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Agents of Artifice (Magic: The Gathering: Planeswalker, #1)
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Agents of Artifice (Magic: The Gathering: Planeswalker #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  514 ratings  ·  40 reviews
In this struggle for influence and power, for the keys to magical knowledge, everything you knew about novels based on Magic: The Gathering is changing . . .

Jace Beleren is a planeswalker who has taken the path of least resistance. He is gifted and powerful, but chooses not to push himself. Part of an inter-planar consortium that deals in magical artifacts, Jace has some
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published (first published 2008)
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Agents of Artifice is a book made of win and awesome and you should all go buy it.

I’ll elaborate. I’m not a big Magic: The Gathering player, so I am not immediately familiar with the famous figures and places of the M:TG universe. Agents of Artifice is an excellent introduction to the Magic universe without drowning you in needless detail.

Author Ari Marmell, curse his hide, comes up with dazzlingly brilliant ideas that make me want to download his brain for game design purposes. The story center
Jamie Newton
I have never played Magic The Gathering, nor do I care to in the future. That does not matter when it comes to this book. Everything you need for a very interesting Sci/Fi adventure is packed in this book. What makes this book is Ari Marmell. He has a way of bringing the story to life for you.

**Semi Spoiler:** Since the main character does a good deal of mind reading and thought invasion, I appreciate how Marmell brought that to me the reader and displayed everything perfectly.

I just wish tha
Agents of Artifice is not great fantasy literature, but there are several reasons this may not be the author’s fault. The most is obvious is that he’s working within predefined boundaries. I don’t know what the exact relationship between an author of a Magic: The Gathering book and Wizards of the Coast is, but needless to say the author does not have free reign. First of all, characters such as Jace and Liliana are trademarked – the author didn’t create them and he doesn’t control their fate in ...more
Magic the Gathering: Planeswalker: Agents of Artifice, by Ari Marmell

I'm a little up in the air about "Agents of Artifice." I had never read a Magic the Gathering book before, but have played it and have read other Wizards' product lines, such as Forgotten Realms. So I wasn't sure what to expect, but I think the surprise was a good one.

The author is capable, and his characters are definitely interesting. Jace is a planeswalker, a magic user who can travel between worlds with the power of his min
Steven Wilber
"Agents of Artifice" tells the story of the Planeswalker Jace Beleren, a powerful mage capable of traveling between the many worlds of the Multiverse, and his adventures and misadventures with the Infinite Consortium. From the beginning the reader will discover that not everything is as it seems.

The story has a little something for everyone: lots of action and adventure, a large dose of magic, and a diverse set of characters. In addition to Jace, we are introduced to Khallist, a skilled fighter,
Elaine Wong
Interesting beginning. Agents of Artifice has a slow start for me: I was promised a fantasy-mystery-adventure involving Jace and Liliana, and felt disappointed when a no-name gets first dibs. I held in, though, and didn't regret it.

Characters are slowly developed as secret after secret is slowly revealed; I really enjoyed reading about the Infinite Consortium. I personally enjoyed Jace's realizations and descent, as he slowly discovers just what he has gotten into. Everyone really stuck in my mi
It took almost 2/3 of the book for it to finally get my interest. After that it was fabulous, but it was almost painful how boring I found the beginning. I did not care for the main character and while I understand why he did some of the things he did I still think he could have thought it out better.
Más allá de lo entretenido, no está escrito para neófitos: todo el tiempo sentí estar perdiéndome de algo que no estuvo explicado en ningún rincón del relato ¡Y es el primer número de una colección! ¿Dónde está toda la información que me faltó y se da por sabida de antemano?

Por el otro lado sentí un poco de incongruencia entre el tono terriblemente épico de los mundos enteros envueltos en una aura de muerte y decadencia con el tono terriblemente vulgar del departamento sucio con dos universitari
Ari Marmell is not a strong writer, or at least he needed a stronger editor to eliminate most of his adverbs and clarify some of his more confusing sentences. Indeed, this book read more like a penultimate galley for all the sentences that had missing or repeated words. Sloppy, which shouldn't be the case since Agents of Artifice was published by a company with at least as many resources as the Big Six Publishers: Hasbro. Is the story entertaining for Magic the Gathering fans? Certainly, but onl ...more
A.J. Culpepper
Jul 05, 2012 A.J. Culpepper rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Absolutely fantastic! By far the BEST Planeswalker novel I've read to date and one of the best books EVER! I love the twists and turns. Just when you think you have the story figured out, it proves you wrong and takes you on another wild ride of intrigue. The characters are remarkably well written, believeable and relateable. There's even humor, which only adds to the enjoyment and never detracts from it. I can't say enough about this book! Brilliantly written!

I definitely plan on checking out m
Sarah Williams
Ari Marmell is not a famous author outside of his field, but in the realm of fantasy and role-playing games he is well known. Agents of Artifice is as close to a published fanfiction as books can get. The characters in the book as well as some of the most basic plot ideals are not Marmel's own but instead belong to Wizard's of the Coast pertaining to their popular card game Magic: The Gathering. This novel follows into the mind and story of Jace Beleren, a "Planeswalker" that can travel between ...more
Quinton Baran
I found this book immediately engaging; part of the fun was discovering mysteries that were laid out from the start. The characterizations were mostly done well and I was interested in several of them.

As a Magic fan, I enjoyed learning more about characters that I enjoy, such as Liliana, Jace, Nicol Bolas, and Tezzert. I think that the elements of Magic game play were introduced and discussed in an entertaining way that wasn't too corny or convoluted.

