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The Laws of Magic #1

Blaze of Glory

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Aubrey Fitzwilliam is the son of a prominent ex-prime minister. He's also brilliant at magic, but he's stuck at military school. At least he has his best friend, George, there to back him up. George would follow Aubrey anywhere - and with Aubrey's talent for thinking up impulsive and daring schemes that will get them both in trouble, that's no easy thing to do.

At a weekend shooting party at Prince Albert's country estate, the boys find themselves in a hotbed of intrigue and politics. They discover a golem, a magical creature built to perform one task: to kill Prince Albert. Aubrey and George are hailed as heroes for foiling the attempt on the prince's life - but who sent the golem, and why? Aubrey is far too curious to let the authorities handle this one, and he and George start investigating.

394 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2006

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About the author

Michael Pryor

132 books190 followers
Michael Pryor's bio
Check out my Fantasy podcast, 'The World Below the War in the Heavens' wherever you get your podcasts!

I was born in Swan Hill, Victoria. I spent my childhood in country Victoria and Melbourne before moving to Geelong at the age of 10. I lived in Geelong until I went to university in Melbourne after secondary school.

I currently live in Melbourne. I’ve worked as a drainer’s labourer, a truck driver, a bathroom accessories salesperson, an Internet consultant, a Multimedia Developer, a Publisher, in a scrap metal yard and as a secondary school teacher. Whew.

I’ve taught English, Literature, Drama, Legal Studies and Computer Studies.

I've published over thirty-five novels and more than sixty of my short stories have appeared in Australia and overseas in publications such as Overland and the New South Wales School Magazine. My writing moves from literary fiction to genre Science Fiction to slapstick humour, depending on my mood.

I’ve been shortlisted eleven times for the Aurealis Award for Speculative Fiction, and have also been nominated for a Ditmar award. My short stories have twice been featured in Gardner Dozois’ ‘Highly Recommended’ lists in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and The Year’s Best Fantasy. Nine of my books have been CBC Notable Books, I’ve been longlisted for a Golden Inky and I’ve been shortlisted for the WAYBRA Award. I’ve also twice won the Best and Fairest Award at West Brunswick Amateur Football Club.

My reviews tend toward the three word style of the trenchant critic, N. Molesworth.

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5 stars
324 (27%)
4 stars
428 (36%)
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283 (24%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 105 reviews
Profile Image for Azbaqiyah.
742 reviews49 followers
January 19, 2018
Finally, I managed to finish this book! I'm quite busy for the pass few weeks and I cannot find a way to balance my reading between 4 books. I need to stop to be a polygamist reader...(~_~;)

So here's the review,

Blaze of Glory is set in a fictional world also the same during the victorian era plus with magic and science thus resulting a steampunk enviroment which I really adore. Add with political problems too!

We had Aubrey, George and Caroline as a main characters. The trio keeps remind me about Harry, Ron and Hermione but there is a different about them. I really adore Caroline, she's soooo daring for a girl! Even the boys are not match for her.

The story flow was done very neat. I get to know the aristrocrat class social life very well. Not to mention the crack jokes that all Aubrey and George keep babbling about.
Profile Image for Jonathan Terrington.
593 reviews558 followers
June 14, 2012
Here's one of those books that I discover on the occasion that is a little bit of a gem and yet no one I know has read it. Well no one except perhaps my mum as I did lend her the first book to read I believe. So I have come back - not from the grave of course - to write this review so those rare few who read my reviews will know to read it if it at all intrigues them.

This is book one in a YA series which is very well written (by an Australian I might as well mention). It is set in a world at once similar to and very different from our own world, a world which I would loosely describe as a sort of semi steam-punk world. I say semi because I do not want to provide a completely wrong idea of this novel and ruin any expectations you may hold. It is not exactly steampunk in the fullest sense of the word. The world is a sort of Victorian setting with the advanced technology based on cogs and gears you would expect in a steampunk but it's a weaker form. So don't look for a steampunk novel but rather a fantasy that incorporates some steampunk elements weakly.

The plot follows the teenager Aubrey, one of a few individuals who can use magic in this semi-familiar world. Aubrey has an interesting condition which takes up a large part of the story and keeps things entertaining as far as plot devices go. As a magician Aubrey notices that someone has been using golem magic (the creation of an animated clay figure to try and assassinate some royalty) and so the adventure begins to find the magical assassin and a cure for his ailment.

