The Tower and the Tears by Cecilia Tan

This Magic University series is what I consider a guilty pleasure; no it isn’t high literature and yes it is very erotic (read: lots of sex). Unlike so many erotic titles out there, it isn’t raunchy or rude; it’s consensual, written and performed with respect. As well, Tan creates both a book-length arc as well as a series-long arc. So characters are allowed to grow and I applaud that Tan has managed that so well here. It might be easy to shrug this off as an adult Harry Potter fanfic but really, that is doing The Magic University series a disservice.


Plot: Kyle continues his esoteric studies while finding a new girlfriend in Ciara. His sophomore year might be a bit more than he expected, however, as the university reels from the theft of 3 very special magic artifacts. It begins to affect the teachers and the students as suspicions mount. But as Kyle’s powers strengthen, he begins to recognize that the prophecy in the school’s history might just be referring to him. But if so, who then is the partner of which it speaks?

As with the first book, there are many false trails that Kyle and his colleagues will follow. There are also enough hints dropped in this volume to guess exactly where the story will go from here. Kyle still has to deal with abandonment issues – only Alex has stayed by his side throughout and is still a calming influence/almost mentor more than friend. New teachers are introduced and each will influence Kyle in some way.

Tan definitely ups the erotic parts this book – it’s not going to be all vanilla from here on. But at the same time, I really respect the way it is written so it isn’t cringe worthy or lascivious. I never felt like I was reading soft porn and Tan is quite gentle and almost loving in the way she writes the sex scenes. That, for me, makes this a very palatable story. For once, I don’t have to (or want to) skip the raunchy sex scenes in a novel.

I will definitely continue to book 3. So while it definitely isn’t literature, it’s an enjoyable way for an adult to pass the afternoon. There’s an undeniable feel-good theme throughout.  Reviewed from an advanced reader copy provided by the publisher.

This entry was posted in ARC, Book Reviews, romance, urban fantasy. Bookmark the permalink.

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