Sunday, September 13, 2015

Book Review Request: First Year (The Black Mage #1)

Title: First Year (The Black Mage #1)
Author: Rachel E. Carter
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Date read: September 9, 2015
Dawn Rates:  (4/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice-follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm's three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage...

For 15-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead -the realm's most notorious war school for those with magic. 

Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every "first-year" is given a trial year to prove their worth -and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail -and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived. 

When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship, she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve -and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat... Still, nothing is ever as it seems -and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in -herself. Will it be enough?

My Review: (also in goodreads)

It's always an honor to receive a book from the author asking you to give an honest review about it. It means they value your review and your ability to review without any pretense. Therefore, I'm going to give this an honest review:

This is a review long overdue. I received this copy from the David Estes R&R group and I am too ashamed to have to read this only now. But I am glad, I am glad because I found a gem in this. The story begins with Ryiah and her twin brother Alex off to the Academy to train in becoming a mage. Alex who has his heart set on becoming a restoration mage already knows that he has magic within him, in which his sister Ryiah is still struggling with her magic. She is already panicking since she wants to be a Combat mage. And just when she found her magic she finds that hers is an unpredictable sort. Her life at the academy wasn't all rainbows and butterflies, while she was living her dream, her stay was tough: Darren, the non-heir prince not liking her and treating her as a lowborn trash, Priscilla who is out to make her life miserable and not to mention her very difficult training life. The only consolation aside from having her twin brother with her is gaining a new friend in Eve, a highborn who isn't good terms with the non-heir prince. Having to train for one of the five spots as the Black Mage's apprentice may be a long shot but she is fighting to win that spot.

This book is the mix of young adult romance, magic and adventure and that academy plot rolled into one. Having that kind of adventure while at school or at camp (*ahem* Harry Potter and Percy Jackson) is pretty cool. It makes boring school life a bit more interesting. Ryiah is an interesting character. She is stubborn, headstrong and independent as well as unpredictable. If she wants something she will work hard for it with all her might and that makes her a relatable character. What I liked is the relationship between Darren and her. Though I think that the boy she met at the solstice ball will be a recognizable character in the next book. I liked how the book ended, it wasn't dragging and it didn't have that excess ended just the way it did, like you would be asking for more. I can't believe that this would be the author's debut series, I liked it and I am now a fan. This series has potential. I will be happily devouring the sequel. I hope though that this would be available in the local bookstores from where I'm from. 

Till the next read...

1 comment:

  1. I love this review, Dawn!!!! Making me grin like a fool, it's an honor just to have reviewers want to review mine in first place <3


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