Blaze of Glory contains magic, adventure, spunky characters, interesting technology, unique world building and political intrigue. It is a unique novel to read and certainly a very entertaining one. As such I fully recommend it as a fantasy that very few people have hyped up and that you can feel free to judge on its own merit. I must say that while it is a YA book it has a sense of greatness in that it can be read by young and old audiences.
Profile Image for Teena R..
168 reviews11 followers
August 2, 2012
Look, it's totally readable. Plots are ok. Writing not bad, etc.


I'm willing to accept that an ex-prime minister/war hero's son with ambition to outdo his Da is not that unique a creation. But give him a Crown Prince cousin who is grave, thougthful, didn't really like the job but is awesome at it, a handsome best friend who looks dumb but so not, a draconian grandmom who's sooooo crazy about tradition, s head of secret service who's so bland, an explorer non traditional mom and an OPENING SCENE IN MILITARY TEST WHERE THE PROTAGONIST FAILED BUT TRIUPMH IN THE ENDING SCENE?!

Still, the masochist me will read the second book and try to reserve judgement till then.
Profile Image for Soo.
2,598 reviews255 followers
January 30, 2013
Whoever heard of a hero named Aubrey? Is it terribly American of me to feel that it's a girl's name? Perhaps! I just looked up the origin of the name and Aubrey is a mutation of the name Alberich. The name means Fair Ruler of the Little People. I wonder if the author had that in mind when he picked out the name for the story? Intentional or not, it makes for a good start to an entertaining tale!

Aubrey Fitzwilliam has big shoes to fill. His family is from a titled lineage and both his parents are striking individuals who are one of the best in their careers. In a world of industrialization and magic, Aubrey's curiosity and zeal for pushing boundaries causes him to fall flat on his face--so to speak.

Aubrey Fitzwilliam hated being dead. It made things much harder than they needed to be.

Yup! That's the hero! A young man almost done with his studies and ready to venture into college or something else. He has a little problem. He made a tiny flaw in a magical experiment and accidentally died for a bit. Now his soul is haphazardly tied to his body with several magical slap dashes and no one is the wiser about the whole affair. Well, except for George, who is Aubrey's oldest and best friends.

You would think that would be more than enough for Audrey to deal with but that's not all. Life wouldn't be fair or normal without death, espionage, international intrigue, monstrous beasts, spooky atmosphere, blushing babbles, cool magic enhanced machinery, a carefree sidekick, meandering mysteries and a band of heroes to save the day! It all starts and ends with a brain numbing run about the Hummocks. Take a gander at the story! I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I have.

I'm delighted to find a new author to enjoy reading. I'm excited to see what else Michael Pryor has created and shared in his writing.
149 reviews
February 19, 2011
I picked up this book on a whim at the Lifeline bookfest, not sure what to expect.

Think alternate history England in the late 1800's, where the sufragette movement is beginning to have impact, industrial technology is developing, and magic is an everyday part of life. Alongside the army and the secret services, the Magisterium serves as a kind of magical government department. Magically enhances machinery works alongside more traditional technology. And a part of the population has the ability to cast magical spells (and you are either born with the ability, or not).

Aubrey is attending a very plummy boys school to please his family, and this would be a very 'boys own adventure' if not for the addition of several strong female characters. (I was curious to see only male characters casting magic, however, so I hope there is a female magician in later books.)

I found the adventure and the application of magic in the book very interesting, although the characters can be a little uptight sometimes. This book is probably aimed at the late teenage audience, but it is still enjoyable for audience, especially those who enjoy interesting alt-world building or magical alt-worlds such as Harry Potter (although this is far less whimsical that the Harry Potter novels).
Profile Image for Clare.
1,460 reviews306 followers
November 20, 2011
Complex and dense magic so not for younger readers, and has quite a lot of male teenage attitude, a good dose of contemporary rawness (roughness) in letting you know what the boys are thinking - it's not all edifying. Probably readable for older teens who won't take it all too seriously and who already have better things going around in their heads (I'm sure they can do better than the protagonist of this book), but then again there are plenty of books that are better so why waste your time.
Profile Image for Cherie.
773 reviews47 followers
September 7, 2020
2.5 stars

Thought it has potential at the start with an old-timey Harry Potter feel, but I lost interest as it went along. I mean it was ok, but I don't feel compelled to read anymore of the series.
Profile Image for Melody Violine.
Author 27 books47 followers
December 13, 2010
Di ambang ajalnya, Aubrey berusaha menyingkap pelaku kejahatan yang mengancam kedamaian Kerajaan Albion...

