After the Chaos Mage traps their mentor within a deadly spell, two apprentice mages set off to find and defeat this menace to the kingdom. But how can these inexperienced young women possibly track down and battle the sort of man who destroys villages with summoned wind or fire just for fun? They’ve learned no aggressive magic and never tested themselves against a real enemy.
Kallinesha, still an apprentice after seven years, struggles against her lack of raw magical power, compensating instead with discipline and study. Daughter of the High Commander, driven relentlessly by the duty in her blood, she knows they can defeat the Chaos Mage and safeguard the kingdom.
Ista, a commoner and daughter of a city baker, harbors no such delusions. But after only three years of study, her power burns much brighter than Kallinesha’s. The task before them terrifies her, but she loves her mentor too much to let her waste away under the Chaos Mage’s spell. Not if there’s the slimmest chance of saving her.
The two have never been able to get along while studying magic. Will they be able to work together now when so much is at stake?
There are two primary character for most of the novel—Kallinesha (or Kalli) and Ista—with Ryveld joining later as a third point of view. The rest are supporting characters, my favorite of which is Taylendar (or Tay). For the first half of the novel it is Kalli and Ista…bickering. Right when it really starts to get annoying, Tay comes into the mix, followed closely by Ryveld. I would say that was a turning point in the novel once there was someone else in the dynamic besides Kalli and Ista.
The Chaos Mage has been wreaking havoc all across their land; killing and destroying. When Kalli and Ista’s mistress performs a far-knowing and gets a glimpse of the Chaos Mage, they are sent to stop him at all cost. Inexperienced but not powerless, the girls set out to rid their land of this powerful evil. This is where the book lost me. Why send such terribly unprepared girls? They aren’t the best or the most powerful. It didn’t make sense. Right up until they started to question why they were sent and perspectives change. I don’t want to get into specifics but the book picks up about halfway through and there are a few twists.
There is an entire big world built by the author. One of the major aspects is the magic, but it gets back to basics. Such as spells needing ingredients and time to be cast. Also there are hints of romance later in the story but it became very prominent at the end. As a part of the stories aftermath. For young adult readers, but many adults will likely enjoy too.
This novel had a slow start. I very much expected from the premise and what I was reading for it to be ‘just another fantasy novel’ but it wasn’t long until that slow start turned into a non-stop, read in one sitting kind of book. This author also relies on subtleties, so it may be missed by many readers, but it was all there for those who are paying attention. In the end it is worth reading the first half of the book so you can thoroughly enjoy the second half!
A rough start to an interesting fantasy novel that will teach you a lesson on perspectives and taking people at their word. A start to a sword and sorcery series for young adults. I’m looking forward to book 2!
Where did I get a copy?
The author provided me one. This is a voluntary review.