My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Aramon Raythe is an outcast in his own hometown. Something about him is different than others and he's ridiculed for it as a result. Little does he know that something old and powerful stirs within him. Something strong enough to save the world.
Dragon Mage is an ok young adult story. It has some fresh takes to it in it's magic system that involves seeing colorful auras, knots, and beings impervious to magic. The story is one filled with emotions as nearly every characters emotions seem to be described throughout.
This story felt like 4-5 young adult stories in one book. It has 99 chapters, not counting the prologue and epilogue, and it is almost 1,000 pages long. I respect the fact the author is giving the reader a lot of content for their money, but I don't know that it helped the story. I didn't feel the story was so compelling that I wanted to read so much of it in a single read. I was initially drawn in by the boy who seemed to be on the autism spectrum and was referred to as a true savant. He couldn't express himself well through words, he has obvious idiosyncrasies, he's obsessed with knots, and he has no friends. I found that kid interesting. I loved him finally making a friend in Markus and meeting Master Ebra the traveling bard. There are many heartwarming moments like Master Ebra telling Aram's mother:
"Your boy's not simple, ma'am. Aram is very smart. He just sees the world a bit differently than the rest of us."
The story falls heavily into tropes from there. Deadly mistakes are made, the first of many life threatening injuries are dealt, and nothing will ever be the same again. When I say many life threatening injuries, I mean I have never seen a character so often near death yet never seems to suffer any true long term physical issues because of it. We have villains with unclear motives and some who only want power. The bad guys initially seemed to have good reason until we learn that's simply untrue.
I also want to note that the term Dragon Mage is never used in any part of the book. On top of that, a lot of people use dragons in the book so the dragon aspect isn't all that special.
I was also disappointed at the way the final battle was handled. I don't wish to spoil it, but it took me a few pages to realize a certain character had died. It was surprising consider the significance of the role the character played throughout. I also didn't care for the development that the story didn't foreshadow whatsoever.
To be fair, Dragon Mage may simply not have been the best choice for me. I don't really care for young adult books and I didn't realize this book was 100% young adult.
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