Apa yang akan kau lakukan kalau menjadi Aubrey Fitzwilliam, putra tunggal dari mantan perdana menteri yang disegani? Semua orang menaruh harapan tinggi padanya, sekaligus menantinya jatuh supaya mereka bisa mencemari nama baik ayahnya. Aubrey pun berusaha memenuhi harapan itu dengan mencetak prestasi yang luar biasa di sekolah, tapi sebuah kecelakaan sihir hampir menjungkir segalanya.

Sejak kecil, bakat sihir Aubrey sudah jelas terlihat. Dia bisa menerapkan hukum-hukum sihir yang rumit untuk menguping orangtuanya di perpustakaan atau membekukan air dengan semburan api. Kini di tahun terakhir sekolahnya, Aubrey yang sudah berusia tujuh belas tahun tidak sabar lagi untuk mengukir namanya dalam sejarah perkembangan ilmu sihir. Dia memasuki bidang sihir yang terlarang dengan membuka pintu kematian…, dan tidak bisa menutupnya kembali.

Berkat sahabatnya yang bernama George, Aubrey berhasil mengelak dari kematian, tapi benang yang menghubungkan jiwa dengan raganya sangat tipis dan ikatannya tidak lebih kencang daripada tali sepatu. Namun, kelemahan ini tidak membuat nyalinya surut ketika ada pembunuh misterius pada acara berburu yang diadakan oleh sepupunya, yaitu Putra Mahkota Albert. Ternyata pembunuh itu hanyalah golem yang dikendalikan oleh penyihir kuat yang cukup lihai untuk tidak meninggalkan bekasnya. Tidak lama setelah kejadian itu, seorang profesor dari lembaga penelitian rahasia juga tewas. Ayah Aubrey yang sedang berkampanye untuk menjadi perdana menteri lagi pun diculik.

Siapakah dalang di balik semua kejahatan ini? Mata-mata dari negara tetangga, Holmland, yang dicurigai hendak mencaplok Albion? Pengkhianat di dalam Kerajaan Albion sendiri? Atau para pemberontak yang bergabung dalam Pasukan Albion Baru?

Bersama anak gadis profesor tadi, Caroline yang tangguh, Aubrey menyelidiki rangkaian misteri yang mengancam nyawa ayahnya sekaligus kedamaian negerinya. George pun ikut serta demi memastikan keselamatan Aubrey, sekaligus menyadarkan sahabatnya itu tentang perasaannya kepada Caroline.

Penyihir Detektif
Bayangkanlah jika Trio Detektif bisa menggunakan sihir dalam penyelidikan-penyelidikan mereka. Kira-kira seperti itulah yang dilakukan oleh Aubrey. Dia menggunakan logika dan keahlian sihirnya yang istimewa untuk menganalisis petunjuk dan fakta yang ada. Sihir yang digunakan oleh Aubrey pun mempunyai penjelasan-penjelasan ilmiah (karena dalam novel ini, sihir sudah diperlakukan sebagai sains) dan hukum-hukumnya bisa diterapkan dalam berbagai kondisi.

Jangan khawatir, Michael Pryor masih menyediakan banyak hal menarik lainnya dalam buku pertama trilogi The Laws of Magic ini. Kita akan dibawa ke “Inggris” pada awal abad kedua puluh. Pryor menggambarkan perkembangan sosial dan teknologinya dengan baik. Melalui tokoh Aubrey, kita bisa mengintip pandangan orang-orang masa itu terhadap nasib buruh, emansipasi wanita, penemuan kereta api, dan percetakan. Semua itu disentuh sesuai laju alur cerita, dan kecerdasan Aubrey dalam menangkap intinya memastikan kita tidak perlu berpikir terlalu rumit.

Kenapa “Inggris”? Albion adalah nama pertama yang diberikan kepada daratan Inggris. Dalam novel ini pun disebutkan bahwa Albion adalah sebuah kerajaan kepulauan dengan negara-negara tetangga di Benua yang terletak di seberang lautan. Jadi, kira-kira negara manakah yang dimaksud dengan “Holmland”? Biarlah masing-masing pembaca yang menafsirkannya sendiri.

