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A Vanishing Glow (The Mystech Arcanum) by [Radcliff, Alexis]
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A Vanishing Glow (The Mystech Arcanum) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Length: 347 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"I can't say enough good things about this book. Incredibly strong debut novel [...] MUST READ!" -- Ben Mariner, author of Apocalypse Wow

"I really have to gush over the huge cast of interesting and mysterious characters in this book. [...] One of the things I enjoyed the most was the world building, which was in my opinion, rather superbly done. [...] I would definitely recommend checking out this impressive debut novel." -- Rowan, at Babbling of a Book Babe

"It's a rambunctious and enjoyable piece of fantasy. It's got some original ideas, and they flow together well into a fascinating read. [...] yes, pick this one up, it's worthwhile." -- Chris Meadows, at Scifi and Fantasy Reviews

About the Author

Alexis Radcliff is an author, gamer, and history junkie who lives in the Portland area with her husband and a very fluffy, very surly cat.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1781 KB
  • Print Length: 347 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1517266793
  • Publisher: Fatecaster Press (October 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B013CW2T0G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #597,486 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a punchy, fast-moving Steam…


Well, I’d say “steampunk,” but it ain’t. I’ve been wondering what this sub-genre should be called. Like my novel “BREAK!” it is a fantasy, but set in a dawning industrial age after man has bent magic to his will and harnessed it to power machines. (What, nothing could possibly go wrong!) I would name the genre “magitek,” but that’s just ripping Final Fantasy off.

Bah! No matter! Call it what you want – this book was great! The world is in upheaval, society reeling from the first couple of decades of an industrial revolution (that’s not an easy change to go through) with a fractious young federated government at the helm. In this environment – realistically complete but never overbearing in its description – the book follows two main protagonists in parallel storylines fraught with ambition, treachery, and heavy emotion. These are heroes who would not view themselves as such, weighed down as they are by heartbreak and self-doubt stemming from past events which are gradually and naturally revealed through the course of the story, taking you deeper into the weight of their old wounds even as the action and rising chaos drive onward to a thundering climax.

This is not a gentle book, but there is a gentleness and empathy in the author’s treatment of her characters, so that even the villains are allowed their humanity. As fantastical as the setting and events are, the characters are so realistically wrought in their drive and motivations that the story easily comes to life in the mind. This has the side effect of turning some of the triumph at the end into tragedy – it’s harder to feel good about the bad guys failing when you realize that they aren’t evil, just broken. The story becomes less of an escape and more of a reflection. But I wouldn’t have Radcliff change it for anything. This world is real to me, these people matter, and I’m eager to read what comes next.
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Format: Paperback
Radcliff’s world building definitely puts this novel on the map. Her vivid descriptions and intricate narrative highlight the imagination and creativity in the world that has been created for the one of a kind tale. I appreciated the varying pace of the story which highlighted and underscored the various events in the tale. The sub-plots that wove throughout the novel were intriguing and underscored the complexity of this world.

Radcliff has created a fun and varied cast full of all types of personalities. Not only did the individuals captivate me, but the way in which Radcliff develops the differing regions and the resulting peoples was fantastic.

As a whole this was a wildly imaginative and quite intriguing tale. Radcliffe has created a multifaceted world that is well developed, crating the perfect backdrop for her characters to shine.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Briefly? Steampunk, swashbuckling, battle and war stories, intrigue, adventure, excitement, and page-turning, could not put it down awesomeness.

I'm not one to typically reach for political/war story lines, but I will happily say that this book was a thrill to read. Multiple character points of view alternate at a satisfying and exciting pace, without the confusion that can sometimes accompany that style of storytelling. I literally couldn't put it down.

If you're looking for a gripping tale of intrigue, suspense, with plot twists wrapped up in the whimsy and excitement of steampunk esthetic you need look no further.
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Format: Kindle Edition
First, the obligatory disclaimer, I received this copy for free in exchange for an honest review, and after glancing through several other reviews I see that it has worked well for her. Many other reviewers feel, as I do, that this book, although self published, is very well written and edited.

I'm not entirely certain which genre best fits this novel, or even if this is truly one novel or two shorter novellas? That is part of why I liked it. There were enough things that I couldn't predict to keep me interested until the very next surprise. A Vanishing Glow is billed as Volume 1 & 2 in the Mystech Arcanum but it feels like neither section would be complete without the other.

Set in the world of Ghavarim, the beginning of the book is complex and requires a degree of attention and some rereading, as the world building and character motivations and interactions are non-stop. Fortunately Alexis Radcliff proves to have a very firm grasp on the reality of her world and the loves, hates and politics of its young government. The characters quickly become fleshed out and I found myself reacting to them as I would to real people, adoring some, irritated by others, worried for the ones I really cared about and unable to stop them from making their own choices and putting themselves in danger. Hating a couple, as we should.

This story has sons and their Fathers in healthy, and in dysfunctional relationships, it has friends, and loyalty, betrayal and mourning, it has a lot of politics and intrigue and a murder mystery, and commitment and heroes. It has clockwork armies and steampunk tech, but most of all it has two strong story lines that you will care about.
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