It can be argued that mages in a contemporary setting has been done to death, but there's something about Shawna Reppert's Ravensblood that drew me in. The story has a sort of Harry Potteresque feel, but imagines a world where magic has been normalised – and what the possible impact it would have on society.
And if there wasn't a bit of Severus Snape in Corwyn Ravenscroft then I'll eat my magic mouse.
This the first in a series, so I'm glad to see there are more books to follow up, as I've grown rather attached to both Cass and Corwyn. The story thus far is quite simple – Cass lost her taste for dark magic and returned to serving the light – and more specifically the Guardians – a sort of special force to protect society, but she still has a huge stigma attached to her due to her association with the notorious Corwyn – or Raven as she calls him. Cass's partner, Zack, is an Aussie with attitude, but he's a man of honour who stands by Cass when others are quick to judge her.
Corwyn is the right-hand man of the dark mage William, who hides behind his magical wards while biding his time to bring about a new age that sees him as the great overlord.
Look, I'm not going to spoil what happens, but there's a lovely redemption arc narrative here, with the whiff of a not-quite love triangle. I like the fact that the dark and light mages are portrayed as human – not just convenient caricatures. Not all the good guys are squeaky clean and some of the bad guys are pretty decent people too – just that their outlooks on life set them at polar opposites. And I reckon that's probably what kept me reading.
While Reppert doesn't cover any fresh ground in terms of tropes, she tells a good story with heart, and motivated me to purchase book 2 in this series the moment I was done. Consider me invested and looking forward to what happens next.