ARC REVIEW: The Bridge to Magic


I’m back again with another review. And I am so frustrated! (for a good reason)

Once again, this ARC (advanced reader copy) was kindly gifted to me by Netgalley. And don’t worry, ARC reviews will always be spoiler free so no need to run!

And this ladies and gentleman is exactly WHY I’m frustrated – the wow factor of this book for me…I can’t reveal!

For the entirety of the book, the narrator, setting, characters have you brainwashed to believe the same as them; at the very last moment, the pieces fall together and we all realise the fundamental truth about magic way too late! And it blew my mind how simple the answer was, and how we all overlooked that angle. The book illustrated really well how “cult” mentality that operates on discrimnation, fear and hatred is so dangerous.

I was super relieved to get to the end and find out that the second book has already been written! Hopefully, we shall find out how Elika survives and whether all is what it seems to be on the other side, and whether anyone holds any regrets.

Initial thoughts

“Magic and its guardians have been banished to the deadlands and the Blight threatens mankind’s survival. Terren, the last remaining city, stands alone against its relentless advance. Ever closer draws the choice they all must make: face the deadly Blight or cross the Bridge to Magic.”

If I’m being honest, I chose this book to allow myself to broaden my scope of genre. I don’t usually go for fantasy or novels written in a more “old” vibed tone.

However, the concept of the book seemed intriguing enough; I always love survival vs extinction kind of tropes.

Background of author & novel

Author: Alex Thornbury
Pages: 380
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Publisher: Shadow Lore Publishing
Publication Date: 21st February 2023


I think the cover is great; it brings about the atmosphere of desolation and has that misty vibe of magic lingering around.

However, the fonts and positioning of the text could be adjusted slightly so that it stands out more rather than blend into the background.

Having a browse through her insta, I think the aesthetics if this were to ever be a movie or have illustrative images to accompany the narration…it would be breathtaking!


A street urchin called Elika discovers that she harbours magic of the greatest strength within her, and has the ability to infect others too. The world as she knows it is on the path of destruction by the Blight. The Blight is thought to be caused by the existence of magic that is seen as evil and treacherous. As the Blight moves closer, cities surrender to death and survivors are left with the choice to perish or take the Bridge to Magic into the Deadlands where they may either be allowed to pass or be obliterated into dust.


Each character had a unique and complex dynamic with each other. Some had inner thoughts that others weren’t aware of, and others exposed their true nature to enemies and showed a duplicitous face to their kind.

Everyone had their secrets, their own motives, varying levels of attachment to wordly and humanly things. You could see substance developments with the level of risks and sacrificies that some characters made, and the betrayals they chose to make of their own accord.

Although some of the characters were supposed to be vessels of magic, the way they felt regret, jealously, bitterness allowed us to relate to them and feel sympathy. It was hard not to feel sorry or anguish at their treatment, despite being told magic is the evil; it had to be thwarted in order to save the world.


Overall, a lot of fascinating concepts have been introduced; however, not much depth has been given to them in the first book.

We observe and are narrated a lot but I feel we never truly see one concept in its fullest extent.


Great imagery throughout and at times, it’s like we’ve been shifted into the characters world. We are one with the character, and feel the sorrows they do.

Each character has their own distinct style of talking which keeps things interesting.


The first half of the book felt quite sluggish, and it was difficult to get into. I think this was due to a lack of action going on; it felt more descriptive. However, I read the second half of the book in one sitting. A lot was going on – we got exposed to various characters emotions, we could imagine the scenes and there was food for thought.

It would also be a bonus to give the reader a bit more of an insight into exactly how the magic system works and what it entails of. Although the entire plot revolves around the existence of magic, the readers see very little into it.

I’m very hopeful for the second book as I’m dying to know how things pan out…

AND that brings this review to an end. Let me know if you’ve been enticed enough to add this book to your to be read list?

What are you currently reading now?

What tips do you have for me to continue trying to get out of a reading slump?

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2 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: The Bridge to Magic

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