico-supernaturale Magic University, con protagonista Kyle, un diciottenne che ha appena scoperto di essere un mago. Ambientata ad Harvard, nel cui campus si trova anche l'università magica di Veritas, lui dovrà seguire le lezioni mentre risolve misteri e indaga sul misterioso significato di uno dei più antichi e misteriosi poemi magici. In due parole, è HP col sesso. Davvero. Ci sono quattro case, ispirat Thank you for this copy, NetGalley! "The Siren and the Sword" è il primo romanzo della serie erotico-supernaturale Magic University, con protagonista Kyle, un diciottenne che ha appena scoperto di essere un mago. Ambientata ad Harvard, nel cui campus si trova anche l'università magica di Veritas, lui dovrà seguire le lezioni mentre risolve misteri e indaga sul misterioso significato di uno dei più antichi e misteriosi poemi magici. In due parole, è HP col sesso. Davvero. Ci sono quattro case, ispirate però alle carte dei tarocchi, in cui si viene scelti, un ragazzo orfano che scopre di essere un mago, una gara di scope, un misterioso poema che potrebbe essere una profezia (che riguarda il protagonista), un altro ragazzo che è l'ossessione del protagonista)... Il che non andrebbe male, se effettivamente ci fosse un po' di lavoro dietro l'opera. Va bene copiare dalla maestra, ma metterci effettivamente qualcosa, invece di lasciare tutto piuttosto nebuloso. Non ci sono descrizioni dei luoghi (il che è assurdo, essendo ambientato ad Harvard), i personaggi si assomigliano tutti e in generale è tutto molto lasciato al caso. Kyle crede subito di essere un mago dopo che gliel'hanno detto, senza aver mai avuto segni di magia prima. Si costruisce un amuleto per far dire la verità alla sirena che infesta la biblioteca e semplicemente gira sperando di incontrarla. Dopo aver incontrato una ragazza il primo giorno ci fa quasi sesso (perché la verginità è importante per alcuni riti esoterici e non si perde solo per un attimo di piacere), quando, per sua stessa ammissione, non è mai stato un granché. Gli amici sono interscambiabili tra loro e lo accolgono subito averlo visto. Così. Manco fosse Mean Girls. Le scene di sesso mi hanno lasciata davvero indifferente, sembrava essere lì a caso. Sono contenta che ci sia altro oltre la penetrazione, ma i due avevano lo stesso feeling di me che bacio una finestra. E tutta l'insistenza della ragazza di Kyle sul fatto che incontrerà il suo vero amore in un ballo in maschera mi ha veramente scocciato. Insomma, lettura veloce ma assolutamente mediocre.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lia Covington

    Lia's Bookish Obsession http://liasbookishobsession.com http://liasbookishobsession.com/the-s... The Siren and The Sword, is the first book of the Book One of Magic University written by Cecilia Tan. Reading the description I believed this novel would be a magical new adult, fantasy that has elements of the LGBTQ within it. What I did not expect that Cecilia Tan would be a noted erotic romance author. I appreciate the fact that  Riverdale Avenue Books gave the opportunity  to read this novel in Lia's Bookish Obsession http://liasbookishobsession.com http://liasbookishobsession.com/the-s... The Siren and The Sword, is the first book of the Book One of Magic University written by Cecilia Tan. Reading the description I believed this novel would be a magical new adult, fantasy that has elements of the LGBTQ within it. What I did not expect that Cecilia Tan would be a noted erotic romance author. I appreciate the fact that  Riverdale Avenue Books gave the opportunity  to read this novel in exchange of an honest review. The way this book was presented it made itself seem that it was going to be a fantasy novel that had romance within it, including LGBTQ romantic elements.I also felt that it was going to have a large amount of character depth, plot twist as well as memorable characters because it was compared to the Harry Potter series.  If nothing else isn' the  Harry Potter serious quite memorable? Aren't each of us trying to figure out which house we belong to? I felt that if this book did not mention  Harry Potter as a references I would have been more open to reading this book without the judgement of comparison. The Siren and The Sword is not like  Harry Potter,  especially seeing that Harry Potter books did not start with a oral sex scene in the prologue, mind you it was amazingly detailed but was not good enough for me to keep reading after a while longer. I was expecting a lot more for the paranormal sexual Harry Potter erotic novel. Even though the novel is license as a new adult, it's more of an erotic novel written by an erotic author. Unfortunately the novel lacks any type of story, there is an extremely lack of character development, character design, plot twist, as well as left be craving for more beyond the intimate scenes. This novel just didn't please me the way I wanted it to. Happy Reading you guys ~LiaThis review was originally posted on Lia's Bookish Obsession

