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Glamour of the God-Touched (Saga of the God-Touched Mage) (Volume 1) Paperback – November 14, 2014
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
About the Author
Ron Collins is an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy, and has contributed numerous stories to publications such as Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine, and Mercedes Lackey's Flights of Fantasy and Valdemar anthologies. His science fiction has appeared in Analog, Asimov's, and Nature, among others. Ron is the author of two road trip, alternate-history, fantasy, science fiction baseball novels, the first being See the PEBA on $25 a Day (2010), and the sequel being Chasing the Setting Sun (2014). His writing has received a Writers of the Future prize, and a CompuServe HOMer Award. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and worked developing avionics systems, electronics, and information technology before spending a decade in Human Resource management. Ron lives in Columbus, Indiana, with his wife, Lisa.
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Like many adventure/fantasy books, there was a central character in which the story revolved around. Garrick's strange, painful journey impacted the entire world, the people within it, and even the plane where magical gates were opened to perform spells. From the beginning of his life, Garrick was nothing more than a throw-away type of individual. He didn't have much to offer anyone around him. He was treated as a piece of property until he became a mage's apprentice. That moment changed the way he thought about himself and what he wanted for his future life. However, he wasn't the only one to be explored in the book. There were also two sects of mages that sought to control the entirety of magic use. Their differences were as drastic and deeply rooted as the way they practiced their craft. Their distrust of one another (and for the free-thinking mages as well) was apparent the moment they appeared in the story. I really liked the fact that each of the three types of mages had their own dress code and also a different "taste" to their magic. I don't think I've come across another book where the magic user described the magic having a taste such as honey or mint. It was unique and intriguing for me.
Now, this book was a quick read for two reasons. One, it did have less pages than I expected for an introduction to a new world and its inhabitants. While the length didn't take away from the quality of the story, it truly did leave me wanting more. The other reason was simply the pace of the book. From the first chapter, the pace was set at a steady clip. When the events of the story began unfolding, there was absolutely no way to stop them. Once those wheels of time and magic turned, no brakes would've stopped them. The end of the book definitely revealed the fact that there were more books to come in this series. Something much larger than Garrick's simple life was at stake, but we have to wait and see what terrors they hold for Garrick and the rest of his world.
Overall, I liked the book because it was a quality read and it left me questioning what was to come. It was easy to relate to Garrick's desire to be his own man, something more than a simple pawn in the game of life. When the one bit of happiness in his life was taken, he became desperate to have it once again. I think nearly everyone has been in this position at least once in their life. Because the decision he made had horrible consequences, he needed to find a way to fix what he'd done - something else that many can relate to as well. If you're looking for a well-written introduction into a world where mages still exist or simply want a quality book to pass the time, this is the book to fulfill both of those and more.
But overall I very much enjoyed reading this. The storyline is an interesting one, and I'm curious to know more about this young man and the path he has been set down. And the World At Large.
I get that these authors are trying to make money, but honestly I would rather spend $4 on a 400+ page book then read through these 80-200 pages mini novellas. It's amazingly frustrating and really comes off as a cheap marketing scheme.
This story takes a much darker tone, though, and it grabs hold and hits the ground running as we are introduced to Garrick, an ambitious apprentice with aspirations to become a full-fledged mage of the Torean Order. Tragedy places Garrick in a position where he must call on powers that he doesn't fully comprehend, setting him on a course where he must either find a way to rid himself of his newfound power, or find a way to control it before it consumes him.
It doesn't take long for Garrick to discover that a Planewalker, one of the gods of Garrick's realm, is the source of his new powers, and he learns that he has perhaps become a pawn in an even bigger game. At one point Garrick asks his benefactor to take back what he has given, but the Planewalker refuses to take back that which is both a blessing and a curse, prompting Garrick to ask, "Do all planewalkers enjoy toying with defenseless people as much as you?" To which the Planewalker replies, "What else would you expect from gods?"
That sets the tone for Garrick's journey, where he finds himself adrift in his world, with no ties to his own magic order, and with signs of chaos brewing with the other orders that hint at the beginnings of a possible magewar. Along the way, Garrick fights an internal battle with the ebb and flow of his powers, which alternate between an unquenchable hunger for energy and an irresistible imperative to give back what he has taken. "You have given," his inner voice insists, "Now you must take."
His planewalker benefactor offers our hero no assistance, despite obviously having hidden intentions for Garrick. At best, he offers Garrick this advice: "Actions and consequences, Garrick -- that's all there is, even for us gods."
In this first installment, we learn alongside Garrick how true these words are -- as Garrick struggles with his own new status quo, we are given glimpses of many different storm clouds brewing in the background, with the promise that subsequent installments will offer up answers to many unasked questions that are raised here in this first episode.
Overall, I found this first installment to be very compelling, and the magic realm that Collins has created pulses with life and potential. Garrick has an "everyman" quality to him, seeming very familiar and human while also embodying an endearing heroic aspect that makes for the type of protagonist you just want to cheer for. Collins has fabricated a full and compelling world around this likeable yet beleaguered protagonist, along with a rich cast of compelling characters. You have taken, Ron, now you must give us the next installment so our hunger can be quenched.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to reading the second installment, and I can't wait to learn more about Garrick, the Planewalkers, and the magic orders of Arduin -- the first episode did a great job of drawing me in, and I am looking forward to being swept away on more of the mage-stuff that Collins has so skillfully cast here.
Most recent customer reviews
book. Than k you for these books.