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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Mordizan by Alyssa Roat is the second book in the Wraithwood trilogy. Brinnie hasn't seen Wraithwood or her Uncle Merlin in over a year. She's been living by her mother's rules of not using magic or playing with the shadows (though she breaks them constantly) as part of a plan to lead a normal life. That normalcy is quickly upended when Brinnie meets the new girl at school who's a little too nosy when it comes to her secrets. Making matters worse, Mordred has kidnapped her sister and brother-in-law as part of a plan to lure her out of hiding, which leads her to devise a plan to get her family back. Going undercover at Mordizan, she trains alongside other dark wizards in an attempt to free her family, uncover the prophecy that could help her destroy Mordred, and makes a shocking ally in the Master of Mordizan's son. Together they weave a dangerous plan.
The story is set a year after events of the first book in which Brinnie discovered her mother had been keeping secrets about her former magical life and that she had inherited abilities. The last year has been about learning to control her power so as to keep it a secret, which creates a conflict with her mother who fully embraces keeping that part of herself repressed. One attack later and her secret is outed while another secret is also revealed that changes everything she knew about herself. While the first book served as an introduction, this book digs deeper into Brinnie's family dynamics and into her familial history, which supplies more to her journey as she's finding who she is as a wizard. The disappearance of her sister creates a catalyst for her decision to go undercover with the dark wizards. The story dives deeper into the wizardry world as Brinnie gets an up-close look at the dynamics within the Mordizan and uncovers unexpected humanity through her friendship with Lana and her partnership with Marcus. Alyssa Roat adds layers to the archetypal villains and puts Brinnie at a crossroads between the light and dark, which is a significant part of her journey. The humorous and lighthearted tone is present throughout, reflecting the tone of the first book, while Roat weaves an emotional journey of coming-of-age that pushes Brinnie to dig deeper into her own power. Mordizan continues to weave an original perspective on Arthurian mythology and creates a new world for these stories (and characters) to come to life.