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  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    An Exciting Debut Novel

    First Year was an explosive start to what I can see evolving into an amazing realm of mages, court intrigue and magic. The first book of the black mage series follows Ryiah, as she and her twin brother enroll at the country's only Academy for Magic to compete with hundreds for one of the 15 apprenticeship positions. Ryiah's struggle intensifies when she strives for a position in the most popular faction, Combat. On top of that Ryiah must bear the difficulties that arise from her lowborn heritage and the elitism that is rife towards the members of court, particularly the second prince, Darren. I loved that Ryiah was not a character that was 'blessed' with 'special' powers, but rather all her accomplishments arise from her dedication and months of tireless work ethic. This leads to an unlikely and tense friendship between her and the otherwise caustic Darren. Although the subsequent books have a greater exploration of the worldspace and an emphasis on romance, the keypoint of the first book is more about the pressures of intensive schooling, friendship and family. I loved Alex, he's my dream big brother and Ella is the best friend that everyone needs. The Academy teacher's were realistic, they were unrelenting and had absolutely no niceties, which adds to the competitiveness and difficulty of the war school. And of course there was Darren and Ryiah, I loved their rapport and Carter's foundation for an attraction between them, which I can see developing to something more in the future. Overall, a great debut novel, which has built the framework for an imaginative Mage world and a truly epic fantasy series.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    The Black Mage * First year *

    Enjoyable not a put down book it entices you do want to read more, character excellent , you need to read after the Non-Heir as it gives you an inside picture of why some characters respond the way they do and what has shaped their individuality

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