First Year by Rachel E. Carter

First Year
The Black Mage #1

Author: Rachel E. Carter

Reading Level: Teens

Genre: Fantasy

Released: August 11th 2014

Review Source: Astraea Press

Magic. Romance. Rivals. Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms, and Tamora Pierce.

Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice —pursue a trade or enroll in a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight, or mage…

For fifteen-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a mage and train in Combat, the most prestigious faction of magic.

Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Everyone is rooting for her to fail—first and foremost among them is Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

Will Ry survive, or will her dream go down in flames?

What did I think of First Year? Well, its now 7:44 am and I never went to bed.

I really enjoyed reading this, all of it, I want more!

For those who are fans of the Tamora Pierce’s Small Protector series, First Year is right up your alley. Strong lead characters that flourish and grow under adversity, working towards a dream held onto since childhood, to be a Warrior Mage. The book reminds me of the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova as well.

The book is well written, a good steady time line that is easy to see where the characters grow and seeing the education really setting in for them at the Academy. I do like Rye and want to see more, but I’d like to see some of her twins perspective a bit more but then again it’s not necessary. Ella as her friend is a nice surprise, and their friendship at first is questionable but later events reveal they really are good friends, despite the class difference.

The price being at the Academy is suspicious, their love hate relationship is one I’ve seen before but I do relish it, so I totally enjoyed watching their friendship get tangled. Where it’ll go form here I have no idea, but I’m eager for the next book.


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