People who enjoyed the puckish, wholesome humor of The Princess Bride, the royal/political intrigue of Defy the Night, and the chaotic sibling dynamic of Twin Crowns will definitely love this book.
The Libarian’s Ruse is a light, quick, and rambunctious read. There’s no wild scramble to prevent the end of the world or all-powerful evil to conquer, but rather a fun political adventure with two vastly contradicting siblings. There’s an adorable balance of sweetness and sarcastic wit. Amelia is earnest, thoughtful, and unabashedly good. She’s levelheaded and brave but by no means fearless, making her character all the more loveable. While Amelia was wonderful, Leon was my favorite. He was snarky and bold with a dash of ambition that made me root for him even when his intentions weren’t the most honorable.
What truly shines in this book is the sibling dynamic. Leon is quick on his feet, playfully pragmatic, and isn’t afraid to take control of his future. Amelia’s fussy, kind heart often finds fault in Leon’s immoral tendencies. While Leon challenges Amelia’s lack of aspirations. They bring an endearing and banter-filled balance to each other. They often felt like complete opposites, and I hope in the next book we see more of the ways their personalities overlap.
The cute alliance-ship with Kyvir and Amelia had me giggling and kicking my feet, and I would love to see more of how their relationship blossoms.
Overall, the Librarian’s Ruse is a fast-paced, wholesome, and heartfelt read. I’m terribly excited to see where the series goes.
Divine Rival Tropes: Slow-burn, Academic Rivals Romance, WW2 Fantasy Setting, Letter magic
Is Divine Rivals YA? : In my opinion, no. It has explict content.
This book had me hooked 😭. I listened on audiobook and l had to stop it a few times to crawl into a corner and ball my eyes out.
Divine Rival is a captivating fantasy novel that weaves together elements of magic, war among gods, and an unexpected romance that defies the odds. The story follows Iris Winnow, an 18-year-old aspiring journalist, as she navigates a world torn apart by divine conflict and personal struggles.
At the heart of the narrative lies a powerful connection between Iris and Roman Kitt, her rival at the Oath Gazette. Through a magical exchange of letters, the two enemies find themselves drawn together in ways they couldn’t have anticipated. As the gods wage war once again, Iris and Roman must confront not only the battles around them but also the battles within themselves. The depth of their emotions and the intensity of their circumstances make for a compelling enemies-to-lovers dynamic.
The strength of this book lies in its characters. Iris Winnow emerges as a remarkably strong and relatable protagonist, shouldering the weight of her family’s troubles while striving to secure a future for herself. Her kindness, resilience, and unwavering determination to protect her loved ones make her an endearing character worth championing.
Rebecca Ross has skillfully crafted an enchanting world filled with divine conflicts, intricate magic, and heartrending emotions. The slow burn romance between Iris and Roman is a highlight, with their personal growth and deepening connection evoking a genuine sense of empathy.
One of the book’s notable strengths is its portrayal of themes such as grief and guilt. These emotions are woven seamlessly into the narrative, adding layers of depth to the characters and their journeys. Ross’s ability to explore these complex feelings contributes to the emotional resonance of the story, making it a relatable experience for readers.
While the book excels in many aspects, there are a few moments where the pacing of the romance feels a bit rushed, particularly towards the end. However, this doesn’t detract significantly from the overall impact of the story.
Favorite Quote from Divine Rivals: “I never told you that I love you. And I regret that, most of all.”
If you’re a fan of intellectual mysteries and atmospheric settings, then Dark Academia books are perfect for you. Dive into the intriguing world of Dark Academia with these 10 captivating books that will satisfy your cravings for literature and take you on a thrilling journey.
1. A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid
Effy Sayre has always believed in fairy tales. She’s had no choice. Since childhood, she’s been haunted by visions of the Fairy King. She’s found solace only in the pages of Angharad – author Emrys Myrddin’s beloved epic about a mortal girl who falls in love with the Fairy King, and then destroys him.
Effy’s tattered, dog-eared copy is all that’s keeping her afloat through her stifling first term at Llyr’s prestigious architecture college. So when Myrddin’s family announces a contest to design the late author’s house, Effy feels certain this is her destiny.
But Hiraeth Manor is an impossible task: a musty, decrepit estate on the brink of crumbling into a hungry sea. And when Effy arrives, she finds she isn’t the only one who’s made a temporary home there. Preston Héloury, a stodgy young literature scholar, is studying Myrddin’s papers and is determined to prove her favorite author is a fraud.
