4 out of 4 stars
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Eighteen-year-old Kinza has her life planned out and is eagerly starting her first year working on her bachelor's degree in Human Services at National Louis. Helping less fortunate people was her goal in life. When Kinza was eight years old, her parents were murdered, and the murderer was never found. Kinza is a selfless girl who helps her grandmother by working part-time for a cleaning service. After being followed home by a hooded figure, she has a recurring nightmare of being chased by warriors covered in red paint. She wakes up to a man reaching for her, a bright white light, and her home explodes. Her grandmother tells her she needs to run because they are after her. She is captured by Zaid, who is from a parallel existence known as Rhapta, and he tells her that she has to stand trial for her crimes. What crimes has Kinza committed? Where exactly is Rhapta? Will Zaid hurt her? How did Kinza's grandmother know they were after her?
Cryptic Magic by Lily Skyy is the first book in The Hidden Prophecy series. Lily Skyy has done an amazing job developing the characters with descriptions like "pimply-nosed cashier." I could visualize the inhabitants of Lake Michigan and the parallel universe of Rhapta. I could imagine the portals and blood sacrifices. One lesson I pulled from this book is that people are not impressed with influential people; they are impressed with money, status, and reputation. The plot flowed smoothly between the past and present scenes. Although unusual terms are described in the book's narrative, Ms. Skyy included a Glossary of Terms at the end of the book to aid readers if they get confused.
There was nothing I disliked about this book. This book is neatly polished, well written, and has been edited by a professional editor. I only found a couple of errors in this book.
Due to the positive aspects outlined above, I gladly give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I have no reason to give this book fewer stars because it is almost flawless. The cliffhanger ending makes me want to read more, and I eagerly await the next book in the series to see how things unfold. If I write more about the ending, I will give away a spoiler and ruin the book for other readers.
I recommend this book to young adults and readers who enjoy fantasy and science fiction that involve prophecies, blood magic, and supernatural beings. If borderline profanity triggers you, you may want to avoid this book.
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