Ruthless Magic follows to main characters who are like chalk and cheese when it comes to the magical world. On one end we have Finn, A bright young man who wants only to prove he can get into the college on his down without the influence of his families reputation. When Finn is accepted into college he knows the only reason he's been accepted is because his family is known as 'old magic' and the fact he has family members who have powerful influence. And then there's Rocío. A ghetto girl whose 'new magic'. Her family has no magical reputation and the North American Confederation of Mages see her as a possible threat, therefore declining her the chance to further her magical education. This leaves both characters fighting for a chance to keep their magic in what is known as The Mages Exam. If you pass, you become champion and you're gifted the opportunity to further you education. You Fail, you become burned out and stripped of any magic you had. No pressure.
Up until this point I was really enjoying the stories. Straight off I found myself really liking both Finn and Rocío. But once the exams started and new characters were introduced, I didn't really care for any of the new characters or what happened to them. They all seemed a bit flat and bland, I would have preferred to have seen the exams from others perspectives. I probably would have liked Prisha and Desmond if that were the case. Instead we just see it through the eyes of Finn and Rocío, which can become a bit tedious at times. This brings me to another thing I wasn't fussed on. When its seen through only two characters eyes it became confusing as to whose mind we were in. unless you started at the beginning of a chapter, you would have to go back to the beginning of the chapter just to see which characters perspective you were reading from.
Although it was very similar in parts to the hunger games, I thought the general idea behind the story was a creative one. The Magic system isn't over the top and I found myself quite enjoying it, especially the fact the magic is unique to each individual, for example a childhood song, different languages or past experiences in some cases. I thought that was a really brilliant idea.
For me the pacing in this book is fantastic, it has a great balance of action and romance that's easy to follow throughout the book. Now, the romance could be a bit cringe at times but overall I quite enjoyed that part of the story, which is quite rare with me as I tend to avoid books with Romance and go for books that are action packed.
It's easy to see how Ruthless Magic has made it this far in the SPFBO and I genuinely think it will do well once the competition finishes. Although this book wasn't for me, it was still a fun read.