The Network Saga Book 1
“Magic or no, you have reason to fear me.”
Katie cross has become the queen of the strong female protagonist. Yes, other authors write books with strong female leads. However, Katie Cross takes it to a new level with strong female characters of all ages – from young girls to mature women.
The Lost Magic picks up three years after The War of the Networks. Merrick has returned to the Northern Network. Camille is gone. Leda is isolating herself as an Underlibrarian to avoid the ghosts that haunt Chatham Castle. Bianca lives alone in a cottage deep in Letum Wood, a cottage she inherited from Isadora shortly after the war. Bianca’s father Derek is High Priest, and Bianca has settled in her new role as a Sword Trainer of New Recruits.
While having lunch in a secluded cove of the Eastern Network, Bianca and Priscilla discover a young girl washed up on the beach. The girl seems like every other young witch in Alkarra. Bianca and Priscilla do not know from where the girl came, how she got there, or why she is there all alone. Then she looks at them, and they are shocked to discover amber eyes. She is a mortal. Mortals have not been seen in Alkarra for thousands of years.
Bianca and Priscilla both know that a mortal will not be safe in the Eastern Network even if she is just a young girl. Bianca impetuously takes the mortal to her cottage in Letum Wood. Stories of witches whose magic was changed because of proximity to mortals do not deter Bianca from trying to protect the girl. Plus, the mortal girl looks a great deal like Camille. Bianca still grieves the loss of Camille and does not want anyone else to die on her watch.
The Lost Magic is a tale of sacrifice and loyalty and overcoming fear. Most of all, The Lost Magic is about finding the strength and power from within. When Bianca loses her magic, she believes she has lost her power. Alina lives in the Southern Network where all the witches lost their magic. Alina tells Bianca that she has been given a rare gift, a gift Alina wishes all witches could experience.
Bianca must face the mistakes she has made and summon the courage to help her father when some Council members want to remove Derek from power. Rumors of a mortal and demigod in Alkarra throw fuel on the fire. Bianca realizes she must do for Ava, the young mortal, what Derek did for her. Bianca must step aside and allow Ava to do what she came to Alkarra to do.
The first installment of The Network Saga is worth sharing with girls of all ages. Bianca has been through so much, and it has made her the witch she is now. Ava shows courage beyond what even Bianca could imagine. Alkarra is a magical place where strong girls are encouraged to become strong women. They experience doubt and insecurity, just like everyone does. The female characters of Alkarra are given the space and support they need to find their own power and strength. They are extraordinary role models for girls in today’s world.
Every library across the country and beyond should offer multiple copies of Katie Cross’s books. Strong female protagonists are important now more than ever. Mothers and daughters can easily share these books and discover their powers together. Families – mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. – can find relatable characters and lessons that are timeless and apply to everyone. The Dragonmaster Trilogy, The Network Series, and The Network Saga are books that should be in every personal library and well as public and school library in the United States and beyond. Alkarra is as diverse as the United States, and differences are celebrated, as they should be. We can all learn from Bianca, Leda, Ava, Alina, and all the amazing characters Katie Cross introduces to us in the magical world of Alkarra.