Review of Pauline M. Ross’s The Fire Mages

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Book Blub: Kyra has always been drawn to the magic of spellpages. She is determined to leave her small village far behind and become a scribe, wielding the power of magic through her pen. Halfway through her training, she has a mage as patron and her ambitions are within her grasp. But a simple favour for her sister goes disastrously awry, destroying Kyra’s dreams in an instant.

Devastated, she accepts an offer from a stranger to help her find out what went wrong. The young man sees growing power within Kyra, potentially stronger than spellpages or any living mage. The answers to unlocking that power may lie within the glowing walls of the Imperial City, but its magic is strong and the unwary vanish without trace on its streets. Thirsty for knowledge and desperate to avoid another accident, she feels compelled to risk it.

While she focuses on controlling her abilities, a storm of greed and ambition boils up around her. Kyra is a pawn in the struggle for dominance between unscrupulous factions vying for rule of her country. Trusting the wrong side could get her killed–or worse, the potent magic she barely understands could be put to unthinkable evil.

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: Five Stars – Highly Recommended

Similar Authors: Kristen Cashore, Rae Carson, Robin Hobb

Review: I could not put this book down. The pacing was perfect and kept me engaged from beginning to end. The writing style was just as phenomenal as I’ve come to expect from Pauline M. Ross. The main characters were more authentic than I think you usually get in fantasy stories, but just like Robin Hobb, Ross is a master at crafting authentic characters. This story had everything I look for in a fantasy novel with action that kept the pages turning and a main character that I was rooting for from page one.

The main character in this story is strong and independent while also being horribly naïve by expecting others to think in the same pragmatic way that she does. As a lawyer, I whole-heartedly approved of Kyra’s dream of becoming a law scribe. Her natural inclination toward study as well as her continued kindness toward those she left behind in her village (if only on her practice pages) showed a depth of character that kept me wanting to know what would happen next. And her relationships were just fascinating. Her youth and the way in which her relationship with the mage Cal develops were also very well written. I kept waiting for her to figure out what her own reactions meant in terms her feelings, but this is a character bent on her career not her love life. And frankly, I loved that about Kyra.

The descriptions in this book are lovely. I cannot express my love of the writing style strongly enough. The way that the magic system is described is unusual which was a pleasant surprise. I wanted to spend days exploring the library that Ross describes. It sounds like an incredible place to get lost for a while. It also made me want a whole separate book on the Imperial City. There is a wonderful story lurking within those magical walls, and I am almost desperate to read it.

I think anyone looking for a fantasy story with a character driven plot and strong female lead character will love this story. Just writing the review makes me want to read it again.

*I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but I bought it today so that I can share it with friends!

Check it out on amazon at: http://amzn.com/B00QXSSEHE

Happy Reading!

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