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Wounds in the Sky #1

The Dragon Hunter and the Mage

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Magic can make you invincible, if it doesn’t get you killed first.

Aric and Fadan are half-brothers. Both sons of the Empress, but only one of them the son of the Emperor. A decade ago, Fadan's powerful father tore the Empire in two by outlawing the use and practice of magic. Forbidden from seeing each other, Aric and Fadan defy the Emperor and wander the vast Imperial Citadel until one night, they stumble upon an ancient Manual of Magic. They are faced with a choice: take the book straight to the Emperor or see if one of them has the forbidden magical Talent. Their world is turned upside down and the half-brothers find themselves swept away as tragedy and conspiracy separate them, sending each to either end of the Empire. In a world of dark mages, massive creatures, and vengeful gods, one will train as a Dragon Hunter while the other taps into magical powers that could spell his execution.
Dark forces are moving in the shadows and no one in the Empire is ready for what’s to come. Will Aric and Fadan survive to ever see each other again?

510 pages, Paperback

First published April 25, 2016

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About the author

V.R. Cardoso

8 books153 followers
I remember writing short stories on my dad's old Mac SE 30. He would then print a few copies at the office so I could distribute them to my class. This was in elementary school. I mostly ripped off everything that I read or watched. I remember having a hero that was suspiciously similar to Indiana Jones, except his name came from a book cover standing on the shelf behind the computer.

I grew up on a healthy diet of fantasy novels, video games, and daydreaming. After graduating in business, I spent a few years cranking out headlines, scripts, and silly ideas in an advertising agency in Lisbon. Having written about pretty much everything, from laxative pills to car insurance, I decided it was time to start writing about what I truly enjoy. So I've taken the plunge and I'm now self-publishing my works of fiction.

I also eat a lot of crepes.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 87 reviews
Profile Image for V.R. Cardoso.
Author 8 books153 followers
March 26, 2016
It's done!
Two years and three months in the making, The Dragon Hunter and the Mage is done :)
It will launch on the 30th April.
Man, this was hard. I am very proud of the book, however.
Profile Image for Wol.
113 reviews42 followers
November 14, 2018
Full review below. Custom cocktail at The Fantasy Inn.

The Dragon Hunter and the Mage is a pretty interesting take on the coming-of-age story – here our plot revolves around the fate of two half-brothers, brought up together but in very different circumstances. Aric is the first born son of Cassia and her first husband, Doric Auron. However, there’s a weird situation in which the Emperor, Tarsus, has forced Cassia to marry him in exchange for sparing Doric and Aric’s lives – she doesn’t love him, but acts as a dutiful wife nonetheless. While the Emperor does appear to love Cassia in a rather unhealthy, possessive way, he treats Aric like garbage. He keeps the boy separate from his mother as much as possible, and refuses to allow him to be trained with weapons or properly educated. Fadan is Aric’s half brother by Cassia and Tarsus, and Aric is forbidden to speak with him beyond a passing hello, but the boys frequently sneak off to spend time together and have a surprisingly good relationship with no resentment between them.

On one of their sneaky excursions, the boys find a book of magic. This is massively, hugely forbidden in this world. The Emperor ordered a total purge of all magic users some years ago (some of which we witness in the prologue) which was really brutal and resulted in many deaths, and the total destruction of all magic schools. So naturally the boys are like HELL YEAH MAGIC and start trying to learn, because teenagers.

Hey, it made perfect sense to me.

Feeling unhappy for her first son, Cassia requests that he be allowed to visit his father. She means well, but as a result of this meeting events transpire that cause the Emperor to decide that the boys need to be permanently separated. He sends Aric away to train to be a Dragon Hunter, knowing this to be an extremely dangerous profession that will likely result in his death. However, Dragon Hunters trade in Runium, a substance made with dragon’s blood that aids Mages with their casting. Meanwhile Fadan remains at the castle with his secret magic book and I’m sure you can piece together where this might be headed.

It’s a super good-natured book, and while Tarsus is a real piece of work, most of the characters are way more patient, kind and accepting of their situation than I would be in their positions. More than is realistic, if I’m honest, but I’ll give it a pass because it was nice to see the half-brothers really care about one another without moping around like Jon Snow, full of anger, resentment or feelings of unearned superiority given their stations in life. Cassia does have some moments of sadness and trepidation but if I were her I’d be plotting to poison the Emperor’s wine, seeing how badly he treated Aric. It is, at its heart, a YA adventure so I think the innocence isn’t really a problem.

