The Unsuspecting Mage (The Morcyth Saga, #1)
Brian S. Pratt

“Want to be a mage? Then do we have the job for you…”Sounds great for a veteran role-player. When on-the-job training entails battling demons, learning magic through trial and error, and living in a world without toilet paper, things could get rough. But to be dropped in the middle of a forest and having to do it on your own with no instruction…welcome to James’ world.It all gets started when his grandfather suggests to James, a young man on the verge of graduating high school, that he check out the following advertisement for a job. “Magic! Real Magic! Ever wanted to learn? We require someone with intelligence and a disciplined mind. Those well versed in fantasy novels and role playing games a plus. May need to travel.”Sounded like the perfect job for a veteran role-player and avid fantasy reader. James had no idea he’d be whisked to another world, completely cut off from friends and family. Arriving in a meadow in the middle of a forest, he’s greeted by a creature not entirely human. He was then told three works here…Don’t try to go home…Get to the village of Trendle…Then the creature vanished.Which way was Trendle? Where was he? What might inhabit the forest that will seek his ruination? These were but a few of the questions needing to be unraveled. Alone with only his wits and knowledge gleaned from hundreds of books and dungeon campaigns, he started out just trying to survive. He soon learned that one mistake, one lapse in judgment could mean his death. Not long after arriving, he made the acquaintance of Miko, a street-wise kid who quickly became his friend and companion. Little did he know that the strength within this child from the streets of Bearn, a strength that would be tested again and again as they waded through battle after battle, delved in hidden passages deep beneath the earth, and faced off against an the might of an Empire, would be invaluable in the trials ahead.The Unsuspecting Mage is the first book of The Morcyth Saga, a seven book epic fantasy adventure. It follows James as he seeks first to master the art of magic then to uncover the reason why he had been brought to this strange new world where armies are on the move and gods meddle in the affairs of men.

The Unsuspecting Mage (The Morcyth Saga, #1) book cover

I can see why this book is free; surely nobody would pay for this sort of writing? The story is unoriginal, the characters thin, the plot meandering and as for the writing … well: not many authors use the present tense, and if I were to write, reading this would put me off for life. It’s a stream of almost drivel in places!

Characters are given names out of the blue, our hero is a goody goody yet glaringly deficient in some moral areas and there’s a miasma of condescension about him that manifests itself whenever he comes across something that stretches his perceptions of how things “should” be. The plot holds about as much water as a leaky bucket, the creature directing things seems to be playing a long game where he’s going to resolve things in later books (which I can’t stomach) and the magic system is a juvenile dream which basically consists, at the beginning, of making up silly poems which don’t even always rhyme and later on, because the author’s clearly incapable of consulting a thesaurus, of simply “wishing” for something to happen. I so nearly thought this was intended to be a satirical take on the fantasy tropes, but you can’t even read that into it. It’s supposed to be taken seriously. Well, I’m serious. it’s rubbish.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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