I Can’t Wait For…A Hundred Vicious Turns by Lee Paige O’Brien

Posted 10th May 2023 by Sia in Can't-Wait Wednesday / 0 Comments

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about but haven’t yet read. Most of the time they’re books that have yet to be released, but not always. It’s based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme, which was originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

This week my Can’t-Wait-For Book is A Hundred Vicious Turns by Lee Page O’Brien!

A Hundred Vicious Turns (The Broken Tower, #1) by Lee Paige O'Brien
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Nonbinary MC, major trans character
Published on: 12th September 2023

The heir to an arcane bloodline must outwit their ambitious rival to stop a ruthless magical adversary in a YA fantasy debut perfect for fans of A Lesson in Vengeance and Hell Followed With Us   

Rat Evans, nonbinary heir to one of the oldest magical bloodlines in New York, doesn’t cast spells anymore. For as long as Rat can remember, they’ve been surrounded by doorways no one else sees and corridors that aren’t on any map. Then one day, they opened a passage and found a broken tower in a field of weeds—and something followed them back.  

When Rat is accepted into Bellamy Arts, all they want is a place to hide and to make sure they never open another passageway again. But when the only other person who knows what really happened last year—Harker Blakely, the dangerously gifted trans boy who used to be Rat’s closest friend—turns up on campus, Rat begins to realize that Bellamy Arts might not be as safe as they’d thought. And the tower might not be through with them yet.  

Soon, Rat finds themself caught in a web of secrets and long-buried magic, with their friend-turned-enemy at their throat. But the closer they come to uncovering the truth about the tower, the further they’re drawn toward the unsettling powers that threaten to swallow them whole.

It’s not very often that I get excited about YA – but WOW am I excited for this!!!

I’ve loved magic school stories since the Worst Witch series when I was an itsy-bitsy baby!Sia, and I’m always on the lookout for more. The uptick in inclusive, diverse magic schools (like the Scholomance trilogy, and Grimoire of Grave Fates next month!) makes me incredibly happy – and now we’re getting one with a nonbinary lead!!!

Cue a truly ridiculous number of happy-tears.


The story itself sounds cool enough that I’d be interested even with a cishet lead. Magical bloodlines implies the existence of non-magical ones – ie, magic users who don’t have powerful families behind them. Maybe Harker is like that, a magical outlier in a non-magical family? Something about describing him as ‘gifted’ makes me think so… And however magic works in this book, the Tower clearly exists outside of the understood system, which is immediately intriguing. There’s just something incredibly exciting about being told, in the blurb, that the establishment doesn’t know everything about magic (and you know they think they know everything!)

And, you know… CHECK OUT THAT MINDBLOWINGLY MAGNIFICENT COVER!!! The art is by the ridiculously talented Corey Brickley, and I would like a glossy poster of it for my wall, please! But I think that, as well as being beautiful, it also contains clues – like the compass Rat is holding! Where is that going to lead, I wonder?

It seems very appropriate that A Hundred Vicious Turns arrives just as the new school year starts…but I have no idea how I’m supposed to wait that long!


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