- Laura Thalassa


Come to me, Empress …

At age twenty, Selene Bowers desperately hopes to be accepted into Henbane Coven, an academy for young witches. Since one of the requirements for entry is to connect with her powers via a quest through the wilderness, Selene books a trip to South America. When a nefarious supernatural force tries to drag her plane from the sky, Selene’s magic awakens to save her life―at a cost. Using her powers devours her memories, one by one.

Worse, when Selene braves the jungle and discovers the source of the attack, she finds herself awakening an ancient evil, Memnon the Cursed, who mistakes Selene for his long-dead wife. The wife who betrayed him. Selene manages to escape and begin her studies at Henbane, but when Memnon turns up at the coven and witches are found dead across campus, Selene becomes entangled in a dangerous plot. Accused of the murders on the basis of her memory loss, Selene must rely on Memnon’s help for answers―and his plans for her will change everything.



I am trapped.
I have been for a very, very long time. My body and mind are bound by spells both suffocating and comforting. I cannot escape them, no matter how hard I try.
And how I have tried.


* Thanks to NetGalley and Bloom Books for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. *
enjoyable/easy to read:
I don’t think I’ve ever read a fantasy romance where the soul mate is… the villain? We’ve all seen the bait and switch – the false mate who turns out to have been cursed or lied to or just in misleading circumstances – too many times to count in almost every iteration, from fae to vampiric and from adult to YA. But this version – this trapped centuries-old king with a grudge against a twenty-year-old witch with a leaky memory – was very interesting.

Bewitched did seem a little confused about whether it was low fantasy or fantasy romance, so both aspects felt a little shallow. I would have loved this world to have been developed further. I wanted to get to know the coven better, learn more about Sybil and their relationship, and get more information about the different species of magical beings and how they interacted. Unfortunately, a lot of the relationships were left very undefined, like parents who have taken off on an extended European vacation, leaving their daughter behind with no financial support, and prey to many unfortunate scenarios. Also, it’s pretty hard to develop a romance, or at least a believable one, if your love interests are actively plotting against each other.

Honestly, I may have whiplash from the number of times that Selene went from ‘Memnon is probably a murderer and I can’t trust him, and I don’t want to trust him and trusting him would be a bad idea’ to ‘well I had a sex dream about Memnon so he must not be that bad and my magic likes his magic so I obviously trust him’. I get that it was the only way to force the ‘romance’ side of things, but I would’ve rather sacrificed the romance and focused on the danger, rivalry, and thriller aspects.

I’m very keen to get my hands on the second book in this series, mostly to see if we can start to flesh out this world a little more and introduce some complexity into what started as a promising but relatively simple premise.


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