TITLE: The Mage on the Hill
AUTHOR: Angel Martinez
SERIES: The Web of Arcana
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: May 7, 2019
The Web of Arcana: Book One
A young magic user who wants desperately to live. A jaded recluse who has forgotten what living means. They’re each other’s only chance.
Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.
The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance. For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.
Toby is a young wizard with wild magic. The guilds can’t help him, and Toby will be sent to a hospice to finish his days peacefully full of drugs to indulge him in sleep until he dies. But Toby wants to live, he doesn’t want to die like that, and he’s ready to fight hard and try everything to live, even reach an old hermit wizard, Darius Valstad.
Darius doesn’t want another student, not after what’s happens with the last one, and what he lost–his job, his eye, and his self-esteem. But Toby is desperate and on the verge of dying if Darius doesn’t help him.
Darius and Toby will start a journey between past and present to find a future together.
The mage on the hill is book one of The Web of Arcana series by Angel Martinez. I adored this book.
In the Web of Arcana, every wizard has a major or minor arcana (meaning affinity), that helps them to settle and control their magic and the guilds teach them how to do that. Some wizards can’t channel their abilities and end up in a hospice where they are drugged until they die.
Toby is a young wizard with a wild magic, meaning he couldn’t channel his ability and his magic is out of control, which makes him unplaceable. His only hope is Darius Valstad, a hermit wizard, who had helped other unplaceables in the past. Toby didn’t expect to find a man broken by his past, barely able to talk after fifteen years in complete isolation, but Darius reaches something deep in Toby’s heart other than hope. I adored Toby. He’s funny, smart and sassy. He’s also a fierce fighter and refuses to accept his faith as certain death without putting up a good fight. I loved him a lot.
Darius is broken by his past and his guilt. He’s lived alone for fifteen years without any help, friends, or human beings around him. He’s completely isolated and in a deep depression. He doesn’t want Toby in his life. He doesn’t want to have another student who he can’t help, and he refuses to have to lose a part of himself again. I loved Darius too. He’s confident in his ability but so fragile about his past that, at first, he’s scared to lose Toby until he doesn’t have another choice than to channel who he really is—a brilliant and genius teacher who can really help others starting with Toby. Then Darius is fierce and fights back.
I adored this book. It was well written, funny with good pop culture references that made me smile. The main characters are awesome as well as the secondary. I was hooked on the story from the beginning, and Angel Martinez kept me captivated with Toby and Darius’ road-trip. The end was awesome and promising for the next book. It was a good start in the series, and I look forward to knowing more about the Web of Arcana.
It’s 5 stars for the hermit and his student.
***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***
Review edited by : Laura McNellis