There’s some really nice worldbuilding along the way, and once Aric starts his Dragon Hunter training there’s a solid rivalry arc and a good foil for his character with a smattering of teenage romance. Fadan is the more naïve of the two and this plays out in ways that will have you yelling at him not to be an idiot, but I rather enjoyed that. Overall I think that I wasn’t the target audience for this one, but I could see younger readers loving it and for them I’d highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Yamna.
357 reviews116 followers
July 3, 2016
Thank you to the author for an e-book copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
I had to ponder long and hard about what to rate this book. I know that giving a young adult book 5 stars makes me seem like a kid infatuated with a book but I swear I gave it 5 stars because this book totally deserves them. I have read my share of young adult and adult books so I know the difference between a good book as seen from a kid’s perspective and as seen from an adult’s perspective. It’s weird that I started this book right after a dark romance and the title clearly suggests this is perfect for teens. However, what I loved most about this book is how mature it is. I mean, right from the start, you are engaged in the book and you start to actually have fun while reading this story.
The Dragon Hunter and The Mage is about two half-brothers, Fadan and Aric. Fadan, being the king’s son, is destined to be the future king whereas Aric, being the Queen’s son from her former husband, is kind of abused by the king and shunted in the palace. He doesn’t get any attention and is forced to live as a commoner within the castle. Also, this book is, as the name suggests, about DRAGONS.

Who doesn’t love a book about dragons? Dragons are these amazing things that are both beautiful and terrifying and make for an awesome novel. Anyways, Aric soon makes the mistake of trying to rescue his father and ends up being sent to Lamash, a cruel desert where dragon hunters heal. And there you have your Dragon Hunter. As for Fadan, he decides to try Runium, a concoction made from dragon blood that is used to cast magic, and discovers he is a Mage, another name for a wizard. This book is in an era in which wizards are feared and a Purge had been done to get rid of all Mages in the empire so you can understand why Fadan was scared to find out he was one. And there you have your Mage. The rest of the story revolves around the many adventures Fadan and Aric have while training to fulfill their respective roles. Aric soon discovers he has a knack for killing dragons and Fadan discovers he can train to do magic without telling anyone.
Despite being long (I couldn’t figure out how many pages this book has because the page numbers aren’t listed anywhere; something I didn’t like at all) this book doesn’t drone on about the same thing; there are new things happening in every chapter.
I have to stop for a minute to commend the author on his efforts. This book has a certain finesse to it, and it made me think the author was this old guy who has years of experience but from what I can understand, the author is actually pretty young. This is impressive because this book doesn’t have a couple of gibberish words that have been used to name places; you can actually see, while reading, that the author put in a lot of effort while naming everything and he did extensive research too: it’s visible from the way the names of the varying dragons were given and how each place and its history has been extensively described. Besides, you can’t just think of a purge, mages, use of dragon blood to make potions and devices used to block magic without doing any research, so yea, great job on that. Also, I loved the names of the characters, they were very unique.
Moving on, the book certainly delivers on its name; there are dragons that are ruthlessly (and bravely) hunted and there is magic that is chivalrously (and foolishly) conducted.

There are a few new things introduced in the book such as the game Laghat and the devices that can block/absorb magic such as the transmagophon. I didn’t exactly get the game but it sounded interesting and I want one transmagophon for myself to absorb all the evil around me lol.
Anyways, the novel is fast-paced, despite its length. There are moments when you are at the edge of the seat, wondering why Aric is stupidly going after a girl who might not like him or the time Fadan is almost caught by his father’s loyal soldiers while sneaking out to practice magic. Sadly, the book ends with many questions untold which means that I have to desperately wait for the next book to see how everything went for the two heroes.
Profile Image for Kristen.
578 reviews110 followers
May 16, 2018
A bigger, prettier version of this review is here, on my blog!~ 3.5/5 h*ckin stars!

