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A Crucible of Souls

(Sorcery Ascendant Sequence #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  7,566 ratings  ·  479 reviews
When Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, he is raised by monks and taught the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Vowing to discover for himself who his parents really were, and what led to their violent end, he is thrust into the unfamiliar chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to earn an
Kindle Edition, 500 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Harper Voyager (first published July 1st 2013)
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Tom Lanaut Well, I don't know about the being raised by monks part, but the character losing their parents has been a Trope for ages. …moreWell, I don't know about the being raised by monks part, but the character losing their parents has been a Trope for ages. (less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Petros Triantafyllou
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Petros by: Julia Sarene
Having recently finished with Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy (grimdark with a little dose of grimdark, adding some grimdark on the top) i was looking for something lighter to read. I requested some recommendations on a fb group of Fantasy Readers, and they didn't fail to deliver. Among other works of famous authors (including books of Robin Hobb, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan etc), A Crucible of Souls caught by eye (recommended by Kitvaria).
Reading the blurb i decided this was what i was looki
Mike (the Paladin)
Have I told you how much I HATE cliffhangers???? HAVE I?!?!?!?

Well if I haven't, I HATE CLIFFHANGERS.

Takes deep breath, swigs from Coca-Cola, takes another deep breath...breaths out. Gets control of self

There, that said this is an excellent, even exceptional book. Now I've seen some lower ratings. I've seen the "there's nothing new here" complaint. Okay, well I think there is at least a hint of "newness". While actual New plots and characters are almost impossible to come by after a few thousan
Sep 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: d-n-f
I'm setting this one to the side. Right now it is just not working for me. Not that it is a bad book, because it is not, rather it isn't a good fit for my current mood . . . which is that I want something different, not another gifted orphan training at a sorcery school who seems to enchant everyone he comes into contact with. ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When young Caldan's parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were violently killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenti
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was original and very well delivered. No information dumping in sight, which is no mean feat when setting up a new magic system and delivering all the elements you need in a complex story to take it forward into the next book.

There were a few things that niggled..but I don't feel I can mention them because I think some if not all of them could easily be resolved by the end of the trilogy. I will say the pacing seemed slightly off at times...

This book provokes more questions than it provide
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I made a fuller review of the book here: http://aristeainwonderbooks.blogspot....
Please let me know what you think about it!

- - -
First and foremost, this was a surprise. I really did not know this book or the series and this was a buddy-read with some members of the Fantasy Buddy Reads.
And I was blown away.

The plot, the characters, the writing, the drama, the events - I think it is a great book. Most importantly, it has a spell: I was not able to put it down and I spent more of my Friday eve
Jenna Kathleen
I really liked Caldan's story from start to finish and it was quite a different take on a fantasy coming of age story. I thought we were going to be at the monastery for the whole book, watching Caldan learn (which I wouldn't have a problem with either), but the plot direction surprised me in a good way.

On the other hand, I really didn't like any of the other perspectives and found myself struggling through those chapters when they appeared. It took a lot of effort not to skim through them. All
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I find many fantasy books to be rather unimpressive. Few push the genre and many tag along on the typical themes. If only this book suffered from an unimaginative and over-used content I could have given it one more star. The main character is an orphan who suddenly gains magic powers. He's able to get out of scrapes through ingenuity. Let me guess - you've heard this theme before? Okay, so most fantasy readers love the same 'ol story so I guess this is the reason for the high ratings.

Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was an exceptional book.

It had been on my radar for the past few years after it won a bunch of awards but I wanted to wait until the entire series was published before starting to read it and I'm glad I did because now I can go get the 2nd book right away and not have to wait years for him to write it.

At it's core it's a story we've all heard before that is ripe with tropes - orphaned kid, raised in monastery, exiled to the big city, apprenticed at a sorcerer's guild and then comes the Big
Marc Jentzsch
Jan 31, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Being easy to read shouldn't be a book's primary virtue, but that's really what this one has going for it. I really wanted to like it but it reads more like upper-tier fanfic than something that should have seen print.

The dialogue is the worst part. It's clunky, unbelievable and bland, just like the speakers of said dialogue. I don't expect every character to have a verbal tick but when none of them do at all, it's really hard to get past. A character has two methods for expressing personality:
Julia Sarene
This was a really good and entertaining read!

I really clicked with the main character right away. The story was interesting, the characters well developed (though at times a bit stereotype with the male as the hero and the females often in need of being rescued, it gets better in the later books though!), the world believable and the magic was fun to read.

Why I only give four stars? First of, due to said stereotypes and secondly, a lot of the ideas I've read before. In fact I noticed quite a few
Mark Medina
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Very good

This is Avery good book. Not quite five star, but not too far away. Plenty of magic and mayhem. I am looking forward to the next book.
Scott  Hitchcock
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
I sort of expected this to be the traditional wizard school story like a Harry Potter or Name of the Wind but it was surprising (view spoiler) in not following the norm. It was also much darker than I expected a few times which for me is a good thing.

A lot of loose ends left for the two books to come which I will be reading. Solid 4.5* effort.
Jacob Cooper
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
As a fantasy author, I'm extremely critical of other fantasy works. Rarely do I find works outside of Sanderson, Rothfuss, Ryan or Martin in this genre that intrigue me on an author's level. The magic system here is well thought out and I look forward to its depth increasing in future books. The main character, Caldan, is very likeable as is Moranda (sp?). I wanted more development of the Protector master, Simmins (sp?) but that's a minor thing.

One thing I give high praise to this story for is
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
A Crucible of Souls by Mitchel Hogan.

Okay, for those of you who don't read long reviews, here's the short of it...

