I thought this would be one of the hardest categories for me to meet for bingo- but this series was first published in November 2019, so New series it is.
I picked this up on the recommendation of Epbot- and am very glad i did.
It is about Kuro, a young boy living on the fringes of magical society in Canada. He primarily lives in a magic city that connects with different real world places. He serves a dark magician who has fallen on very hard times- so he spends much of his time stealing from wizards at his master’s behest.
Early in the book his master is arrested and he has to survive on the streets. Then, he is picked up as a result of action he takes to help someone who was kind to him and he ends up being sent to the magic school.
Yes – there is another story about an orphan boy wizard who goes to magic school, this is refreshing to read and is different.
At school he struggles – after all, he did not have much integration into normality in the magic world. His past presents issues and he gains a mixed group of friends.
The second book focuses on his second year at school, as well as the summer he spends at the orphanage he is sent to. One of the big things in this world is the familiar that every wizard has. Second year is the year that students learn to call/make their familiar and there is a lot of importance placed on it by the students.
I am not talking too much about book two, because i think part of the charm is the different ways that the world is worked out.
I really enjoyed these two books, and recommend strongly. The biggest issue is that the series is still being written, so i have to be patient about the next book. They are self pubbed, and available in e book and hard copy. The author also seems to be doing an audio book via podcast.
Why did i like them? The world building is excellent – linking known stories and fairytales and binding assorted ideas together. This is quite important for these sorts of stories and there are many ways of doing this. Kuro is not a great wizard, hw has some skills, largely as a result of his childhood and some major issues. His circle of friends is varied and allows for different strengths. I appreciated that there is diversity in the students, although some of that is because Kuro is in the house that accepts all of the students who are not part of the great fairy courts. There is indication of the indigenous magics of Canada- if primarily by absence- I do wonder if this will come in later. At one point Kuro has an interaction with Coyote that provides some insight into Kuro’s magic skills.
There are some underlying storylines that I would expect to see grow over the course of the series, but the arc of each book is smaller than those. There are also moments of prejudice and unfairness in the books – and i appreciate that they are not always resolved in a unrealistic way, but that people learn from them and demonstrate that learning- i am trying not to tell big chunks of the book here.
I have a soft spot for magic school stories, and these definitely fit there.