As the two rival students investigate the reclusive author’s legacy, piecing together clues through his letters, books, and diaries, they discover that the house’s foundation isn’t the only thing that can’t be trusted. There are dark forces, both mortal and magical, conspiring against them – and the truth may bring them both to ruin.
2. The Library of Shadows by Rachel Moore
Radcliffe Prep. The third most haunted school in the country, where a student disappearance isn’t uncommon and no one dares stay in the library after dark. And Este Logano enrolls with the hopes of finding her dead father.
Not literally, of course. She doesn’t believe in ghosts. Going to her dad’s school just seems like her best hope at figuring out who he was.
But then Este meets Mateo, who is maybe—probably—definitely—a real ghost. And an annoying one at that.
When Mateo frames Este for the theft of a rare book from the library’s secret spire and then vanishes, Este will have to track him down or risk being expelled and leaving Radcliffe early just like her father did.
Except following her father’s footsteps might be more dangerous than Este ever anticipated. As she investigates the library with its secret passageways, hidden tunnels, and haunted halls, she learns that the student disappearances aren’t just myth. And if she isn’t careful, she’ll be next.
3. Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Torzs
In this spellbinding debut novel, two estranged half-sisters tasked with guarding their family’s library of magical books must work together to unravel a deadly secret at the heart of their collection–a tale of familial loyalty and betrayal, and the pursuit of magic and power.
For generations, the Kalotay family has guarded a collection of ancient and rare books. Books that let a person walk through walls or manipulate the elements–books of magic that half-sisters Joanna and Esther have been raised to revere and protect.
All magic comes with a price, though, and for years the sisters have been separated. Esther has fled to a remote base in Antarctica to escape the fate that killed her own mother, and Joanna’s isolated herself in their family home in Vermont, devoting her life to the study of these cherished volumes. But after their father dies suddenly while reading a book Joanna has never seen before, the sisters must reunite to preserve their family legacy. In the process, they’ll uncover a world of magic far bigger and more dangerous than they ever imagined, and all the secrets their parents kept hidden; secrets that span centuries, continents, and even other libraries . . .
4. Babel: An Arcane History by R.F. Kuang
Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel. The tower and its students are the world’s center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver-working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as the arcane craft serves the Empire’s quest for colonization.
For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide . . .
Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?
5. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?
Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.
6. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.
Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.
7. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
“The Secret History” by Donna Tartt is a must-read for any Dark Academia enthusiast. Set in a prestigious New England college, the novel follows a group of eccentric and secretive students who become entangled in a murder. Tartt’s atmospheric writing style and complex characters make this book a gripping and immersive read. Prepare to be captivated by the dark secrets and intellectual pursuits of this literary masterpiece.
8. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
“If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio is a thrilling and atmospheric novel that will transport you into the world of Shakespearean theater and academia. Set at an elite conservatory for actors, the story follows a group of seven friends who are studying Shakespearean plays and performing them on stage. As tensions rise and rivalries emerge, the line between fiction and reality begins to blur, leading to a tragic event that changes their lives forever. With its richly drawn characters and intricate plot, “If We Were Villains” is a must-read for fans of Dark Academia and lovers of literary mysteries.
9. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Lesson One of the Scholomance: Learning has never been this deadly.
A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.
There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.
El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.
10. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why — or even who Tobias Hawthorne is.
To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch — and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a conwoman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.
Creating a well-rounded and believable character is essential for any writer, and understanding the personality traits of different types can greatly enhance your storytelling. If you’re looking to write an ISTJ character, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and tips to bring your character to life. From their strengths and weaknesses to their motivations and behaviors, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the ISTJ personality type and how to accurately portray it in your writing.
Understand the ISTJ Personality Type
ISTJ stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging, and individuals with this personality type are known for their practicality, reliability, and attention to detail. They are often logical, organized, and prefer structure and routine in their lives. Valuing rituals and memories, ISTJs are often seen as keepers of tradition and obstinate to change. Most of their lives are centered around integrity, and displaying unfaltering loyalty to the ones they love. They are careful about who they let into their lives, choosing to have small close-knit relationships. By familiarizing yourself with the key traits and characteristics of an ISTJ, you’ll be able to create a more authentic and believable character that readers will connect with.
Develop a Strong Sense of Duty and Responsibility
ISTJ’s take their commitments seriously and strive to fulfill their obligations to the best of their abilities. To portray this trait in your character, consider giving them a profession or role that requires a high level of responsibility, such as a police officer, doctor, or military officer. Show them taking their duties seriously and going above and beyond to ensure they are fulfilled. Additionally, you can highlight their reliability and dependability by having them consistently follow through on their promises and commitments. This sense of duty and responsibility will add depth and authenticity to your ISTJ character, making them more relatable and engaging for readers.
