This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Layton Green. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Spirit Mage by Layton Green
Series: The Blackwood Saga #2
Also in this series:The Brothers Three
Also by this author: The Brothers Three
Release Date: September 11, 2017
Publisher: Cloaked Traveler Press
Format: ARC, E-book
Source: Author, Layton Green
Purchase at: Amazon
Valjean thought about how impossible it seemed that there was another world out there from which he had narrowly escaped. A world of manticores and cave fiends, magic swords and potions, spirit mages and necromancers. Wizard-monks who could shatter walls with their fists, a city of colored spires so beautiful it took his breath away . . . and a world in which Val’s brothers were still trapped.
Desperate to help his brothers, high-powered attorney Val Blackwood manages to find a way to return to the world of Urfe. After landing in the dangerous underbelly of New Victoria, he concludes that the only way to find Will and Caleb is to enroll in the Abbey—the school for wizards—and somehow gain access to a portal called the Pool of Souls. Yet to succeed, he not only has to pass the entrance exam and survive the rigors of the school, considered the most demanding in all the Realm, but also avoid a lethal assassin targeting students.
As Val struggles to survive, his brothers undergo an even deadlier trial. Reeling from the loss of Mala, an adventuress lost in the mysterious Place Between Worlds, Will and Caleb and Yasmina are captured by slavers and taken to the mines beneath Fellengard Mountain. Even if they manage to escape, a feat no one has ever accomplished, they must still find their way out of the vast and untamed caverns of the Darklands. A place even the wizards fear.
Trapped in a land of dreams and nightmares, the brothers must somehow stay alive and learn to adapt to their new surroundings—or risk losing their home world forever.
What an exciting continuation of the Blackwood Saga! The Spirit Mage picks up right after the continuation of The Brothers Three where we first met the brothers Will, Caleb, and Valjean Blackwood. Will was bequeathed a very powerful sword from his father but he was given little warning to the fact that this was a sword of power and many would kill to have it in their possession. Having recently learned of their heritage, the brothers had little time to learn how to use their budding powers before having to defend themselves against a very powerful necromancer. As all hell broke loose, Val, the eldest brother, became separated from Will and Caleb.
Val was stuck on Earth while his brothers were in an alternate version of Earth called Urfe, facing who knows what kind of horrors. Through a stroke of luck, Val managed to find his way back to Urfe but unfortunately, he lacked the wizarding skills to locate his brothers and honestly, he did not even know how to begin. Through a series of fortunes or misfortunes, depending on how you see it, Val ended up entering a school for wizards to gain access to the Pool of Souls so that he could determine where his brothers were in this world.
Will and Caleb had managed to stay together after being separated from Val and defeating Zedock, the necromancer who had come to New Orleans to steal Will’s sword for himself. Even with Zedock defeated Will, Caleb, and now Yasmina, Caleb’s ex-girlfriend who had been brought by Zedock to Urfe, have been chased out into the wilderness and found themselves hopelessly lost and unprepared for what lay ahead. Through a series of misfortunes this trio manages to find themselves at the mercy of creatures who can’t decide if they want to eat them as soon as keep them as slaves.
While the brothers have their own struggles, Mala who Will and the others considered as good as dead, finds herself in the Place Between Worlds. In this place, Mala will come against adversaries that will test all of her survival skills. I loved Mala’s character and was very excited to learn of her time in this magical world. It was very exciting and terrifying to read about what she had to overcome and some scenes even turned my stomach a time or two. In the end, all the characters in this story have to struggle to overcome the odds and get themselves to safety knowing that they have been irrevocably changed by this latest adventure.
What a delight The Spirit Mage was to read! Everyone in this story had their existing skills tested, as well as learned many new skills they needed in order to survive in this brutal world. I felt as with each page I turned new creatures were introduced that were both horrifying and amazing. The chapters alternate between Val and his time at the school for wizards and Will and Caleb’s struggle to survive. All of them working towards the same goal, to be reunited with each other and find their way back home. It made for a fast-paced adventure filled with magic, battles, and even death! This is another entertaining installment in this series and I highly recommend this story and series!!
*Thank you to Author Layton Green for this eARC of The Spirit Mage*