Secret Witch (The Primordial Queen, #1) By Letty Frame

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Death always has a way of bringing secrets to light. But when the only person who knows the truth is gone, how do you figure out what was real? It’s a shame the dead can’t talk.

Elzora Miller is a human. Wait, that’s not true. It turns out she’s actually a witch. When her grandma dies, a binding spell placed on her as a babe breaks, and the truth comes to light. With no time to adjust, Zoe’s moved to Mitagus, the realm where witches live and enrolled into the Whisperfelt Institution of Magicae.

Zoe’s convinced her new life is a hallucination—a side effect of her anxiety disorder—and it doesn’t help that her magicae is unpredictable and out of her control. Her new life is dangerous, and it’s imperative that Zoe figures out what type of witch she is and that she learns how to harness her magicae before she gets hurt.

Luckily, men from her past are there to help with the transition, and they’re more than willing to protect Zoe whilst she learns to defend herself. But when they’re keeping secrets too, how will she ever know what’s real and who she can trust?

Secret Witch is the 110k first instalment in the Primordial Queen series. This series is a reverse harem, and there’s a guaranteed HEA at the end of the series. This is a slow-burn RH, and members of the harem are added as the book develops. Please be advised that there are triggers in regards to mental health, specifically anxiety disorders. Secret Witch (The Primordial Queen, #1)

Elzora’s life changes forever the day her grandma dies. With the return of her childhood friends, and finding out her life has been one big secret, Elzora can’t wrap her mind around everything.

This story is sweet, quirky, and just plan fantastic. I love the story and the characters. I can’t wait for book 2. Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy Holy smokes, I LOVED this book, and I almost never say this about any book. I finished it and immediately wanted to read it again, it was that good!

One of the things that makes me love a book is the characters. If I love the characters (and if they don't do anything daft or annoying) then I most likely will give the book at least four stars.

Well, in this book we have Elzora (Zoe). I liked her because despite struggling with anxiety attacks and having seen many psychiatrists and therapists who have been unable to help, she has kept trying and doing her best to keep going anyway. I loved how her magic is possessive and protective of her mates, and will lash out and hurt people who make her mates uncomfortable or unhappy. At the same time, this makes Zoe horrified because she's a gentle soul who doesn't want to hurt anyone! Finding out she has magical powers doesn't change who she is. I think I identified with her because, although she's shy, she speaks up when she feels that she needs to. She'll voice her opinion firmly and politely, not letting people walk all over her.

Then we have the men. We still don't know why they left her seven years ago when their magic developed or evolved at the age of 13. They say it wasn't their choice to leave her, but she hasn't asked and they haven't explained it.

Still, you can see that they're utterly devoted to her, and that's what I like. Eirik, the leader of the group and crown prince of the realm, Ryes, Mael, Zohar, and Ciar. Then along comes one or two others. I thought the author did a great job of differentiating the men here. I think Ciar is my favourite because he trusts her to handle the truth and doesn't pussyfoot around it. He showed her his true self from the beginning. Ryes also is more straight-talking and was the first to explain to Zoe that they are soulmates. The two of them respect Zoe's wishes and protect her right to have her voice heard and to have a say in the decisions made about her. That's what I want in a hero!

There's no sword crossing here; the guys live in the same accommodations but they're like brothers. Actually there's no sex in the book at all, because Zoe has her hands full discovering her magic and trying to figure out what type of witch she is. Plus, she has just met these guys again after not seeing them for seven years. But I think it's coming in future books. However, you can tell that the guys are all totally focused on her and they aren't at all interested in each other sexually. So if you're looking for MM, this book won't be for you.

I just loved the descriptions of magic and how it works. It was very well done. The author gets five stars from me for the world-building and the fact that there were no info dumps. I loved seeing Zoe discover her magic and struggle to control it. I loved how the guys helped her with this and how her magic sometimes gets the better of her because it is intuitive and driven by her emotions. The mix of humour, seriousness and intrigue/danger in the story was very well-balanced, and the development of Zoe's relationship with the guys also felt satisfactory -- not too fast and not too slow. Since she knew them when they were children, it seems natural that she'd be drawn to them and feel nostalgic about them. At the same time, she has to get to know them for who they are now, as adults, which is another reason why there hasn't been any sex yet. And since they know that she's their mate, it makes sense that they'd be protective.

