When I first heard that Rebecca Ethington was continuing the Imdalind series, I freaked. Like I legit was incoherent, trying to tell my friends all about it. Imdalind is one of my all-time favorite series. I love Joclyn and Ryland and Ilyan and Wyn and Thom and all of them! The characters and their world feel so real to me, like when someone says they are just fictional I get a little stabby 😂 But I digress, you aren’t here for my fangirling, you are here to learn more about this incredible new book. Read on for my review, an excerpt and some fun facts from the author. Also don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom for an Amazon Giftcard.
Series: Imdalind Academy #1
Published by Imdalind Press on 2019-07-08
Length: 218 pages
Reviewing Kindle from Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2019 New Release Challenge
Running a revolution is easy when you have a little bit of illegal magic on your side.’ -Gemma
The only way you can receive magic is by running the masochistic Gauntlet that the royal family started seventy years ago as a way to control power. One bite from a Vily and you are filled with what many call ‘the power of the gods’ and sent to Imdalind Academy for training.
No bite, no magic, no Academy, and no place in society besides with the Drains that live in the old tunnels that dot what once was Europe.
Unless you are me, who after one bite from a loose Vily is left with a diseased fragment of magic like the Chosen magic carriers of my world. I may not be as strong as the bastards that lord over us, but that isn’t going to stop me from raising more than a little hell.
This year I am running the Gauntlet, and enrolling myself in their damn academy. There is no better way to take down the evil overlords of our world than from the inside.
Those royal bastards won’t know what hit them.
Now, if I can just get the king’s son Rowan out of my way…
Imdalind Academy is a stand alone spin-off to the Internationally Best Selling Imdalind Series.
Three series + Two Ultimate book boyfriends = The Best Magical Binge.
The Gauntlet by Rebecca Ethington is the first in a new spin-off series called Imdalind Academy which features Ilyan and Joclyn’s son Rowan. I’ll admit I was hesitant when I started reading, no matter how excited I was for it. Joclyn and Ilyan are my #relationshipgoals couple. How would they look as parents? Well, needless to say my hesitation was unwarranted. They are the same characters they were in Imdalind, just a little wiser 😉 No the surprise came in how much I love Rowan and Gemma. They are not at all what I expected, but exactly what this series needs. Set over 200 years after the events of the original series, it is interesting to see the aftermath and its far reaching effects on humanity.
Rowan is the third son of Joclyn and Ilyan. At 19, he is starting Imdalind Academy much to his dismay. Imdalind Academy is his parents’ attempt to teach those with magic to use it properly and avoid bloodshed. Rowan reminds me a lot of Joclyn when her magic was beginning to awaken. He’s bitter and in denial, trying to hide his powers from his family and failing miserably. When a girl he keeps seeing in his visions shows up at the Gauntlet (more on that in a minute), he can’t hide anymore. Too many lives are at stake.
Gemma is an undermortal with illegal magic on her side. What is an undermortal? It is humans who have gone underground in the aftermath of the war and magic being revealed. They live in old subway tunnels and sewers, scrounging for their food and just trying to survive day to day. Gemma however is a turning point for them. Bitten by an infected Vily that was missed during the cleanup after the war, she uses her magic to help her fellow undermortals. She’s a rebel at heart, but in truth she just wants everyone on an even playing field. I like Gemma, she’s spunky and fierce with a hint of danger thrown in. She doesn’t care who she has to hurt, so long as her people no longer have to live underground in fear for their lives. Her plans involve entering the Gauntlet only to get close to the Eternals and maybe take them down from the inside, but she underestimates the power the Eternals hold.
The Gauntlet is a game initially designed by Ilyan and Joclyn to control who would get magic. It was a way for them to determine who was worthy and hopefully weed out those that would abuse their new powers. However those that are Chosen are now the bad guys. They are constantly looking for more power. Their children are called Goldens, as they are the ones that are most likely to make it through the Gauntlet. The Drains, a slur used for undermortals, are those that have never had power and are least likely to win….until this year. The 70th anniversary of the Gauntlet is being held and the Eternals have changed the rules. More people will be allowed to win and enter Imdalind Academy after receiving their magic. This is the start of a Civil War between the Drains and Chosen, and a rebellion is rising against the Eternals. Their hope: Rowan. But how does Gemma play into all this? That’s the million dollar question.
Overall I loved The Gauntlet! I read it in almost one sitting (I had to go to sleep, my eyelids didn’t give me a choice). I can’t wait to learn more about the academy, Rowan and Gemma, and the sight that has Rowan running away from his magic. I enjoyed every word of this book! I loved seeing old characters come back and how they interacted with this new generation Ethington has created. I can’t wait for Rogue Royalty! Thankfully it’s only a few weeks away from release. If you enjoy urban fantasy, dystopia, and romance (because I believe that is coming), I highly recommend you grab a copy. While it can be read as a standalone from the Imdalind series, I do think it would enhance your reading pleasure to read that series first 😉
“All the glitters were never gold,” I drawled, my words slung together as the ache in my jaw grew.
“Yes, so you’ve said.” The same voice from before spoke with a bored drawl, his words slurred, but I had a feeling that was more from my brain having been electrocuted. Or the exhaustion from exploding a whole cave.
Shaking, I lifted my head, narrowing my eyes at the guy in the middle of the room. He stood like he thought himself to be much cooler than he really was; his arms were folded over a leather jacket, dreads pulled back into a weird low braid, blue eyes narrowed right at me.
“Thomas.” The word dripped with more than my blood. “The king’s brother.”
“Yes, and what is your name?”
“I would rather die nameless, taking you down in the name of my people.” I had meant it as a threat, but my words were still slurred. He smiled at me, one guffaw of a laugh shaking his shoulders.
“I’m sure you would.” He pulled a chair around to face me, the metal grinding against the old tile floor with a sound that mixed painfully with the high-pitched shrieking that was still rattling my ears.
“And why are you the one guarding me? Was there no one stronger?” I asked, spitting another glob of blood, my mouth still filling with the bitter stuff. I narrowly missed his shoes that time and he shifted them beneath his chair.
“Strength is not an issue. I’m the only one who wouldn’t lose my cool and kill you on sight.” He didn’t even smile. I had a feeling that he was serious.
I am one of the weird ones that writes to music. Music inspires and motivates me to create vivid worlds.
For this series I have a playlist on Spotify that I am constantly cultivating and building into something that reflects the series and the story.
You can check out my playlist here:
- The Imdalind Academy books take place 200 years after the original Imdalind series.
- While the spin-off series features some of the original cast of Imdalind, the plot and main cast is all new. No prior Ilyan or Ryland fan-girling necessary.