The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso

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I love books, but I don’t ‘let’ myself read very much. To remedy that, I’m going to start writing semi-regular book reviews. Hopefully that will motivate me to read more.

The first book I’m going to talk about is The Tethered Mage from the Swords and Fire trilogy by Melissa Caruso.  This is a fantasy novel full of magic, but it carries some serious themes such as government control vs. personal freedom. I absolutely fell in love with this writer. It’s effortless to read, with some amazing ‘one-liners’ that add to the enjoyment.

Her approach to revealing the “laws of magic” is seamless and unobtrusive. Magic has become extremely rare. Those who have it are taken as very young children and “tethered,” meaning the powers are squelched under the control of the government.

The story revolves around Lady Amalia Cornara, who is of very high status with many duties and obligations. She also desperately guards what little freedom she has. She is known to dress as a peasant and visit the town, and sometimes that gets her in serious trouble.

During one of the jaunts, she encounters a mage who has managed to hide her magical ability. This book has multiple story lines, and one of them is the journey Lady Amalia and this mage have toward mutual respect and friendship. There is a little romance sprinkled in, and these characters are well-formed and fully fleshed out.

This novel is suspenseful and full of surprise twists. It has espionage and betrayal, but also celebrates the human spirit. I enjoyed every minute of reading this, and even recommended it to my daughter (who is super picky.) She loved it and raved about not only the story but also the skill with which Caruso tells it.

This is the first book in a series. The only bad thing is that the second book won’t be released until April 2018. It’s been quite a while since I had to wait for a book to be released!

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