Fifteen-year-old high school sophomore Alexia Wick is an ordinary girl, with extraordinary abilities. She attends the prestigious South Haven Academy for the Gifted and Talented, but unknown to the other students, she is an Alerium witch. Alexia has the power to conjure up wind, fire, and water. Although magic can be beautiful and spellbinding, it can also be deadly. The daughter of a High Priest and Priestess, Alexia must learn to navigate the pressures of high school, all while preparing for one of the biggest competitions of her life- the Annual Trials. Skill, stamina, and loyalty will all be tested in Rise, the first installment of the Trifecta Series. In this debut YA contemporary fantasy novel, magic gets real as Alexia trains for the Annual Trials, which pits teen against teen, by focusing on her craft and pushing her magic and spell casting abilities to their absolute limit. When the handsome and confident Kaleb moves into town, he offers Alexia a welcome distraction from the Trials, but a dark secret could soon tear them apart. In the trials arena friendships will be tested, fears will be faced head-on, and powerful spells will be unleashed. When Alexia is confronted with the ultimate game of chance, and is torn between her ﬁrst real love and the allegiance that binds her to her coven, will she buckle under the weight of the pressure ... or will she rise to the challenge?
Apprentice Witch, Alexia, has enough to worry about while training for the Witch Trials—the rite of passage to become a member of the coven—without the mysteries surrounding the secret room in their house, her sister and prior best friend, and the connection she feels to the new boy in town. And when everything comes to a head, Alexia will find herself making a life or death choice.
It is so refreshing to read a young adult novel where the main character has to struggle alongside everyone else. It is clear there is something special about Alexia, but at the same time she does not automatically excel at each and every thing. This makes for a three-dimensional protagonist. The strength of the relationships Alexia has with her siblings, parents, coven, and friends reinforces the feeling of a true Witch Coven. Alexia’s maturity, her ‘true-teen reactions’, and honesty make her an enjoyable read.
A paranormal world with a difference. Nothing is black and white—within each paranormal sect we meet there are good and bad characters, and the result is an emotionally-complex story. The cultural aspects of the Witch covens come across natural and my suspense of belief was absolute. The magic system was unique with great spell names, and the depth of development this author had gone to while exploring the witch trials is to be commended. The brief glimpses of witch history add depth to the novel without dragging the pace down.
I put this book down once—only because I had to. It is fast-paced and very well edited. We are thrown directly into action during the prologue, and this adds an element of suspense to the entire story as we wait for the ball to drop.
This novel has everything for the YA paranormal fantasy fan; love, friendship, family, magic, complexity, unpredictability, action, and emotional depth.
“My magic sings deep within me, pulsing through my veins, beckoning me to cast a spell at will, and then my breath evens out. We will make it out of this.”