My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Review: Rise of the Mages

Rise of the Mages Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here is a story that was ten (10) years in the making … and the effort is clearly on display. Everything from the depth of the world building to the development of the characters fit together seamlessly. Even more impressive, is that the author was able to resist dumping all of the information on the reader all at once, content to slowly reveal details that hint of even deeper details that make the whole world more realistic. In other words, everything works well together and I rocked through the 400 pages in about 2 days.

The world building appears to center on a magic concept called infusori (which roughly corresponds to the life force of everything within the world. The magic system is primarily based upon crafting devices that use this magic for various desired effects. There are myths about mages that were able to manipulated this force directly, but they are to be feared if they are discovered.

The story takes place following a war of unification, with an uneasy acceptance between many of the ethnic peoples and the current governors; the main character appears to have a nominal claim to one of the conquered ‘provinces’ and this powers much of the political intrigue early in the story. There is also the typically ‘evil empire’ that pays a huge rule in how the story unfolds, and they seemed well developed and quite mysterious when these Malithii were encountered.

Behind all of these events, there are legends surrounding a trinity of deities known as the Fallen Glory and the Absent Sisters (Justice and Mercy). I must admit to being really curious about how this mythology will develop and that would be reason enough to add a star. For a debut novel … this was an awesome start.

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#RiseoftheMages #NetGalley.

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.