First thing’s first. Full disclosure: I ditched this audiobook somewhere in chapter one. I liked the characters, I liked the story, I liked the idea of the whole thing even that early on, but the narrator was just… a nope for me. Its a shame, because I thought the sample sounded alright, but then, the sample is only a little bit of the whole thing and the scene it is from is rather large and in charge, so a big, boomy wizardy sounding voice worked for it. Not as much, for a lot of the stuff after that. So, yeah. I looked down and saw I had like 18 hours left and was like ‘oh heeeell no’ and went directly to the kindle version. Because like I said, I liked the book up to that point, I wasn’t just going to peace out. This isn’t the first time I’ve ditched an audiobook based on the narrator, and I promise it won’t be the last. Luckily, there’s always the print book to fall back on. :D

This is a story of two brothers, among other things, but mainly two brothers, half brothers really, who are the sons of the empress. One of them, Fadan, is the son of the emperor. The other, Aric, is the son of the empress’ former husband, Doric Auron, who is, as I understand it, a noble and a poet. Doric still lives, but in exchange for letting him live, Cassia agreed to marry the emperor, a man she does not love.

Tarsus, the emperor, doesn’t like Aric, Doric’s son, and forbids him from eating with his mother, or going to certain parts of the castle, and especially from speaking more than hello and goodbye to Fadan. Despite that rule, Aric and Fadan are good friends, and often sneak out at night together to explore and hang out. They find a magic book, something that is very, very against the law in this world, after the Purge that the emperor ordered basically killed off most of the magic users in the entire world ten years previously. All but very few who are in hiding. So, being the rebellious teenagers they are, Fadan and Aric begin reading through the book and experimenting a bit.

To use magic, one needs a substance called Runium, a liquid that is brewed from the blood of dragons. So, dragon hunters, while having a dangerous job, have the potential to make lots of cash off the rare substance, even if mages are super illegal. Runium may be outlawed, but that never stops anyone from selling it, and there is, in fact, a pretty big store of it in the palace under heavy guard. Well, rebellious teenagers with magical talent gonna rebel, and get some of that sweet, sweet Runium.

Events occur in the capital that have Doric arrested for treason, and as a secondary consequence, Aric sent to Dragon Hunter training, leaving Fadan alone with a creepy spellbook, the Talent for magic, and a flask of Runium…. and thus you have the Dragon Hunter and the Mage. :)

Once I decided that print was the way to go for me over audio, I found this one quite enjoyable at times, with a good deal of action and intrigue and subterfuge and what have you. It’s an easy read, and it does have a very, very distinct YA feel to it that almost entirely comes down to the language that is used. This story uses language quite well… most of the time. Sometimes though, the dialogue suddenly slides right into middle school. So here comes some criticism! >.>;

Words like heck are thrown around a fair bit here. I’m not saying that this book should have had f-bombs peppered through it, but the word heck has very childish tone, and sounds… silly, or maybe almost awkward in most of the situations it was used in here. So, the book felt a bit contrived at times. I can understand not wanting to be explicit, but… heck? Really? You’re going to say ‘give that dragon heck!’ to a teenage boy who is about to take on a giant fire-breathing dragon with a spear? Yeah, you’ve pretty much lost me at this point, because now I’m more focused on how silly that sounds than the fact that he is fighting a bloody dragon.

It’s not just the teens, either. It’s the adults too, with things along the lines of ‘here is a smoke bomb that is powerful enough to blind a dragon, so be careful because it stings like heck.’ I mean, I think that teenagers have reached the point of being able to handle a stronger word than this one right around the point where you’re giving them explosive devices… just saying. The word bullcrap was used very vehemently at one point and all I could do was pinch the bridge of my nose and sigh before moving on.

All I’m saying is that there are so many different ways that this sort of intense use of language can occur without being explicit or sounding ridiculous. Perhaps some of the realm-specific religious curses that are used elsewhere in the book might have at least sounded like they fit better and sounded less childish. The ones that were here didn’t sound too bad. Merciful Ava, and whatnot. Curses that make reference to in-world deities are usually pretty great way of lending emphasis without using offensive language, and without sounding like the word is an obvious stand-in for a more explicit one that would just fit better in the first place.

