Hello people !
Today I bring to you a review for one of my favorite reads of 2021.
‘Dragon Mage’ by M.L. Spencer
Goodreads Synopsis –
Aram Raythe has the power to challenge the gods. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Aram thinks he’s nothing but a misfit from a small fishing village in a dark corner of the world. As far as Aram knows, he has nothing, with hardly a possession to his name other than a desire to make friends and be accepted by those around him, which is something he’s never known.
But Aram is more. Much, much more.
Unknown to him, Aram bears within him a gift so old and rare that many people would kill him for it, and there are others who would twist him to use for their own sinister purposes. These magics are so potent that Aram earns a place at an academy for warrior mages training to earn for themselves the greatest place of honor among the armies of men: dragon riders.
Aram will have to fight for respect by becoming not just a dragon rider, but a Champion, the caliber of mage that hasn’t existed in the world for hundreds of years. And the land needs a Champion. Because when a dark god out of ancient myth arises to threaten the world of magic, it is Aram the world will turn to in its hour of need.
Dragon Mage has been on my radar ever since it was released earlier this year but the thing that bought this book to my attention is first and foremost its gorgeous cover (full cover art attached below) and the second thing were the wonderful reviews my most trusted friends gave for this one.
‘Dragon Mage’ by M.L. Spencer is an epic coming of age fantasy full of magical adventures, characters who will grab your heart and of course beautiful DRAGONS !
Another thing I would like to put out is that the book is almost 1000 pages long but but but before you get intimidated by the length, don’t be ! Its easy to read and if you love classical fantasy then its going to suck you right in. I don’t even know how I flew through such a chunky book.
We mostly follow two main characters in the book – Aramon Raythe and Markus Galliar
Aramaon Raythe –
Aram is an outcast in his own hometown. He is somewhat on an autism spectrum, he sees everything in knots and colors. His greatest desire is to make friends and be treated normally but that goes downhill when it is discovered that a very old and immensely powerful ability resides within him. I loved reading from Aram’s POV, it got awkward at times but seeing the world in a his way made me understand him as a character so much deeply. I also weirdly got attached to him, I wanted him to be loved and happy and safe. We watch him grow up as he goes through some really brutal hurdles of life and the transition of him from a shy awkward adolescent to a strong and brave Champion was incredible !
“After you hear something so many times, it starts to define you, and it eventually becomes a prison. He had been confined by that prison all his life, and now he feared the world outside its walls.”
Markus Galliar –
Markus is the older one among the two, we first meet him as he saves Aram from some bullies and that was it, Aram and Markus stuck together ever since. Markus is everything Aram is not, he is more competent and physically more fit when compared but at the same time he is everything that Aram needs and that makes them so perfectly compatible together. The brotherhood and the friendship between both of these characters is amazing. Markus to Aram is basically what Samwise is to Frodo. We all need a friend like him and that is why Aram cherishes Markus with all his heart.
“I stopped considering you a friend a long time ago. I consider you my brother.”
World Building and magic system –
I think Spencer did a wonderful job when it comes to the world building ! Its so simple yet spectacular. So, the world was torn apart long ago and that event was called as SUNDERING. The world now is divided in two – The World above and The World Below. And, between these two worlds is a dark and dangerous void which harbors dangerous creatures, terrifying beasts, void dragons and also people called as void walkers. They spill out into the world below or world above whenever their is a rupture or a tear in the veil. And only a savant or a sorcerer can do that.
Also the magic system is so unique and simple and interesting. There are sorcerers and every sorcerer needs a shield who can protect them and their are savants, the kind of which haven’t been seen in 400 years. And Dragons ! I love Dragons and I loved the way they are portrayed in this book. Also some things were just so interesting to learn about ? For example what happens when a dragon in this world dies or just seeing so many different types of knots.
“Think about all that the wind is and all that it does. Where it goes. Where it comes from. The wind knows everything, for it travels everywhere, and it’s with us always. It endures. It feels. It speaks. Sometimes it whispers. Sometimes it rages. Give it a listen sometime. See what it tells you.”
This is the kind of book I wished I had read sooner although it just came out this year. I know I don’t make much sense but this book just felt nostalgic and warm. This is not necessarily a happy book, the villains are truly evil and the story sometimes goes to really dark places but I still think this is gonna become one of my comfort reads. Also, this was originally supposed to be a standalone but the author decided to write a sequel and I am so looking forward to it!
This book has everything – magic, training montage, ballads, legends, void monsters, truly evil villains, self discovery, wonderful themes and portrayal of friendship and bonding, a cutesy romance, battle, dragons and dragon riding !
All in all, Dragon Mage by M.L. Spencer is a wonderfully crafted epic fantasy which feels like a classical fantasy but reads like a modern fantasy. It takes you on an adventure and at the same time make you feel so much at home. One of the best 2021 releases !
And if you don’t know yet then the main icon for this blog is also inspired from this book ! Art commissioned by me to the wonderful Monica (@monicawihardi on twitter and Instagram)
Thanks for Reading !