the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘mages

This post is part of The Gossamer Blog Tour! and it wouldn’t be a blog tour without a giveaway, now would it?  In the almost ten years that I have been blogging, I have NEVER seen a give away like this before!   Click for details! (Are you outside the US? Gotcha covered!)

Earlier today I posted a guest post from Julie Czerneda, where she takes us inside her worldbuilding process, and talks about maps and distances and that sometimes the map is the territory.

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The Gossamer Mage by Julie Czerneda

Available August 6 2019

Where I got it: Received ARC (thanks DAW!)

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Where I got it:  received for review (thanks DAW!)

Go ahead, judge a book by its cover.  Especially this book. The golden ink on that cover, you would swear that it moves when you look away.  What happens to the words that are written with such ink, with the intentions that come with those words?  What indeed.

 

Julie Czerneda’s newest fantasy novel, The Gossamer Mage, takes us to the beautiful land of Tananen.  In the port city, in the rolling hills, in the villages, in the mage school up in the mountains, magic flows through Tananen.  Mages and Priestesses commit their lives to the Deathless Goddess, and through Her, through writing Her intentions, amazing magic happens.  While the townspeople and villagers love the magical medicines, technologies, machines, and trinkets, those intimately involved with Her magic know the terrible cost of what they do.  Travelers and traders have learned the hard way that magic only exists within the boundaries of Tananen, and that the Deathless Goddess is not welcoming to strangers. She protects Her secrets.

 

The Gossamer Mage is a quietly compelling, character driven, smartly written fantasy. If you crave characters that leap off the page, if you  prefer knowledge over swords, if you liked Fullmetal Alchemist (really! There’s a connection!), this is the book for you.

 

The first thing that hit me while reading The Gossamer Mage was how much I loved the way Czerneda did the world building.  I feel like if I took a drive, Tananen could be over the next hilltop and I’d know exactly where I was. Czerneda’s writing is incredibly immersive, but it never feels like she is burying the reader in exposition or infodumps.  As characters travel around Tananen, she takes the opportunity to show their experiences and observations as they explore their new locations, everything feels immersive and natural.

 

Magic in Tananen isn’t cheap.  Getting a magical trinket, or a made-horse from a mage won’t cost you very much. . .  but it costs the mage dearly.   Magic is done by writing the Goddess’s Intentions, and each  successfully written intention costs the mage at least a year off their lifespan.  The more bells sewn into a mage’s hair, the more intentions they have written, the less years they have left to live.  A 30 year old mage easily appears to be 85 years of age, or older. It is an honor for your child to show the talent that will take them to the mage school.  Mothers weep at the news, knowing they will outlive their child.

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Eyes Like Leaves, by Charles deLint

Published in 2012 (but written many years ago!)

where I got it: received review copy from Tachyon Publications

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New peoples and new religions have come to the Green Isles, and no one believes in the old magics anymore. The henges have been taken over by weeds, the barrows forgotten, and stories of shapeshifters and wizards are found only at grandmother’s knee.  The ancient tale of the eternal balanced war of the Summerlord and his brother the Icelord has been all but forgotten. Winter follows each ever colder Summer, no one cares anymore about the magics behind it.

With no memories of his parents, Tarn the orphan is offered an apprenticeship by an old man named Puretongue who claims to be a tree wizard. But Tarn learns his lessons well, and is soon shapeshifting with names on his lips.  Often taking the form of a swan, Tarn becomes known as the Swanmage.  Puretongue tells Tarn of a prophecy he must fulfill – bring the Summerborn, those with the sleeping magics of the Summer Lord, to Pelamas Henge. Once there, either the Summerlord will rise again, or the Icelord will take over the Green Isles forever.

Tarn has identified a young woman named Carrie as a Summerborn, but now he has to convince her to trust him, and to travel with him. A survivor of coastal raids by Vikings, Carrie isn’t interested in going anywhere with a strange man who claims to be a mage. A tinker family has adopted her, and she feels safe in their wagon, surrounded by their music and traditions.  By the time Tarn convinces the tinker family that he means them and Carrie no harm, it may be too late.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.