Now, that was a few paragraphs of criticism, and admittedly, it makes it sound like this is a bigger deal than it is. It’s not a dealbreaker (not even for me, a girl with a mouth like a h*ckin sailor), but it is noticeable and, at least for me, it broke the flow of the action by introducing something that sounded out of place in the middle of a sentence. I don’t know how to put this any other way. Don’t get me wrong, the bullcraps and hecks and so on don’t make this a bad book. In fact, hecks aside, I thought it was a pretty good book, with a well thought out plot, characters that I cheered for, plenty of dragon huntery and/or magey action, and a really well put together and well imagined magic system with rules that made sense without sounding like they had an instruction manual. It had an ending that left me wanting more without being cliffhangery, which is always good. I will likely read the next book in this series. :)

As Fadan and Aric’s story arcs separate a bit, we see each of their stories from a different point of view, and those points of view are each quite different from each other, giving each character a chance for real growth away from each other. They both learn their respective roles, but as you can imagine, the training for those roles is each quite different. Fadan and Aric are around the same age (obviously not -the- same age with that whole having the same mother but different fathers thing), but they don’t seem like the same person but in a different place, by the end. They have similar circumstances, perhaps, but each of them finds their place in their role differently.

Aric’s training at the Dragon Hunter’s guild was full of interesting events, unexpected things, and a bit of a military training feel… with a little magic, but this part is mostly focused on weapons training, tracking, and not getting uber-killed by dragons. To start with, the new recruits need a captain, and what better way of choosing one then pitting a bunch of young adults against each other in various tests of creativity, ingenuity, stealth, and courage. This is also a good way to make friends, probably.

Fadan’s training is more one on one, and definitely much more secretive, so he doesn’t learn in groups of similarly aged people, but instead secretly learns from a mage that he sort of… accidentally comes to know. He sneaks in and out of the palace to learn, and becomes quite proficient with his craft. As he trains, he becomes a bit closer to some members of the rebellion, who are plotting to overthrow his father. His story, and the storyline of the rebellion coincide, and so it is full of action as well, but with a less dragons.

All told I thought it was a pretty good read, but I would recommend it only to those who don’t mind a book with some pretty obvious YA elements and language. Also, audiobook fans, like I said, I ditched the audio because I did not like the narration, but nevertheless, do give the sample a go, because it might be something you like. Whatever flies your dragon.

(I got a free review copy of this book from the author).
Profile Image for Julia Sarene.
1,253 reviews130 followers
December 30, 2017
This has a strong YA feel to it.
It took me a bit to get into the story, but once the two POVs split and went different ways I was hooked.

The book is fast paced and the two main story strands are different enough to have kept me interested throughout the book!

I especially liked the story of the brother who gets to go to the desert and be trained as a dragon hunter! But the other POV that stays at court and deals with some politics and the past gave it a bit more depth than the pure action.

it was a bit predictable and had quite some tropes, but a lot of actual magic, dragons and interesting characters made up for it. 3,5* from me!
461 reviews397 followers
October 25, 2017

The king is purging out all of the mages, he’s a determined guy and he loathes mages, anyone found guilty of magic is usually executed. The king has a son with his wife who he basically forced into marrying him with the promise he would spare her previous husband and sons life. He treats her older son like trash and makes him live in the guests quarters and doesn’t allow him to train with weapons.

His son, Fadan, isn’t so bad. He doesn’t take after his father and really loves his brother and wants to spend time with him, but his father doesn’t allow it so they both sneak out at night to have some time together.

Aric is eventually sent away after some trouble goes down with Arics father, the one who the King spared. He was framed for treason and sentenced to death, but the Queen was able to convince the King to spare her son. He’s sent across the world into the desert to hunt dragons, and there’s lots of mysterious stuff out in the desert. He thinks he’s seeing someone who’s petting dragons and able to tame them, but no one believes him, they think he’s suffered heat stroke or something. There’s also possibly a gateway to the demon realm hidden under the desert. There are lots of battles with his POV which speeds the plot along.

As it turns out, Fadan has Talent, and is able to use magic. If he’s caught he could be executed, so he has to be extremely stealthy. He tries teaching himself but it doesn’t go well, but eventually ends up in the hands of a resistance member and his mage brother and starts to train. His plot has a lot of betrayal type questions, does he stay loyal to his father and king, or does he turn traitor after his brother was sent away and help the resistance?


Aric- the son of an exile and the Queen, he’s treated like dirt most of the time but has generally good spirits, he’s not bitter or weepy about it. Once he gets sent out into the desert he has to learn how to survive in a harsher world than he was used to, although he slept in the servants quarters he was still getting food and a roof with no immediate danger to his person. Out in the desert he has to learn to toughen up or die.

