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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Of Wolves and Witches by Elena Lawson is the first book in the Arcane Arts Academy series. When Harper chases a thief trying to steal from her adoptive parents’ booth, her anger gets the better of her and she causes a display of magic that catches the wrong sort of attention. This gets her sent to the Arcane Arts Academy where the elite and wealthy witches attend. The school is not what she expected: she meets her exuberantly bubbly roommate, discovers the truth about her parents, develops a bond with the handsome history teacher, and ends up bonding with two Shifters as her familiars who aren’t too thrilled about the idea.
Harper’s life has consisted of living in hiding with her adoptive parents as they travel and sell potions until in an instant everything changes and she’s living a completely different life as a student. Change is in store for Harper as she goes from a quiet life of seclusion and harmony to a daily routine of classes and people constantly watching over her shoulder. She finds two instant connections upon arrival. The primary relationships focused upon are her friendships with her roommate Bianca and the handsome teacher Elias. Bianca is this upbeat spirit that gives a little light to her life and gives her someone that allows her to be at ease. The relationship with Elias moves at a slower pace with the two having an instant connection and immediate complications but he becomes someone she can trust and someone that looks out for her.
The two mysterious Shifters provide a delightful contrast between the familiar bond, giving them an allure that draws Harper to them, and the friction the Shifters have with the witches. The allure between them works on both sides as the two Shifters feel drawn to her but are also still loyal to their pack which proves to be a possible threat to her. This world is vibrant with magic, chaos, and secrets with the primary focus being on the witches and the academy, though the Shifters have their part to play and vampires are referenced. Elena Lawson weaves a delightful story in Of Wolves and Witches with sinister secrets, a magical school, romance, friendship, and change.