Mageborn (Age of Dread) by Stephen Aryan

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Mageborn (Age of Dread) by Stephen Aryan

Category: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Olivia Tierney
Reviewed by Olivia Tierney
Summary: Imaginative and compelling, Mageborn contains all the fantastic elements of high fantasy and with multiple points of view rich with personality the novel has great depth and superb quality. Great to read without reading Aryan's previous work, but even better if you have.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: Oct 2017
Publisher: Orbit
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0356508474

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Magic will destroy us all

Ten years after the devastating battlemage war when mages used their immense power to tear each other apart and sundered the world itself, suspicion of those who wield magic is at an all-time high. With the recent resurrection of the Red Tower, an institution for students to learn to control and expand their magic, Seekers visit villages each month to test children for magical abilities. But for those children and their families it is not a gift, it is a curse. For Habreel, who will never forget the destruction during the war, the elimination of all magic will save countless lives and is the only solution to long lasting stability. He will stop at nothing to achieve his aim; he will deal with the devil, crush villages and kill anyone in his way.

As his plans are set in motion, deaths due to magic will soar and heroes will become villains. Magic's only hope lies in the hands of a mage fresh from her training and a peace officer, who will use everything they have to stop Habreel and his followers.

The main element Mageborn excels at is its characterization. The novel had a wide range of complex characters which readers can't help but fall for, and read on excitedly to follow the fate of our favourite characters. The great diversity in each of the character's upbringing and mannerism is brilliantly portrayed on paper and is a real selling point of the book that sets it apart. Through multiple points of view we can piece together events of the novel and have some foresight into what might happen. Through the novel we encounter Tammy, a high ranking guardian of the peace with a dark past, Munroe, a mage yet to test her abilities, Wren and Tianne, new students at the Red Tower ready to embrace the magic they possess and Habreel, the man who is trying to extinguish magic with his bare hands. It's brilliantly structured chapter-by-chapter and the plot incredibly elegant – it doesn't feel rushed at all yet there is a lot of action for readers to dive into. One thing is for sure, Stephen Aryan writes fast-paced action packed scenes to die for. Those scenes are wicked and they are probably the most compelling reason for me to read more of his writing (not the only reason but definitely the upmost).

Having said all that Mageborn does read like the first in a series; there is a lot of introductory information about the world and the magic system but for me personally that information lacks the depth I really wanted. And it feels as if a lot of events happen more to give characters a reason to make particular decisions in future. I would have loved more world building and learning about the history of the world in great detail, but I understand it may have affected the pace of the novel too much. But perhaps, this would be different if I'd already read Stephen Aryan's first series which is set in the same world exploring the past of some of Mageborn's characters in great detail. With this in mind, I'm going to make a note to read Aryan's earlier books before the release of the next instalment!

It's a great start to a series, laying the framework for future climaxes in subsequent books.

Many thanks to the publishers for providing the Bookbag with a copy to review!

Magic, politics and revolution are at the core of Stephen Aryan's new novel, which is a great start to a new series! I look forward to reading future instalments in the series and I am definitely going to read the trilogy preceding this one – which I'm told is brilliant!

In terms of further reading, Battlemage is the start of Stephen Aryan's first trilogy set in the same world with great characters and epic battle scenes. We loved it and no doubt you will too! Alternatively, Lightbringer: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks is one of my favourite books, full of magic, intrigue and spic battles much like Battlemage.

Buy Mageborn (Age of Dread) by Stephen Aryan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mageborn (Age of Dread) by Stephen Aryan at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Mageborn (Age of Dread) by Stephen Aryan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mageborn (Age of Dread) by Stephen Aryan at Amazon.com.


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