Among other works of famous authors (including books of Robin Hobb, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan etc), A Crucible of Souls caught by eye. Reading the blurb i decided this was what i was looking for. After all, it was supposed to feature my favorite fantasy scheme. A young protagonist apprentices himself in a military/magic school, and proceeds to become the greatest mage/fighter the world has ever seen (Noticeable examples with this scheme: Blood Song by Anthony Ryan, The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss). Well, finishing the book, i can tell you with certainty that it doesn't even slightly reflect these stories. And i'm so happy it doesn't!
A Crucible of Souls is a fast pacing, yet relaxing and enjoyable read, featuring a mix number of archetypes, connotations and symbolisms, skilfully combined to present the inner troubles of the young Protagonist, trying to survive in a harsh and unknown to him environment, while having to earn his living, and eventually protect himself and those around him from a despicable evil.
"His masters always said if you were resolute and your spirit strong you could not fail. Correct in theory, but reality has a way of turning you on your head and making a fool of you sometimes"
The world building on the first book is deliberately kept at a rather low ebb (it will probably be expanded and explained in the second book), focusing instead on the character development (The characters seemed rather flat at the beginning, but after the first 100 pages we get to see emotions, thoughts & decisions reflecting the society's structure) and exceptionally developed magic system (with a pseudo-science feel to it). Finally, it's worth mentioning that the book ends with a huge cliffhanger, so you should probably order the second book before you finish the first, for a fast and smooth transition.
All in all, A Crucible of Souls is a great story from a relatively new author, that you should definitely add to the TOP-5 of your TBR list. Recommended to all fantasy readers.