I discovered Tethered Mage after coming across it on Twitter. Very rarely have I been surprised that I like a book. The first was “ A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” by James Joyce. The second was Magician by Raymond Feist and the third is ” “The Gone-Fishin’ Portfolio.” by Alexander Green. Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso is the fourth book to join that list.
I have to state that this is not a pure book review. This is my comment on one aspect of the book that interested me There may be spoilers in the book.
I generally do not like fantasy books with a high level of technology. I liked the way the book started but the presence of technology nearly made me stop reading the book but I had bought the book and the falconry aspect of the book intrigued me as one of the characters in the book I am writing has a falcon. I am glad that I did because I thoroughly enjoyed the book. There were points in the book where I did not know whether to close the book and hide it somewhere or to continue reading. The tension and action in the book kept me on my toes.
One thing that intrigues me as a writer is the transference of present-day knowledge to the past. Today we know why, how and when eclipses occur. In the past, people mostly believed that some type of animal ate the sun or moon. Similarly, epilepsy was equated with demon possession. How do you do justice to a character that has mental health issues?
Melissa has seamlessly transferred present technology to the past and past technology to the future. I love the way she uses specialised courier lamps to pass on messages. On the other end of the spectrum, you have a falcon’s jess that is still made in a traditional manner being made in a modern way. There the whole idea of rune making and protection spells is taken to another level altogether by making it into something closer to a circuit board than spellcasting or markings. Healing is more of a science than an art. The best thing I like about the way she introduces technology. Good technology grows and develops gradually similarly the technology in the book does not scream at you. It fits in the world and it is not out of place. There are no assumptions to be made or far stretched imaginations. Everything is realistic.
This realism extends to the fights too. These scenes are quick paced, crisp and clean. They are exciting. The conflicts in the book are beautifully subtle. They have this complex set of beautiful flavours that tingle every sense of your mind. The subtlety that exists in the book is what makes it so well crafted. The absence of epic battles is really not felt.
This book is really worth the read. I cannot wait to get started on The Defiant Heir.