Dragon Mage (Rivenworld #1), by M.L. Spencer
Aram Raythe has the power to challenge the gods. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Aram thinks he’s nothing but a misfit from a small fishing village in a dark corner of the world. As far as Aram knows, he has nothing, with hardly a possession to his name other than a desire to make friends and be accepted by those around him, which is something he’s never known.
But Aram is more. Much, much more.
Unknown to him, Aram bears within him a gift so old and rare that many people would kill him for it, and there are others who would twist him to use for their own sinister purposes. These magics are so potent that Aram earns a place at an academy for warrior mages training to earn for themselves the greatest place of honor among the armies of men: dragon riders.
Aram will have to fight for respect by becoming not just a dragon rider, but a Champion, the caliber of mage that hasn’t existed in the world for hundreds of years. And the land needs a Champion. Because when a dark god out of ancient myth arises to threaten the world of magic, it is Aram the world will turn to in its hour of need.
My Review (5 out of 5 )
It’s time to review Dragon Mage, a book that just by its page count intimidates, and yet, for me it has felt short because it’s really well written and it gives an interesting twist to a big number of fantasy tropes.
When you start, you identify a clear trope (chosen child), but it is quickly perverted. And this happens so many times that I almost threw my reader out the window. M.L. Spencer gets to make a classic high epic fantasy adventure but gives her own twist.
The world-building is spectacular, and probably is the point I liked most. Dividing the world in two, split by the Void, where void dragons live, but making them coexist at the same time. The clash of both worlds will become one of the main themes after we delve into the plot.
Talking about dragons, here is another point where M.L. gave her personal touch. Dragons in the book are sentient and can share the emotions with their rider, who are soul bonded to them. Instead of being beasts, you can consider being closer to a pet, in the sense is something you will form a bond and a friendship with.
The plot is really hooking, despite it starting slow in my opinion, once you are in, I found really difficult to stop reading. And honestly, pace is in the sweet spot. This book could be easily 300-400 pages more, and I think I wouldn’t complain, too many things happen on each page.
In summary, I think that Dragon Mage is a masterpiece of modern high fantasy, really recommendable for fans of dragons, people who likes classic fantasy and who enjoy a long but delightful story.
M.L. Spencer is an epic fantasy author. Her debut novel Darkmage won the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award for Fantasy, and her novel Chains of Blood was awarded Silver in the 2020 Readers’ Favorite Awards for Fantasy.