Book & Author Details:
The Spirit Mage by Layton Green
Publication date: September 15th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy
Valjean thought about how impossible it seemed that there was another world out there from which he had narrowly escaped. A world of manticores and cave fiends, magic swords and potions, spirit mages and necromancers. Wizard-monks who could shatter walls with their fists, a city of colored spires so beautiful it took his breath away . . . and a world in which Val’s brothers were still trapped.
Desperate to help his brothers, high-powered attorney Val Blackwood manages to find a way to return to the world of Urfe. After landing in the dangerous underbelly of New Victoria, he concludes that the only way to find Will and Caleb is to enroll in the Abbey—the school for wizards—and somehow gain access to a portal called the Pool of Souls. Yet to succeed, he not only has to pass the entrance exam and survive the rigors of the school, considered the most demanding in all the Realm, but also avoid a lethal assassin targeting students.
As Val struggles to survive, his brothers undergo an even deadlier trial. Reeling from the loss of Mala, an adventuress lost in the mysterious Place Between Worlds, Will and Caleb and Yasmina are captured by slavers and taken to the mines beneath Fellengard Mountain. Even if they manage to escape, a feat no one has ever accomplished, they must still find their way out of the vast and untamed caverns of the Darklands. A place even the wizards fear.
Trapped in a land of dreams and nightmares, the brothers must somehow stay alive and learn to adapt to their new surroundings—or risk losing their home world forever.
This was, for me at least, a better book than the first. With much of the back story, world building and character introductions dealt with in the first book, the author was able to develop the story arc further.
This volume is told from multiple points of view, and for the most part, I think that works well to drive the story forwards. There are a couple of characters that felt like they were unnecessary to the overall story, but it may be that their importance is to be revealed in future books.
The pacing of the narrative was better too. I felt engaged throughout the story, and although there were points where the timing slowed a little, it was never to the point of bogging down.
A decent follow up. I wonder what happens next…
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Layton Green writes in multiple genres and is the author of the bestselling Dominic Grey series, as well as other works of fiction. His novels have been nominated for multiple awards (including a finalist for a prestigious International Thriller Writers award), optioned for film, and have reached #1 on numerous genre lists in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. The fourth Dominic Grey novel, The Shadow Cartel was a #2 overall bestseller on Amazon UK.
In addition to writing, Layton attended law school in New Orleans and was a practicing attorney for ten very long years. He has also been an intern for the United Nations, an ESL teacher in Central America, a bartender in London, a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton, a door to door phone book deliverer in Florida, and the list goes downhill from there.
Layton lives with his wife and children in North Carolina. You can visit him on Facebook, Goodreads, or on his website (www.laytongreen.com)