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elfflame

    I've wanted to read this book for years, but because I've been such a poor reader for so long, it took me a while to finally buy it and read it. In fact, it was only when the new edition went on sale that I got myself a copy. I wish I'd read it much sooner, and I'm very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series. And I can promise that now that I'm reading regularly again, I won't wait another five years or so before I buy it. I'm a big fan of fantasy in general, and Tan definite I've wanted to read this book for years, but because I've been such a poor reader for so long, it took me a while to finally buy it and read it. In fact, it was only when the new edition went on sale that I got myself a copy. I wish I'd read it much sooner, and I'm very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series. And I can promise that now that I'm reading regularly again, I won't wait another five years or so before I buy it. I'm a big fan of fantasy in general, and Tan definitely does an excellent job of pulling you in and keeping you interested. Kyle's journey to figure out who he is in a world of magic that he didn't even know existed draws you along. The details are excellent, and you can tell she knows the Harvard campus and environs very well. You can also tell that she is not only fond of Tarot, but knows how to use them well, as the way Kyle learns them feels real and not cliched at all. As a huge tarot fan, I will say that bit especially pulled me in. I look forward to reading more about the cards in the next book, as I'm sure she has plenty up her sleeves regarding them. Tan is a huge Harry Potter fan, and says so in her author's note at the end. If you can see JK Rowling's influence in many of her choices in this world, but she also makes it her own, showing us things she is obviously well-versed in and loves. Her characters do not feel take-offs of the Harry Potter characters in the least, nor does Veritas feel like Hogwarts-gone-college. Her cast of characters are intriguing. Kyle, the affable main character and hero-to-be is sweet and interesting. Alex, his best friend, who seems a lazeabout, but actually gets Kyle through the initial phase of suddenly becoming a college magical student and helps him understand all the new things around him. Jess, his girlfriend, whom I hope to see more of in the next installment, who teaches him a great deal about magic, sex, and sex magic. And no, I'm not going into the others here, but suffice to say, she's got a great cast here, each of which feel like they have their own stories, and all of which I look forward to learning more about as the series continues. Definitely recommended for Urban Fantasy fans, Harry Potter fans, and even Percy Jackson fans. It does have sexual situations, though, so if that's not for you, be warned. Overall, I loved it, and can't wait to read the next.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michelle (In Libris Veritas)

    So what do you get when you make Harry Potter more 'adult'? You get this book. It's perfect for those in Potter withdrawals but desire a little more...passion... from the characters. It has all the elements you need from the boarding school, to the teenage angst, to the oh-so-sensual art of magic. All packed into 200 pages. The world that Tan creates has very obvious parallels to Potter, and she even openly admits to finding her inspiration in Rowling's world. Though the characters are certainly So what do you get when you make Harry Potter more 'adult'? You get this book. It's perfect for those in Potter withdrawals but desire a little more...passion... from the characters. It has all the elements you need from the boarding school, to the teenage angst, to the oh-so-sensual art of magic. All packed into 200 pages. The world that Tan creates has very obvious parallels to Potter, and she even openly admits to finding her inspiration in Rowling's world. Though the characters are certainly more adult. Meet Kyle Wadsworth, the sweet and mature new college student. He's a very cute character and very believable in the way he adapts to all the challenges he faces, serious and playful alike. Now add in a little Jess Torralva and shake things up a bit. She's sweet, charming, beautiful, and everything Kyle desires. You end up with a relationship that's believable and sweet, with a bit of naughty side. The school is one that can easily be imagined and the classes are fairly realistic in their magical nature. Of course there is the matter of the siren seducing and taking the lives of young men in the library, which added a nice little twist to the story that I wasn't expecting. Besides the obvious and (dare I say) blatant similarities to Hogwarts and Harry, it is extremely thought out. You have poetry, prophecy, sensual magic, and a murder mystery...how can you pass that up? The sex scenes are not over-bearing or extremely vulgar but they are certainly there and hard to miss. It wastes no time at all really, I mean who needs to wait when you can have a bit of fun starting on page 2? I'm not kidding...it happens that fast, but it isn't rushed or cringe worthy. It makes sense. It's a pretty fast paced book but unfortunately it is only 200 pages...and thus will leave you wishing there were more. I suppose it's a good thing there are two more in the series.

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