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Ink Mage

(A Fire Beneath the Skin #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  4,984 ratings  ·  395 reviews
In the first installment of the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, the city of Klaar has never fallen. No enemy has ever made it across the Long Bridge or penetrated the city’s mighty walls. Even when a powerful invading army shows up at the gates, the duke and his daughter, Rina Veraiin, are certain that it poses little threat.

But they are cruelly betrayed from within and,
Paperback, 388 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by 47North (first published October 22nd 2013)
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,984 ratings  ·  395 reviews

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Helen 2.0
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
No matter what goodreads tries to tell you, let me say that this is not YA. Even if the protagonist is young (19 or so), the book is vulgar, bloody, and explicit. Don't get me wrong; I don't mind any of those things. I'm only warning you, if you can't handle R rated movies, you probably can't handle this book.

That said, Ink Mage deserves a full five stars for the magic system alone. Mages gain the power to speak the language of the universe, or rather enhance their mental and physical powers, by
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-and-galleys
The city of Klaar is impregnable. It's Long Bridge and massive walls have never been bested by an enemy...until it was betrayed by one of their own. The Duke and Duchess were murdered, while their daughter Rina Veraiin was able to escape with the help of her bodyguard and teacher Kork. Kork following the Duke's last wishes takes Rina to an old mage who bestows upon her the special tattooed based magical power of an Ink Mage. Rina sets out to get help to reclaim her home.

When I read the synopsis
This book was all over the place. Or maybe I was all over the place. Either way we were both hot messes once it was over.

Ink Mage.. oh man, where to start. It's about Rina who is a duchess but she's also an army of one. She has a pretty huge goal that is sort of achievable. Rina wants to reclaim her damn city. Oh and she also has some weird ass inked magic on her skin.

Remember how I said that this book was a hot mess.. it was like a constant hot and cold flip flopping mess. It was boring, like r
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The most frustrating read ever! Not the actual story but the way the book was delivered. This was my first and last time at reading a Kindle Serial book which is released in small episodes every 2-3 weeks. I was especially frustrated when I would finish each episode in 15 minutes and then have to wait weeks for the next bit. My husband would hear me cursing the book every time I got a new bit to read and had to wait. It looks like the book is now available to download in its entirety so folks do ...more
Al *the semi serial series skipper*
My first Audiobook!

I must say I don't know how you guys do it. The narrator had a really nice voice and was very good at miming the different characters. I liked her. It took a while to get into though, the audiobook. First, how do you guys listen for 7hrs to the same book! I think Audiobooks will be a rarity for me. It wasn't until 10% I realized I could speed it up, I was almost going crazy. Even sped up , it was slow. I found myself reading the page and then waiting for the narrator to catch
Eoghann Irving
Nov 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy

Well this was a hot mess. Which caught me by surprise because the author, Victor Gischler is a published writer with award nominations to his name. I haven't read his prose previously but had read some of his comic book work. It wasn't amazing, but it was fundamentally competent. So what went wrong here?

I have a few theories about that, but first some information about the book. The Ink Mage is in essence a fairly traditional fantasy adventure story about a young girl (who also happens to be a
2.75 inky stars

Strange how honors and burdens are so often confused.

Rina is the would-be duchess in Klaar, when the supposed inexpugnable city is conquered by the Perranese a loyal help her to flee the city.

Let me get strait that this is not a YA book. There is a lot of sex and violence. The tone following the vicissitudes of Tosh -the deserter soldier and one of the others POV- in the city is really diferent, crude and more realistic, than the adventures following Rina traipsing in the wild se
Montzalee Wittmann
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Ink Mage by Victor Gischler is a wonderful fantasy novel about a girl, a duchess, that sees her father and mother murdered in front of her by an invading army and traitor. She is helped out of the city by her body guard and friend to see a wizard that gives her a powerful and magical tattoo that strengthens her body and helps her fight. She later gets more tattoos and soon so is very powerful. She is also assisted by others and they have many adventures on the way. Lots of characters and stories ...more
Jason M Waltz
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one. not spectacular, but my first 4 star in a while. I like the girl growing into a woman, a duchess, a magic user, a leader, a lover heroine. I like the world, the magic, the plot, the sidekicks, the adventure. and that's what this is overall--a fun adventure. I'm heading off into book 2 now. Which just might be all my review needed to say.
Talitha (Victorian Soul)
This was a most interesting read. A magic system based mainly on tattoos? Color me intrigued. As it turns out, this has basis in our history, as yantra tattooing.

