Battlemage by Stephen Aryan, narrated by Matt Addis
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Published: September 2015 by Orbit
Battlemage was so exciting. It held on tight and didn’t let go. I was hooked from the very first few sentences from the first chapter and from there it just got better. It was everything I’d hoped it would be. It had an exciting, well thought-out plot, complex and interesting characters, good writing, great humor, and amazing war-time magic. It had an interesting (subtle) religious and political commentary running through it that added dimension to the world. It made it more real. And it had a character that I had to really think about, really pay attention to, to figure out his true identity! I love that. I love a book that makes me think, and that surprises me.
I love good-guy/bad-guy magic. Magic that can take you to higher levels of selflessness and servant-hood and kindness, and that same magic can be used to pull you and everyone around you into filth and degradation. The Source is so powerful that, if used in the wrong hands, can completely break and ruin a person. And we see that in the battlemages. That’s my favorite kind of magic.
The narration was very good. Addis created a perfect voice for the personalities of the characters. He has superb accents and articulation, spoke clearly at a good pace, and took a book that was at 100% great and made it 200% great (which is exactly what the narrator should do! Add to the experience, not take away from it.)
The only thing about Battlemage I thought was slightly lacking was the very end. It was a little abrupt and open. Open in a good way, meaning it immediately demands a sequel. But I felt like the author was like “Hah! It’s over! bwahahahah!” rather than the kind of gentile ease away that leaves the reader feeling satisfied but still excited for what is to come. However I was still highly satisfied with the story, would totally read/listen to it again, and recommend it to anyone 18+.
'I can command storms, summon fire and unmake stone,' Balfruss growled. 'It's dangerous to meddle with things you don't understand.'
BALFRUSS is a battlemage, sworn to fight and die for a country that fears his kind.
VARGUS is a common soldier - while mages shoot lightning from the walls of his city, he is down on the front line getting blood on his blade.
TALANDRA is a princess and spymaster, but the war will force her to risk everything, and make the greatest sacrifice of all.
Magic and mayhem collide in this explosive epic fantasy from a major new talent.
About the Author
I’m a lifelong fan of fantasy and science fiction. It started with The Hobbit, The Belgariad, the Earthsea books, the Shannara books and then David Gemmell, who was a huge influence on me and my writing.
I’m a writer and podcaster. Battlemage is being published by Orbit books in the UK and USA in September 2015 and it’s the first in the Age of Darkness trilogy.