Kenneth's Reviews > A Touch of Magic

A Touch of Magic by Gregory L. Mahan
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's review
Mar 31, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, fantasy
Read from March 24 to 28, 2012

A Touch of Magic is a good story about a boy learning to use magic in a land where magic is an outlawed, executable offense. Brought up to fear and loathe magic, Randall is surprised and confused to feel the touch of something beyond his world while he is fighting at his small town's apprenticeship fair. Shortly thereafter, he is approached by a man who claims to be a sorcerer and says that he wants to take him as an apprentice. The last thing that Randall wants is to follow a madman in his seditious criminal pursuits, but the man bribes Randall's father and the matter is settled. For his part, though he resists this change in his life, Randall cannot quell his sense of intrigue surrounding the sorcerer's magic, and he wants to know more about it. At the sorcerer's isolated home, Randall works hard and applies himself, maturing physically and developing a knack for several forms of magic. But everything falls apart when Randall returns home with the sorceror and finds trouble waiting.

What follows are a series of adventures, through which Randall finds out more about himself and his abilities than he had ever expected, and on which he meets an interesting and amusing cast of characters who aid, use and abuse him on his way. And just when Randall finds the will and means to escape, honor and vengeance turn his head back toward home.

The magic system is well thought out, and the idea of its illegality is very thought provoking. Randall himself is a well-developed character, starting small and myopic and growing in both stature and awareness. He makes realistic decisions and finds himself in situations that are believable in his world.

The other characters, unfortunately, and Randall's world itself, are very shallowly drawn. There are nuggets of interesting quirks, nothing explored enough to leave an impression. (view spoiler) However, each at least serves the purpose of spurring Randall on to his next breakthrough or achievement.

A nice book; suitable for any age and anyone interested in a quick and thoughtful fantasy read.

I received my copy of this book for free through Goodreads First-Reads. Thanks.

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03/25/2012 page 69
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