Yantra tattoos are supposed to be a sort of good luck charm, or bestow magical powers, much like in this book. The practice is two millennia old.

Ink Mage certainly follows some Game of Thrones clichés. Almost rape? Check. People getting killed left and right? Double check. Turncoat traitors? You betcha.

While I understand the need to fol
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
super religious people don't like this book because of all of the swearing, apparently. shit, that's too fucking bad for them I guess. makes me like it even more, goddamnit.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, kindle, own, read_2014
INK MAGE opens in dramatic fashion, thrusting the reader head on into a world of warfare and violence. Blood is spilt, heroes are felled, and the homeland of Rina, soon to be Dutches by virtue of her father’s murder, is overrun by the invading Parranese.

Author Victor Gischler’s deep dive into the surreal results in a fast paced fantasy that envelops the reader in a fantastical shroud of magic, monsters and mystical lore from start to finish. Rina’s initial battle alongside the devastating viole
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Her city was never taken, until now. The last of her line, young Rina must flee and along the way is turned into an Ink Mage. With every tattoo she gains. she grows stronger... But her new powers come at a price.

This was first published as an Amazon serial, but I just read the complete book at once. I'm however, not completely sure what to think of it. The story, for the biggest part, is quite standard and the magic is confusing. While
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Okay, we’ve got a pretty basic fantasy plot here: somewhat spoiled (but plucky) heir to the throne is betrayed, her family murdered, her kingdom (duchy, actually) conquered, and she ends up in exile, where she meets a mysterious old man who gives her the power to wreak her vengeance on her betrayers. She also assembles a ragtag crew of misfits, etc.

The difference is, this well-used plot is brought to life this time by Victor Gischler, who cut his teeth writing some of the best hardboiled crime f
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

This book started out like something I was really up for: a simple and fun fantasy novel full of magic and adventure. Rina seemed like a good protagonist too as she’s competent, but a little naïve, leaving room for success while still learning from her adventures. Then there was what seemed like a pretty fun and straight-forward plot structure involving traveling to different ink mages to gain powers with hopes of preparing to fight back against those who have wronged her family, a structure
I received an e-book copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ink Mage is book 1 in the A Fire Beneath the Skin series.

I really liked the main story line and liked the idea of ink magic, which is the only thing that stoppped me from putting down the book.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Simply Sam ツ
Jun 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Alright, so here's the thing. This is probably really only a 3 star book (maybe even 2 star if I think about it too much). However, after reading the author's bio and realizing he received his PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi I had to show some love. Probably not the best way to rate a book, but hey, it's my rating so...

Honestly, the book is not bad. It's just not great either. It's told from multiple POVs, and when I say multiple I mean like 6+. I'm not a huge fan of that writing
May 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I borrowed Ink Mage via the Amazon Prime library, so the only incremental cost to me was the time I spent reading it and having it count as my borrowed book for the month. I don't regret borrowing it, if that tells you anything, but I might have regretted spending money on it.

I read this just a week and a half ago and it’s already a little hard to remember much about it. I guess that should tell you what I thought of this book. It contained nothing so negative as to inspire a passionate review a
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I seem to have misspelled the named due to the fact that I listened to the audiobook and was to lazy to do a proper research first
I liked most of it, I liked the premise of the story (tattoos that give you magical powers, hello?!!!) but I just wasn't all that into it to be curious enough to read the next installments as well. Maybe one day, who knows.
Well the story follows three somewhat separate storylines if characters whose destinies intertwine. First if all we have Rena, the orp
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really liked the idea that ink tattoos were some kind mediators between the wizard and the "spirit" and allowed to "tap" into the spirit and use magic. That would be so cool, wouldn't it?!

However, the easiness with which the tattoos were acquired, the fact that Rina was for no reason the only one who had it so easy and the fact in general that she just got lucky and met right people at right time kinda weighted it down.

