*I received a review copy from the author in exchange for review consideration. This does in no way affect my opinion, and all thoughts expressed in this review are unbiased and my own.*
Series: The Black Mage
Author: Rachel E. Carter
My rating: 4 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pub. date: January 24th 2017
Synopsis: She survived a trial year at the Academy of Magic, but that was the easy part…
Now sixteen-year-old Ryiah is an apprentice of Combat, her school’s most notorious faction. When she finishes, she will be a war mage, but in order to do so, she has to survive four years traveling across Jerar, training with a master she hates, her old nemesis, Priscilla, and Prince Darren, her sometimes-rival sometimes… more?
Ry’s new apprenticeship is nothing like what she prepared for. War is on the horizon and her lessons aren’t just for practice anymore.
It’s time to fight. (synopsis from Goodreads)
I love Ryiah.
Here’s the thing; Ryiah is going to be a Combat mage. As such, she has to be able to kick some major butt. Now, you all know I love me some majorly badass main characters, and Ryiah is definitely badass. I love reading about her! And there was some character development, and I’m looking forward to seeing how she’ll keep developing through the other books.
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the romance. On one hand, I love Darren. I just can’t help it. But he does act like an ass through some parts of the book, and I didn’t like how he acted toward Ryiah some of the time. Sure, at one point, I understand why he does it, but he is really mean and I didn’t like that. But I think there was a bit too much focus on it, too much focus on the back-and-forth, the heartache and the confusion. Still, there is so much tension between Ryiah and Darren that I just can’t help but love it.
I would’ve liked a bit more focus on the plot.
The plot is good, but I felt like it was a bit too little of it. I was a little disappointed when the book ended up being mostly about the apprenticeship – I would’ve really liked some more plot except for that. And what other plot there was, it was a bit too little. But I have high hopes for the next books, after the admittedly well-done build-up in this book!
This world is incredible.
I love the world! The world-building is still amazing, and I loved that the reader gets to see more of the world, as the apprentices travel to different places for their training. I felt like I got a better look at exactly what is going on and how the world works, and from what I’ve seen so far, there’s lots and lots of potential for the other books.
All in all, a highly enjoyable read!
Despite the fact that the plot was a bit lost in everything else, I really enjoyed reading it. I got a little stuck around half-way, but once I started reading, it was easy to get lost in the incredible world-building. So while there were some issues, I really liked it, and I’m so excited to read the next book!