Books, SPFBO

Ruthless Magic: SPFBO Finalist

Title: Ruthless Magic
Author: Megan Crewe
Blurb: In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die… or kill.
Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages’ Exam.
Disadvantaged by her parents’ low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.
Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.
Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?
The first in a new series by USA Today bestselling author Megan Crewe, Ruthless Magic combines the magic of Harry Potter with the ferocity of The Hunger Games alongside a poignant romance. Fans of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, look no further for your next urban fantasy fix.

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed this.

I’m honestly not sure what I expected from Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe. I didn’t really know a lot about it, going in it. All I knew is that, while I loved the cover, I didn’t have super high expectations (why? That’s completely beyond me, honestly, especially since I had no bloody idea what the book was about) going into it, but I was still hopeful for a quality story.

And Crewe delivered.

This reminded me so much of The Hunger Games or even The Maze Runner (which, admittedly, I haven’t read, but I did watch the film), and it was a refreshing change from the usual epic fantasy that I tend to read. We follow Finn and Rocío, both who have magically abilities, but are at risk of losing them and have to go through an “exam” and pass to become Champion, or else they lose their magic as the price. Or die.


I loved both Finn and Rocío. I loved Rocío spirit and how desperately she wanted to prove herself and honor her brother’s memory, yet how important it was to her, as well, to keep her own identity and not be molded into someone else. She was prolly my favorite character, hands down. Finn was great, too. I love how soft he was and how he saw an injustice and decided to risk it all to fight it.

As far as criticisms go, I don’t think I ever got a full grasp of what exactly the magic they wielded was and the rules governing it. Particularly at the beginning, I was a bit confused on what limitations they had and the role magic played in the grander scale of society and the world, and I don’t think that was ever fully cleared up for me, once I reached the end. I also thought the ending felt a tad bit rushed and wanted it fleshed out a little bit more.

But, I still really enjoyed this book. The pacing was great (aside from the end), the voice pulled me in, in particular, and I thought the writing was solid. The story was interesting, the characters I cared about and overall, I just really enjoyed reading this book. It was a fun, easy read. I’ll definitely be checking out the sequel, and most likely other works by Crewe, as well!

Read on!

11 thoughts on “Ruthless Magic: SPFBO Finalist”

  1. I do love this cover! I’m surprised to see a successfully published author in this contest though! I thought it was for unpublished authors.

    1. I love this cover, as well! It’s for any self-published authors. I don’t do the vetting of that (especially since I was added late), so I just assumed she was self-published!

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