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A Touch of Magic Paperback – December 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466290064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466290068
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,396,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gregory L. Mahan was born in Richardson, Texas, but spent his formative years in the greater Houston area. Gregory fell in love with the works of Andre Norton at a very young age, and soon became a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy works. He began crafting stories for his friends and family at the age of 8 when he asked for (and received!) a typewriter as a Christmas gift.

Gregory is known for the Llandra Saga series of epic fantasy novels, as well as several Celtic music tunebooks and a how-to guide on brewing mead. He has been a member of the Authors Guild since 2014.

In addition to writing, he enjoys Celtic music, and has played the Irish penny whistle and low whistle since 1995. His first band, Echoes of Ireland, was featured on KPFT radio's Irish Aires program, as well as being one of the bands chosen to play for Charles Sheehan, Consul General of Northern Ireland on his visit to Houston in 2003. Gregory maintains one of the oldest and largest Irish music repositories on the internet, The Wandering Whistler Music Archives, and published his first songbook, Fifty Great Celtic Jigs, in 2002. In 2003, he joined the band Paddy Gone Wild, and was prominently featured on their CD, The Greatest Hits, released in 2008.

Gregory currently lives in Northern Virginia with his family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Zorah M on December 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like a nice "ordinary boy discovers his extraordinary destiny" story, you'll love this novel. I found it well-written, nicely paced, and engrossing enough to stay up past my bedtime in order to finish. I was especially pleased with the main character. Too often, young people in stories are either ridiculously stupid, or far too mature. Randall is a realistic fifteen-year-old boy. He tries hard, and sometimes makes poor choices, but they are always believable and organic to the character.

The world and magic system are intriguing. It's nearly impossible to come up with an explanation for magic that hasn't been done before, but I felt this author did a very good job of putting a fresh spin on it. I was eager to learn more, and never bored. What more can you ask? A lot of interesting tidbits went unexplained, and there are obviously sequels to come (though this story wrapped up very nicely, and didn't leave me hanging). I will definitely be watching for more in this series, or any others by this author.

All in all, an excellent debut. Give it a try!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Darryl Fabia on December 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Touch of Magic takes place in a medieval fantasy world, particularly in a small island country where magic is outlawed. This isn't much of a problem for Randall Miller, middle son of a businessman in a backwater hick town whose biggest dream is to land an apprenticeship at the local job fair, until the apprenticeship he lands is one with a mage.

The plot comes in slow stretches and then sudden bursts, and that isn't to say one or the other is bad. One of the longest slow stretches of the book was probably the best page-turning section, teaching both Randall and the reader much about the world, while a favorite scene later in the book happens very quickly and couldn't have slowed down without hurting the tension.

The story of Randall Miller has the benefit and misfortune of being about an inexperienced adolescent. He often whines, fails at what he's trying to do, and at the times where he does accomplish something, he goes too far with it. His subconscious seems to believe that screwing up a situation is a good learning experience for Randall. He does learn quite a bit over the course of the novel, and though he begins as a bit childish even for his age, he's forced to become a man if he wants to survive the consequences of his own mistakes. That's something that grows subtly through the book and Randall never feels like a little adult--at any given time, he's exactly who he should be. If there was any downside to his character, it's that the only rapport generated solidly through the novel isn't captured in dialogue with another character, and often other characters come off only as much as Randall notices them. That said, the narrative is so invested in Randall's perception of events, never once leaving his point of view, that you never really notice while reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MrWrite on October 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story started well and quickly hooked me in. Randall is a young boy growing up in a backwoods neighborhood, where people are superstitious and see people who can work with magic, commonly known as Mages, are evil and touched by the devil. So Randall is pretty put out when a stranger marks him out as a Mage. Before Randall knows what's happening, he's forced to travel with the stranger, named Erliand, and become an apprentice. A large part of the book, especially the first half is taken up with Randall learning different spells and how to use them. This is fascinating at first and it's clear the author has put a lot of thought into this side of the world he's created. But ultimately the training starts to drag on a little long for me.

The second half of the book is much better. Erliand is attacked and Randall is forced to flee with no idea of what ultimately became of his Master. Randall is forced to travel, staying one step ahead of his enemies. Unfortunately he quickly realises he has no idea who he can trust and a couple of betrayals force him to flee once more, barely escaping with his life. The conclusion is satisfying and hints at the possibility of a sequel.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rainbow Kibbit on November 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a very fun story that is well paced and interesting. The plot moves along and pulls you with it, grabbing your attention and not letting you go. The language and characters make it great for a younger audience, but teens and adults will find plenty of reasons to enjoy the books as well. Definitely worth the read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. R. Harris on February 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this e-book! It feels fresh and is very entertaining. I was hooked in the first few pages. In comparison to other stories about boys who find out they have magic powers this one feels closer to David Eddings Belgariad than JK Rowlings Potter. It is possible that is because of the setting, being in another world and opening in a rural enviroment or because the 'type' of magic found in Llandria is more similar to that found in Eddings books. The writing was clear and easy to read, not verbose like Eddings could be. Randall, the main character, has depth and acts like a real teenager. I came looking for a sequel, but I see it is still in progress.
Thank you Mr. Mahan for completing and publishing this. I look forward to reading the next.

***Spoiler Alert***

This story was not a cliffhanger, so don't hesitate to read it now, but I was left with unanswered questions. I'm hoping to find out more about Randall's family history in the sequel. I wanted to know how Randall's mother happened to have the Elven dagger and how she knew 'Old Earl'. Although in the endding I wanted Randall to go back out into the world with Berry, I was shocked at how easily his mother turned the blame on him for the war (besides shouldn't she be on the mages side?) Speaking of Berry, I was intrigued at the response he got from everyone. I'm hoping to find out more about how he and Randall found each other... Did Randall somehow summon him? Why as there such a strong attachment between them? How is it that Barry is wise enough to save randall's life, but does nothing about him being tied up? As the last of my wish list for the sequel I'd also like to learn more about the elves and other fae.
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