Rise of the Mages
written by Brian W. Foster
published by Brian W. Foster, 2015
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: You know how you’re reading this awesome book and you get about 80% through only to realize there’s still WAY too much going on for everything to be tied up at the end? You know how that makes you both super annoyed and super excited at the same time? That’s how I feel about this book: I’m annoyed I didn’t get the resolution I wanted, but I’m also pumped about getting to read an entire other book! Yay! . . . and Boo. And Yay! . . . well, you get the idea.
I love how Foster’s characters grow and change throughout the story (some for the better, some not), and I love love LOVE that I honestly can’t decide how I want things to end, whether Xan always makes the right choices, or who he ought to end up smooching. There is, as usual, some editing work to be done, but overall I loved it.
“Look, sometimes you don’t have a choice between doing good and doing bad. Sometimes the choice is between doing bad and doing less bad.”
Would I recommend it: Absolutely!
About the book – from Goodreads: Strange dreams of a beautiful young woman leave journeyman apothecary Alexander “Xan” Conley exhausted. That’s not good since a single mistake could kill a patient. To complicate matters, he’s afraid that finding a way to end the nighttime meetings would mean never seeing the girl again, a horrible thought considering she’s the closest thing to a love life he has.
His existence radically changes when a tenacious catcher bent on capturing and executing Xan forces him and his friends to flee their homes. As Xan quests to rescue his dream girl from the same fate that awaits him, he discovers that the catcher is part of a deadly conspiracy.
Xan’s sole path to safety is to become a mage, thereby embracing forces that nearly destroyed the world during the Wizards War. He must choose between two terrible options—saving the lives of those he loves or risking everyone by ushering in a new age of magic.