The Mongrel Mage

L.E. Modesitt Jr. Tor, $27.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9468-2
The 20th volume in the Recluce series is a very domestic high fantasy, tying epic events to the most mundane of life tasks. Beltur has been trained by his uncle as a white mage of chaos, but he finds more comfort and success in handling the black magic of order. Forced to flee his home due to the political killing of free mages, he assumes a new life as a black mage in the trading city of Elparta. He’s worried about making a living, but then he discovers and enhances his innate ability to link order and chaos, rediscovers the long-lost art of forging cupridium swords, and learns how to channel lightning, which comes in handy when his former overlord attempts to conquer Elparta. Modesitt focuses on the small details, such as the tastes of varieties of ale, the cost of new clothes, and the deaths in battle of unloved colleagues, driving home the reality of a young refugee’s concerns even as legendary feats are performed. Readers who want to see the day-to-day life of an archmage-to-be will enjoy the slow manner in which Beltur comes of age; those expecting more action and excitement will be disappointed. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/2017
Release date: 10/31/2017
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