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A Mage of None Magic: The Heart of the Sisters, Book 1
A. Christopher Drown
Tyrannosaurus Press, 276 pages

A Mage of None Magic
A. Christopher Drown
A. Christopher Drown resides in Tennessee, just outside of Memphis. A Navy brat originally from Brunswick, Maine, his childhood was a cross-country adventure spent encountering all shapes, shades and sizes of people and places. The combination of the movie Excalibur and his father's gift of a well-worn copy of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight sent him searching for more. His writing credits include a collection of poetry and a handful of op-ed pieces in both The Commercial Appeal and The Times Record. He is also an award-winning graphic designer and serves as Art Director for The University of Memphis Magazine.

A. Christopher Drown Website
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A review by John Enzinas

A. Christopher Drown's A Mage of None Magic is the first book of his Heart of the Sisters series (it's not clear how many books will follow). The books doesn't break any new ground in fantasy. There are no tropes subverted. There are no clever twists in the world design. There are no exciting ideas presented in its magic (it has even got Light and Sleep spells). It's a simple retelling of the hero's quest.

Neil, a young man on the cusp of adulthood thinks he knows what his life has in store but his journey is disrupted by as he discovers that he is the Apostate, a prophesied mage of none magic who will change the world. To assist him in his new journey he has his band including the reformed assassin, the charismatic leader, the gruff yet surprisingly intelligent fighter and another lady fighter (that is OK with our hero).

Meanwhile someone else has discovered an artifact of great, yet evil power and intends to wield it to change things, finally making the world work the way it should. This obviously clashes with our hero's journey but through no fault of his own.

There's no rings or volcanoes but we all know the plot. We also know that it's not going to end in something called Book One.

This kind of typical fantasy is unlikely to be considered great literature, but if done well it can be a fun romp through the world with us trailing along in the characters' wake. Drown pulls this off with pizazz. The characters are fun and human for all of their stereotypical traits. The dialogue is snappy and things flow along with enough mythic resonance to keep my attention. Granted, I could have done without the race of slug people.

Still, it's fun, it's fast and I'm looking forward to the next one. What more do you want?

Copyright © 2009 John Enzinas

John Enzinas reads frequently and passionately. In his spare time he plays with swords.

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