Fadan – facing a lot of difficult questions, like what to do you do when you know your father is a tyrant, but he’s still a generally decent and caring towards you and your mother. He has a lot of conflicting feelings and reading through his chapters were really interesting because it introduces you to this worlds magic system. He’s the more cautious of the two boys at first, but over the book he grows to have a little more fortitude and sense of risk and adventure.

Intilla – A guard and adviser to the King, he’s extremely loyal to the crown and is a gruff no nonsense kind of person.

Cassia – this woman puts up with a lot and carries her burdens like a champ, she’s an extremely strong woman who tries to pick her battles and get what’s most important to her. She’s been forced to marry someone she doesn’t appear to love, and leave her former husband behind who she did love very much, and then had to endure her former husbands execution sentence and her son taken away.

World Building:

Almost all the magic schools and magic establishments have been wiped out after the purge, and all of the mages are living in hiding in fear of the king.

Rudium was once a lucrative trade, it’s the source of all magic abilities and without it mages are useless. For non mages it works as a hallucinogen which is fun I guess. The trade of this is now banned and people caught with it suffer serious consequences.

Dragons are a big part of the book and you get to see a lot of action with them, they are widely considered to be the only way to get rudium, so the dragon slaying trade has gone down considerably since the banning of magic. When Aric is introduced to the group of dragon slayers their halls and rooms have a lot of vacancies.


Overall I’d say this is a bit lighter, there wasn’t anything too terrible or dark going on, it read more adventurous than anything.

The prose was straight forward, not a lot of simile or metaphor so it read quickly.

The pacing was pretty good, you’d go back and forth between the two brothers with some smaller pov’s of other characters. One brother had a lot of action going on, while the other was world building and magic system building, so it kept things flowing nicely and I looked forward to both of those pov’s whenever there was a switch.


YA/coming of age
dragon battles
magic filled
multi pov
action filled
long (500 pages)
training magical abilities
Profile Image for Edward Davies.
Author 3 books36 followers
April 27, 2016
This novel starts off slowly, but the middle section is where it really finds its feet. If the whole book had been just about the characters, I’d have given it 5 stars easily. As it is, the beginning and the ending were a little too slow for my likely, which is where it lost a star. Fans of sword and sorcery stories with a heart will enjoy this, and I look forward to seeing book two.
Profile Image for Bill Tillman.
1,644 reviews65 followers
August 26, 2016
A glorious quest by two half brothers. Aric and Fadan both sons of the Empress, but only one of them the son of the Emperor. On an adventure they stumble upon an ancient book of magic. The book will separate then to the opposite ends of the empire. Well worth reading.
Profile Image for Denise.
6,461 reviews105 followers
July 1, 2020
Forbidden magic, dragons and an elite warrior corps that hunts them, a rebellion brewing against a tyrannical monarch - many of the ingredients of this fantasy novel are familiar, but they come together perfectly into a fastpaced adventure that sucked me in right from the start. I'm glad I finally got around to reading this after it had been sitting on my shelf for years - definitely won't wait as long to pick up the sequel!
1 review
July 18, 2017
I really enjoyed reading this book, especially the second half! I'm looking forward to the next one
Profile Image for L.K. Evans.
Author 6 books53 followers
May 4, 2016
This is the second book I’ve read by Cardoso, and I must say I enjoyed this one more than the last. With the dialog formatted correctly, it read smoothly and the story was enjoyable.

Basically I’d consider this a coming of age story. It revolves around two half brothers, Fadan (the prince) and Aric (born of a different father than the emperor) as they each come into their own power/skill. I love stories that center around sibling relationships but sadly this only happened for the first quarter, and then the brothers were split. Beneath the brothers’ development is a rebellion and some nasty mages.

I must say that the characters kinda blended together for me. I liked them all, even the not-so-nice ones, but none stood out far from the others. There’s a wide cast, but if you like the good guy stuck in a bad situation character, you’ll like all of them. If you’re looking for heavily flawed good guys, I’d not recommend this. As for our two main characters, I was more attached to Fadan because his care toward Aric was much more pronounced—shown to me more. If I read right, Aric is the older, but it definitely seemed Fadan was more mature. There’s a few supporting characters I’m interested in spending more time with. They did some things that showed genuine good, and one in particular had a great calm about him that drew me in, much like Fadan did. Aric sometimes came across with a tiny bit too much self-pity for me in the beginning. However, he shaped up toward the end.