4.5 stars. This is a return, for me as a reader, to the epic fantasy classics of old that I enjoyed so much as a child growing up. Tolkein, Brooks (yes, I'm one of the few and faithful here) Andre' Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley and a lot of other names that I have read the books of but few seem to remember. It is a polished story without the gritty feel of steampunk, which is a plus
Mitchell Hogan
Jul 30, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
UPDATE as at June 2015:
Unfortunately A Crucible of Souls is only available for pre-order at the moment, as I signed my series with Harper Voyager earlier this year. The new HV version comes out in September 2015. I wrote a blog post about it here: http://mitchellhogan.com/sorcery-asce...

If you would like to pre-order, here are some links:
Amazon ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RLVDGFC
Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062407244
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-cru...

2nd April 201
Ned Ludd
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Award winning. And with just cause. Reminiscent of another great novel. Just as exceptional in my opinion. Except this one didn't take ten years to complete. ...more
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a reread in preparation for the release of the third book in this series however it seems that my original review had been deleted.

It's just as well because after this rereading I now believe my original review to be absolute rubbish. I still believe this book was well written but now I believe it to also be dreadfully boring. I almost couldn't finish it. I don't know if I was bored because I already knew what was going to happen or if I was a complete moron the first time I read this.
May 08, 2017 marked it as dnf
Stopped at 14%.. This book reads like a children's novel, like Enid Blyton kinda children's book.. Not what i signed up for..
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. The opening was strong and promised an equally inventive and yet classic feeling epic fantasy. . . . But then you get to the middle. The long long middle where you realize the main character is bland and the supporting characters poorly drawn. Where you meet random cliches to serve as proverbial redcoats to show us how awesome the main character is supposed to be. The saddest thing is that by the end it started to get good again. All this goes to make me feel t ...more
Sarah (needs a break from reviewing)
4/2 - When I saw this on the 'new books and recent returns' shelf my first thought was that it would be good, really good. But at the same time I knew from experience that books that look good can often turn out to be pretty average, or worse, and so was a little nervous of coming to the GR page because a number of times I've typed in the ISBN for my new book only to find it has an average rating of below 3.5. When I see such a low average rating it sometimes colours my opinion and I go into the ...more
I randomly downloaded this ebook and started reading it due to the attractiveness of its name and cover. But once I started, it wouldn't let go. It's been really long since a finished a book in less than four sittings. I finished this one in three. The writing is superb. It's fast paced. Doesn't dwell too much on minute details. Plus the language is 'urban', making reading it easy and fun unlike such extreme epic fantasy writers such as David Eddings. The book is a mixture of The Kingkiller Chro ...more
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
No spoilers here.
I am amazed that this is a debut novel that was self published. This was a 4.5 star book. Another new voice in epic fantasy. We have been truly lucky in the past few years we have had some very talented authors arise, to name a few, Ryan, Staveley, Wexler, Sullivan, McClellan, in this genre. Hogan is another.
He has created several interesting characters, both villains and the good, including our likeable hero Caldan, with an interesting magic system, that reminded me a bit of S
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great book, it starts out as a coming of age story, then it changes. The book can be described as a coming of age story, pirate adventure, fantasy novel, and maybe even thriller. This book has so many elements that make it fresh and bring a new take on fantasy. Overall I truly enjoyed the book, word of warning the book is addicting and it leaves off in a cliffhanger.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aurealis-awards
Raised by monks after the death of his family in a suspicious fire, Caldan receives an excellent education and magical training. Upon reaching adulthood he leaves the monastery to make his own way, and try and find out who his family was, and who he really is.

Life in Anasoma is nothing that Caldan's sheltered upbringing prepared him for, and he soon finds himself homeless and penniless. In desperation he seeks and gains an apprenticeship with the Sorcerer's Guild, despite being several years ol
Donald Gower
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a “Crucible of Souls,” book one of the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence written by Mitchell Hogan, Caldan is a young sorcerer in the making. He has lived most his life with the monks at the monastery on his island because of a tragic incident when he was a child. Caldan is trained in the art of sorcery with the children of Nobles that have paid to go there to learn. Having no income, Caldan does manual labor around the monastery and helps out the monks as a way of earning his keep. Caldan is looked ...more
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled a bit with the rating for this book but settled on the four star rating. I don't believe in fractions of stars. A book either deserves a full star or it doesn't.

Although I am a bit sick of Wizard schools, this book was a good read. The main character, an exiled, highly talented boy-monk-wizard named Calden , is very compelling and I found it interesting to follow him on his journey to find his place in a new world. There were a few other POVs which were confusing. I still don't under
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Poor first 15%-20%. Very poor characterisation and it seemed a bit forced. After letting Caldan, the main protagonist, leave the monastery where the story begins, the writing improves and then the plot expands in a very nice way. Unfortunately so does the view points (from only the main character to multiple characters). Most of these were not introduced beforehand and the effect is a negative flow in both reading experience and storytelling. A few of the new characters gets better and the use f ...more
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Initially started this and put it down for a later date. What a mistake!! I grew up reading Eddings and Gemmel. Mr Hogan here has produced a wonderful fantasy novel circa 90s feel. It has the typical boy growing into his own, the right level of magic/sorcery which is complicated to understand but also characters that you really understand. A great start to a new series from a local Aussie author!!
Apr 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, my goodness! I wanted to put this book down so many times while reading it but I kept thinking that it had to get better. IT DIDN'T! The ending was a cliffhanger... and lame. So much going on in the story that is unexplained and, frankly, that I didn't care about. Sorry, not to offend those who liked this but... urgh! That's all I can say. ...more
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When he was eleven, Mitchell Hogan was given the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to read, and a love of fantasy novels was born. He spent the next ten years reading, rolling dice, and playing computer games, with some school and univer

Other books in the series

Sorcery Ascendant Sequence (3 books)
  • Blood of Innocents (Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, #2)
  • A Shattered Empire (Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, #3)

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