Book Reviews

The Other Side of Magic by Ester Manzini | Book Review

Genre: YA, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
Publication: Parliament House Press
Book Type: Standalone
My Rating: 2.5/5
Trigger Warning: War, Slavery, Death


A revolution is brewing.

Everyone within the realms of Epidalio and Zafiria is born with magic. However, it is also true that for every spell each and every magic-user casts, their innate abilities begin to slowly wane until their power is feeble and depleted.

True, that is, for almost everyone.

Princess Gaiane Asares of Zafiria is the result of a nearly perfect genetic union. Harnessing royal and magical lineage in her conception, the princess was born infinitely powerful and with no limits upon her magic. Sequestered in a lonesome tower as her strength is used against her will to conquer the land of Epidalio, she must find a way to fight against her captors.

Elsewhere within the realms, Leo—a commoner—was born with no magic at all. Except for her brain, wits, and her own anger, she must confront the circumstances thrown at her without the magical gifts that so many take for granted.

Princess Gaiane: Princess of Zafiria
Leo: A Commoner with no magic

On the Plot:

An unique concept of the book with lot of action and a super monotonous plot. It had a different take on the magic but it was too simple and nothing felt out of the box, there is no suspense and the book lacked thrill on every level.

Writing & Theme

There were 4 plot-lines described in every chapter which was a bit tedious to keep track of. Multiple POVs are brilliant until the characters involved are limited. But here, there were way too many characters involved here. Certain characters were introduced just for the sake of it who had no role to play in the plot. This also made each chapters huge which was one thing I did not like.
The only thing I liked about the writing was that there was enthusiasm among the characters in the first half of the story – where the world building was done, but it felt flat towards the end.


The characters were unique from the other warlock or witch-y novels I have read. However, they were not written very well. I enjoyed the things in the beginning where characters were a bit rebellious, and had motive, as the story proceeded they became childlike, monotonous and angst-y! The transition was supposed to be the other way round!


Good approach to the book in the beginning but annoying characters and super lengthy chapters
Read if you: connect with the synopsis/ summary/ blurb.

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