Which brings me to my second thought. The beginning was rough for me. It felt very young, which I generally don’t enjoy. I like my characters a little more brooding, a little more tormented, a little more deep. I don’t want them to whine, which is what I felt toward Aric. It kinda soured it for me, but then the tone changed and I found it much more enjoyable. Fadan’s story saved it for me, and by the end I found myself equally invested in the brothers. The sub stories of rebellion and mages really took hold toward the last quarter of the book, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

As for the pacing, it was slow in the beginning, and personally I found the training sections just a little long. However, once the other subplots took hold the pacing picked up and whisked me away.

The world is quite interesting. Dragons once ruled the world, and after the Dragon Hunters squashed their numbers people came into power. There’s a good amount of history woven in, and thankfully I never felt like I got a huge dose of info dumping backstory. Definitely a bonus for me. Descriptions were enough for me to develop the scenes, and I appreciated the lack of page long set ups. The magic system was nice and clean.

So overall, I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys young adult, or to those who like the book to have a lot of good guys looking to make things right. I'm definitely curious about the second installment in the series.
Profile Image for Wayne Elsner.
Author 5 books41 followers
May 13, 2016
Two boys have grown up in a world of magic but a world where magic is now seen as evil and something to be purged. Both are the sons of the empress but only one is the emperor’s son. Two boys who could be enemies are secretly best friends and soon they discover a secret that brings them even closely. Now they are forced to go in completely separate directions but they have the same goal in mind. A goal that one day should bring them back together.

The Dragon Hunter and the Mage started a little slow and I still haven’t decided what I thought of the first chapter but overall it is a well written and entertaining read. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a love of fantasy. There is plenty of action and intrigue and the author has brought the characters to life. I look forward to the next installment.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Kostas.
32 reviews16 followers
August 21, 2018
The best way to describe this book?


The book "The Dragon Hunter and the Mage" as the title suggests follows the story of the two half-brothers as each of them embarks on his own journey. The brothers journey begins as they discover a book of magic which will lead them to make a choice that will change their lives forever.

My opinion? To be honest I was not expecting to like it so much, actually I was not expecting to like it at all. I only read it cause I haven't anything new to read for a while. The book really has a deceiving beginning, I was able to truly appreciate and like the first chapters only after I read further.

But after reading it? I seriously recommend it. It's an amazing read full of surprises, plot twists and frustrating moments that will keep you at edge of your seat!
50 reviews9 followers
July 28, 2019
dnf. One star just for the formatting. There were no line breaks between the very frequent POV changes, nothing to signal them at all apart from a new paragraph.
Profile Image for Andre Wemans.
11 reviews1 follower
August 24, 2019
Very well written story with good characters in the middle of empire, mages and dragons in an original world. I couldn't let it down till I end it. I has been a long time since I enjoyed so much a fantasy book as this one, the second book is already ordered.
Profile Image for Anne Monteith.
547 reviews21 followers
April 4, 2016
I’ve been waiting a long time for this book and I was not disappointed. This is a book that can be read by fantasy lovers of all ages. While there is some violence, it is not graphic and there are no explicit sexual situations that parents of younger readers would find objectionable

After the Emperor destroyed the mages, even young children who had just begun their training and had little or no knowledge of how to use magic he has maintained his tyrannical rule with the help of the Paladins and Legionnaires. His Empress Cassia, his with him not out of love but to protect her first husband, their son Aric and her second son, the Crown Prince, Fadan. Despite the Emperor’s edicts and his mistreatment, Fadan and Aric are close and they sneak out at night to be together. Whenever the Emperor hears that the two have spoken or been seen together he punishes them both and now he has told Fadan that if he hears of it again he will send Aric away from the palace.

Despite killing most of the mages and seizing the product they need to work magic, they have managed to survive. When a book about magic falls out of the ceiling where Aric and Fadon are hiding after sneaking out at night, Aric is determined to see if he possesses the talent and Fadon reluctantly agrees to hep him. Their finding will alter their destinies in many ways.

