reviews

Battle Mage

Write on: Wed, 06 May 2020 by  in ML's Reviews Read 5579

I believe there is something very special about Battle Mage by Peter Flannery. Very special.

This novel has enjoyed immense success, which is why I wanted to read it. I wanted to find out what the secret ingredient was that made thousands of fans give it such high praise. I could tell by the cover that it was on pointe with all the typical fantasy tropes. They’re right there in the name. “Battle.” Check. “Mage.” Check. Guy in armor holding a magical sword surrounded by flames. Check. And so the tropes continued into the interior. Underdog hero, dragons, possessed monsters out to take over the world. A mystery that goes unanswered until late in the novel and keeps the pages turning. A story structure that is the embodiment of the Hero’s Journey mapped out on paper.

And yet, I doubt that’s what won Battle Mage so much acclaim.

More than anything else, this story is about the heart.

Faith, Hope, Love. Those are the themes that are explored in this novel. They are introduced on the first page, in one of the most compelling prologues I have ever read. They are the embodiment and strength of this world’s champions, who defend their lands against the Possessed with these three virtues as their most powerful weapon. Indeed, when courage begins to fail and hope collapses into despair, it is a Battle Mage’s faith, hope, and love that sustains every desperate soul behind him.

This novel is about Falco Danté, a sick, weakling boy whose heroic father had gone mad, slaying all the magi of his village when his dragon turned black. For black dragons are mad, and they must be killed—but Aquila Danté sided with his dragon, a decision which ended in tragedy.

Now, everyone is afraid his son will follow in his father’s footsteps. Falco has the ability to become a Battle Mage, but should he be allowed to train as one? When Falco commits a mistake that sends a young Battle Mage and his dragon to their deaths, it would appear the answer to that question is no. But the world is in grave need of a champion with the heart and courage his father had.

The greatest strength of this story is the bonds between its characters. Falco’s relationship with his friends, his compassion and caring, are what gives this novel its heart and sets Battle Mage apart from other novels of its kind. I was not expecting to find this in a book with a knight swathed in flames prominent on the cover.

Battle Mage is more about faith than it is war. That, and the love of a hero for the friends he fights for.

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 May 2020 02:53
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