When seventeen-year-old Addie Auctor’s mother is murdered by her father, she must confront many secrets that her family has hidden from her. The worst of these secrets is that Addie’s father, Donovan Hawthorne, is still hunting Addie because of an ancient blood feud between her mother’s family, the Auctors, and her father’s family, the House of Hawthorne. In order to be protected from the House of Hawthorne, Addie and her brother, Augustus, are sent to Initiation at an exclusive University, the Wicked Cabal.
Initiation is nothing like Addie expects. She is immediately separated from Augustus and thrown in with four complete strangers – Fallon, Maddox, Liam, and Tempe. Addie must try to forge friendships with her fellow Initiates while they solve clues, battle mystical creatures, and explore increasingly dangerous places.
Readers of all ages will love this adventure filled with suspense, treachery, and romance.
“We’re sorcerers,” Augustus said, the words spilling out of him as though of their own volition.
No one moved.
And then I started laughing.
“Never presume that anything is what it seems,” the elf said.
The synopsis for this book looked so intriguing that when the T. R. Wolf emailed asking me to read it for review, I jumped at the chance. I know I don’t currently have my Review Request page up… my TBR, bookworms. It’s literally 3 stacks of physical books plus an uncountable number of ebooks and preorders plus some beta reading I’m working on. It’ll be back eventually but at the moment I’m buried under the mountain of it.
Speaking of a mountain (and getting back on topic), the majority of this story takes place on an unnamed, forested mountain. The world of it is described relatively well, but I’m originally from an area made of wooded mountains so I’m not sure if that influenced my grasp of the world of The Auctor Trilogy. The places within the mountain world are given adequate detail for me to vaguely imagine them, allowing my brain to fill in the rest.
The characters in the book are all pretty unique and interesting. The descriptions of them are a bit info-dumpy at the beginning, but there are details scattered through the story about them as well. Every character had their own motivations and voice that helped move the story along in an entertaining way.
There is really only one thing I can honestly say I dislike about this book. Maddox Interpres goes out of his way to be a complete jerk to Addie for the first half or so of the story. This isn’t what bothers me. Sometimes people are just jerks. What bothers me about it is that it’s written off as a boys will be boys and he’s just being a raging jerkhole because he has a crush on you. I understand this is how some people think, but I dislike that it’s dismissed this way in a novel obviously written for teens.
The story itself was pretty interesting, even though around 60% it became clear we were not seeing the school in this book, but a detailed account of the grueling Initiation required to enter it. This is absolutely fine because I think the Initiation made for a great story by itself.
Throughout the book, I couldn’t help feeling like it had a bit of a Hunger Games vibe while still being unique to itself. Each group of Initiates is given survival supplies and 3 weeks to complete the challenges set forth for them, but there’s a catch: everyone in the group finishes, or everyone fails the Initiation. Not a big deal right? But if they fail the Initiation, they can’t attend the University. That means they’ll never be able to see their families again and they’ll never be able to perform magic again. For Addie, that also means she’ll probably end up dead before she turns 20, so the stakes are pretty high. I actually really liked the “everyone has to complete” bit because it meant the team building was extra lovely.
While The Auctor Trilogy wasn’t quite what I was expecting when I started reading it, I really enjoyed reading it and had trouble putting it down. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book, The Wicked Cabal, which is due to be released in April! I will say that while The Auctor Trilogy is obviously written with a Young Adult audience in mind, some parts have a bit more gore-ish detail than might be necessary so keep that in mind if you have a weak stomach.
Overall, I rate The Auctor Trilogy 3 out of 5 bookworms.
Don’t just take my word for it. Order a copy of The Auctor Trilogy and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:
For more information about T. R. Wolf and her work, visit her Goodreads page.
I received a digital copy of The Auctor Trilogy from the author in exchange for this honest review.
Have you read The Auctor Trilogy? What books might you recommend for someone who enjoyed it?