This going to be a series and there is a cliffhanger, which has me eagerly awaiting the next book in this series. The ending also surprised me with a revelation that I had not expected.

4.5/5 STARS: I want to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are mine.**
Profile Image for Sean Franco-Norris.
109 reviews2 followers
April 21, 2016
This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Before I started this, I decided to read the prequel first to make sure I actually like the author's writing style and I loved it. It easily convinced me to start this book when it was being offered in exchange of an honest review. It took me a couple days to read this novel because it was well-written. I loved how the author describe what was going on around the characters. The world-building was astounding. It was written in a slow pace for a good reason. It gave me a moment to feel emotionally connected to the brothers and secondary characters that were mentioned in the novel. It didn't feel that long because it was that good. It wasn't as exciting as the prequel was. But once I got to the action scene, it was fun read! I didn't want the book to end just yet because I have no clue how far the author was into the second book of the series. Somewhere online, it took the author 2-3 years to write this novel. I really am hoping it wouldn't be the same for the second book because by the time it got release, I probably just forgot about the story. But after finishing the novel, I don't think I will forget. The cruel the brothers' father treated them was hard to be forgotten.

I loved how the author describe the dragons. It was well done. Original. How the mage got their power was awesome as well. I definitely highly recommended you to check this book out. The prequel and this book can be read as stand alone because both book have different characters.

This book is being release in just a few days, don't hesitate to grab yourself a copy when it released!
Profile Image for Barb McKinley.
268 reviews7 followers
April 10, 2016
WOW, It is not often that I find a young Author that comes out with a great beginning to a new series. Author V.R. Cardoso is one such Author. I received an early edition of his new book from Mr. Cardoso for review. I must say I loved his book. I will impatiently await the next book in the series.

The characters are wonderfully detailed and will come to life as you read about their lives. One character could be my best friend, but I know he's never met her. I fell in love with the world Cardoso creates. There are plots within plots with, action, adventure, mystery, magic, suspense and a cliffhanger ending that will leave you wanting more.

I love Cardoso's take on dragons and it will be interesting learning how dragons evolve in this world. There is so much to enjoy in this book that it is impossible to list all it's attributes. If you enjoy a well written book, you are going to love "Dragon Hunter and the Mage". Go check it out. You won't be sorry you did.

Profile Image for Todd Menesses.
30 reviews2 followers
September 14, 2016
Very well written book with lots of twists and turns. After the Purge all magic and Mages are forbidden...those who have "the Talent" are killed or are in hiding. Two brothers with the same mother yet different fathers...one the prince the other the "half-prince" each share a role in the story....one will hunt Dragons...the other "has the forbidden Talent." Nice building of a new fantasy world for me to play in as an audio book narrator. Great for ALL members of the family, On sale now at Audible.com http://adbl.co/2cwJILH
Profile Image for John #Audible.
273 reviews
December 2, 2016
Awesome new book along with great ( Audible ) narration done by Todd Menesses. I am not one to drone on with a review, but I will say that it's like a YA book, but less whiny, more action and start to a good world building along with a magic system.

I would normally toss a YA book out the window into a burning fire BUT there are a handful that I will let slide when the YA ( protagonist ) is not acting like a total self entitled know it all ass hat.

Oh, and if you like Dragons it has plenty of them.
Profile Image for Pat.
81 reviews37 followers
June 12, 2016
A fantastic fantasy novel, I loved it.
Recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels.

I won this book in the Goodreads Firstread giveaway and cannot wait until the next in the series.
Profile Image for Raven.
103 reviews26 followers
August 31, 2017
Disclaimer: I received this audiobook free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

The Dragon Hunter And The Mage by V.R. Cardoso is about two half-brothers.  Both are sons of the Empress, but only one of them the son of the Emperor.  The Emperor has forbidden the brother  from seeing each other. Aric and Fadan defy the Emperor by meeting in secret whenever they can get away. The Emperor had also outlawed the use of magic and almost completely killed all the mages in the kingdom. The brother don't seem to be to concerned with this law until one day while meeting in secret Aric and Fadan find a Manuel of Magic. Which leaves Aric and Fadan with two option. They can either turn the book over to the Emperor or see if one of them has the talent to use magic. They decide to test themselves to see if either has a talent for magic. When it turns out one of the brothers is gifted in the use of magic nothing is ever the same again.

