Title: The Choice of Magic
Author: Michael G Manning
No of Pages: 262 pages
Published: 16th Aug 2019
**SPOILER WARNING** this review contains spoilers, for review of prose and characters scroll to **Spoilers End**.
Hello my fellow bookworms and page turners, in today’s post I am looking at The Choice of Magic by Michael G Manning, let’s start off by looking at a vague outline of the storyline.
The Choice of Magic is a coming of age hero story. It follows the life and antics of a young man called Will, who lives with his single parent mother, in a small village tucked away along the boarder of two kingdoms. Through a series of events and a near death experience, William ends up in the care of a mysterious cantancerous old Hermit, who William believes to be his Grest Great Grandfather. During this time William learns Bottony, Alchemy, Magic, he even learns of other worlds and races such as the Fae, but most importantly he learns to cook.
Through his training with his great great grandfather we learn that In this world there are different types of mages. Warlocks, who make pacts with demons to get power, Sorcerers who use elementals to gain power, and wizards who use there own magic, which if done incorrectly will drastically shorten their lifespan.
Wizards are now considered to be the weakest of the 3, but that is not how it used to be. Back when their was an order of wizards, and magic was taught the proper way, they were veritble forces of nature. His great great grandfather is just such a wizard, and is the last remainder of the old ways. As he teaches Will in the ways of the adept, he emphasizes the needs to keep the techniques secret and to keep his talents hidden, as practicing magic without a licence can be punishable by death.
We also discover that his great great Grandfather sure can hold a grudge, and harbours the mother of all grudges against sorcerers for something that happened 100’s of years ago.
Then after another series of traumatizing events, the story takes a somewhat unexpected turn and the main character joins the army in order to liberate his village from the clutches of the neighbouring invading forces. His exploits during this time are rewarded by the king, assisting his enrolement into the Wizard College in the capital, which is where our story ends.
**** Soilers End ****
I have to say It’s very rare indeed to find a writer who knows how to complete a long storyline, and then manages to start something completely fresh and new. This book has basically nothing in common with his previous universe, from basic natural principles, to characters, and yet it is just as compelling and enthralling to read.
I found the magic system that he employed intersting, as rather than nurturing and growing the characters source (Turyn), Will spends a good chunk of the story learning to control, manipulate and supress his source. This is in order to take in magic from nature, rather than burning his life energy, which is a fresh take on your typical magic system.
However, to say that The Choice of Magic doesnt have its flaws would be untrue, there are some nagging issues such as the seemingly fluctuating intelegence level of the main character. This is particularly prevelent in some of Williams decision making. There is a fair bit of repetition of information in this story, as if Manning was worried that the reader wouldnt be able to take in all of the information on a first take. The pacing in the story is at times a little too slow, but it sorts itself out by about the half way point.
Overall Manning’s command of storytelling is very strong. This is evident in that he managed to write such a fresh and compelling story, based on the premise of the age old hero trope, with a bit of colourful language thrown in for good measure. Would I reccomend this book? Yes, yes I would, it is compelling, well written, and certainly keeps you on your toes, given some of the more left field decisions that the character makes.
Until Next Time, Read More Books !