Review: Magic Dark, Magic Divine by A.J. Locke

Posted September 27, 2023 by Lola in Fantasy, Review / 3 Comments

Review graphic

Magic Dark, Magic DivineMagic Dark, Magic Divine (Warrior of the Divine Sword #1)
by A.J. Locke
narrated by Bianca Drew

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

Falling asleep for almost 300 years was never part of Pennrae’s plan.

Of course, when you’re a mercenary with magical abilities and defy a spellbinding prophecy…bad stuff happens.

Now, magic is long gone from the world. So Penn works as a karate instructor, trying very hard to dodge her hot, flirty, and super annoying colleague, Callan. All is well until a Jigori – a nightmarish magic-eating monster – shows up at a New York City street fair, forcing Penn to use her Shaper magic, which allows her to transform wood and metal into deadly weapons.

Now, the Jigori’s master has her scent, and their eye on stealing her 300 years of life. If they succeed, Penn succumbs to centuries of sleep again, and magic will be unleashed on a completely unprepared world.

And to add to her ridiculously complicated life, something isn’t quite right with Callan. Which she could figure out if it weren’t for that evil, apocalyptic plot she’s trying to stop. But Penn may not have a choice – Callan could be the secret weapon she needs to save the world…

My Review

I received a free copy from Tantor Audio and voluntarily reviewed it.

Magic Dark, Magic Divine is one of the best urban fantasy books I’ve read in a while. I really enjoyed this book and listening to it was an awesome experience. From the first chapter it swept me up in the story and kept me captivated as I wanted to find out what would happen next. The plot was very well done and I really liked how things were foreshadowed and fell in place. I was able to predict a few twists and also was surprised by some even though realizing afterwards how much it made sense.

I liked Penn and seeing how she handled everything. She starts the book off trying to keep the secret of her magic and that she’s from 300 years in the past a secret from even her best friends. Then strange things start happening, magic users show up and lose control of their powers and the nightmarish Jigori who eats magic. Penn has a lot to deal with in this book and I liked seeing how she dealt with it. I though her reactions and emotions felt very real, the way she shows her emotions and struggles with what’s happening, how she tries to deepen her relationship with those close to her and the way she deal with everything going on. I really felt for her at times as she has to go through some tough stuff. She is a tough warrior, but also has a soft side and really cares for the people around her. While the book has a save the world type of plot, I also liked how it was personal for Penn and it made sense who she got involved.

The side characters are great too and I liked how they play a role in the story as well. I was a bit conflicted about the romance set-up, but I liked how Penn quickly realizes she was wrong about Callan when she gets to know him better and they grow closer. I liked seeing how their romance developed.

The world building was so well done and unique. I liked how the book sticks with 4 different magic classes and then there is dark magic as well. I liked learning about the magic era and also how that past is part of the world today. It made the world feel fresh and unique. I enjoyed learning more about how the different types of magic work and how magic users used their magic. There were also some interesting magic creatures.

I really enjoyed listening to this one. The narrator fit the book well and I really liked how she did everyone’s voices. She had quite the variety of voices for the characters and that made every character come even more alive.

To summarize: I really enjoyed this book! This is one of the best urban fantasy books I’ve read in a while and I liked the unique take on magic. The plot was great with enough foreshadowing that later twists and reveals made sense. I liked Penn as great main character and I enjoyed reading about her and seeing how she handled everything. The side characters are great too and I liked the romance. The world building really stood out to me, it felt fresh and unique and I liked how the world had 4 different types of magic and how the magic era left it’s impact in the modern day world. The narrator fit the book well and she had quite the variety of voices for the different characters. I really enjoyed listening to this book.

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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