The Otherworld is at war. The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts trains warriors. And Kelcie Murphy ― a foster child raised in the human world―is dying to attend.
A place at AUA means meeting Scáthach, the legendary trainer of Celtic heroes. It means learning to fight with a sword. It means harnessing her hidden powers and―most importantly―finding out who her parents are, and why they abandoned her in Boston Harbor eight years ago.
When Kelcie tests into the school, she learns that she’s a Saiga, one of the most ancient beings in the Otherworld. Secretive, shunned, and possessed of imposing elemental powers, the Saiga are also kin to the Otherworld’s most infamous traitor.
But Kelcie is a survivor, and she’ll do whatever it takes to find her parents and her place in their world. Even if that means making a few enemies.
Receiving an ARC of “Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts” and “Kelcie Murphy and the Hunt for the Heart of Danu” by Erika Lewis (thank you Megan Beatie Communications Starscape Books for this free copy) was a thrilling opportunity to embark on a magical journey filled with adventure, mystery, and unbreakable bonds . As an avid fan of the enchanting Harry Potter series , my excitement knew no bounds when I got the chance to delve into “Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts,” a fantasy book that promised to transport me to a captivating world of magic and wonder. I am pleased to say these books fulfilled my hopes.
The premise involves a young orphan girl named Kelcie Murphy living in the ordinary human/muggle world (Harry Potter reference). She eagerly wants to go to The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts which is a school for training warriors as The Otherworld is in danger. In no time, Kelcie finds herself admitted to the prestigious Academy for Unbreakable Arts, engaging in intense battles with her fellow classmates while simultaneously unraveling the secrets of her heritage and enigmatic past ✨! Through her tests at the school, she discovers she is a Saiga – an ancient being in the Otherworld, known for their reclusive nature and formidable elemental abilities, yet linked to the realm’s infamous traitor. Undeterred, Kelcie embraces her survivor spirit , determined to locate her long-lost parents and carve out her rightful place in their world, even if it means making formidable foes along the way.
Something I really liked about this book was how Kelcie Murphy was portrayed, she was a sassy, formidable, and relatable character. She is just like any other kid, not always knowing what to do. I admire how she isn’t written like an all-knowing persona, always making the right decisions, she actually has a personality and has genuine reactions to certain things. Erika wrote about Kelcie’s authentic experience finding out she had magic, she blew up school property , and things spiraled out of control, but that’s the beauty of it – learning as you go. Kelcie’s struggles with fitting in was something I truly enjoyed, it gave a little window into her original and realistic journey. Her whole adventure simply surrounds her identity, finding her parents – just finding out the truth about everything. This makes her a character that anyone can root for with or without her flaws. Another thing I loved about this book was the Celtic mythology component, as a lover of the Percy Jackson series I naturally tend to enjoy stories about mythology ♂️. This book is also swarming with diversity, one character especially that got a lot of acclaim was Niall. He is one of the secondary characters, and he is born without a hand, people around him give him a hard time by excluding him or thinking he isn’t going to be able to do something the majority can. Niall sent a great message to readers by showcasing that if you put your mind to something nothing can stop you. Talking about the characters, I absolutely loved every single one of them, they were all different with each having their own personality, their banter, and every interaction was interesting to read. They were all allies with Kelcie, supporting her through all her shortcomings. As Kelcie evolves and starts enjoying her new reality, she forges meaningful bonds with her peers, navigating the complexities of trust and friendship. Though not without challenges, this group’s journey toward becoming a united squad is heartwarming and joyous to witness as they gradually find their harmony and connection. My favourite part of the book was the joyous fantasy world. It has faeries , Wolfbane, sylphs, selkies, mythical creatures, magic, destruction, love, and everything in between! The Otherworld is filled with danger and supernatural beings, everything I love! Throughout the entire book, Kelcie’s thrilling escapades and heart-pounding adventures kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to read more and more, Her endearing camaraderie with the fianna was a bonus that made it utterly impossible not to love. With gasp-worthy plot twists and gripping fight scenes, this fantasy adventure speaks to readers who crave an electrifying and captivating journey.
“Because you are the heir.” – Erika Lewis, Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts
The presence of familiar tropes, plot twists, and backstories made it feel somewhat repetitive as other middle-grade fantasy-fiction books. But the book being very well-written, still makes it enjoyable for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson .
Overall, this book was great, with its captivating plot, endearing characters, show-stopping magic, and a world that anyone can fall in love with❣️. This book is great for readers of Percy Jackson, Keeper of The Lost Cities, and my own personal favourite, Harry Potter.