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Blaze of Glory

(The Laws of Magic #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,133 ratings  ·  101 reviews
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 weeken
Paperback, 394 pages
Published 2006 by Random House Australia
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  1,133 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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rachel ☾
I have no words to describe my love for this world and these characters.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 abou
Jonathan Terrington
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 onc
Teena R.
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 explore
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
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 ar
Caroline Eising
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 t
Clare Cannon
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 13-15yrs
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. ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it liked it
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.
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 crop ...more
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 3-5-stars
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, slig
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: it-was-good
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 p
Selina Ryan
Oct 13, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
(bookworms ate my brain) Beffy
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 be
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 che
R. Tillsley
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
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?
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.)
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
Laurie D'ghent
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like a teenage Sherlock Holmes with magic. Not normally my type of thing, but it was interesting and there was absolutely nothing inappropriate.
Nix Gerit
Sep 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I deem this abandoned, since I usually don't just stop reading and take another book, if I was at least a bit interested. ...more
Jimothy K
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Joanna Zhong
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 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
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clunky start, but fun overall.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Slow start but enjoyed it!
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars*
Dana Faith
Don't trust my review it's incredibly biased. I read this book when I was in late primary/early high school, and in the ten years or so following I forgot almost every identifying detail except the profound effect it had on me. It took two years of looking and posting about it until someone recognised my vague descriptions and brought me here.

It's interesting to look back on, because this book contains pretty much every trope and aesthetic that I've grown to love reading, as well as writing in
I read this years ago and really enjoyed it, although from memory I was a little confused about some of the concepts/plot points. So it's getting my average rating of 3 stars. ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Let me start off by saying that I really didn't think I would like this book. I am quite vocal of my dislike of Steampunk. I just don't really get it. It's pretty yes, but I don't get the concept, and I don't get why it's such a big thing. I mean seriously, if their technology is that good why are they still running off steam etc?? It make no logical sense, but end rant.

This book frustrated me and intrigued me in equal parts. As far as the steampunkiness, I was pretty able to pretend it wasn't t
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Aubrey Fitzwillilam has ambition, intelligence, and ability in spades, as well as the sort of problem that can only come about through supreme misjudgement: technically, he's dead. Desperate to recover---if recovery is even possible---he's hunting down every faint possibility and slight hint. But he's got more than himself to worry about, as magical assassins, intrigues with Holmland, his father's re-election campaign, and the remarkable Caroline Hepworth are all competing for his attention.

Clare S-B
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Why have I never heard of this book before! Honestly peoples, this is a bit like Harry Potter and The Rithmatist just for older readers with a touch of something sciencey and a dab of political turmoil. The style is different but schools where magic is a class, and magic is an accepted part of society. This book is set shortly before ww1 but in a world/alternate history where places have different names (but you can eventually work out what they are similar to) and the laws of magic were discove ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an alternate universe historical series (something like the Temeraire series (Naomi Novik) with dragons, and the Battlesaurus series (Brian Falkner) with dinosaurs), with magic being a normal part of life. Some have it and some don't (rather like some of us ordinary this-universe people have musical talent and some don't, etc.) and our chief protagonist, of course, does. This is a teen novel, so he's a teen (late teens, I don't remember precisely which one), and he's a student (?at some ...more
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Michael Pryor's bio

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 with my wife Wendy and my two daughters Celeste and Ruby. I’ve worked as a drainer’s labourer, a truck driver, a bathroom accessories s

Other books in the series

The Laws of Magic (6 books)
  • Heart of Gold (The Laws of Magic, #2)
  • Word of Honour (The Laws of Magic, #3)
  • Time of Trial (The Laws of Magic, #4)
  • Moment of Truth (The Laws of Magic, #5)
  • Hour of Need (The Laws of Magic, #6)

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“Aubrey Fitzwilliam hated being dead. It made things much harder than they needed to be.” 6 likes
“George grinned. 'A pity you're perfectly dreadful at shooting.'
Aubrey shrugged. 'I've had all the lessons. I'm adequate.'
'Adequate? I suppose it depends on what you mean. If you mean that you haven't actually shot yourself by accident, then by all means describe yourself as adequate.'
George laced his fingers together and placed them on his chest. ''I'll come, then I might be able to spare you some embarrassment.'
'I'm honoured.”
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