Mageborn: Age of Dread, Book 1

Stephen Aryan. Orbit, $16.99 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-0-316-55478-7
Set in the aftermath of the devastating magic war that shaped events in Aryan’s Age of Darkness trilogy, this tangled first Age of Dread novel brings insight and understanding to ways that a primarily non-mage society responds to the dangers and possibilities of a magically gifted subpopulation. The author divides his narrative into three plots featuring the novel’s principal characters: Wren, Tianne, and Danoph, young students learning how to control and refine their magic powers from teachers at the Red Tower; Munroe and Tammy, guardians searching for someone who went missing in the course of recruiting students; and Habreel and Akosh, two scheming rabble-rousers who hope to stir up trouble that will result in the banishment of mages from Zecorria and the surrounding kingdoms. Working on an intimate and personal scale, Aryan devotes considerable attention to developing his characters, showing how they’re affected by the events that have made the mages’ families and countrymen so afraid of them. He also enlivens his tale with abundant politics, intrigues, double-crossings, and plot twists to keep the pacing brisk and whet readers’ appetites for future installments. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2017
Release date: 10/03/2017
Genre: Fiction
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