Mitchell Hogan, an imaginative new talent, makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, A Crucible of Souls, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.
When young Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.
Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were violently killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers.
But the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction.
Soon, he must choose a side, and face the true cost of uncovering his past.
This is the author's definitive edition.
Hogan's debut, appearing for the first time in print after digital self-publication in 2013, is a multiple-narrator tale of sorcery and madness that draws upon grimdark and adventure-quest epics in equal parts but not in the best ways. Caldan, an orphaned boy with rare powers, is taken in by monks and allowed to train at an exclusive monastery. But when he comes of age and commits a terrible crime, he's cast out and sent to find the truth behind his parents' murders. Culture shock thrusts the novice sorcerer into a larger network of dark plots and murderous intent, all centered on destructive sorcery, a barbaric art long thought impossible. Hogan's description of raw magic ability, which is given nuance by its frequent connection to alchemical properties, will remind many readers of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. In fact, much of the book's slow setup consists of a series of patchwork tropes hustled along through Hogan's frequently clunky expository dialogue. Once some patchy worldbuilding is established, the book becomes somewhat more readable, aside from the gratuitous violence sometimes sexual inflicted on women for the purpose of motivating male characters.
Great series! Finished all three over three sleepless nights. Well written, cool characters and great climactic action sequences.