Vampires. Shifters. Fae. Mages. This ain’t the New York City you know… Aspen is a Norm. A non-magic. A human. And in the magically hidden boroughs of New York City, that’s a quick way to wind up dead. Or worse. So instead of magic, Aspen relies on her skills as a thief to stay alive. She didn’t plan to get caught stealing from Lucien Dunadine, one of the strongest members on the Council of Mages. She really didn’t plan on him blackmailing her into being his apprentice. But with the Council demanding Lucien present a candidate for a competition to become their newest Mage, neither one of them has much choice. Now something sinister is going down in the magical boroughs. Supernaturals are winding up dead and mysteriously, impossibly, drained of magic. If Isak, Aspen’s handsome, aggravating opponent in the competition, doesn’t kill her first, the two of them just might be able to figure out who’s behind the murders before an ancient evil is unleashed. Welcome to the boroughs. Let the magic begin.
Here, she discovers that he is no ordinary mage. His name is Lucien and he's one of the most powerful mage's on the Mage's Council. Lucien needs an apprentice to compete against his fellow mage Xavior's. The council will not let him back out of it, so Aspen is the answer to all his problems. Except she's a norm. She doesn't have magic, but she quickly learns that there's more to her than she could've anticipated.
Her competition is Isak who is good-looking and cocky. He tries to talk Aspen out of the competition and she can't help but notice the sincerity in his voice. But there are bigger things going on than a competition. Someone is stealing the magic from beings and they fear it's to take the protective wards down from around the city. Isak and Aspen must put their differences aside in order to solve the mystery of who's behind the deaths that are scattered around New York.
MAGE'S APPRENTICE is a fast-paced, action-packed YA fantasy that holds your attention throughout the whole story. Aspen is a strong female lead, but after her parents death, she doesn't want to develop relationships with anyone. She has to learn to open up and trust others or it could cost her her life. Lucien quickly becomes my favorite character with his witty remarks and carefree attitude. I like the back and forth snarks Aspen has for both Lucien and Isak. After the ending, I'm curious to see what the next installment contains.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of fantasy, supernatural beings, magic, mages, action, and subtle romances.