- File Size: 3021 KB
- Print Length: 277 pages
- Publication Date: September 28, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07624J23S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,576 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$10.99|
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The Human Familiar (Familiar and the Mage Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 277 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
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Hatch 'Bannen' Xian Liang is a young man looking for adventure, and was willing to sneak out of his home to do it. He just didn't expect that adventure would find him in the form of a pretty young magician who summoned him to be her familiar as part of the tests required for all magicians to pass to get their certification. Renata 'Rena' Rocci knew that the spell to summon a familiar to her would be difficult since it was precariously close to creation magic, which she is horrible at, so she spent months working on the spell only for her magic to get out of hand anyway and summon a human. Never in the history of magic in her country had a magician summoned a human as a familiar, it is unprecedented as is her magic acting against her conscience volition to complete the bonding spell without her speaking the words. While Bannen is fine with the way things turned out, though a little confused by the emotions that seem to stem from the bond between them, Rena is completely apologetic and embarrassed by the gaff. She, and the other magicians around her, are also horrified because magical bonding between two people, especially without the consent of both parties, is considered heinous and a form of slavery, but even though the Magical Council order the Bannen and Rena sever their bond and return Bannen to his home both are reluctant to do so. Add in assassins, a bully sabotaging Rena, a mysterious illness, and a monster thought to be myth corrupting plants and animals with dark magic and you have a recipe for a good story.
What makes this story better then the anime is the characters themselves. Rena is a sweet girls who is justifiable upset by summoning a human familiar, but she doesn't take it out on Bannen the way Louise did to Saito after summoning him in the anime. Rena also doesn't treat Bannen as anything other then the intelligent human being he is, and the surrounding characters who know about the summoning all express dismay for Bannen's 'plight' and insist that the only right thing to do is to have the bond broken and him sent home. The thought that Bannen might be being coerced to stay with Rena upsets and concerns them, where as the side characters of the anime show no concern at all for the male protagonists plight or the think that Saito might want to go home.
Bannen, for his part, is not concerned. Sure being teleported two continents away and being emotionally bound to another person wasn't in his plans for that day, but since he was looking for adventure anyway he wasn't going to complain about the form that adventure comes in. And while Bannen isn't a magician he does have a basic understanding of magic and the intuitive sense that while Rena hadn't consciously summoned him her magic chose him to be her familiar for a reason. A theory that was later vindicated when Bannen observed the many ways he could aide Rena in her work and protect her in a way an animal familiar just wouldn't be able to. He also knows himself well enough to know that while a good portion of his protectiveness and goodwill towards Rena probably stemmed from the bond between them he also genuinely liked Rena and wanted to stay with her despite the bond.
So in summary it is another solid book by Honor Raconteur with likable characters, magic, and a larger then life plot that isn't resolved in this book, but will hopefully be tackled again in the next. I will definitely be buying 'The Void Magician' and am happy that the story wont be long coming.
Potentially awkward scenes are handled promptly by lead characters through the vastly under-used (especially in fiction) technique known as "talking it out right away instead of stewing." This lets us get on to the next part of the story cleanly and respectfully... instead of making supposedly smart characters assume or lie all over the place, and using that as a mechanism to force the story along.
Now that I think about it, this cleanness is a feature of all Ms. Raconteur's writing. And probably a good part of why she's one of my favorite authors. In a genre full of grey areas, deceit, shame, and trickery, it's refreshing to read an author whose characters are unashamedly exactly what they appear. And strong people BECAUSE of it, not in spite of it.
I eagerly look forward to the sequel, Void Mage, which is (according to the author herself) already well on its way to a planned release of "before the end of the year"!
Two minor nitpicks: using the word "fauna" when context clearly indicates she meant "flora". More than once. Shame on you.
And because I'm a geek about book design, I think there should have been some kind of visual signal when the narrator changes. Either different dingbats or the character name or something.
I still demand sequels, though.
I found this book after perusing the aisles of Amazon for a fairly long time. This was worth the wait. The protagonists are realistic, acting as people caught in an unfamiliar (pun intended) situation should. There's a touch of mystery, and a great deal of worldbuilding. What makes the entire story *work* is how seamless the entire concept goes, following the viewpoint of one individual in his journey to being a mage's personal assistant.
There are, of course, areas that could be improved. However, that's not hard to find here; spelling and grammar are superbly crafted, and the plot moves along in a smooth pattern. There could be a great deal of worldbuilding with the Council-esque situation; histories, tapestries, books of lore, but that might have expanded the book beyond what publishers wanted.
Keep up the good work!