“Yes, this entire book is a prologue.” I kept that in mind whilst reading Wizard’s Ruse. I love prologues, I like reading introductions into worlds. And this gave me all of that.
In a fantasy world, most of the book takes place (both in the present and twenty years prior) at the Academy of Sayzr Magic. A school that teaches (a dwindling number of students as time goes on) not just magic, but in searching for those who can become master Sayzrs. Learning about psychetropes, fractal patterns, and the like – not the generic topics found in most magical schools. Yet the school is not the focus, it is simply around where other more important things happen.
The Lost Identity Casualties begins with the stirring of an unidentified man. He is in the hospital, face and hands wrapped in bandages, unable to remember himself and what happened to him. As his recollections return, both of his life, Matthias Callaghan, and the events which have maimed him, we read a man’s cold fury turn to plotting revenge.
It is difficult to review specifics in this book without spoiling anything, but I shall do my best.
The Lost Love Song starts with Diana and Arie’s love story. Before leaving for a tour, Diana begins to write a love song for her fiancé, to explain things in a way she couldn’t with mere words. Diana never returns from her tour and Arie has lost her forever. From there, we follow several strands: Arie, figuring out what his life is without Diana living in it; Evie, a poet who overhears two teenagers playing a love song on the street and is looking for her own love to share; and the flashes of people who transport Diana’s love song from where she finished composing it abroad on its journey around the world.
Edge of the Breach is a story about Kyder and Rune. Getting into the rest of what the book is? Difficult to put in a paragraph to paraphrase and not spoil. Both are born at the strongest point in the year to be a Summer Mage and a Winter Shield, respectively. They come from vastly different ways of life and suffer through very different traumas. And I’m not even sure this book (for me) was really about the two of them meeting, even though that was definitely the author’s intention.
This was a hard read. And I mean that in several ways. The first third of the book is the set up. So many names and dates and explanations. The book comes with a list of names of everyone involved, right at the start of the book. This part is necessary, for sure, but very dense. Perhaps more so because I knew what was coming and my nerves were on edge for that.