Meskipun beraroma hal-hal serius seperti kematian dan penyelidikan, novel ini bisa membuat kita tersenyum-senyum sendiri melihat tingkah Aubrey. Tokoh utama ini sangat unik. Di satu sisi, dia berusaha kelihatan sempurna layaknya gentleman sejati, tapi di sisi lain dia hanyalah remaja laki-laki biasa dengan rasa ingin tahu yang tinggi dan cenderung nakal. Apalagi ketika berhadapan dengan Caroline, Aubrey malah tidak bisa mengendalikan kata-katanya, bahkan gagal dalam sebagian besar usahanya untuk membuat gadis itu terkesan. Akhir cerita Blaze of Glory pun membuat kita puas sekaligus penasaran tentang kelanjutannya.
Profile Image for Dion Yulianto.
Author 17 books173 followers
May 29, 2013
Di masa Aubrey William, sihir adalah penjabaran dari hukum-hukum Fisika yang diikat oleh mantra-mantra yang sesuai dengan parameter yang telah ditentukan sehingga efek dan batasnya dapat dikendalikan dan diarahkan. Rumitmemang, namun itulah konsekuensi dari diterimanya sihir sebagai sesuatu yang dapat berdamai dengan ilmu pengetahuan, setelah penggunaannya yang kejam dan hitam di abad pertengahan. Inilah sihir versi termutakhir yang ditawarkan dalam novel seri The Law of Magic; Blaze of Glory karya Michael Pyor ini.

Aubrey William adalah seorang siswa berbakat dalam sihir di Sekolah Stonelea. Yang saking berbakatnya, dia nekat melakukan eksperimen sihir maut demi menjelajahi sisi-sisi misterius dari sihir yang belum pernah diungkap sebelumnya. Sebuah tindakan yang berani, namun juga sembrono, karena kesalahan kecil. Entah dalam pelafalan suku kata mantra atau garis pentagramnya yang sedikit bercela, Aubrey hampir saja ditarik ke dunia kematian. Sejak itu, jiwanya labil dan ketika fisiknya lemah, tarikan dan sentakkan maut selalu berupaya merengut jiwa Aubrey dari tubuhnya yang lemah.

Kondisi labil inilah yang mamacu Aubrey itu menimba ilmu sihir dan melakukan beragam eksperimen mantra demi menemukan sihir ikatan yang lebih kuat untuk tetap menyatukan jiwa dan raganya. Seakan keadaan belum bertambah buruk, muncul sesosok golem atau monster buatan dari tanah liat yang hendak membunuh Putra Mahkota Kerajaan Albion, yang juga sepupu Aubrey. Dengan bantuan George, sahabat terbaik Aubrey, kedua pemuda itu berhasil menemukan sekaligus menjatuhkan golem hitam tersebut, tentunya dengan menggunakan kecerdasan Aubrey dalam memilih mantra dan menetapkan parameter-parameter yang sesuai.

Setelah itu, Aubrey dan George masih harus terlibat dalam berbagai intrik politik serta pembunuhan seorang ahli sihir terkenal dari kerajaan, yang akhirnya menuntun mereka pada jalinan misteri yang jauh lebih pekat dan lebih kuat. Dari sini, yakni bagian tengah dari novel tebal ini, cerita mulai bergulir dengan cepat, melibatkan percakapan-percakapan diplomatis, intrik-intrik politik, penyamaran sebagai gembel, dan penggunaan eksperimen-eksperimen sihir asli yang belum pernah diceritakan dalam buku-buku lainnya. Aubrey dan George, serta teman baru mereka Caroline, terpaksa mengetahui kebenaran pahit dari sosok utama yang menggerakkan berbagai intrik dan kejahatan yang selama ini membayangi negara pulau Albion.

Membaca Law of Magic; Anda akan disuguhi dengan wujud sihir yang benar-benar baru. Penulis tampaknya ingin memunculkan tipe sihir yang berbeda dari sihir tongkat ala Harry Potterataupun sihir kuno ala dewa-dewi. Dalam hal inilah novel ini pantas diapresiasi. Prior begitu lihai dalam menjabarkan sihir melalui hukum-hukum yang mirip dengan hukum Fisika. Perhatikan bagaimana Aubrey menjatuhkan si Golem hitam: Ia menggabungkan terapan Hukum Animasi dan Hukum Simpati. Karena yang mirip menjadi yang mirip maka ketika ia menembakkan senapan yang berisi tanah liat, maka gumpalan bola tanah liat juga akan mengikuti peluru yang ditembakkan ke golem yang juga dibuat dari tanah liat. Menarik, bukan?

Hal lain paling menonjol dari buku ini adalah pembelajaran politik khas Inggris abad ke-19. Nuansa politik kerajaan begitu menguasai buku ini sehingga pembaca seperti dibuai pembelajaran dalam adat bersopan santun, kehidupan seorang politisi terkenal, dengan setting masa dan tempat yang tidak tanggung-tanggung. Halaman demi halamannya laksana buku sejarah yang terjabarkan dengan begitu runtut. Satu kata untuk novel ini, Baru!
Profile Image for Vicky.
Author 22 books45 followers
March 24, 2011
Blurb: There’s a magical and political storm brewing and Aubrey Fitzwilliam is making sure he’s at the center of it. Aubrey is the son of a prominent ex-prime mininster. He’s also brilliant at magic, but he’s stuck at school. Aubrey is also brilliant at dreaming up schemes to get him and his best friend, George, into trouble. A botched magical experiment kills him, though he manages to come back, but only partially. Throughout all the political intrigue going on in the book, this line keeps cropping up as Aubrey attempts to return fully to himself.

Michael Pryor has created an incredible fantasy world – an alternative world of our own. His crafting is rich, inventive, and imaginative. In the story, magic requires almost mathmatical precision of language. There’s no waving of wands in this world. Unfortunately, the world creation is the best part of the story. The main character, Aubrey, seems almost too young for his stated age of seventeen. Additionally, he is a lot like that other famous wizard with dark hair, a slight build, and target for bullies. At least in this one, he gets the girl.

For American readers, the British spelling may be a bit off-putting, but that’s not as bad as the typos and repetitions that a better editor should have caught. In addition, some of the plot twists seem contrived and there is a lot of back story that not only slows the reading down, especially in the beginning, but brings it to a stop. In addition, the ending seemed to lack any oomph. Everything was resolved, but without any real excitement.

I will add a caveat here, though. I have read other Australian books in which some of these things were also an issue for me, but they are not to our mates down under. Something to keep in mind when reading.

I picked this book up with great enthusiasm. After all, I love books about magic and fantasy. Unfortunately, the story did not live up to my expectations, mostly because of the slow pace. Others may enjoy it, especially the struggles Aubrey faces as he attempts to rejoin his soul permanently to his body. Recommended with reservations.
Profile Image for Raafi.
780 reviews383 followers
April 10, 2013
It's so magic!
Saya suka dengan buku ini. Banyak hal tentang sihir yang saya baru tahu di buku ini. Terutama tentang pembuatan sihir yang meliputi bahasa, pengucapan, hukum-hukum dan masih banyak unsur lainnya dalam pembuatan mantra.
Tidak hanya sihir, buku ini juga menceritakan tentang perselisihan politik dalam negara. Kita diajak untuk mengetahui cara-cara dan trik untuk menggapai sukses dalam berpolitik. Selain itu, kita juga diajak betapa rumit dan liciknya agar suatu keinginan diri sendiri menjadi kenyataan dengan berpartai.
Aubrey adalah orang yang hebat, dia pasti memiliki 30 jam dalam sehari untuk melakukan hal-hal tentang sihir dan mantra. George adalah teman yang setia, mungkin lebih dari sekedar teman. Sahabat. Dia bisa membaca apa yang ada dalam diri Aubrey, walaupun dengan cara menebak, dan itu tepat. Contoh sahabat yang baik! Caroline, teman yang ia temukan saat acara berburu yang diundang oleh Pangerang Albert, Putra Raja. Dengan ciri khasnya sebagai wanita yang cerdas, pandai, dan bisa melakukan segala hal yang tidak bisa dilakukan Aubrey. Aubrey tertarik padanya, namun dia masih memendam rasanya. Dan lagi-lagi, hanya George yang mengetahuinya.
Tiga sekawan ini melakukan hal yang tidak terduga; menyelamatkan negeri Albion, dengan cara mereka sendiri, tentu saja. Menawan. Mendebarkan. Penuh aksi sihir.
Buku pertama saya tentang sihir, setelah hanya menonton film serial Harry Potter. Menakjubkan!
Profile Image for Graylark.
882 reviews42 followers
October 4, 2016
This 6-book series was a fun read, though completely not what I expected.

