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***SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 GEMMELL AWARD FOR BEST DEBUT***
'I couldn't put it down' Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library
'I raced through this exquisite debut in three days and adored it' Fantasy Book Review
In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled - taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.
Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that could threaten the entire empire.
Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.
SET IN A RICH WORLD OF POLITICAL INTRIGUE AND DANGEROUS MAGIC, THE TETHERED MAGE IS A SPELLBINDING DEBUT FROM A MAJOR NEW TALENT.
'Absolutely recommended and on my shortlist for favorite books so far in 2017'
'A brilliant novel' The Eloquent Page
'Fantastically readable, incredibly addictive and intelligently plotted . . . I loved it' Liz Loves Books
'If you like fantasy, you'll love this book' The Tattooed Book Geek
Books by Melissa Caruso:
Swords and Fire
The Tethered Mage
The Defiant Heir
The Unbound Empire
With great power come great adventures and responsibilities in this politically aware fantasy lightly infused with Renaissance Italian flavors. Young aristocrat Amalia Cornaro heir to her mother's powerful position on Raverra's ruling Council of Nine and a friend to many in the restless city of Ardence inadvertently becomes a mage handler (Falconer) while trying to rescue rogue fire warlock Zaira from her own out-of-control balefire spell. Consequently, they are both automatically conscripted into the Raverran Empire's military, and, magically linked, must learn to work together under the direction of the doge himself. Amalia is romantically tempted by Lt. Marcello Verdi, the earnest if socially lower Falconer second-in-command. Debut novelist Caruso puts her characters into well-worn situations (mismatched teammates, unwilling heirs, unacceptable loves) but permits the social constraints on individuals, such as automatic conscription of mages, to have honest and logical bite. The Italian elements are window dressing, and there are no detailed parallels between Raverra and Venice other than the occasional gondola, which leaves room for Caruso to include ahistorical notes such as same-sex marriage and female generals. Readers may not be surprised by the outcomes of dilemmas but will be tantalized by the tension with which Caruso skillfully maintains her plot.