There are some mysteries apart from the mystery of Zoe's past: why does Ryes have to bide his time to kill his father -- what are they waiting for? And why does Eirik continue to trust his father so much when it's clear that his father is power-hungry and has no integrity? Who is the person Zoe is accidentally telepathically connecting with? Why is Jasper (potentially another of Zoe's mates) so bitter about women and female witches? I'm looking forward to seeing how the situation develops with Jasper and who Zoe will fully bond with next. Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy This was a bit difficult to rate. I'm between 3-4 stars. I think the story is unique and loved that it's a slow burn RH. Not quite sure yet on what her final harem size will be, but her Hs so far, they have been amazing to Elzora. I think this series has the potential to be really solid if Elzora evolves not only into her powers, but as an individual as well. Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy 3-3,5 stars ish

When i first started to read this i got deja vu that i already had read something similar, and i was right i read the few first chapters from this book in princess and the alpha holes i liked what i read there so i was excited to start it. Okay so we have the heroin Elzora aka Ellie that is very i guess introverted, shy and kind as fuck(like if someone hurt her and the ones that hurt her got hurt, she will help them. that´s how kind she is). I had very mixed feelings about everyone, the heroin was getting on my nerves sometimes at how forgiving she was, i mean i wanted her to be this kind soul but lashing back just a little. She kind of reminded me of Sang in the ghost bird series. Both very quite, smart thinking souls. I don´t get tho how she just accepted that they where back after 7 years??? When they had just disappeared from her in the past. Was it cuz of the grieve of her being completely alone?? I also where kind of irritated at the guys, i mean i loved the fact how possessiv and caring they where with her. But they where pointing out a lot in the beginning how she needed to toughen up, bruh she aint that weak bro. It´s hard to pick a favorite cuz that changes thru the book.
So it was slow burn, i felt the story pace where not moving that fast. But you get instead more bonding within their group, getting to know everyones powers especially Elzora´s. I love that she is the most powerful of them all.
I still don´t know enough about Jasper more than he is also an asshole like the rest of them, lol. Necos is an unknown still, i don´t really know where to put him, i guess i will see that in the next book.
what i am really curious about is that man Valeo, who is he? what does he really want? And the thing is that he is mentioned as being a shadow man, Ciar was commanding him. Is that the same Valeo tho who is shadow walking or something Elzoras dreams and the one she is talking too in his head? Okay i feel like i missed something i might have to do a reread.
Gimme the next book!! Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy 3.5 stars rounded up

I really enjoyed the snippet of this in the anthology, so i was excited to pick it up and read the full book! I really liked the concept and the characters.

Innocent and naive fmcs are not always my favorite, but Elzora was cute. I enjoyed reading about her and the changes to her world. There are a few times I wished she would stand up more, but i think we’re working up to that.

I really liked her initial 5 mates from childhood. I loved that there were no other women for them while they’d been apart, because so many authors choose to make the guys mess around even while knowing they have a mate. I loved these guys, I do wish we got a little bit more of their childhood and time away from her though. I also wish that we had gotten to have more time establishing these mates before adding new ones.

The new mates introduced we don’t totally know yet (except for Etrix), but seem solid.

The world building for their realm needed a little bit more, I think. I didn’t understand how it really worked, how different it was to actual Earth. The time frames confused me at times, so a bit more growth to that would’ve been great too.

I am interested in the revolution and what’s to come from that, and how everything will be handled moving forward.

Can’t wait for book 2! Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy

Secret

Twitchy

Zoe/Ellie is lost. Her only family, her grandmother, just passed away. She's 20, but still feels like an orphan. But when grandmother passed, something else happened. Weird things. And then her childhood friends came back into her life with fantastical stories and are currently dragging her off to some mysterious academy to learn to control these weird things. Her anxiety meds are not rated for this nonsense.

Spoilers ahead.
Ok so I waffled several times about putting this down. It constantly contradicts itself, the inner monologues come off as bad B villains with obsessive crushes, and Ellie/Zoe has a hard time speaking up for herself. Not things that usually bring me happiness in my reading material. Yet, once I got in far enough, other mysteries were dangled that kept me going. I don't think anyone is actually protected by hiding information and lying to them. Telling a small child that their parents hated them and abandoned them? Unnecessarily cruel. And the contradictions just kept piling up.
*Don't leave her alone. They let her wander off.
*Keep her secret? They have her continue to work with powerful witches who are very curious. It would have been better to call her a light witch and show her how to imitate that.
*They constantly gush about her and say they will protect each other so it doesn't hurt her. And then the very next thought is them wanting to kill or maim their so called friends.
*They profess to not prey on those weaker but none of them really shows that. Poor Blaze is constantly being attacked by Ciar who knows he's weak and can't fight back.

