Title: Miss Mabel’s School For Girls
The Network Series, Book One
Author: Katie Cross
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.
Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.
Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is an interesting and quite entertaining read about witches, magic, and good vs evil. In a world where humans no longer exist, the new world is populated by witches, which live in networks (Central Network, Northern Network and so on). A High Priestess and High Priest rule over all networks and holding power can be deadly.
We follow the story through the eyes of a sixteen year old girl named Bianca whose grandmother was cursed with an inheritance curse when she was seventeen years old by the head teacher at Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, none other than Miss Mabel. According to the curse the third generation will die at the same age the first generation was cursed. Sixteen year old Bianca is third generation and come summer she’s bound to die if she doesn’t get Miss Mabel’s granddaughter…Miss Mabel to remove the curse.
Bianca sets out to enroll at Miss Mabel’s School for Girls in hopes of getting Miss Mabel to remove the curse. In order for her to even get to speak to the head teacher she has to enroll in a competition to become her assistant. But what Bianca doesn’t know is that Miss Mabel is more evil than she ever thought.
Bianca’s father taught her everything she would need to protect herself or need to use against Miss Mabel, but that only plays into Miss Mabel’s plans for her. She knew Bianca was coming and she knows what Bianca is capable of even before Bianca herself realizes it.
Miss Mable has plans to take over as High Priestess and she’s going to use Bianca to achieve it. She puts her through extensive studies to complete her circulus. A tattoo type mark that each witch has on their wrist. With Bianca’s complete with advanced defensive magic, hexes and curses, and finally the Esbat she’s ready for combat. But before she can take on the task her power has to be magnified. Miss Mable refuses to remove the curse which results in Bianca’s grandmother dying. Worse yet she kills Bianca’s mother. The hatred in Bianca makes her more power and that’s exactly what Miss Mabel wants. The final piece of the puzzle is put into place when Miss Mabel forces Bianca to sign a binding contract for an unknown task. The High Priestess has ordered Bianca to sign it, because she believes that it involves Miss Mabel tricking Bianca into killing her so she can take over herself. And if she does a great war is coming to the central network.
Overall, the characters are well developed and each hold a different personality. No two characters are alike. The world building was good as it described the school and networks. I will say that I was comparing it to Harry Potter unintentionally. The school and the competition just reminded me of it as well as the binding contract being confused for an unbreakable vow…you don’t break an breakable vow or else you die. However, they are two separate stories even though the overall plot could be considered the same.
The book ends without knowing what is truly going to happen to Bianca or Miss Mabel. Bianca is leaving the school to live within The High Priestess living quarters and after Miss Mabel killed Bianca’s mother she disappeared. We set out looking forward to Bianca getting her curse removed but she has more than that to get rid of now. The real action resided in Book Two.