Scott Drakeford's epic fantasy debut, Rise of the Mages combines gripping, personal vengeance with compelling characters for an action packed first book in a trilogy.
Emrael Ire wants nothing more than to test to be a weapons master. His final exam will be a bloody insurrection, staged by corrupt nobles and priests, that enslaves his brother.
With the aid of his War Master tutor, herself an undercover mage, Emrael discovers his own latent and powerful talents.
To rescue his brother, Emrael must embrace not only his abilities as a warrior but also his place as last of the ancient Mage Kings—for the Fallen God has returned.
And he is hungry.
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Plural title aside, Drakford's bracing epic fantasy debut and trilogy launch focuses on the rise of a singular challenger to an imprisoned and vengeful god. Emrael Ire, refugee son of an exiled general and a powerful healer, struggles to earn his Master of War title, while his brother, Ban, studies the art of Crafting, channeling infusori magic into artifacts. Then the ambitions of a governor to become king of the United Provinces and the escape of an imprisoned deity bring about a war that sweeps across continents. Triggered by this desperate situation, Emrael's latent, unique ability to directly handle infusori makes itself known and makes him a target for both the witchcraft-hating Watchers and the eerie Malithii priests who serve the Fallen God. Drakeford takes great care with the intricacies of sword fighting and castle storming, as well as Emrael's conflicted feelings over his legacy as both his father's heir and a mage. Less developed are his positive emotional bonds with companions and potential love interests, and without these connections, he comes across as angsty, awkward, and self-involved. Still, it's an immersive world epic fantasy fans will be glad to return to. Agent: Matt Bialer, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc.