Sunday, June 28, 2015

Enchantress by James Maxwell

Ella and Miro, siblings, grow up as orphans in Altura.  Their background is a mystery, as the old soldier who serves as their guardian refuses to talk about their parents or their past.  The pair are poor but ambitious.  Ella spends years saving for the tuition to go to the Academy for Enchantments, while Miro is slated to be a soldier, perhaps even a Bladesinger if he is skilled enough.

Life is hard, but they have friends and their chosen work.  As they get older, thoughts turn to love.  Ella's best friend, Amber, is attracted to Miro, while Ella's heart has been captured by a charming stranger, Killian. 

Then things get complicated.  The various houses, each with it's own magical skills and lexicon, fall out and start to form alliances.  Soon the Emperor has declared war against those houses against him, which includes Altura.  Even worse, there is a shadowy figure behind the Emperor whose magical knowledge and skills make even an emperor's power seem trivial.

Can the houses stand against the massive armies controlled by the Emperor?  Not only outnumbered, Altura's lexicon has been stolen which will render all their magic unusable.  Ella leaves to try to track down the lexicon and return it while Miro goes off to war.  Will the two be successful and will they be reunited at some point?

James Maxwell has started a terrific fantasy series, The Everman Saga.  The characters are interesting and soon adopted by the reader.  The obstacles seem overwhelming and the use of magic in everyday life is fascinating.  This book is recommended for fantasy readers.

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