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A Mage's Power (Journey to Chaos Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Now, the first thing that struck me is that the world of Tariatla is as somewhat "deconstructed" (as Brian says on his blog) world. As well as having traditional Fantasy elements like magic, monsters, elves, orcs, etc - there are also real world elements, like a job centre, diners, television, even an X-Factor type reality show for wizards! It kind of feels like Earth if it suddenly got invaded by Fantasy monsters. Now, the idea of combining Fantasy with real world is an idea that has been done and in this book it mainly works. But sometimes, the ideas seem to clash with each other and it's almost like it can't make up its mind as to whether the world wants to be Fantasy or not. For the most part it works, but there are times when it felt like the suspension of disbelief was stretched.
Trapped in this strange world, Eric tries to adapt to his new surroundings and eventually gets recruited into the Dragon's Lair as a mercenary, learning to use magic and make money. His team consists of Nolien (who's like the resident bookworm and slightly socially awkward member) and Tiza (the tough, take no prisoners kick ass chick). For the most part, I actually quite liked them - even though I wanted to slap Tiza in a few places! But Balisard, their leader, I thought was pretty awesome. He kinda reminded me of Master Splinter in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, albeit with a bit more attitude and wit.
The crux of the story involved Eric and his mercenary group going on missions to collect money, learning teamwork along the way. It's the same sort of theme that we've seen in shows like Naruto and the like, but it works well. In actual fact, there isn't really one set plot - but a number of stories. The book actually reads like a cartoon series on Toonami (which Brian admits on his blog that the shows he watches are a major influence), with each part of the book feeling like another episode in the series, or maybe a better example would be like an RPG game and every part of the book is another quest they must complete. The problem with this is that sometimes the story feels a little undirected and at times doesn't know in what direction to go in. At other times, the story just seems to shift from one action to the next without any natural progression - which can be a little jarring at times.
Luckily, all these threads do come together in the end - but I won't give any spoilers. The final scene with the villain is a little "James Bond" like, where the villain gives away his master plan, but I won't be too hard on this as it does explain what could have potentially been some holes in the plot. But I do have to the honest, the ending I felt was like a slap in the face after everything Eric went through.
With all the above being said, I will say that this is certainly a fresh new look on the Fantasy genre and gives it a whole new look. It takes elements from other Fantasy stories and tries to do something different with them - so you don't feel like you're reading the same story over and over again. And it is well written, with plenty of humour and action to keep the reader interested. There were a few typos in my copy, but I've heard that has since been corrected so I won't give too much of a hard time on this one.
A Mage's Power is a book that you will need to really give a chance. It takes time to get going, and you will need to have an open mind with the Fantasy world it's set in - but if you settle into it, I think you'll find an exciting Fantasy adventure that's just waiting to be read. I'll definitely be waiting to read any other books in this series when they come out.
Its a great jury with fun and intersting caracters that are good in there own right, I do wish he was better at hand 4o hand and weapon conbat tho maybe in futer ones.
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