The story did drag a bit in the middle of t
You can read the full review over at my blog:

A new year means a new reading challenge of the “25 Series I Want To Read” variety. You can find a list of authors and series (the original post for the challenge that is) over here. In the past two years that I’ve been doing this, I kinda-sorta completed the challenge in 2013, and I definitely completed it last year. It is a really fun challenge to do, and allows me to pick and choose from a wide variety of gen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 30, 2014 Jagged rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jagged by: My husband
Shelves: books-i-have
Mountains of once and future worlds wept tears of sorrow for realities that never were, unchosen futures that no other would ever mourn.

"Nicol Bolas. You'd be surprised how little titles mean after you've claimed pretty much all of them."

As typical of Marmell's writing style, this book is very wordy. It definitely gets to the point--for me--where there becomes description overload. I end up forgetting what was going on before the major world building dump. For some, this isn't an issue; for me,
For any Magic the Gathering fan, this would be a really cool book to read because it helps explain the storyline for the game itself and why certain elements are at war. In this book, Jace Beleren is a powerful sorcerer, which explains why he is a planeswalker. Though he is strong and gifted in his telepathic abilities, he struggles to make many choices; he doesn’t know if he should or shouldn’t go through dimensions he doesn’t belong to. If he connects every world together, he will create hell ...more
As an MTG player, I am familiar with the broken Jace variants out there, and always saw him as the mister-perfect bad boy hero.

Boy, was I wrong.

Jace was written GREAT! He came off as a real person, following a realistic (at least as much as fantasy allows) path. But there's more to the story.

Liliana was the perfect girl-with-a-dark-secret. Tezzeret was the perfect power-hungry villian. And Nicol Bolas was the perfect immortal, omniscient, evil dragon overlord. If you play MtG, read this.

If no
On paper, I should have liked this. I mean, I like the idea of planeswalker cards in Magic, and I like the fact that Wizards is trying to make the lore aspect of things more front and centre to the game. I even liked some of the characters - Tezzeret is an interesting character, mafia boss as much as he is wizard, and I spent my youth listening to far too many Cure songs to not like someone like Liliana.

Still, I didn't like this. The protagonist, Jace, alternated between being unlikable and clue
Joseph Lyttle
I play Magic the gathering (card game), so I enjoyed the world they created in this series.
Cera Taylor
I have to admit that I am a huge an of Jace Beleren, and as such my opinion of this book is very biased. However, it did not disappoint whatsoever. A compelling story and fantastic read, I highly suggest this book to everyone, not just MTG players.

That being said, there were some things that assumed the reader had knowledge of the MTG universe, but for the most part I doubt your average reader would have difficulty understanding the book. The characters are both intriguing and in character, and
Because I recently started playing Magic I enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting to be inside the multi-verse, and the author's explanation of manna, spells, and other specific game elements made sense.

Two weaknesses stood out as I read the book, but neither detracted too much from enjoying the read. 1) I wasn't sold by the character dialog. They all seemed so caddy. 2) The editing was poor. I frequently found sentences with incorrect punctuation.

Recommended for those who play Magic and
Michael Argyros
This was my first MTG novel and I really enjoyed it. I've only been into the game for about a month now and I can't wait to read more books and learn more about the Mulitiverse!
Scott Vout
I have been playing Magic the Gathering for many many years and have read one or two books based on the game before so i thought i would give this one a try.

I found it a very good read. The characters quite captivating.

I really enjoyed identifying the summoned creatures to the actual cards.

Jace is a very engaging reluctant hero.

All in all a good read if you are a fan of cut and slash fantasy with a little finger wiggling to keep you honest.
I did not realize that the downloadable version on goodreads was just a preview of the book, meaning you are only given chapter 1. That little preview was all it took to get me hooked though. My rating only reflects what I read in chapter 1 since I have not yet purchased the book but I hope,to purchase the rest of the book soon so I can finish what I started. Seems to be a great fantasy read.
The layout of the plot threw me for a loop- it goes B, A, C instead of A, B, C. I got so confused the first time, I put it down for a few months, but when I picked it back up something clicked and I zoomed through it. The story, the characters, the magic - everything combined to make it worth the 5 stars. This basically means I'm buying it asap.
I enjoyed this book mainly because Jace Beleren is one of the characters I hate going up against, and it's nice to finally get to know him a little more. I also liked all the other characters: Liliana Vess, Kallist Rhoka, Tezzeret, and the ratmen, but I think Nicol Bolas could have been more developed.
Although I do play a lot of Magic: The Gathering, any fantasy can read and would enjoy this book. Ari Marmell does an excellent job painting a mental picture of the various backdrops in the world and developing the characters.
Was a little disappointed in the way they changed the power of the planeswalkers. It was however a fun read. Visited a lot of different planes, some exciting battles and a few interesting characters.
Ely Apao
An early plot twist. A long flashback. A personal war and redemption. This is really the story of Jace Beleren. Any Magic the gathering player would love this book.
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Ari Marmell was born in New York, moved to Houston when he was a year old, moved to Austin when he was 27, but has spent most of his life living in other worlds through a combination of writing and roleplaying games. He has been writing more or less constantly for the last dozen years, though he has only been paid for it the past five. He is the author of multiple roleplaying game supplements incl ...more
More about Ari Marmell...

Other Books in the Series

Magic: The Gathering: Planeswalker (3 books)
  • The Purifying Fire (Magic: The Gathering: Planeswalker, #2)
  • Test of Metal (Magic: The Gathering: Planeswalker, #3)
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