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Minor Mage

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Minor Mage (2019) T. Kingfisher

Minor MageOliver is a minor mage. He might become more powerful, because he’s only twelve, but right now he only has three spells.

Unfortunately, the town has decided that he must go to the mountains to fetch the rain, before the drought ruins everyone.

Of course, the townspeople waited until Oliver’s mother–the retired mercenary–was out of town to tell him he needed to go.

There is something about a group of people that is less than the sum of its parts. Few individuals in the crowd would have dreamed of putting a kid— even a kid who was also a mage— onto the road and telling him to bring back rain. And yet when they were all together, somehow the conversation had gotten more and more heated and more and more stern and what had been a vague idea became an order, and suddenly something slightly less than a mob but rather more than a friendly gathering of neighbors had arrived at the doorstep of Oliver’s house.

So Oliver takes his familiar and sets off, meeting interesting people along the way.

“Why would she want to wander around it, anyway?” asked Oliver.

“Song doesn’t say,” said Trebastion. “But I figure she’s mad at getting burned alive.”

“Or at having married an arsonist,” said the armadillo dryly.

Oliver is sweet and lovely and I love that he’s at that awkward age where he might be sometimes able to think like an adult but is still very much a kid. Which allowed her to point out some things that often happen in fantasy books but are just glossed over.

Oh god what have I done oh god I brought the ghuls on them they’re dying some of them are dead I didn’t mean for this I knew it would happen, but I didn’t know what it would be like

It’s fascinating, really, how easily so much violence is glossed over in fantasy.

Also, there is lots of the wit I’d expected.

“Oh, herbs,” said the bandit, in the dismissive tone used by people who don’t know anything about herbs.

(This is generally not a very wise thing to say, because people who do know about herbs may take offense, and you will then find your socks stuffed full of stinging nettles and your tea full of cascara, which is no less potent a laxative for being tree bark.)

All in all, a lovely escape.

Publisher: Red Wombat Studio

Categories: 8/10, eBook, Fantasy, Kids, Novella, Young Adult
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