The description makes it sound like some sort of Harry Potter-type YA fantasy. It's actually written as a proper grown up fantasy. Very little time is spent at the school, and Aubrey very quickly graduates and moves on to greater things. The writing style is very British, a bit formal, and has a wickedly dry wit to it.

Aubrey is a treat to read about. He's such a fascinating character--brilliant, manipulative, heroic, slightly pompous, so savvy in high-flying politics but awkward in personal relations. George is--well, he's like Samwise. And the only word I can think of to describe Caroline is redoubtable.

The magic system is interesting as well. I liked how it was structured and built on languages and equations, with the hero actually working on it and getting results from his hard work.

I was definitely sorry to reach the end of the series.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
88 reviews8 followers
May 5, 2012
Loved the style, loved the setting, loved the spunky characters. Unfortunately, this was a little slow.

However, this is a YA Fantasy/Steampunk type novel that is cleverly written, and just works. Even though it got things off to a slow start, I will be reading the next in the series. It features a young magician in an English-esque magic-meets-technology world that feels Victorian. He must uncover the truth about mysterious goings-on that may affect the Crown Prince and his successful father's political career. Aubrey, the lead character, is refreshingly multi-faceted in his magical and non-magical attributes, and the other characters are strong too. The vocabulary and tone are wonderful.
Profile Image for Selina Ryan.
53 reviews
October 14, 2011
I really enjoyed this story, however found it a little had to get into at first. Elaborate descriptions and a high level of language makes this book suitable for a higher level reader who would like to improve their vocabulary.
November 10, 2018
Two stars means that this book was ok. Not great, but ok.
The story opens with Aubrey, the main character and at first he was interesting. Right away it is revealed that he is dead and he hates it. That is the first sentence of the book "Aubrey Fitzwilliam hated being dead." Brilliant, what an amazing original beginning that made me want to read this book.
But then it turns out that Aubrey isn't dead, not quite, which was a huge disappointment. He is barely keeping himself alive because he had been messing about with some questionable experiments with magic due to his insatiable curiosity. Turns out that Aubrey is some sort of genius of the stereotypical Sherlock variety who knows the answer to every question, complicates simple things because who the hell knows and suffers from an inferiority complex about his father.
Aubrey is obsessed with his father, reads about him, researches his movements... so yeah, kind of disturbing. Aubrey also has an alter ego Tommy Sparks that he uses to gad about in the mire, a run down area full of the dregs of society. And no one but George is aware of this? Right. Sure, that's believable. How are Aubrey's parents so clueless about their son? Especially Sir Darius, Aubrey's father, I would have expected such an obviously intelligent man to keep better track of his only offspring but he seemed to barely notice his son.
Overall I didn't like Aubrey because he is too privileged, too motivated by self interest and allowed far too much freedom for someone his age. He thinks that he isn't a child and shouldn't be treated like one. At one point his father says "Listen to your mother, Aubrey. And stop trying to think of ways to turn this to your best advantage." This sums up his character perfectly, no matter what the situation Aubrey is always trying to further his own interests. Going into dangerous places, meddling in things he should leave to adults and generally making a nuisance of himself. Not once is he genuinely humble, everything he does is for show. He isn't honest with his parents or his best friend that he treats as an extension of himself.
George puts up with far too much from Aubrey, all he does is follow Aubrey around and follow his orders, regardless of how dangerous it is. On the rare occasions that George has an independent thought or speaks up for himself Aubrey takes the credit because apparently George is just a shaved gorilla that Aubrey has trained to pass for human.
The only women that make an appearance in the story are Aubrey's grandmother, mother, Caroline (who becomes Aubrey's romantic interest) and Caroline's mother. All of them are two dimensional, their interactions with Aubrey remain superficial even during attempts to show emotional development. Because he's an insufferable shit with less sensitivity that a block of wood.
In the end I did finish this book, it took a few days because I had to keep going back to skim over previous chapters because a lot happens. There is almost constant action, something is always happening. Politics plays a large part and the world is on the brink of war, brought about by one mysterious shadowy figure of course.
The only thing that saved this book from one star was the magic and the world building. I like unique magic systems and would have been interested if more of that was shown. I won't be reading the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Royal.
121 reviews4 followers
December 16, 2019
Caroline, the Bane of All Promising Books
DNF @ 67%
Blaze of Glory is a rather entertaining novel once you get accustomed to the bouts of boring political intrigue. Notice I prefaced the political drama as boring - not that politics is intrinsically boring in and of itself, that's an important distinction to make. Overall, the characters are interesting, the world feels alive and new and the dialogue is simply delightful.

So why the low rating and the DNF status?
Caroline, the female lead, is a cheese-grater to the mind. She's the most dreadful character I've ever had the displeasure of reading. As a secondary character, her arrogance, venomous resentment and perfection would be refreshing character traits, but when put as the subject of the main character's affections, she quickly begins to grate on the nerves.

The most disappointing aspect of this mess is that I understand why the author wrote her this way, its a obvious way to highlight male dominated society that the story takes place in, setup interesting political drama and give her a goal to strive towards/fight against. Unfortunately, her character died in the execution.
By not balancing her character properly. Aubrey and George work well together because they make up for each others flaws (the classic brain and brawn combination). In contrast, Caroline has no flaws. She's perfect, a complete creature that requires nothing more than the world to accept her own worldview. How is anyone meant to sympathise, let alone root for such a character?

Hopefully, I'll come back to this novel and finish it, but with the amount of great books out there, it seems quite unlikely.
1,971 reviews47 followers
April 19, 2021
This is a fun book - I finished this and went straight to the next.

Aubrey is the dashing adventurer; his friend George Doyle is his stalwart companion. This is pure escapism: Aubrey is smart, hardworking, well-connected (his father is the ex-prime minister; he grew up with the Crown Prince). There's some politicking, with the main event being Aubrey visiting a magic hunt where he foils a golem attempting to kill the prince. Aubrey triumphs and we end with his father, Sir Darius, . We also meet Caroline Hepworth, a suffragist and who Aubrey is hopelessly in love with as well as Aubrey's archnemesis,
Profile Image for R. Tillsley.
Author 9 books5 followers
October 15, 2018
A fascinating alternative England filled with magic and adventure. The author weaves a coherent world, with the protagonist an idealised upper class lad weighed down by responsibility, expectations and a tendency to take risks. Oh, and this isn't really a spoiler, but he rather left himself half-dead. Or very nearly dead. Or dead but buying time. Quite complicated, frankly.

That's all for now chaps. And ladies. One forgets them at their peril, right Aubrey?
Profile Image for Ariel.
162 reviews1 follower
June 25, 2021
I found Blaze of Glory pretty dull. The magic system is vague and overly complicated, the book is weighed down with clunky and/or needless exposition and the upbeat protagonist Aubrey Fitzwilliam is perfect in every way. He's the son of the former prime minister, cousin to the next king, a genius, physically fit and able to conquer every obstacle thrown his way -- even death, which (apart from making him tired) doesn't really stop him or slow him down.
Profile Image for Della.
20 reviews10 followers
September 12, 2021
I loved it. It was not what i was expecting and there are so many subplots and mysteries all converging at once, beautifully written. No major cussing, just Dam and Hel. Also the concept of "the accident" is surprisingly deep the more you think about it. Written a bit long windedly sometimes but if you pull through its worth it, in my opinion. Cant wait to continue with the series!
Profile Image for Joy.
1,615 reviews22 followers
August 25, 2017
A fun read in a steampunk world. The main character is a teenage student of magic in a place that accepts magic as a commodity with rules like alchemy rather than funny words (like That Famous Student Wizard.)
Profile Image for Laurie D'ghent.
Author 5 books10 followers
July 12, 2018
Like a teenage Sherlock Holmes with magic. Not normally my type of thing, but it was interesting and there was absolutely nothing inappropriate.
Profile Image for Nix Gerit.
78 reviews2 followers
September 30, 2018
I deem this abandoned, since I usually don't just stop reading and take another book, if I was at least a bit interested.
Profile Image for Jimothy K.
115 reviews1 follower
December 3, 2018
Umm... It's alright. I'll probably keep reading the series. It's a solid 3 stars but I couldn't give it a 4.
98 reviews
February 11, 2019
Some young adult books tend to suffer from this too: choppy plot, like switching from one complication to another really quickly
I felt like this was intertwined a bit better than others, but also not subtle enough for me to not notice it lol
Overall fun read, Aubrey and Caroline are developed a little, but George has like, 0 character tbh :'(
The ending part where his father talks to the head of Magisterium is good as tho, Aubrey's shock is very relatable bc asian parents also never compliment their children lmao
Maybe he is from an Asian family, cos he does have black hair i think, would make sense tho
Displaying 1 - 30 of 105 reviews

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