Title: Rise of Mages
Author: Brian Foster
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publish Date: September 28, 2015
Avid Reader Time: 2.15 hours
Strange dreams of a beautiful young woman leave journeyman apothecary Alexander “Xan” Conley exhausted. That’s not good since a single mistake could kill a patient. To complicate matters, he’s afraid that finding a way to end the nighttime meetings would mean never seeing the girl again, a horrible thought considering she’s the closest thing to a love life he has.
His existence radically changes when a tenacious catcher bent on capturing and executing Xan forces him and his friends to flee their homes. As Xan quests to rescue his dream girl from the same fate that awaits him, he discovers that the catcher is part of a deadly conspiracy.
Xan’s sole path to safety is to become a mage, thereby embracing forces that nearly destroyed the world during the Wizards War. He must choose between two terrible options—saving the lives of those he loves or risking everyone by ushering in a new age of magic.
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This an ‘arc” copy eBook supplied by the Author. I am not receiving any monetary benefit or any kickback for this review. I received this arc for an honest review. This review is cross-posted on Amazon, Goodreads and given directly to the Author.
This book has so much promise. The premise is astonishingly well thought out and unique. There is bottom up world building in a fantasy setting. Rise of the Mages seem to be a plot driven book that, unfortunately leaves character development in the dust. That being said, the character development and dialog is lacking. I am the type of reader that loves and prefers character driven or character development driven stories. Foster is connoisseur of plot and action and the book was great on that spectrum. But I wanted more from the characters. I feel like even in the re-release edit version that there was not enough character development. At times the Characters seem to be underdeveloped and childish…
This is the only negative of this book. Basically, I believe the characters need some more likable traits or even some hint of what they had in the beginning. It was like once the quest started, they lost their likable traits or even the love and care that had for each other. Xan drove me crazy and made me wish, he would get caught. He’s the main character I’m supposed to like and root for him. He starts off a bright apothecary with a drug habit. Then he turns into an overpowered whiny brat. His drug problem disappears half way through the book. The plot carried the characters through the conflict. I just couldn’t find a redeemable characteristic for any of the characters. Laney might have been a great character, if she could have gotten over her murdering a solider while trying to save her brother. I believe in a little guilt and emotional conflict, but it just made her be an extreme advocate for never harming someone.
Maybe it’s my need for character driven plots that dictate this review. The writing is great, the premise a gem in the rough. I just feel that characters are not 3D and definitely nowhere close to likable. I just am a bit disappointed even after reading the rewrite. The author did state that he got a little too zealous with the conflict between the characters. There were some interactions that made them the characters seem like a group. But in the end, I just didn’t feel like there was enough. I will wait and read the next one. But at this time, Rise of the Mages was not a hit. I give it two out of 5 stars. I just prefer character driven stories verses action/plot driven.