Where the Magic Lies

Perils of Portia Saga #1

Young Adult - Romance
245 Pages
Reviewed on 08/25/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Seventeen-year-old Hermione Lee is an award-winning and #1 Amazon bestselling author best known for the Otherworld Trilogy. The first installment, titled In the Name of the Otherworld, was released by World Castle Publishing when she was sixteen, and has garnered the Literary Titan Silver Award and placed first in the 2021 Critters Annual Readers Poll in two categories—Best Sci-fi and Fantasy Novel and Best YA Book. It also came in first in the 2021 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice Award. The sequel, Marvels of the Underworld, is also a recipient of the Literary Titan Silver Award. The first novel in her Woodlanders Tetralogy, The First Buds of Spring, debuted at #1 on Amazon’s New Releases in late June, and is a recipient of the Literary Titan Gold Award.

Hermione Lee was born and raised in Taiwan, where everyone and everything in her life stimulated her rich imagination and inspired her to write. Although she prefers writing stories in her grandma’s quaint, cozy home, she writes anytime and anywhere. To her, words are portals that whisk her to whimsical worlds of magic. When Hermione isn’t writing, she indulges herself in epic tales of fantasy, horror, and adventure; but mostly, dwelling in her reverie. She considers herself an eclectic eccentric and an eccentric eclectic. Her works span multiple genres—fantasy, horror, young adult, middle-grade, and romance, and she aspires to write a book of every genre one day. It is also her dream to be a wealthy recluse when she grows old.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite

Where the Magic Lies: Perils of Portia Saga #1 by Hermione Lee commences as Amethyst and her mother bring home a log. They are shocked to be confronted by fairies who accuse them of stealing treasure. The penalty is death, but Amethyst bravely offers herself to save her mother’s life. The fairies agree on the condition she moves to the kingdom of Portia and marries Prince Angus. At first, Amethyst is homesick and attempts to run away. Then she and Angus fall in love. This section of the story included descriptions of Amethyst’s princess wardrobe and created a literary fashion parade! But even as Amethyst is settling down, someone is trying to murder her! The mystery has to be solved, and the villains overcome in an explosive confrontation before Prince Angus can propose to her.

Where the Magic Lies by Hermione Lee was charmingly written and well-targeted for the young adult audience. I enjoyed the refreshing innocence of the main character and felt I was privileged to share the emotions of first love. The plot included magic, suspense, and drama, beautifully narrated in the heroine’s fresh young voice. The fairy-tale scenario provided a sophisticated exploration of coming of age and independence issues as Amethyst missed her mother and faced challenges in her new environment. The story evoked a sense of empathy for the character of Prince Angus who underwent a coming-of-age process of his own. This is the perfect girl's book, specially written for the entertainment of young adults, and as a mature lady, I also found it incredibly appealing.