Review: Radical by Colleen Cowley

Posted October 26, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 12 Comments

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I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Radical by Colleen Cowley

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Clandestine Magic #2
Genres: Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance
Published by Slender Sky Books
Released on October 25, 2020
Pages: 308
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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The Delight

After a dramatic finish in Subversive, my fingers were tingling to get Radical.  And, it jumped right back into the throes.  The Clandestine Magic books get me knotted up with tension and drag me in completely.  What a ride!


Radical is the second segment of the Clandestine Magic trilogy.  This historical fantasy dystopian story series needs to be read in order.

Beatrix has learned the secret of women’s magic and now she is prepared to flout wizard, Peter Blackwell’s worry that she’s taking things too fast without enough thought because she wants the world of suppressed women and male non-magic users to change and break the powerful wizards’ hold on them all.  She sets about a secret revolution and lies to Peter and her sister.  One loose tongue will bring it all down.  At night, in her dreams, she joins Peter in their own world where there was no forced vows or forced love and she looks forward to it even if it can’t be real. It can’t, right?

Peter regrets every moment the forced vow he shares with Beatrix and agonizes over being the only one of them to feel real love.  He fears for her and what she might secretly be doing even if she swears she isn’t, but he must focus on finding the spell that will control a great weapon and hiding his work from a government that wishes to use it for horrific purposes.  The net tightens around him and he knows he has little time.  If only…

As I said in my opening, this one opens right where the last left off and the emotional turbulence is right there.  I felt both Beatrix and Peter’s anguish.  Beatrix is lying to Peter and I knew it would be just a matter of time before he was on to her especially since she hides her secrets from her sister who has asked Peter to discover what is going on within the women’s organization and the trail is leading him to the person stirring things up.  I will admit this book did cross my line for angst and I wanted to get past some stuff, but I wasn’t bored.  Meanwhile, there is another aching betrayal in this one that left me so sad.  It was also a stunning secret that blew things wide open for the final book.  To say I really want that story is an understatement.  But it’s not just the high-octane situation that has me on pins and needles.  After all the sparkling chemistry, bitter recriminations, and regrets, the romance makes it to another taunt point.  Beatrix has settled things about she and Peter, but, of course, there is a huge barrier to their happiness.

And, so in summary, this second installment kept things edgy and suspenseful with the overall plot, the characters, and the romance.  I flew through it and was left wanting more.  I classify it as a historical fantasy dystopian though one could also call it a paranormal parallel history too.  If any of that grabs your fancy, I enthusiastically recommend it.

My thanks to the author for providing the book to read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #163
Fraterfest #7

About the Book
Radical by Colleen CowleyRADICAL BY COLLEEN COWLEY

Women have no ability to cast spells. That’s what wizards have said for generations–and it’s a lie.

In this second book of the Clandestine Magic trilogy, Beatrix Harper wants to expose the lie to protect her sister’s life. Her desperate plan: Train tens of thousands of women in secret, then shock the nation with a display of their magic. She thinks it will work–if only she can keep the details from her town’s wizard, Peter Blackwell.

But that’s nearly impossible thanks to their unwanted magical connection. Peter, meanwhile, fears that his own desperate goal–to counter the terrible weapon he should never have invented–is doomed to fail.

Their plans are about to collide. Disastrously.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
1 year ago

Ooh just what i need right now Sophia Rose thanks for sharing

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Yes, doesn’t it sound captivating?

Carole Rae
1 year ago

 historical fantasy dystopian? Cool!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

For the first book, I couldn’t figure out how to categorize it so others would get the right idea. Haha! This is what I decided on for the category.

1 year ago

It’s great to see that this second book was that good! YOu made me curious

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yes, it held strong coming off the first. Oh cool! Hope you get the chance at these, Melliane!

1 year ago

I kind of love her whole mission, even if she is going about it a bit too quickly!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Ethan

She’s a great heroine and worth cheering for. I can’t wait to see how it all ends. 🙂

1 year ago

Glad to hear the series continues to be a hit. I’ll check out the first book! 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel

Hope you like it if you give it a try, Rachel. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

Interesting. This sounds like one to read when the whole trilogy is available though.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, and fortunately the third book comes out this fall so they’ll all be out. 🙂