Mage Errant

MageErrantI’ve found a new favorite author – John Bierce.

Choosing a new audiobook is always stressful. Many things run through my mind.

What if I don’t like it? It sounds good…but it probably won’t be as good as _______ (insert title of last favorite listen). How long do I need to ‘give it a try’ before I can quit listening? ……. etc.

You know. All those sorts of “normal” questions any avid listener/reader asks themselves when desperately searching for their next great escape.

Well, I took the leap and tried John Bierce’s Mage Errant series. I got lucky. I found my new favorite series! I actually enjoyed this even more than Twinborn Chronicles by J.S. Morin (which I enjoyed immensely). Mage Errant moves a bit faster and has a more focused plot (fewer characters and minimal sub-plots.) All-in-all, it made for a great listen.

So if you liked Harry Potter or Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series, you might want to check out Mage Errant by John Bierce.

This book will be added to my “favorites” list. The well-developed characters, the humor, and the themes/values in the story make this a worthwhile read.

P.S. I forgot to mention that this makes it in my Top-10 list!


Sensitive Reader Alert / A Note for Parents:

There are many great themes in this book like:

  • overcoming your fears
  • learning you don’t have to face your struggles alone
  • loyalty and friendship
  • recognizing your own value (self-worth)
  • not being afraid to be different
  • learning that just because you are different doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you
  • and many others…

However, there are a few things parents should be aware of if they are letting their younger children read it. The third book (A Traitor in Skyhold) contains a few innuendoes, which are by no means vulgar compared to stuff on TV, and references to “contraceptive cantrips” (spells). Also one of the main characters is a homosexual. He is a loyal, friendly, patient, courageous, and caring individual. However, if you have not discussed same-sex attraction with your children, this book will raise questions as the third book deals a little bit with him and his relationship.

The Powder Mage Trilogy

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I want to cry. Nothing is worse than finishing a great book series and realizing you have nothing to take it’s place. It is like saying goodbye to close friends. 😦

Recently I finished listening to the Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan. It was one of those series that I didn’t want to end. I have found myself a new favorite author and a new favorite narrator. (Christian Rodska narrates the trilogy, and he does a stellar job with all the characters. He really brings the story to life.)

I don’t really know what to say about the series other than I really enjoyed. The best way I can describe the plot is: French-Revolution-meets-magic. (No, the book is not set in France, but the situation is similar to that of the French Revolution.)

The plot moves at a reasonable speed, so you don’t lose interest, but you don’t feel rushed. Compared to other books I’ve read, the plot is pretty unique. . No princess being saved. No dragons or elves or dwarves. Yes, their is magic, but it’s a different kind of magic, and it’s a magic that has limitations. Just because someone is a mage, doesn’t make them invincible. Just for fun, here is a promo video from Brian McCellan’s website.

 

The characters are very well developed, and very human in that they all have flaws. The characters experience fear, hope, jealousy, despair, self-loathing, and anger; they demonstrate honor, courage, perseverance, mercy, forgiveness, love and loyalty. Each character is very real; no one person is perfect and no villain is simply a monster (even though some behave like one.)

The story does follow the path of several different characters. Unlike other books I’ve read, however, the transition from one character’s story-line to the next feels natural and smooth. It is not disruptive like it is in other books I’ve read.

I definitely recommend this book. Their is humor, fighting, magic, intrigue, courage, and so much more.

This book will be added to my “Favorites” list for adults. (Due to violence and some adult references, I would say this book is PG-13.)

Burning Tower (Benjamin Ashwood #5) by AC Cobble

Burning Tower, Benjamin Ashwood.jpgI received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my review.

I have enjoyed the Benjamin Ashwood series in the past, but usually I listen to it on Audible. So reading the book without the benefit of a dramatized performance by Eric Michael Summerer (who narrated the first four books) was a little odd. I missed his performance.

Anyway, initially, I thought the Burning Tower was just “okay”; things seemed a little slow. However, the climax made it all worth it. I think out of all 5 books, the climax was my favorite scene. It was well-worth the wait.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

P.S. As with other Benjamin Ashwood books, there are some sex-scenes. Believe it or not, I think there were fewer in this book, then in others. I did skim over them; what I skimmed didn’t seem too terribly graphic, but as I’ve said before, I don’t like sex in books, so I tend to skip those scenes.