Age of Darkness – Book 1: Battlemage – By Stephen Aryan

Jared,

I’m looking forward to your take on the books you’ve been reading. I know at least one of them I’ve already read and it will be interesting to see where our views differ. (Cryptic, but I can’t give too much away now can I?)

battlemage.jpgTitle: Battlemage
Series: Age of Darkness; Book 1
Author: Stephen Aryan
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: UU, Medieval, Military, High Magic
Synopsis: Balfruss is a battlemage, sworn to fight and die for a country that fears and despises his kind. Vargus is a common soldier — while mages shoot lightning from the walls of the city, he’s down in the front lines getting blood on his blade. Talandra is a princess and spymaster, but the war may force her to risk everything and make the greatest sacrifice of all.
Recommendation: For adult readers and I’m open to reading the next book.

This book isn’t perfect. On the flip side, this book didn’t have any glaring mistakes either. It was enjoyable but I don’t feel compelled to pickup the next book. I’m just not invested in the characters or the world enough.

We can start with the characters. They were all mildly flat. It’s almost not even noticeable but when I think back to the characters, I don’t really want to know more about them, or what they do in the future. I’m not invested in them. If they never show up in the later books I’m not going to give it a second thought. Vargus is probably the most compelling character, but that is because it felt like every bit of information had to be discovered instead of blatantly given to the reader. Talandra is probably the flattest because everything was told to us about her character either verbally or through her inner narration. Balfruss, while not as flat, much of his inner turmoil seemed trivial and scripted. He lacked an organic feel to him, which is almost another way of saying flat. Another aspect that played a part in the overall flatness was that the all the characters felt a little OP, overpowered.

The magic wasn’t completely original, but it matched the gritty tone of the world. While the world was mildly interesting it didn’t feel old. Beyond a couple hundred years, it might not have even existed. May details were left out and the impact of the events in the book were said to be earth shattering but the actual events seemed small and insignificant on a historic scale. While nothing was wrong with the world setting, it didn’t feel alive and I wasn’t invested in finding out more about the world or what might happen after this book.

The plot wasn’t very original and it was pretty easy to see where it was headed. That being said it didn’t feel like a complete repeat of other books. The more original elements were well used to create something unique in spite of the generally less original main plot points and themes.

All-in-all it was a good book and enjoyable to read, but it wasn’t a great book. As such, I don’t know when or if I’ll read the other books. I’ve got a lot I want to read and I don’t feel any need to read the others right away. If you disagree and want me to review the second and third books, let me know in the comments.

Robert

 


 

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Age of Darkness – Book 1: Battlemage – By Stephen Aryan

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