July 9, 2024

REVIEW Kelcie Murphy and the Hunt for the Heart of Danu (The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts #2) by Erika Lewis

Kelcie Murphy and the Hunt for the Heart of Danu (The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts #2) by Erika Lewis
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date:
Format: Audiobook (Personal Library)
Publisher: Starscape

Kelcie Murphy and the Hunt for the Heart of the Danu, the second installment in the middle-grade fantasy series by Erika Lewis, was another action packed and fun filled read. After the events of the first book, Kelcie is just becoming comfortable with the pulse elemental powers that had been locked away her entire life, and working with her fianna. However, once she starts the second year of school at the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts, one of her new friends will set into motion events that have the capability to change the lands of summer forever. 

The two point of view characters in this book, Kelcie and Lexis, do a great job of contrasting the opposing sides of this war. Both are young soldiers with similar gifts, and at the end of the day they just want to protect the places they’ve come to call home. Kelcie, on one hand, has had to catch up to her peers and learn to master her powers quickly after spending the last few years in the human world. Lexis, on the other hand, has become very comfortable with her powers after training at Winter’s Academy but has to hide how strong she is to survive as a spy in Summer. Their fiannas also contributed to the action, and I really loved Swappy Toots from Winter. I also was pleasantly surprised by the connection to the final member of the Morrigna. 

This book propels the worldbuilding of the series far more than the first installment did. More beings inspired by Celtic mythology are introduced, and we get to see the land that Summer is training its young soldiers to eventually fight against. Unsurprisingly, the two lands are not dissimilar and are mostly populated by common folk who want nothing to do with the war. The battle scenes in this book were epic, as the group faced things like vampire owls, banshees, and even bodachs (which are essentially boogeymen). 

Overall, this was an excellent read and narrator Justis Golding did another great job with their performance in the audiobook. This book sets up the finale of the series in Kelcie Murphy and the Race for the Reaper’s Key (releasing in September 2024), and I’m really curious to see how things play out for Kelcie and her friends. If you or a mature young reader in your life enjoys books influenced by Celtic mythology, that have hints of first love, and heavy themes of found family, I think you would enjoy this series. 

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