The Culling Trials Book 1 by K.F. Breen and Shannon Mayer – A Book Review

Posted May 4, 2019 by Booksandblurbs in Reviews, Urban Fantasy, YA/NA / 0 Comments

Shadowspell Academy: The Culling Trials - Book 1 - by Shannon Mayer and K.F. Breene - A Book Review #BookReview #YA #Academy #UrbanFantasy #NewRelease #AmazingRead

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Shadowspell Academy: The Culling Trials Book 1

by Shannon Mayer & K.F. Breene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

YA Academy Urban Fantasy

Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Down and Dirty

Amazing book and a wonderful start to a new trilogy – pick it up today!

What is it about?

(Blurb from GoodReads)

You Don’t Choose The Academy. The Academy Chooses You. 

I had no idea how those words would change my life. Or how they’d changed my life already…

Until the day the most dangerous man I’ve ever met waltzed onto my farm and left us a death sentence.

In an invitation.

My younger brother has been chosen for the prestigious, secret magical school hidden within the folds of our mundane world. A place so dangerous, they don’t guarantee you’ll make it out alive.

If he doesn’t go our entire family will be killed.

It’s the same invitation my older brother received three years ago—the same place he mysteriously died.

The academy has already killed one sibling. I’ll be damned if they take another.

I do the only thing an older sister can: chop off my hair, strap on two bras to flatten the girls, and take my brother’s place.

Magic and monsters are real. Assassins are coming for me, and the dead are prone to rise. What’s a girl faking it as a boy supposed to do? That’s right—beat the academy at its own game.

Or die trying.

Shadowspell Academy Book 1 and Shadowspell Academy Book 2 end with a cliffhanger.


Two great authors!

Two great and memorable authors equals one outstanding book – and begs for another! While the blurb does this plot justice, there is far more to it than those few words can convey. Wild is a strong and able character that quite literally carries the narrative and sets into motion the startlingly events that lead to, and encompass the first of the culling trials. She meets new friends, finds new foes and dusts the dirt off a past she knows nothing about. But when it comes to her family, this girl will do anything.


First Person, Single POV

Ending Type



  • Fantastically written.
  • Well edited.
  • Inventive and fully fleshed, though the world building will obviously continue through the next books.
  • Narrative Flows easily from scene to scene.
  • Humor, wit and danger galore.


  • Nope, no cons. Loved it.


Favorite Lines

The end of summer in Texas was as hot as the devil’s thong and about as humid. (3%)


“Never trust someone that throws money at you, Tank. People like that have more money than sense, and more sense than morals. Think fast, and make friends slow, or not at all.” (9%)


“In a game of survival, there are no rules,” (24%)



5 out of 5 Stars

I really, really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next installment. Perfect for fans of paranormal academies, YA novels, Urban Fantasy and NA adventures.

Published April 9th, 2019

238 Pages

If you enjoyed this review, please consider checking out a few of my other articles.


Your Turn

What are you reading today? Leave a comment, I would love to talk!



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