Focus on Detail and Organization
ISTJ characters thrive in structured environments and prefer to have a clear plan or schedule in place. To portray this trait in your character, show them paying close attention to small details and being meticulous in their work or daily routines. They may have a well-organized workspace or have a system in place for keeping track of tasks and responsibilities. This attention to detail and organization can also manifest in their communication style, as they may prefer to be clear and concise in their speech and writing. By emphasizing these traits, you can create a realistic and compelling ISTJ character that readers will appreciate.
Interactions and Relationships
ISTJs may struggle with expressing emotions, but they form strong bonds with those they care about. Explore how your character navigates relationships, showing their loyalty and willingness to support loved ones in practical ways. You use the relationships with friends and family to thicken conflict. When conflicts arise, depict how your ISTJ character approaches resolution logically and methodically. This might upset fellow characters who lean more into their feelings to make important decisions and create delicious plot complications.
Showcase the ISTJ’s Practicality and Factual Approach
One of the key characteristics of an ISTJ is their practicality. They are known for their ability to get things done efficiently and effectively. ISTJs rely on facts and evidence in their communication. They may struggle with abstract concepts, so use dialogue to showcase their preference for practicality. To showcase this trait in your ISTJ character, highlight their problem-solving skills and their ability to come up with practical solutions to challenges.
Explore the ISTJ’s Introverted and Observant Nature
ISTJs have a quiet but shrewd approach to observing the world around them, meaning they prefer to focus on their inner world and pay close attention to their surroundings. They are often quiet and reserved, taking the time to process information before speaking or taking action. This introverted nature can be showcased in your writing by highlighting moments of introspection and reflection for your ISTJ character. They may have a rich inner world and deep thoughts that they keep to themselves. Additionally, their observant nature allows them to notice small details and patterns that others may overlook. This attention to detail can make them excellent problem solvers and investigators. Incorporating these traits into your ISTJ character will add depth and authenticity to their personality.
ISTJ Character Strengths
ISTJs possess an array of strengths that make them valuable assets in both fiction and reality. Their unwavering reliability and commitment to duty make them the dependable backbone of any group or narrative. With a keen eye for detail, ISTJs excel in tasks that require precision and systematic thinking, ensuring that nothing escapes their meticulous observation. Their logical and rational approach to problem-solving often leads to effective solutions, even in the face of complex challenges. ISTJs thrive in structured environments, where their methodical planning and strong organizational skills contribute to the seamless execution of plans. As natural preservers of tradition and order, they bring stability and consistency to any storyline, grounding it in a sense of realism and authenticity.
ISTJ Character Weaknesses
However, ISTJs are not without their share of weaknesses. Their pursuit of perfection and high standards can lead to self-criticism and a reluctance to delegate tasks, potentially causing undue stress. Their aversion to change and a preference for the familiar might hinder their ability to adapt to new situations, leading to missed opportunities for growth. ISTJs’ blunt communication style, while rooted in their desire for clarity, can sometimes come across as tactless or insensitive to others, straining interpersonal relationships. Moreover, their focus on practicality and logic might cause them to overlook emotional nuances, making it challenging for them to connect deeply with others on an emotional level. Balancing these strengths and weaknesses is crucial for crafting a well-rounded ISTJ character that resonates with readers.
Balancing Tradition and Innovation
Create scenarios where your character must choose between upholding tradition or embracing innovation. This internal conflict can lead to compelling character development.
Here are some attributes to add to your ISTJ Characters:
Critical Disciplined Tactical Hides their emotions Terrible at improvisation Clings to past hurts Predicable Highly responsible Strong work ethic Loyal
Here are some ISTJ Characters
Mikasa Ackerman Hermione Granger Darth Vader Nesta Archeron Geralt of Rivia Eddard “Ned” Stark Susan Pevensie Charlie Swan Nasir (We Hunt the Flame) Joel Miller Gamora James Gordon (Batman)
Conclusion on How to write an ISTJ Character
Crafting an ISTJ character requires a keen understanding of their personality traits, communication style, and approach to the world around them. By infusing these qualities into your character’s actions, dialogue, and growth, you can create a multi-dimensional ISTJ character that resonates with readers and adds depth to your storytelling. Remember, the key lies in authenticity—capturing the essence of an ISTJ while allowing room for their personal journey within your narrative.