An Inheritance of Magic (Stephen Oakwood #1), by Benedict Jacka

The Book

An Inheritance of Magic
Series: Stephen Oakwood
Pages: 400
Age Group: Adult
Published on 10/5/2023
Publisher: Orbit Books
Urban Fantasy
Available on:



In a world where everything magical is bought up and controlled by the super rich - Stephen Oakwood has inherited a natural talent for magic. Plunged by his father's disappearance into a glittering world of scheming dynasties, warring patriarchs and vicious scions, Stephen must navigate magical high society and learn to control his gifts.

Dangerous enemies await the Oakwood heir, and even more dangerous allies: if Stephen cannot master his magic quickly and learn to distinguish friend from foe, his name may end up on the missing persons list, just like his father.  

My Review

An Inheritance of Magic is the first instalment on the urban fantasy series Stephen Oakwood, written by Benedict Jacka (also known by his Alex Verus series), and published by Orbit Books. We will be following Stephen Oakwood, a 22 years-olds young, which lives from paycheck to paycheck after the disappearance of his father, who promised to return, and asked him to continue practicing the rudiments of the magic he has informally taught to Stephen, drucraft.

As many in the working class, Stephen is just trying to improve his situation, constantly hustling, with the fear that a single accident/unexpected thing can wipe all the money he has saved; as part of his life, he continues working on his drucraft. His life changes after the visit of Lucella, another drucraft user that ends with him being kidnapped and almost killed; this reveals to Stephen the existence of a higher class, composed of rich families, and Stephen is no more than the dust they wipe easily from their shoes.
While not being the best way to have a first contact with this world, if we can say something about Stephen is that he's really stubborn; and despite putting himself and his cat companion Hobbes in danger (dear author, please, keep Hobbes safe), he continues working and learning about the drucraft, even getting some job in the world.

Stephen is the key piece on this role, and Jacka has made an excellent work at characterisation, making him a memorable person, and who at the same time, feels quite relatable, coming from the working class and living continuously looking for money that can allow him to enjoy his hobbies. Having a cat as companion and loving him, that's also a plus.

While the setting is mostly classic urban fantasy, Jacka's biggest hit is creating a magic world which is just a transposition of how capitalism and wealthiness works in the real world: starting close to the top is the easiest way to maintain yourself, while for the working class, those that struggle and get questionable jobs, ascending is almost impossible.

Personally, I think the pacing could have been faster, as we spend much time seeing how Stephen progresses on his powers, and while this is interesting to introduce us to the drucraft system, sometimes it drags to much, remembering more to a progression fantasy style.

Said all, An Inheritance of Magic is an excellent entry point to Benedict Jacka and to the Stephen Oakwood series. If you like urban fantasy, this book is absolutely great; and honestly, I can't wait to read the next instalments as we will have all the bases ready to create a great story.

The Author/s

Benedict Jacka

Benedict Jacka

Benedict Jacka is a British author who was born in England in 1980. He earned his bachelors degree in philosophy at Cambridge University. He started writing soon after graduation and authored three children's fantasy novels which were not published. His first published work was a children's non-fantasy novel called "To be a Ninja" later changed to "Ninja: The Beginnng". In 2000 he developed a fantasy setting for which he wrote four books, whose main characters were teenage elementals. These book also went unpublished. In 2009, he decided to try again with an adult character with a more information-based ability. Three years later, in 2012, he published the first book of the Alex Verus Series, with two more to follow that year.