Featured Review: First Year (The Black Mage Book 1) by Rachel E. Carter

first-year

About This Book:

Magic. Romance. War. Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms, and Tamora Pierce. Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice --pursue a trade or enroll in a trial year in one of the realm's three war schools to study as a soldier, knight, or mage... For fifteen-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a mage and train in Combat, the most prestigious faction of magic. Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Everyone is rooting for her to fail--first and foremost among them is Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived. Will Ry survive, or will her dream go down in flames? *** The first book in the The Black Mage series by USA Today bestselling author Rachel E. Carter.

 

*Review Contributed By Michelle Lynn, Staff Reviewer*

A promising beginning. 

A fantastic opener to what promises to be a fun series.

The story:
Ryiah and her twin brother are teens who leave their home to pursue a spot at the prestigious school for mages. Anyone with the talent can be taken on as a first year, but to get beyond that requires smarts and skill unmatched by many others. Ryiah can barely access her magic. She isn't a particularly good fight. But she wants to be a combat mage. She wants one of the coveted five spots. With the aid of her brother, some friends, and an unlikely ally, she tries to survive the challenges they throw at her, knowing that if she does, it only gets harder from there. 

What I loved:
Ryiah is an incredibly fun character. She's a mix of fierce determination and self-doubt. It makes her very real in the reader's mind. The relationships she has with friends and her brother are a treat to watch unfold. Her development is slow and steady as she tries to overcome the deficiencies afforded to her because of her low birth. I can't wait to see what she becomes. 
The editing in this book is absolutely perfect. By that, I mean not a single mistake. I can't remember the last time I had the pleasure of reading such an error-free book. The writing style flows easily from one scene to the next. It stays true to it's YA grouping in not letting itself get bogged down in complexities and flowery language. Simple sometimes has a bad connotation, but here I mean it in the best possible way. The writing steps back and lets the characters be the stars, rather than the words. 

What was just okay for me:
At times, the plot moved rather slow and I just wasn't feeling Ryiah's connection with the prince. He was rude and cruel. Even if at times it was only pretend, I didn't understand her obsession. I am looking forward to my mind being changed as he's developed more in the next book. 
I would have liked more backstory. We're not told why anything is the way that it is or what each faction's true purpose was. Was the kingdom at war? Did they have a desperate need for their magic? Luckily, it's only the first in the series so I'm assuming I'll find all that out.

Final Verdict:
An intriguing story with enthralling characters that shine brightly in their determination and fierce pride.

 

*Find More Info On This Book HERE!*

Rate this blog entry:
What's Hot in KU
Spotlight on Love and War by Melissa de la Cruz, P...

Related Posts

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Kai's summer changes when she gets a summer internship at...
 
0.0
 
4.3 (1)
Zoe is just your average teenage girl expecting another average,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Frango & Chicken
Some things seem impossible, but with the right attitude and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ruby Lane
Ruby is overexcited again, and her brain is spinning creative...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Girl Gone Ghost
A gripping psychological thriller. Inspired by a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice
A perfect tool for young readers as they grow into...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
Texas: 1931. It’s the height of the Great Depression, and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Voyage of the Dogs
SOS. Ship damaged. Human crew missing. We are...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Flying in a Cage
A song tugs inside me, like a string pulling...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Shorty & Clem Blast Off!
The energetic and zany duo Shorty and Clem are back,...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Bear's Spooky Book of Hidden Things: Halloween Seek-and-Find
If you want to keep kids happily busy for hours...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Strange New World
Dahlia 16's life is a lie. The city of...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Like Never And Always
Liv Burnham thinks nobody knows Morgan Frost like she...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Outcasts- The Blood Dagger: Volume 1
Mystical relics. Powerful vampires. Strange allies. It's hell being...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ascent (A Peak Marcello Adventure #3)
After conquering the mountains in Afghanistan, Peak Marcello goes...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.3
"I can't wait to see where the next book goes!"
Sneaking Out
 
3.8
" ‘Sneaking Out’ is the first installment in the ‘Chase’ series. The setting is an elite New England..."
Bleeding Hearts
 
3.0
"The story: Nancy Miller is a poor, illiterate teenage girl scrounging out a meager living in Edinburgh. On the..."
All-American Liars
 
3.8
"'All-American Liars' by Emily Kazmierski shines a light on the lies people tell themselves and others to help save face..."
 
4.0
"A short and fun read. The story: Megera is in danger of having to leave her private school when..."
This Summer
 
4.0
"A sweet romance highlighting the fragile hearts of youth. The story: Hadley is determined to have a good summer..."
Emerge: The Heir (Immortals of Indriell Book 4)
 
5.0
"A shining star in a great series. The story: Picking up years after the last time we saw Allie..."
Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice
 
4.0
"This is a collection of brief biographies of people who stood up and resisted injustices and tyranny. There's a little..."
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
 
5.0
"Mason Buttle can't read all that well. And he sweats a lot. And writing isn't something he can do either...."
Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
 
4.3
"Bonnie Parker is waiting for Clyde to be released from prison. It's 1931 and she wants him to come..."
Voyage of the Dogs
 
5.0
"The Laika is on mission Stepping Stone, traveling outside the solar system to set up a new planet. In addition..."
Shorty & Clem Blast Off!
 
4.5
"'Shorty & Clem Blast Off!' by Michael Slack is a cute addition to Shorty and Clem's adventures. The first book..."
Bear's Spooky Book of Hidden Things: Halloween Seek-and-Find
 
3.5
"'Bear's Spooky Book of Hidden Things' by Gergely Dudas is for anyone who loves books like 'Where's Waldo?' Even adults..."
Here to Stay
 
4.7
"Bijan Majidi does okay in high school-- he has a good friend, Sean, is on the basketball team, and while..."
Funny Kid #2: Stand Up
 
4.5
"After his attempts to run for class president in Funny Kid for President, Max has decided that his identity is..."
Hiding Lies
 
5.0
"HIDING LIES is the second installment in the Eleanor Ames series. It begins with Ellie and Miles saying goodbye since..."
Yellow Submarine
 
4.0
"Twice upon a time, once in 1968 and once today, there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland. In an elaboration..."
The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)
 
5.0
"Apollo, now known as a human teenager named Lester, must restore five Oracles that have gone dark in order to..."
Louie (The Puppy Place #51)
 
4.0
"The Petersons are working together to clean up a camp ground near Loon Lake, where they will be spending time..."
Spirit (The Puppy Place #50)
 
4.0
"Lizzie is very used to being around dogs, since her family fosters many of them, and has Buddy, their own..."