I have to admit I initially approached this audiobook with no expectations and the great possibility of disappointment. Let me explain why. Over the years I have found that most self-published books are not worth the paper they are printed on or they time I wasted while reading/listening to them. The Dragon Hunter And The Mage surprised me. V. R. Cardoso made a story with a great and interesting plot. The story was a little slow moving in the beginning but well worth the wait.

V.R. Cardoso also did a great job on producing this audiobook. Especially when he picked Todd Menesses to be the narrator. Todd Menesses made this audiobook great. Which is a good thing considering this audiobook is not a quick listen. Coming in a little over 19 hours Todd Menesses made me want to keep listening. 

So for the big question would I recommend this book? YES!! It really is worth the time. In fact I'm already looking forward to the next book to be released in this series. Now I also usually say if I would listen to this book around younger ears or not. I can say that this book is a great find. It is a wonderful listen for all ages.
Profile Image for Sheron McCartha.
Author 13 books13 followers
January 16, 2021
Dragons and mages...what could be better?

The story has familiar flavors. Two brothers, one a prince and the other his step-brother, the latter rejected by the king who is obsessed by their mother, forced to become his queen.

However, Queen Cassia still loves her first husband and begs King Tarsus to let her talk to him after many years of separation.
Doric is brought to the palace to honor her request, but is framed for treason when discovered with a band of rebels. Aric, his son, along with Prince Fadan, his brother, attempt to free him from prison and imminent hanging.

As they escape, Aric saves his brother from capture, but he and Doric, his father, are caught. Aric is exiled to the desert as punishment where he is conscripted into a academy of dragon hunters. Existence is harsh and the dragons that attack the towns are deadly. One doesn’t normally live long as a dragon killer.

However, dragons’ blood is used to produce magic by outlawed mages. The king has decreed that any who practice magic shall die. So, of course, his own son Fadan, discovers that he has the power of magic and seeks out an undercover mage to teach him while hiding his powers from his father, and his court. Lots of sneaking around result, along with misfired magic as he tries to master the power within him.

Fadan falls in with the rebellion while escaping the royal palace, and Aric encounters magic in the form of a desert witch who becomes an ally. Both struggle to survive.

I liked the bond between brothers, the magic, the fire-breathing dragons and all the intensity of action that takes place.

The themes are familiar, but still remain lots of fun to read and the story is well-written.

Profile Image for  ☆Ruth☆.
663 reviews1 follower
December 28, 2017
This would have been without question a 4-star book if I had read it, instead of listening to the audio version. The appalling narration almost totally ruined the story, I was on the verge of giving up several times but the fact that I persevered until the end is testament to the excellence of the writing.
I look forward to reading the next book in the series.... but definitely not the audio version!!
61 reviews5 followers
October 16, 2017
I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads program.

This book had a pretty good story with a number of interesting characters. I struggled a little with a few of the plot points that didn't make sense to me as well as the occasional use of "modern" language and some technology (binoculars) that seemed out of place. The final scenes of the book also seemed a little rushed and focused more on punishments instead of celebrating a victory.

Overall a decent book and I enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Lucy.
11 reviews
January 29, 2021
You can read my full review here: Lucy's Pick

Overall, this book turned out better than I was expecting. I highly recommend giving this book a chance if you enjoy light reading and young adult books. The only thing is since it's a new series, there will be some waiting involved for the story to progress.
Profile Image for Kyle.
6 reviews
April 12, 2021
A pleasant surprise

I had been looking for a new book to read and stumbled across this one. I had never heard of the author, but decided to give it a chance. Boy am I glad that I did!

The characters are well fleshed, and I came to really look forward to reading each of their viewpoints. The world is really intriguing too. Lots of gears in motion make it feel like this world is truly alive. I’m looking forward to reading the next entry!
Profile Image for Michelle.
81 reviews1 follower
May 30, 2022
the low star rating

For the price of a full book, I expected more than 483 pages of introductions to characters. I feel cheated out of a full story. I really was shocked. It’s said in the title it was a book…it’s a novella…at best, a condensed introduction as reality. Not enough to get interested just the thoughts WTF…
Cheap, sleazy and underhanded come to mind in terms of how this whole thing is presented. I am totally disgusted.
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