Now about things that I didn't like:
- one-dimensional characters,
- very
Heidi The Hippie Reader
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. FTC guidelines: check!

Ink Mage is the story of Rina Veraiin and her struggles with the letter I. Just kidding... and her struggle to reclaim her duchy from an invading army. She vows revenge against the (one-note) bad guy(s) who took it from her but she's just a girl, how is she going to accomplish this? Enter: tattoo magic system!

Apparently, this book was originally released as a Kindle Serial but I received the full story all a
2.5ish stars

The city of Klaar has never fallen. No enemy has crossed the Long Bridge or penetrated the city’s great walls. No one could have foreseen the betrayal from within the fortress’s walls. After a dramatic turn of events, the young duke’s daughter, Rina, finds herself a duchess and an army of one. Rina sets out on a quest to reclaim her city through whatever means necessary, even if that includes strange magic inked on to her skin.

I had mixed feelings while reading. There were huge gaps
Gillian Murrell
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 An interesting book with multi POV's that did get a bit confusing at times hence the 3.5. I'm looking forward to seeing where this story goes in the next few books as this was really just the beginning. I'm not a big fan of all these books that get split up into small books when they really could quiet easily have been written as one. It's all about the $ i guess. I would like to point out this is not suitable for a young YA book. Lots of blood a gore, plenty of fighting throw in some rape s ...more
The first chapter had me hooked. Though the middle of the book did plateau out. A very entertaining book, the story line was good, the odd curse here and there (where needed), a couple of mild sex scenes, loads of fighting and action with a bit of gore, and not to forget to mention magic! Yes, this book really did hit the spot.

Looking forward to book 2.
May 07, 2014 marked it as wishlist  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, available
1 December 2014: $1.99 on Kindle
Akan Michael
This is my kind of book...
strong female lead but...
too many sexscenes seriously...(reason for the 2 star)
Tiera McMillian
2.5 rounded up. Alright I have to get this off my chest first of all since I wish there had been some sort of clue for me. At the very back...(should be at the front) there is a KU description of "Kindle Serials" books... I have to say that I was totally thrown all off by these "episodes." So for a quick run down since for some reason they did put this at the back instead of the front of the book to give the readers a heads up. Kindle Serials allow the readers to purchase the story once... and r ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
An army is invading the land. Rina Veralin and her parents, the duke and duchess of Klaar, believe their city is safe. This force, however, is cruel and cunning and despite centuries of safety the city falls. Rina, who has received warrior training all her life, manages to escape with the help of her bodyguard and trainer Kork.

Wanting the city returned and also desiring revenge, Rina and Kork seek out an ancient ink mage, a practitioner of magic whose power is from unique tattoos. Near death, th
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Hmm... Where to start with this? I'll start with the ending.

I read this on Kindle and on the last page after the end of the book there was a page (advert?) stating that this book was a Kindle Series book - something I'd never heard of before. This explained why it was separated into chunks called episodes, which confused me to no end while reading.
This release in parts explains why the book seriously lacks flow but I will be stubborn and not let that excuse it as there could have been better edi
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Ink Mage By Victor Gischler - Restarting March 21st 2018 32 95 Mar 26, 2018 07:08PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 22, 2015 08:03AM  
  • Conquering Fate (Order of the Krigers, #3)
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  • Krait's Redemption (The Cat's Eye Chronicles, #5)
  • Empyreal Fate
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Victor Gischler is an American author of humorous crime fiction.
Gischler's debut novel Gun Monkeys was nominated for the Edgar Award, and his novel Shotgun Opera was an Anthony Award finalist. His work has been translated into Italian, French, Spanish and Japanese. He earned a Ph.D. in English at the University of Southern Mississippi. His fifth novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse was published in

Other books in the series

A Fire Beneath the Skin (3 books)
  • The Tattooed Duchess (A Fire Beneath the Skin, #2)
  • A Painted Goddess (A Fire Beneath the Skin, #3)
“That was life, wasn’t it? You spend so much of it trying to find happiness, and then when you get some, you worry every day something is going to take it away.” 2 likes
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