Another Great Book!!! This Is Why I Read!!!
Wow! This is why I read: for books like this!!! I've had this one on my wish list for quite a while (it takes me quite a while to go through my wish list, it's that long) and the other day while going through my list I saw it was free so I grabbed it and since I was between titles I decided to go ahead and read it. It's been a while since I've read a good fantasy and I was more than extremely surprised. One of my greatest joys in life is finding really good books by truly talented authors and I've been extremely fortunate or super lucky to have discovered so many great authors: authors like Elle Casey, Amanda McKeon, Catherine M. Wison, Colleen Hoover and so many others. And while all of those authors have different writing styles and sometimes write different genre's they all have one thing in common. Their books are beyond extraordinary just like R.K. Ryals. All of their books contain a bit of magic that enhances my life so with a huge smile on my face and plenty of joy in my heart I bought the second book in this series: Tempest (The Scribes of Medeisia) and sat down to write this review.
The Scribes of Medeisia is a brutal world in which the madness of a king has affected every walk of life for those who live under his iron fist. Magic and Knowledge have been outlawed, those who bear magic are branded with the mark of the mage and usually killed swiftly afterwards. Those who are considered learned men and women and able to read and write are also branded with the mark of the scribe. When the story starts we find Drastona Consta-Mayria living a very sheltered and secluded life as an illegitimate child of a nobleman. All her life she has loved the written word and has grown up in her father's archives working beside the old scribes who store and safeguard knowledge. When the scribes are disbanded and her father is called to court her sheltered life is torn apart and she soon learns that the world is not the place that she once thought it was. Court for her is a dangerous place because of her knowledge but she has the added danger of also carrying the power of mages within her blood and after a betrayal she must learn to make her own way in the world. Her father cannot protect her and if not for the kindness of a soldier she would be dead. Soon she is hearing the voices of trees and wolves and learns that she is no ordinary mage and finally finds a home with a group of rebels and what ensues next is just pure music to the mind.
I love the medieval world, the magic, the sentient trees (I'm a huge fan of nature and any kind of nature magic), talking wolves - of course Drastona is the only one who can hear them. Man wasn't meant to understand nature, not even mages but she's no ordinary mage and her destiny was penned in ink long before she was born. We have all the makings of a classic fantasy. legends, myth's, magic, a prophecy to be fulfilled, good vs. evil but there's so much more. I couldn't put the book down from the very first page and knew I'd found something special right away. So many books gloss over the evils and sometimes necessary evil's of war but not this one. Every choice has far reaching consequences and sometimes Drastonna and her allies must make choices that could cost the lives of a few so that a kingdom can be saved. These choices weigh heavily upon the main characters and you get a sense of the isolation that they must feel along with the scars that not only mark them physically but also mentally. Mark of the mage was beyond good, it was magical and no matter how much I type or how much I say I can never really come close to saying how much stories like this make me feel so you'll have to read it yourself to find out. You won't be disappointed. R.K. Ryals is a great storyteller who knows how to tell a tale that will suck you in and leave you wanting for more. As soon as I read the last sentence I was like wafjafja;dkfja; seriously. Not that it was a bad ending it's just I was so ready to see what happened next. Thank goodness the next book is out. I'd probably go crazy if it wasn't.