We don't see a lot of her classes. We don't see her practice a great deal. We don't see them together a whole lot, not as a whole group. And most of the interactions are fades so we know they're napping, eating, whatever, but we don't actually see them being together and bonding. She hasn't seen them for 7 years and doesn't ask them a lot of what happened in those years. She knows they're important people but doesn't ask about that, either. There's this entire new world she is going to be a part of and she barely asks anything. I enjoyed the wolf series, Death Is Easy. This one was ok. The intrigue is what kept me going more than the characters. The rotating POV helped some but doesn't give us a feel for everyone. And stabby isn't exactly a defining personality characteristic lol. I can't tell you what any of them look like except for Z's fro, either. The concept is interesting. And, I can handle the academy setting because it's more like college not high school. No teen angst, no mean girl drama, none of that. But if love to see this fleshed out more. Some world details, some character details, a better understanding of each witch's abilities and uses, the government she's learning about but we know nothing about, ... Etrix was entranced by a box of cereal. What's their food like? They hadn't had pizza in 7 years until they visited earth again. It's hints but barely tiny tastes of this world we're being introduced to. Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy DNF at 15% when the boys were showing the FMC Elzora around the magical academy.

I had apparently forgotten that I had already decided not to read this book after a sneak peek in the anthology The Princess & Her Alphaholes. I borrowed the book anyways to maybe try reading it a bit further and... nope, I still was unable to finish it.

I didn't like how the relationships with the boys were just assumed, and it was difficult keeping them straight when they were all brought in at once. I found most of the personalities pretty abrasive, and I didn't really even like Elzora as a character either. We were introduced to the magical world like Elzora was - in huge information dumps. This made for very boring reading, and between that and the characters, I didn't care enough to continue. Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy Loved this world the harem and the FMC. I literally laughed out loud reading some parts. FMC is everything to the harem.

“They’re sweethearts, even the ones that break necks.”

“Zohar’s hands are just as bloody as ours—well, Ciar, Mael and I fight for first place—but unlike the rest of us, he only kills when absolutely necessary. Boring fuck.”

“You told me my magicae made you feel safe and I want you to know, that it will always keep you safe. No matter what you need, whether that’s someone to complain to about the other idiots in your life, or someone killed for being mean, I want you to know I’m there for you. There’s no limits to what I’d do for you—you only ever need to ask.”

“We can’t all be nice. And I’m more than willing to be the one breaking necks if it means she doesn’t need to.”


Negative:
No sex but there is sexual chemistry

I didn’t always connect with the writing style but this is one of my favorite RH books

Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy Why did you read this book?
It was a reverse harem (my favorite genre) with good ratings.

What format did you read this book in?
Read it as an ebook on Kindle.

Is this an educational book or a book for entertainment?
I read this book for pure entertainment purposes.

What genres do you think this book belongs to?
Fantasy, Paranormal, Psychology, Romance

What was your favorite part in the book?
My favorite part is when they are discussing pineapples on a pizza. I think pineapples are great on a pizza and I'm glad some of the characters agreed with me.

Who would you suggest this book to?
Anyone who likes Academy reverse harems with a slow burn.

What is your general opinion/ rating of this book?
I really wanted to like this book because I enjoyed the magic system and the world. However, the story seemed to flow too quickly and choppy at certain points. It was also hard to tell some of the love interests apart. I liked the fact that there are so many love interests, however I think the author tried to cram too much into one book. I would have liked a bit more of a romantic buildup between each one of the characters than what we got. I like that the main character Elzora deals with anxiety issues Because I am a sucker for characters that have flaws. There are some common tropes mixed in with this book but that is common in Academy romances. Overall, it's not a bad reverse harem romance but I don't think I will continue this series.

Are there any cliché scenes or concepts?
Main character is born special because of her bloodline and has a unique ability no one else has. The main character is destined to be royalty. Each individual love interest represents one element. main character and love interest are brought together by magic as faded mate. Love interests are popular, powerful, and scary.

How intense are the intimacy scenes?
There is some light foreplay, but that’s as far as it goes.

At what “burn” level is the romance?
Slow burn.

Love interests, how many of them are there and what gender?
There are eight love interests, all of their males, and witches.
Mael- Fire witch
Eirik- Prince and Elemental witch.
Clar- Shadow witch.
Zohar- Water witch.
Ryes – Air witch.
Etrix- Light witch.
Jasper- Earth witch (and an A******. I hate him.)
Necos- Time witch.

Any trigger warnings?
Racial and Religious: Microaggressions, Prejudice
Mental Health: Trivializing Mental Illness, Romanticized Mental Illness, PTSD, Emotional Abuse, Controlling Parents, Panic Attacks, Trauma, Child Abandonment, Nightmares about Traumatic Events
Sexual Content: Explicit Scene, Masturbation,
Violence and Death: Death, Death of a Loved One, Graphic Deaths, Murder, Execution, Burning People, Extreme Violence, Escalating Violence, Described Blood, Graphic Violence
Other: Slut Shaming, Female Oppression, Bullying, Profanity



Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy 3.5 Rounded to 4. This one was hard to pin down

So... I did like this... but it also really frustrated me at times. I'm so back and forth about the entire thing. Short version: I liked it and will read book 2 when it comes out.

Long version (may contain minor spoilers so I will hide it just in case):
Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy