Most sensible people avoid fire-breathing carnivores that prey on humans. But Jordan has built a career out of studying such legendary animals, creatures thought mythological until their reemergence in the world three decades ago. She and researchers like her believe that knowledge is the key to reclaiming the land they'd lost back then, when humanity retreated into designated safety zones.
But when the humans moved out, the legends moved in.
They were the descendants of mythical heroes, inheriting the powers of their ancestors, and they weren't afraid of the monsters. Jordan never expected to run into a legend, but when a field expedition turns into a trap for her team, she realizes that one deliberately tried to kill her. It's a diplomatic nightmare the Roman authorities might happily sweep under the rug. But if Jordan doesn't figure out who attacked her and why, they could try again. Yet even if she does solve the mystery, what could one stubborn scientist possibly do to stop a powerful legend?
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About the Author
Adventure fantasy writer Marina Ermakova has degrees in genetics and history, and the heart of a lifelong geek. She loves writing about outsiders, loners, and thinkers.
Her young adult epic fantasy novel Chains Carried on Wings is about finding acceptance for who you are instead of who you're supposed to be, and her urban fantasy/post-apocalyptic novel Terrestrial Magic is about applying logic towards understanding the fantastical. (And about an awkward woman on the asexuality spectrum who doesn't know how to deal with a burgeoning relationship—especially not while dodging assassination attempts.)
She also blogs about fantasy and sci-fi media, occasionally weighing in on the representation of science.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite Terrestrial Magic by Marina Ermakova is the first book in the Jordan Sanders series. Jordan works with other researchers to study legendary creatures who made their way back into the world a few decades ago. With their arrival, life changed with safety zones set up for humans and the vacated land reclaimed by legends of long ago. These legends have power inherited from ancestors such as Hercules and show no fear of the monsters. Jordan's life is fairly routine with expeditions to study legendary monsters until someone tries to kill her. This leads Jordan and her team to the House of Hercules where she works to navigate diplomatic conflict and decide who tried to kill her and why. The story begins in the middle of Jordan and her team going after a monster, diving straight into the action with a fight against a chimera and basilisk. A world of monsters and legends is quickly introduced while also exploring Jordan's dynamics with her team, which consists of Hayley, Tony, Luca, and Carter. These relationships are an integral part of Jordan's life as this is the team she relies on and works with every day. She has a different relationship with each of them, but each has banter and moments when she connects with them. The team dynamic is a crucial part of the story as how they work together plays into solving who wants to kill her and provides back-up when going up against the legends. An interesting aspect of Jordan's character is the thrill she gets at entering this danger. She's passionate about learning about these creatures but she also enjoys the freedom of leaving the safety zones. Marina Ermakova weaves in quieter moments for readers to see these characters in a more vulnerable light and to see more layers to their personalities. This world is incredibly complex and dangerous. The legends further weave in mythology as they're based on famed myths such as Remus and Romulus, and the story of Hercules. Ermakova opens this world with a fresh take on mythology, weaving in a post-apocalyptic set up with the story taking place decades after the literal return of legends and myths. The mystery is at the heart of the story as Jordan investigates who would want to kill her and uncovers plenty of twists and surprises. Terrestrial Magic is a unique post-apocalyptic adventure that's a breath of fresh air and puts a new spin on mythology and legendary monsters, with mystery, danger, and instantly likable characters.
My first ARC from NetGalley, and it was such a fun read! I really enjoyed the setting (in and around Rome) and the new mythology surrounding it. Usually post-apocalyptic stories have their basis in sci-fi – something technological goes wrong – so having a fantastical apocalypse is actually pretty original. Which is impressive. You don’t see that many original ideas anymore. It was also nice to see the mix of the fantasy and the science, as Jordan and her team are scientists studying these creatures. Also a cool concept. I enjoyed the “legendary animals” that have made their come back, although we don’t get to spend as much time with them as I would like. In the beginning of the book, we see them deal with a basilisk and a chimera, and later we get to see a pegasus, but other than that, we don’t see them much. I thought there would have been a bit more than that. I also wasn’t a fan of the term used for these creatures – “legimals.” I don’t, as a rule, like when people make these kinds of contractions, but this one just felt a bit too cutsey. We do get to spend a fair amount of time meeting and talking about the legends, descendants and heirs (of a sort) to the legends of the area, like Remus, Hercules, and Aeneas to name a few. These people have powers of their original hero (for example, the people of the House of Hercules are unnaturally strong) and have taken over part of the world. There is a very tenuous truce between the legends and the regular humans, and this book is about the attempt at blowing that truce apart. The legends are also very interesting and it was cool how it all tied back into the ancient mythology that has magically come back to life in a way. This book has a great hook at the beginning and a good, adventurous pace throughout. Jordan and her team of scientists are a really good bunch that have a good camaraderie, but also have some secrets. This book does not list itself as part of a series, and the author has only written one other book that does not look related to this one, but I definitely see series potential. The story was tied together at the end, but there were still plenty of questions that were left open, just in case. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading urban fantasy and enjoys a new take on mythology.
I received a free copy of TERRESTRIAL MAGIC by Marina Ermakova in exchange for an honest review. Jordan is a zoologist, a cryptozoologist. Jordan is living in a world where, following the Boom, magical people of old, legends, and legendary animals, legimals, have reappeared. The legimals are so dangerous that the humans have ceded most of the land to them. On an expedition to unprotected territory to examine a reported fire-breathing animal, Jordan and her crew face an unexpected challenge; it appears one or more legends is trying to kill them. In order to be safe again, Jordan must discover who was behind the attempted assassination and stop them. In doing so, she might just change the world. I enjoyed this novel. I like post-magical-apocalypse books, and this definitely fit within the genre. I liked the world established and the relationships between the characters. I especially liked that, though hints of romantic potential were given, the author refused to warp the story to fit in mushy folderol when the characters were entirely absorbed in surviving their crises. The storyline was interesting and fast paced. #TerrestrialMagic #NetGalley