Friday, March 4, 2016

A Crucible Of Souls by Mitchell Hogan

Caldan is raised on an island monastery after his entire family is brutally murdered.  He doesn't remember much about it and has accepted the monastery as his home.  He is shocked when the monks tell him his time there is finished after he gets into a fight with one of the wealthy students whose families money keeps the school going.  Before he leaves, they tell Caldan what they know of his family and give him two trinkets that came to the island with him.  Trinkets are incredibly rare, often magical and worth a fortune.

Caldan makes his way to the city of Anasoma.  He searches about for a way to make a living and is finally accepted as an apprentice at the Sorcerers Guild.  There his innate talent at crafting and magical spells moves him forward quickly.  He also has a friend from his trip to the city, Miranda, who he sees when he can.  He hopes to find out from the Sorcerers more about his family and the trinkets they passed down to him.

Those hopes are cut short when invaders take over Anasoma.  The Indryalla practice a different sort of sorcery.  Instead of working for good, their magic is coercive and used to conquer while pushing aside every obstacle they face.  Their main goal in the city is the Sorcerers Guild as it contains the only people capable of mounting any kind of resistance.  Can Caldan and his friends escape and can he find others who will band together to fight this evil?

Hogan has written a strong beginning novel in this fantasy tale.  The world he has constructed depends on magic and the ever present battle between good and evil rages on.  The reader is interested in learning the truth about Caldan and what will happen to him and his land.  This book is recommended for fantasy readers.

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