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Summary

Hero. Traitor. It all depends on which side you’re watching from. 

When the vicious ruling mages launched a war against their heirs, they tore the magical community in two — and I walked out on my family to stand with their enemies. You could say I was championing compassion over tyranny, but really it was pure self-preservation. 

Two years after our victory, I’m tutoring a way-too-charming heir who’s totally off limits, dodging my parents’ vengeful spells, and trying to figure out where I’ll land after graduation. My once-prestigious ancestry isn’t doing me any favors. Most of my peers look at me with more suspicion than warmth. 

Then a mysterious, brooding man arrives on campus with news of a conspiracy that could destroy our newfound peace. To unravel it, I’ll have to reconnect with the dark side of our community. Disavow my few friends. Woo the mages who idolize my family. 

If I fail, they’ll probably kill me. 

By now, I know there are worse things than death. And this might be my one chance to prove I’m more than a traitor — to my allies and myself. 

But with the charming heir and the mysterious brooder along for the ride — two bad ideas I can barely resist — and a horror from my past rising from the ashes, I’m in way over my head. Will I win the day? Ha. The real question is, how much am I going to lose? 

Crooked Magic is the first in a new urban fantasy trilogy set in the Villain Academy world. Enter here for magical conspiracies, an outcast heroine, and a fraught romance where she'll get to keep both her suitors.

©2020 Eva Chase (P)2021 Eva Chase

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You will need book 2!

This Spin off series sucks you in just as well as the original!! There is action, mystery, horror, your favorite characters from the original series and a cliffhanger that leaves you needing book 2!

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful new series

This wonderful book is a clever spin off from the Royals of Villain Academy series, I love that there are a few mentions of the previous leading characters. It is great to see a different side Cressida and how she develops through the trials she finds herself facing. As ever with Eva Chase there is a brilliantly unexpected cliff hanger of an ending leaving you wanting more. The narration really compliments the book and brings the characters to life beautifully.

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I want more

I want more of this story. I can’t wait to listen to the next installments to see what is coming.
I really liked the focus on Cressida and how she is doing her best to protect Rory and her guys from the danger lurking.
I really enjoyed that her story with Noah started sexy and is filled with sexy times but I couldn’t help wanting for a little more. I wanted to see her more conflicted before trying it out with Emeric. And in terms of character diversity and characterization, I wanted to see more. I mean Emeric is totally new in both aspects and I like it a lot. I hope to see more characters like him.

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Magic

We return to Blood U to catch up with Cressida: the mean girl turned good a couple of years after the end of ROVA. This does make sense as a stand alone if you haven't read the series but the cameos by previous characters wouldn't be quite so satisfying and obviously you won't have all of the details of what happened up until this point.

Cressida's task is to appear to want to get back in her family's good graces in order to provide intelligence to the existing pentacle after helping them during a previous battle. As with most of Eva's stories there is a fabulous balance between action and evolution of characters driving the story forward, its sprinkled well with humour (cauliflower, anyone?) and the world building forms a wonderful backdrop. I look forward to hearing more of the series

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A story full of magic

I really loved this new spin off read. The story of self awareness and growth is amazing. Well written and leaves you wanting more! Narration was very well done, You meet Cressenda in another series. I can't wait to learn more because this ends in a cliffhanger. What will happen to Cressenda Who betrayed her. Can’t wait for book 2

Jamie Lamchick performance was fantastic . First time I heard her but she did the characters great

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Really enjoyed this first book

From not liking this character to routing for her has been well done. The book was over so quick as I was totally engrossed in the story.

looking forward to book 2

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  • M. Fritz
  • 11-01-21

Wonderfully Entertaining

What a cliffhanger!! Eva Chase has left us dangling over the edge again without a safety net! I'm feeling all the feels.

My heart absolutely goes out to Cressida! She wasn't ever a favorite from Royals of Villain Academy because she always seemed reluctant and shady. We really get to see just what her motivations are and where her heart rests. Her past is so much more vial then I ever could have imagined. She's a victim that now is claiming her choices and forging her own path. She's brilliantly breathtaking as she thinks through options and acts right on the spot.

