Amelia, her friends and mentors are back! With new villains, who won’t stop at anything for power. Advanced Healing Spells is the third episode in the Ember Academy for Young Witches series, which brings it to the half-way point.
These books are definitely not standalones so don’t even try to understand what’s going on and who’s who if you haven’t read the first two books. But do read them if you enjoy YA fantasy. This whole series is full of adrenaline and plot twists, with great and diverse characters, some neurotypical, some not, from various humanoid species.
Now that the school is rid of the Amazons, the Slayers have come to investigate. Amelia tries to keep her head down but her status as an incredibly powerful witch makes her suspicious. What would it be if anyone knew Amelia is still in touch (in her sleep) with Maria Brown!
Amelia is still learning about the hidden parts of the world that opened to her when she entered Ember Academy and found out she’s a Witch, and the reader learns alongside her. And she’s far from knowing everything there is to know, either about herself or the world. In the first chapter, Amelia gets excellent advice from Maria, advice I wish I’d been given when I was her age, or even later: “You can’t succeed if you don’t understand your limits, Amelia. Pushing past them will only harm you in the long-run.” That’s fantastic advice, “especially if you’re neurodivergent”, as Maria prefaces it, referring to Amelia’s ADHD and herself being Litcord (on the autistic spectrum). The limits she’s alluding to in this case is Amelia’s struggle with Light magic and her obvious talent for Dark and elemental magic.
In the course of this instalment, Amelia will keep learning about herself, her powers, her aspirations but also about what really caring about someone means when that someone is in danger. And what being in love feels like.
I’m really enjoying this series, which reminds me a little of an all-girl Harry Potter on speed.