Title: Nature Mage
Author: Duncan Pile
Genre: Swords and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: New Generation Publishing (7th September 2011)
Gaspi is an ordinary boy, living in the mountain village of Aemon’s Reach, but life, for Gaspi, is forever changed the day magic erupts in him. He discovers he has a powerful gift – he is a Nature Mage, able to control natural forces and creatures and bend them to his will. It is a rare gift, and no-one has been born with it in centuries, but Gaspi’s powers also have a dark side, and without training they will kill him. He is forced to leave his home and travel to the distant city of Helioport, where the Archmages of the College of Collective Magicks will teach him how to use his powers.
Accompanied by his guardian and his best friends, Gaspi sets off on the long journey to Helioport. The journey is fraught with danger, and Gaspi and his friends discover that there are demonic creatures abroad, intent on finding and killing anyone with magical ability.
As Gaspi begins his magical studies, a shadow hangs over him and over the city of magicians. Gaspi’s story of a demonic attack is not an isolated incident. As these stories multiply, Hephistole, the Chancellor of the college, is growing increasingly certain that someone or something is directing the demonic forces, but who, and to what end? As things unfold, Gaspi finds himself in the middle of dark and terrible times, and can only hope that his powerful gift will develop in time to make a difference when the time comes
Rating:**** (4 stars)
Nature Mage is the first book of a trilogy, Duncan Pile has recently finished (I believe) writing the second book in the trilogy. It is about a boy who lives in an isolated village who one day discovers that he has magick.
Most of the books I read have a female protagonist, so it is always a nice change when I pick up a book which has a male one. Gaspi is an interesting main character. He seems a pretty normal, likeable guy. The only thing that makes him stand out is the fact that he has magick. And not just any magick at that. He’s a Nature Mage. Still, things aren’t always easy for him. I liked the fact that although Gaspi is powerful, there are still constraints on his power.
The story was an easy read, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It took me three days to read this book, and that was mostly because of Easter. I ended up picking up and putting down the book a lot, but at no point did I feel lost in the story. I always fell right back in to Gaspi’s world. I really enjoyed reading this, and looked forward to getting back to reading it.
The plot of the book is fairly predictable for those who have read several books in the sword and sorcery genre of fantasy. In spite of this I still found myself turning the pages desperate to know what happened next. I really liked the characters: Jonn was an interesting guardian and Taurnil and Emea were brilliant best friends. I particularly liked the way Pile wrote Gaspi and Taurnil’s friendship.
If you like swords and sorcery then this is definitely a book you should try.