Crystal's Reviews > A Touch of Magic

A Touch of Magic by Gregory L. Mahan
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's review
Mar 02, 2012

liked it
Read from February 28 to 29, 2012

Simply put, I enjoyed the book, finishing it in under 2 days with only a few hours after work to read, but the story was simple, the characters were simple, and the writing was simple. I could most easily recommend this book to fans of David Eddings. There's action aplenty but few new ideas. And that's fine, I don't like to swallow too many uncomfortable ideas in one sitting, but I shouldn't have been able to predict the plot as easily as I did. The beginning was engaging, with Randall discovering his latent magical talent and learning the basics of magic from an ornery old master mage. The protagonist did change a lot over time, starting out as a bored pupil who makes many youthful errors and ending up (only over the course of a year or two) tougher and less naive about the world. There were no other good characters in the book. There was a pet-like creature introduced about halfway through the book whose funny antics were probably supposed to provide a relief from the dreary necessities of survival. But while Randall embraced the creature, his open affection and friendliness was so mismatched from every other character's interaction with it that their relationship was truly unconvincing to me. There is little worldbuilding to speak of, with vague outlines of continents mentioned half-heartedly and entire cities mentioned within a paragraph or two. I couldn't personally distinguish any features of the cities Randall visited even if I tried. One truly positive facet of the book was its ending. Mahan did a great job of tying up the storyline with real effects on the world and the characters involved without the need for a big cliffhanger pointing to a sequel. There may well be a sequel, but I don't feel the need to read it, and the book can stand very well as a rare standalone in a field of lengthy sequels and series.
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