An Inheritance of Magic

Cover of "An Inheritance of Magic" by Benedict Jacka
Benedict Jacka
Dec 11, 2023

Hello and welcome to NoWaitWednesday, where we take a peek at a great book that's on the shelves at one of our local Library branches just waiting for a patron to come along and check it out. Why be number 342 in line for the newest celebrity-endorsed bestseller when there's all sorts of great new books available, on the shelf, right now?

This week's pick is An Inheritance of Magic by Benedict Jacka. This first in a promising new fantasy series is set in modern-day London where magic is real, however it's tightly controlled and available only to a lucky and powerful few, as wielding magic in this world is an expensive proposition, affordable only to elite families and mega corporations. Regular people are all but shut out of the process. However, there are some folks who can practice magic who exist on the margins. Take Stephen Oakwood, for example. He's a poor orphan from East London who lacks formal magic education, however he does have a few advantages up his sleeve: he does have a rudimentary ability to use magic at lower levels, taught to him by his missing father, and he also has a mysterious link to one of the larger magical families in London, a connection left from his mother. That, and his cat, Hobbes, who is definitely more than he seems.

When his fledgling ability attracts the attention of some powerful enemies, Stephen (and Hobbes) must spring into action, using what little resource he has into gaining education and some insight into this very exclusive world that he finds himself in the middle of. Combining a coming-of-age story with magical training featuring a plucky orphan who uses a bit of luck to scrape by, Jacka has laid the foundations for an altogether enjoyable urban fantasy series that readers should love. Jacka's writing style, by the way, straddles the line between mainstream and YA, so this series would be ideal for those who are looking for a fun, inventive, fast-moving crossover book set in a world filled with the wealthy and corrupt that's just itching for a character to come along and start the dominoes falling.

Place a hold and give this title a shot, especially if you like V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic series or Naomi Novik's Scholomance novels.

Reviewed by Gregg W.
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