Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rough Magick (GnomeSaga #1)” as Want to Read:
Rough Magick (GnomeSaga #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rough Magick

(GnomeSaga #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  56 reviews
OUT OF CIRCULATION. See Extended Edition from Ragnarok Publications.

"Dark and provocative, these aren't your grandma's garden gnomes...Rough Magic is an unexpected gem, shining in the literary darkness."
~Tim Marquitz, author of the "Demon Squad" series

"The action scenes are wonderfully written. If you read this you can expect a bone crushing, blood gushing visceral experi
Paperback, 318 pages
Published March 2013 by Broken Dog Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rough Magick, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rough Magick

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  206 ratings  ·  56 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Mark Lawrence
I've been deeply unfair to this book. It's taken me 8 weeks to read and I broke off in the middle to read the entirety of Peter V Brett's doorstopper The Skull Throne (as I was due to meet Peat on his visit to Bristol). So anything I might have to say about pacing etc should be taken with several pinches of salt.

The first thing to say is that Kenny Soward has a lot of good writing tools in his bag: he writes great description and has a wonderful imagination. Rough Magick took me into fresh terri
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Gnomes are one of the most overlooked of fantasy races, probably because they’re small and insignificant in the wider world. Well, these gnomes aren’t. They possess deadly magic and the cunning to use it to their advantage. A completely original fantasy world has been created by this author and it is completely believable. A Gnomish society and a sense of racial oneness have been evoked in this book: I really enjoyed reading about a race that I’ve not seen many interpretations of. Fantasy is lit ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, arc-review
Of all the fantastical peoples and races, creatures and magics, I've read I've never read a book that even contained a gnome let alone displayed one as its main character(s). I haven't even seen the movie Gnomeo and Juliet about garden gnomes.

So you can imagine my intrigue when I was offered a copy of Rough Magic, book one of the GnomeSaga, by one of my friends here on Goodreads. I was both intrigued and highly interested to see how a world of Gnomes works together. It turns out, it works pretty
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Don't you love it when you stumble across a book you have never heard of by an author unknown to you and you really like it? Me too!

I'll admit, I was not too thrilled at the beginning of this book but the pace picked up quickly around a third of the way in and stayed that way until the end.

One of the things I liked best about this book was that it was about gnomes. There are also stone men and all sorts of monsters, a welcome break from some of the more serious fantasy.(By "serious" I mean books
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: epic fantasy fans
In discussing ROUGH MAGIC, I told Kenny that I'd label him as China Mieville's and R.A. Salvatore's love child.

His response? "I wish, man. I wish."

But, upon reflection, that is the style I get from this book.

P.S. Kenny just said "...and with a touch of Ellen DeGeneres."
Frank Errington
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review copy

Although I enjoyed The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings trilogy and a few other Fantasy novels over the years, for the most part, I really don't read or enjoy much in the way of Swords and Sorcery Fantasy.

I am happy to say Rough Magic is a charming exception. I decided to read this for a couple of reasons. I'm a fan of the Dead West series and Kenny Soward was a contributing author on the first two books, and it's published by Ragnarok Publications and they've yet to disappoint me.

Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-e-books
Vrlo zabavna fantazijska knjižica sa interesantnim likovima i fokusom na rasu koja se slabo koristi u istalim knjigama. Imamo humora, ozbiljnih situacija, odlično opisanih borbi.

Jedino što mi se ne svidja što se knjiga završava cliffhangerom, odnosno ima se osećaj da je neku veću knjigu neku odsekao na manje delove.

U svakom slučaju dosta originalno i obavezno štivo za ljubitelje fantastike.

Plus sa 0.99 funti ne može se puno pogrešiti :)
Seregil of Rhiminee
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Kenny Soward's Rough Magic is a delightfully original and entertaining debut fantasy book, because it features gnomes as protagonists. As several readers may know, gnomes are often severely overlooked in fantasy literature. This is a shame, because this book is a good example of how fascinating they are as protagonists. (To be honest, I don't remember reading any other adult fantasy novels in which gnomes are protagonists.)

Rough Magic is a pleasantly dark, bu
Moses Siregar III
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Remember that funny kid who played a gnome in your D&D game? That's Kenny Soward, except he wrote the book on the ingenious little buggers, and his gnomes are darker, smarter, and much more compelling.