The guys in this are as different as night and day. I can't wait to see where this series will take us.

If you liked Royals of Villain Academy and just need more of that world, you will love this! It's like seeing friends again and getting a glimpse of Rory and her fellow barons is quite the treat. One-click this beauty today!

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  • LeMiliere
  • 05-06-22

Cressida's Dilemma

I'll start my review by admitting that I haven't read or listened to The Royals of Villain Academy Series which this series follows but that in no way stopped me from enjoying this book. Although now I am eager to listen to the previous series.

From what I've gleaned while listening to this book Cressida has a strong character and believe me she's needed it to cope with her life prior to joining the student body at Blook U. I don't know how big a part she had in the earlier series but in this book, we get to see where her loyalties lie and what drives her. She refuses to be a victim anymore and is determined to forge a place for herself now amongst the new Barons. So when she is asked by them to undertake a dangerous mission says yes, her contact, the person she is to report to is Noah, a Scion and younger brother of Declan one of the New Barons.

Her mission is to convince some of the nobles loyal to the old Barons that she wants to come back to the fold, to gain information which can prove their duplicity and pass it back to Noah. The person who thought up the plan is Emeric, he's a bit of a mystery, why has he changed sides after fighting for the old Barons and can he be trusted?

Both the guys in this are as different as night and day, but I can't help liking Noah and being a bit suspicious of Emeric. I can't wait to see where this series goes. In order to prove herself, Cressida is forced to suffer humiliation, face someone who caused her pain in her childhood, someone who has made it hard for her to allow herself to return Noah's obvious affections. Will her sacrifice be worth it?

The book ends on a cliffhanger!! Eva Chase has left us dangling and wondering what on earth is going to happen next?

The narration of this book by Jaime Lamchick is expertly done, she brought the characters to life and made it possible for me to close my eyes and journey along with Cressida as she faced everything.

I was given this audiobook as a gift and am voluntarily writing my review

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  • Timi Kraft
  • 07-04-22

So good

Loving this spin-off. Getting glimpses of the original characters is fun but living in the new characters world is amazing. You get see everything that's happened from a different POV. Also I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers. And now I need the next book!!

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  • S. Cole
  • 23-06-21

Crooked Magic

Wow! If you loved the Royal Villains Academy then you are going to love this! This book jumped right into the RVA world where the Rory's story left off. I love getting a glimpse at old familiar characters. I am really enjoying how fast paced this book is. Gets pretty steamy from the get go. Can't wait for book two! Jamie Lamchick did a great job narrating.

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  • Amber Smith
  • 15-06-21

Loved This

I was so excited to go back to the Royals of Villains Academy world. I love that series so much. It was so fun to get to read Cressida’s story. The steam between her and Noah was just fire! The fluffy at the end of this one man! I need the next one right now. Thank you to the author for a review copy of the audio for this one in exchange for an honest review!

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  • L.j.
  • 30-05-21

Spin-off from Villians of Royal Academy

I appreciate the fact that this narrator is different from the one narrating the original series which this series spins off from, since this is a different MC.

This series is a spin-off of Villians of Royal Academy. It is not truly necessary to read that series to follow along, Eva makes sure to give a small summary when it is relevant. But it’s small, which ensures that the reading pace doesn’t slow down by any means.
I am grateful I know everything that happened two years prior to this story, I much rather have the full story. It does give extra information that makes following this story a smoother experience. I don’t really know how “flat” this world would seem if I hadn’t read that series first.
But if you love guessing for a bit or have no need for the full history, you do get a summary of the necessary details so you can jump into this series straight away if you really want to.

My suggestion is that, if you’re considering whether or not to read or listen to the 8-book series prior to this story, you might as well first read those because this book will spoil a lot for you if you were to read that series after this one.

