February 06, 2015


Before the age of seventeen the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice -follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm's three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage...
For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead -the realm's most notorious war school for those with magic. 
Yet when she arrives Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every "first-year" is given a trial year to prove their worth -and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail -and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived. 
When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve -and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat... Still, nothing is ever as it seems -and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in -herself. Will it be enough?

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion through the read and review program on goodreads.com.

There is absolutely no way I can give this book the justice that it deserves in this review. First of all, I am very thankful that Rachel Carter decided to post in a group that I am in on goodreads, offering us a copy of her book to review. Second, I would like to thank Rachel for creating this beautiful piece of art. 

From that I'm sure you can tell that I loved this book. I am not the type of person to purchase a book after having read it because I would never read a book twice [with the exception of Harry Potter of course]. But this book, I need to own it. I need to have it on my shelf and I will 100% be reading it again. First year brought me back to my childhood when I would spend endless night pouring over Harry Potter and just devouring every word. I felt like a child again experiencing a world I just wanted to be apart of. This book has everything I love, magic, mages, amazing friendships, and most of all the setting. I am a sucker for everything that takes place in the time of kings and queens, castles, and horses as the only way to get from a to b. First year has made it to the top of my list of all time favourite books and I am extremely excited [and impatient] to start the next one in the series. 

Rachel's writing is beautiful, and made me excited to turn the page. I'm sure anyone would admit that you KNOW a book is going to be amazing when it opens up to an action scene in the first chapter. I was hooked right away. I have to admit I did squeal during the tad bit of romance that happens in this book. I won't give it away but it defiantly needed to happen, haha. I also really liked that Rachel didn't make her main character get everything she wanted like in most books where the main character is untouchable. Sometimes, it makes a book more interesting when the main character falls flat on their [beautiful] face. 

The determination of the characters in this book is also amazing, it made me stop and go "What am I doing I should be working my butt off in school like Ryiah!" Mind you, I still didn't put the book down, haha. By the way, I wish I could have been in the stands when they were doing the final exam for Alchemy! Come on technology, where is that machine to put me right into the fantasy worlds I just want to experience?

Down side? To be honest the only downside is that the second book isn't in my hands, and because I live in Canada -- the only way to get these books [physical copies that is] is through amazon, and shipping to Canada is ridiculous!

If you have not read, going to read or currently reading this book then I highly suggest you reevaluate your TBR piles! You need to put this book at the top, I promise you will not be disappointed!

5 out of 5 Stars!!!

"Don't look now," I said to Ella in a low voice, "but I'm pretty sure if looks could kill, you and I would be dead already."


"This is what all of you consider trying? You are pathetic excuses for mages. I've seen war horses with more spirit than you!" He is trying to kill us.


If I weren't struggling, if I weren't keeled over in agony, if my muscles weren't screaming at the end of a long day... then I wasn't trying hard enough.


"You can scream obscenities at me after" And then he kissed me.


Rachel E. Carter lives in Placerville, California with her fiancĂ© and their two spoiled pets: a feisty feline named Charlie, and Zoey, an Australian Shepherd who gets jealous of her own shadow. She loves to organize –and when she is not color-coding her closet she is always looking for the next good book. She grew up reading about magic, hot bad boys, and lady knights. The Black Mage, her debut series, is a tribute to all the things she never stopped loving. - goodreads.com

Don't miss out on First year by Rachel Carter being 99cents on Amazon [American] in the anticipation of the second book launching on Feb 17th 2015!

Amazon.com - Click Here
Amazon.ca - Click Here

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