Meet Nikselpik, a mad genius of a wizard--his sister Niksabella is the engineering genius in the family--with a brilliantly-written substance abuse problem. He is a "bugger," literally, as his little black bugs dig under his forearm and deliver a stream of intoxicating, paranoia-inducing high t
Rob Hayes
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually like high fantasy; Elves, Dwarfs, Orcs and what not just feel a little too cookie-cutter but Kenny Soward does something interesting and different enough to make Rough Magick feel fresh.

The story, though featuring more fantasy races than a D&D adventure, focuses on gnomes. Sometimes magical, sometimes ingenious inventors, sometimes hillbilly farmers, the gnomes are endearing partly because of the racial characteristics Soward gives them and partly because the 2 main protagoni
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't even know where to begin. This book is so incredibly good. It's filled with gnomes and awesome rock people and whatever that thing is. As soon as I finished, I needed the next one.

The characters are very real, and I found myself caring about them so deeply that when they were in peril, I was afraid for their lives. I tried to tell myself that they couldn't die. No way. But it didn't work. I couldn't know that they would be okay, and I very much wanted them to live.

The author thrusts yo
Dana Wright
If you are a fan of sword and sorcery style fantasy than you need to give this book a read. It will keep you reading throughout the night even if you are not completely a fan of the genre itself. The characters are full and believable and the story line will suck you in before you know it. Awesome read!
C.T. Phipps
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, steampunk
Rough Magick is the first book in a trilogy called the GnomeSaga. This is intriguing to me because, as far as I know, gnomes are the least-liked race in fantasy. Existing somewhere underneath kender and well-beneath dwarves, gnomes are a group of people which don't really have a fantasy idiom to call their own.

This is mostly Professor Tolkien's fault as he managed to define what elves and dwarves were but didn't take time to spell out what gnomes were. Margeret Weiss and Tracy Hickman gave gno
Apr 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Got Rough Magic through Goodreads First Reads and read it over the weekend.

The book starts out kind of slow, the first chunk of the book is devoted establishing the setting and characters. Things start to pick up after that. Once the actual story starts, it becomes a much more engaging read.

The book as a whole is a intriguing look into the world of a standard fantasy race, but one that usually isn't the focus of the attention. It's interesting to see the attention being on them, the gnomes, an
Graham Austin-King
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Steampunk kind of passed me by. I knew it was out there, knew it was "in fashion" so to speak, but there was something about it that didn't entirely appeal, there was always something else to read (or write) first and I passed over several times.

As it turn out, this was a big mistake! I don't know if Kenny Soward's work is representative of most steampunk, but if it is then I'm going to be spending more time

full review here -
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, scifi-fantasy
My review here.

My interview with Kenny about Rough Magic here - Kenny Soward Interview
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rough Magic is one of those fantasy sagas which is difficult to put down. I found the first couple of chapters slightly taxing due to a rather drawn out description of Niksabella's background but after that the action took off and the writing really flowed.

Niksabella Nur is a tinkerer, an inventor who fights against the system to get her work appreciated and seen. Persecuted by the establishment, she is determined to stand by her work but there are people who want what she has. Her brother, Niks
Chelsea Bois
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. it started off a little slower than i am used to but once i got into it i couldnt put it down !!!!
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I'm a real big fan of you.
Paul Martin
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! A fantastic debut novel, bring on book 2!
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, unfinished
Enjoying it so far. I'm disappointed at how hard this book was to obtain. The only copy I could find was an e-Pub (with which I had to use Text-to-speech as I often do with books that have no audio version). I hope the author puts out a updated version soon as it's rare to find books starring fantasy gnomes.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved that the story focused on gnomes and how their culture was all about tinkering and magic. I enjoyed learning about the characters. The action definitely kept my interest. Can't wait to read the rest of the Gnome Saga.
Timothy Ward
My life was changed when at the age of thirteen and a friend showed me Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. My first adventure into living dragons, half elven heroes, knights, princesses, and more captivated my imagination with the joy of discovery and wonder. Some of the characters, like the mage, Raistlin, had dark pasts, but the overall feeling was hopeful. Sad things happened, but you never gave up hope.

Somewhere along the years my love of Fantasy has been usurped f
Melissa Hayden
Apr 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
Jontuk is of Stonekin and one of many under the service of the Cruel barren. Jontuk has a way to help his people, through the mirror gate to another world, to find a trinket. A venture none other his kind will make. Jontuk has to trust his kind are faring well while on his mission.

