Book Review: Ink Mage by Vicyor Gischler

Ink Mage is the first book in the Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy by Vicyor Gischler. The city of Klaar has never fallen in all of history. No enemy has ever made it across the Long Bridge or penetrated the city’s mighty walls. Even when a powerful invading army shows up at the gates, the duke and his daughter, Rina Veraiin, are certain that it poses little threat.But they are cruelly betrayed from within and, in a horrific spasm of violence, the city is brought to its knees.With the help of her bodyguard, Kork, the battle-trained young Rina narrowly escapes the slaughter and makes her way to the lair of an ancient sorcerer, the Ink Mage, who gifts her with a strange, beautiful set of magical tattoos.Now a duchess in exile, Rina sets out on a quest to reclaim what is rightfully hers, aided by a motley assortment of followers who will help her in her cause, some for noble reasons and others for their own dark purposes. With the enemy’s agents nipping at her heels, Rina must learn to harness her new and startling magical powers if she is to assert her rightful place as ruler of Klaar.

Ink Mage is a story that started off a little slow for me, but drew me in fairly quickly. I liked the set up and the world building, though I think more groundwork for the areas involved could have been laid. I liked Rina's tough character and that she was so much more than anyone expected. I think the treachery and scheming that moved the story was very well done, and I particularly liked that we got into the minds of a variety of players. While some might find the perspective shifts disorienting, I thought they gave the reader a better understanding of the big picture. At least it did for me. I kept wondering is some of those people might have a bigger role to play in the grand scheme of thing, at least as the story progresses, and some might in future installments of the story. I found Rina's journey and growth to be engaging, and her relationships and interplay with her companions were very entertaining. Similarly, following Tosh's story was very engaging. While I do not expect characters to be pure as the driven snow, I have to admit that there were moments that sex jarred me out of the read. Sometimes it fit perfectly, with the characters and the action of the moment, but sometimes it really seemed to be unnecessary. Not that there was a lot of it, but enough that would keep me from recommending the book to young adult readers that I might otherwise share the book with. 

Ink Mage is a solid start to a fantasy series. It was not the best, or the worst, opening I have read. I am not sure it I will continue the series. I will not hunt down the following books, but if I run across them I will most likely pick them up.
Post a Comment