20 Dec 2017

Review: The Spirit Mage (The Blackwood Saga #2)


'' The youngest Blackwood wanted to be a hero, while the eldest was shooting for Emperor of the Universe. Caleb just wanted to enjoy the New Orleans nightlife, chow down on Cajun food, listen to tunes, travel when he could afford it, spend some quality times with friends. '' 

★★★★☆

From Goodreads:
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 coloured 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 enrol 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 rigours 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 homeworld forever.
As the blurb implies, the book focuses mostly on Val, the eldest of the Blackwood Brothers. The story starts right where it left in the first book, The Brothers Three, and if has been some time since you read it, fret not! Everything is revised in the beginning, so no need to binge read the first one.

By following Val, the story unlocks an entirely another dimension. And although the story (mainly) happens in the alternate dimension, and not on Earth, the magic and wizardry spices it up to another level. You get to see another side of Val, not just calculating, over-achieving one, but the one with passion, determination, and will to conquer the world, if needed.

To the fans of Will and Caleb: Don't worry, you'll get to hear about them too, just not as much as in The Brothers Three

I liked the first book, but this, this was so much better! You got to know the characters well in the first book so the second book can focus on developing their personalities and to deepen the relationship between them and the reader. The Spirit Mage introduces a bunch of new characters as well, and I have a feeling that some of them we'll be seeing in the third book as well.

The book foreshadows a lot for the third instalment, which left me hungry for more. I cant' wait to read it. And let's not even start talking about the cliffhanger in the end. We will be here until tomorrow if we do.

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