Niksabella, a female tinker who's not accepted of her creations in gnomish tinkering community or any where in gnome community. Nika has created a device of never-ending power with her recursive mirror. A device that c
Eric Fomley
The best way I can describe Rough Magick is that it is a bit of a fun tale. The story is all about gnomes and it is full of fun dialogue inner and outer and plays this well in a more serious plot. The story is about a brother and sister that both find themselves wrapped up in some strange happenings.

Niksabella is the lead gnomestress and has been working on an invention that she has been forbidden from working on, but ends up making some key breakthroughs. This invention, she finds, has interest
Matthew Baker
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to the world of Dungeons & Dragons when I was in 8th grade, and I have been a HUGE fan of fantasy ever since. I’m not sure what it is that draws me, but I can tell you that the diversity of races and creatures is a large part of it. However, even back then, there were a few species of creatures within the D&D world that made me wonder why they were even there. Gnomes are a perfect example of this: to me, they are basically dwarves with a penchant for inventing. Author Ke ...more
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable, if a little hard to initially get into.

It's refreshing to find a fantasy book that isn't all about politics, religion, or any kind of large statements or allegories. Instead we are presented with two, for now, separate plots of two siblings, Niksabella and Nikselpik. The former is your typical tinkering gnome, who doesn't know when to leave well enough alone. The latter is 'dark wizard' who screws with things others leave well enough alone. Both are antiheroes to varying degrees, and
Melissa J. Katano
Oct 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
**Usual ARC disclaimer** Free book for ME in exchange, yada, yada, yada fair and balanced review**

Ragnorak is re-releasing Kenny Soward's "GnomeSaga"--available on Amazon, but not yet for B&N....

GnomeSaga is the tale of two siblings, Nikselpik and Niksabella Nur. Nik is a gnome wizard, and Nika is a gnome tinkerer, with some magick, but is largely untrained.

Nika's latest invention has the ability to determine the fates of many across the dimensions; Nik is valuable in the fight against the f
Steve Caldwell
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after seeing a recommendation for it by another author, Tim Marquitz. Well thanks Tim, because this was an absolute blast to read. Incredibly creative (Gnomes as the main characters?), laugh out loud funny and grim as could be by turns, it was absolutely amazing word crafting by the author.This is a very well detailed book, with a nicely developed world (a city-state run by gnomes) that is in turns magical and base, innovative and repressive and honorable and corrupt in turns. T ...more
Tracey the Lizard Queen
Actual rating is more like 4.25

Magic, steampunk and Gnomes? Yes gnomes, those creepy things that live in Granny Pig's garden. Turns out they make interesting characters. I love the dynamic between brother and sister, Nikselpik and Niksabella. It's filled with years and years of resentment and anger and insecurity and a healthy dose of competition, all held together by a deep love for one another.

The world building is good, I found myself easily immersed into the gnomes world. It all comes toget
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Neverland's Library
  • Those Poor, Poor Bastards (Dead West, #1)
  • Glimmer Vale (Glimmer Vale Chronicles #1)
  • Savant (The Luminether Series #1)
  • Elisha Barber (The Dark Apostle, #1)
  • Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1)
  • Hand of Miriam (Bayla and the Golem, #1)
  • Gaslight & Grimm: Steampunk Faerie Tales
  • A Throne of Bones (Arts of Dark and Light, #1)
  • Arrow of Death (The Rise and Fall #1)
  • The Witches' Kitchen
  • Sails & Sorcery: Tales of Nautical Fantasy
  • The Dark Thorn (Annwn Cycle #1)
  • The Ark
  • Dark Legion (Blood of Blood, #1)
  • Leviathan Rising (Pax Britannia, #2)
  • 七つの大罪 28 [Nanatsu no Taizai 28] (The Seven Deadly Sins, #28)
  • Into the Storm (Malcontents, #1)
See similar books…
Kenny Soward grew up in Crescent Park, Kentucky, a small suburb just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, listening to hard rock and playing outdoors. In those quiet 1970's streets, he jumped bikes, played Nerf football, and acquired many a childhood scar.

Kenny's love for books flourished early, a habit passed down to him by his uncles. He burned through his grade school library, and in high school spent ma

Other books in the series

GnomeSaga (3 books)
  • Tinkermage (GnomeSaga #2)
  • Cogweaver (GnomeSaga #3)