Author: Brian Kittrell
Series: Mages of Bloodmyr #1
Review Copy: Free promotional eBook
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5
When Laedron Telpist’s sorcery training is interrupted by a knock on the door, what once seemed a proper profession must now be hidden. In a world where priests and mages vie for the limitless power of the elements and a new Grand Vicar has sworn death to all sorcerers, Laedron is tossed into a nightmare which would see his destruction at every turn.
From the home shores in western Sorbia, through the Cael’Brilland heartlands, and even across the seas to the great city of Azura, Laedron finds himself embracing old friends, consorting with unlikely allies, and confronting potent enemies. As he struggles to train himself in spellcraft, Laedron must face that he lives in a time when the utterance of a simple spell could be the signature on his death warrant.
The Circle of Sorcerers is the first book in the fantasy series Mages of Bloodmyr by Brian Kittrell. It’s filled with magic and traveling, so may seem like your standard fantasy fare, but I feel it’s a unique world.
Laedron Telpist is a young sorcerer in training, coming from a long line of sorcerers. He’s come of age and has to travel to where he’s going to be trained to be a full-fledged sorcerer. His friend Marac loves his sister, who is also in training. However, Marac has his own destiny. There’s trouble in the world, and the sorcerers are in danger. Laedron is sent on a suicidal mission after only a short time of training.
Well, that all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Let’s take a look at the characters. Laedron starts out sounding like your typical teenager who is about to be shoved into his destiny. Marac is the alcohol loving friend who seems to think of nothing but drinking and Laedron’s sister. Ismerelda is a powerful mage who doesn’t get developed nearly enough, I think. Add in another two knights from their hometown, and we should have a lot of fun. Well, Laedron turns out to have huge swings in his personality from well-balanced to completely obsessed for vengeance. It seems quite unnatural, especially in such a short period of time. Marac doesn’t change very much, though. He is always a lighthearted character. What I feel is unfortunate about the characters in this book is that they are two-dimensional. Not much development is allowed for them, and the other major characters seem to have very little personality. I didn’t get a good feeling for the characters, nor did I really like them.
The pacing of the story is all over the place. It starts off quite slow, from Laedron’s home to Ismerelda’s to the Circle. A lot of detail is given during his lessons, which I felt was pretty unnecessary. I tended to make the story feel much slower than it needed to be. A lot of this part of the story consisted of info dumping. So much telling, not enough showing. The latter half of the book is much more fast-paced, and sometimes too fast. The action scenes were pretty short and I got through them quickly.
The setting is good. I enjoy a good created world, and Kittrell did a good job of this here. What you find here is well-developed world with an interesting magic system. The political and religious systems are also done well. I wished we could’ve explored more of this world, but that’s probably for later books.
I think one of the biggest flaws in this book is the ending. I understand it’s a trilogy and the story has to be set up for the following book. However, I think this book could’ve ended a few pages earlier. They achieve their quest, obviously. But that’s not all. It then continues. I thought they were going for an even bigger target. I was right, they were. But we weren’t going to get it in this book. The way the ending was written was just like the beginning of a book. The continuing story was well underway at this point, then it abruptly stopped. I was let down by this. I think it would’ve worked better as the beginning of another book.
I seem pretty negative, but I think it could’ve been executed better. However, I am not unhappy with the story. I enjoyed what I read, and I’m interested in seeing where it goes. I want to read the second book. I am intrigued.
I would give this 3 out of 5 stars with some reservations. However, I’d recommend it to fantasy fans who want to read a lighter story.