I went into this expecting it to feel more like a Diane Duane novel, which entirely wasn’t the case. (For context, they’re married—that wasn’t an entirely random thought to have.) Instead, it felt like a storyteller; the plot didn’t quite line up in the way I expect from a novel, but I think it works fairly well as a story being told to a great hall full of revelers.
There’s a couple odd spots, still—near the beginning, a couple chapters from a different character’s perspective, and I kept expecting to go back to them, but they never reappeared. And, towards the end, a skip forward in time that feels like it’s glossing over a lot of things that happened. This is listed as “Book 1” in the series, but I feel like, in the interest of closure, the last chapter was actually borrowed from the end of Book 2 instead.
Those issues aside, I quite enjoyed the book. The prose flows in a way that, again, feels like a story teller in a way; there’s a rhythm to it throughout. I’m still a bit unclear on the system of magic—there’s a distinction between sorcerers and wizards, but I still couldn’t tell you which was which—but that feels like just a mixing of words, and the actual system feels reasonably clear.1 And I appreciated that, while it doesn’t wrap up every thread, and actually specifically starts up some new ones at the end, it still came with enough of a sense of closure on the story that it felt complete. It’s the start of a series, but I don’t feel cheated out of anything by having only read the first one so far.
- Which, again, very different from Duane’s works—in here, it’s clearly a ‘soft magic’ system, whereas the Young Wizards series has a fairly hard magic system, with very clear rules and functionality… that can still occasionally bend for the betterment of the plot. But then, in-universe, that kind of thing still makes sense, because the reader isn’t the only outside force looking in, and the others are able to influence things more directly. ↩
- This is an Amazon affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I prefer Bookshop affiliate links to Amazon when possible, but in this case, the book wasn’t available there, so it’ll have to do. ↩