In this spin-off we follow a previous tormenter-turned-good-friend of Rory, the MC from VoRA. Cressida’s parents are one of the most prestigious families in Fearmancer society. And on opposite sides as the new barons. Those opposed to them call themselves the reapers.
After changing sides 2 years ago by leaving her parents behind for the heirs in the battle against their parents, Cressida has become a great friend to the new barons.
But the new barons still have enemies. The Reapers.
So after someone informs the new barons of a mysterious plan plotted against them, Cressida plays spy, with the ruse that she has seen the errors in her ways.


It is the same world, with the same intrigue and politics but a nice change of view. Never imagined I would want to follow Cressida but it has been insightful to see what’s going on in her mind. Struggling with the guilt of acting out of self-preservation instead of really wanting to take the heirs’ side in that epic conclusion, she still wants to prove her loyalty. I can’t help wondering whether it is guilt that drives her or low self-esteem. After all, how would we be if our parents kept on terrorizing us just to prepare us on being strong and holding our own in a world where loyalties mean nothing and everyone can, and most likely will be plotting against you... and everything can and will be used against you.
We get the lonely-as-hell but-clever enough to secondguess everything said and done around you side of Faermancer society vs. the warmth and genuineness of the current heir to the barony who’s her handler while she’s undercover.

So although it’s the same cruel world and the same politics, it’s a whole new story with more of a redemption feel instead of a “tumbled in this cruel world filled with injustice I won’t tolerate” and with love interests that aren’t bullies. Which is clever because we get more of this wolrd but the way we get to see it is different so it doesn’t get boring.
And oh my, that ending... I need book 2 now lol

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  • Sairaika
  • 26-03-21

A crooked read!

Hero...
Traitor...
It all depends on which side you’re watching from...

Oh my god. It is so thrilling to dive back into this world and such a wonderful start to this series. Entertaining and magical.

But that ending...cannot wait for more. Wonderful characters with a great story.

Full of magical conspiracies, an outcast heroine and romance.

Great and enjoyable narration.

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  • VaWineLover
  • 08-03-21

So happy to continue reading in this world of magi

This book continues the story of The Royals of Villain Academy series. While you don't have to have read that series to make sense of this one, you should because it is really good.

Cressida Warbury sided with Rory Bloodstone and the other scions against the Barons who were the leaders of the Fearmancers. Her parents had been on the other side of the conflict and she now found herself disowned. Now the former scions, and their relatives, were the new leaders and Rory has completed her time at Blood U and is ready to take her place as a full Baron. Cressida still has some time left and very few real friends still attending the University. Her TA position in Professor Burnbuck's Illusions class does not make the students trust her or seek out her help, except for Noah Ashgrave. Noah was Baron Declan Ashgrave's younger brother and he often asked her to tutor him, though she wasn't sure he wasn't just keeping an eye on her for the Barons. When she is called to meet with the new pentacle members she is nervous and wonders what she might have done wrong.

It seems a Fearmancer whose family sided with the former barons has shown up and reported that the opposition is still up to no good. They need a double agent to try and discover exactly what the other side is planning, and Cressida is the perfect person for the job. But will it be more than she can handle even with Noah's help?

Thrown into a world of intrigue and backstabbing, Cressida does her best to swim with the sharks. But does she really know who is on which side of the conflict? Well, you won't find out in this book. Yep, cliffhanger ending. Stay tuned. I was given an advanced copy of this book by the author. My review is voluntary.

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  • Cleocutie
  • 12-02-21

Great book

Great fantasy story. The characters are well done and the storyline keeps you interested. It works fine as a standalone, but if you have read One of the author's previous series You will recognize characters from it, which makes it even richer.

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  • Adriana B
  • 06-02-21

Cliffhanger Alert!

This amazing author has left us hanging in the edge of our seats again. I love her world building and character development. I really enjoyed Royals from Villain Academy. I enjoyed learning more about Cressida and her struggles. Narration was well done and brought the story to life. She develops into an amazing character with so much depth and becomes strong, independent, and fearless on her search for justice. I love Noah and can’t wait to see how things will grow between them. I totally understand her caution but he seems like an amazing guy. Looking forward to the next book in this outstanding spin off from Royals of Villain Academy.