Aram Raythe has the power to challenge the gods. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Aram thinks he’s nothing but a misfit from a small fishing village in a dark corner of the world. As far as Aram knows, he has nothing, with hardly a possession to his name other than a desire to make friends and be accepted by those around him, which is something he’s never known.
But Aram is more. Much, much more.
Unknown to him, Aram bears within him a gift so old and rare that many people would kill him for it, and there are others who would twist him to use for their own sinister purposes. These magics are so potent that Aram earns a place at an academy for warrior mages training to earn for themselves the greatest place of honor among the armies of men: dragon riders.
Aram will have to fight for respect by becoming not just a dragon rider, but a Champion, the calibre of mage that hasn’t existed in the world for hundreds of years. And the land needs a Champion. Because when a dark god out of ancient myth arises to threaten the world of magic, it is Aram the world will turn to in its hour of need.
This is one of the hardest reviews I’ve had to write so far. Why? That’s a good question. Because this is a contender for my favourite book of the year. It’s also a contender to be one of my favourite fantasy books ever! So, why the difficulty in writing this review? There is nothing I can say, in a few short paragraphs, to convey how wonderful this story is. But I will try…
Dragon Mage is epic fantasy in every sense. The world-building is phenomenal, the magic system unique and brilliantly done, and the pacing is perfect. There are a few of the usual tropes you would expect from an epic fantasy, but nothing is overdone, or forced.
I fell in love with Aram from the first few pages. His uniqueness is what stands out. This is the best example of a neurodiverse character I have encountered in fantasy. The way in which his character work is done, along with the way in which the magic system works, is nothing short of genius.
Aram’s friendship with his best friend, Markus, is one of my favourite aspects of the book. The author manages to develop a wonderful and genuine male friendship, with both POVs taking us on their individual and shared coming-of-age journeys.
There are a lot of other great characters in this story, all of which have something to add to the plot. My personal favourite was Esmir, a centuries old warden, who mentors Aram. Also, the dragons! The dragons in this book are absolutely awe inspiring.
Dragon Mage is a book that will appeal to anyone who loves classic epic fantasy. It is filled with adventure, emotion, friendship and magic, set in wondrously imagined world with majestic dragons, and characters you will fall in love with. It can also be read as a standalone, with the story coming to a satisfactory conclusion. But… there is so much scope for more. Aram’s journey has only just begun; I will definitely be going along for the next ride.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review.