Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.
Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a gift with unlimited potential for greatness – and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmlin came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.
This is the first book I have read by Tamora Pierce, I am not entirely sure how I have missed this fantasy author as this book was right up my alley. Firstly something that may be slightly random but has annoyed me in the past in other books. The map at the beginning of the book translates really well on the kindle, I love good a world map and this one was clear and on one page.
The story centers on the three friends Arram, Ozorne and Varice, how they became friends and how their friendships develop and strengthen. Arram is incredibly young and talented, an outcast from the other members of the lower university, he meets Ozorne and Varice as he progresses through the university and his powers become apparent. Varice is a wondeful character, warm and funny, she brings a lovely depth to the book. Her scenes are among my favorites. Ozorne I found to be the most complicated character, there were times when I found him selfish and self centered, but as I learnt more about his situation you can see why he is, the way is he.
All the characters are incredibly well written and you get a vivid image of what makes them tick. I really hope to come across some of them again in future books.
The story is based in and around the mage university. The world building is introduced in snippets which makes it easy to build a picture in your head. I love discovering a new world – one reviewer described Pierce’s book as ‘putting on a comfy pair of slippers’ (if this was you please let me know so I can link it, I’m afraid I cannot remember where I read it). I totally get what they meant. This is a comfortable introduction to the world. The scene is being set, the pace is good and moves along in terms of the school year – you cover several years in the book but you feel like you miss nothing.
I loved all the different aspects of magic and the Gods that make their appearances. Enzi the crocodile God being a personal favorite. The writing in this book is beautiful, everything is well described (but not overly so). Some scenes are intense and pacey, others are slow and warm – all beautifully done.
Arram watched the stars fall, awed, wondering which God was sending a fiery love letter to another God or even to a mortal.
I am so glad I have discovered Tamora Pierce, I shall be looking up the Immortals Quartet ASAP! I highly recommend this book to fellow fantasy lovers. Many thanks t0 the publishers and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.