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The Flaw in All Magic

(Magebreakers #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,297 ratings  ·  154 reviews
In a city that runs on magic, it takes a man with none to solve an impossible murder.

In a world of elves and dwarves and sprites and mages, Tane Carver is a human with no gift but his wits. Which, to be fair, did get him into the world’s most prestigious university of magical technology.

For a while.

Until his lack of magic was discovered. And then it all came crashing
Kindle Edition, 198 pages
Published August 9th 2017
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Ben Dobson Sorry, I didn't notice this question sooner or I'd have answered! There's not really any notable lgbtqia+ characters in the first two books, but a les…moreSorry, I didn't notice this question sooner or I'd have answered! There's not really any notable lgbtqia+ characters in the first two books, but a lesbian character is introduced in the third book in the series and becomes a viewpoint character in the fourth. Also she's a goblin, if that makes things more (or less) interesting to you.(less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  1,297 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Montzalee Wittmann
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Flaw in All Magic
Magebreakers, Book 1
By: Ben S. Dobson
Narrated by: Travis Baldree
This is an audible book I requested and the review is voluntary.
I love streamline, fantasy, and books with orcs in a positive light, underdog heroes, characters you can really get to know, and a good plot. This book has all this and more. Our main guy doesn't do magic but is working for a University for mages due to a murder of one of his friends. He ends up with a new friend, a female half-orc that helps him. T
4,75 stars - becoming 5 stars rounded up - English Audiobook 🌹🌹🌹🌹
Realy Nice to hear this book while I was in waitingrooms, trains and in the bathtub. Orcs and Humans, underdogs in their world, becoming unwillingly Hero’s. Friendships and allianties you do not expect. Twists and turns along te way. I liked it. Fantasy to listen too. Nice voice who is telling the story. 🦋🦋🦋
Vaiva Sapetkaitė
Well, that was entertaining, my inner child is giggling and clapping.

The plot was simple (from the first scene I understood that one guy is trouble) and the most of characters were quite artificial but I liked the concept of the magical world, humor and, of course, Kadka. She pulled off the story.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think I found this by looking through the steampunk category on Amazon. It's more magepunk than steampunk, with magically driven engines and an airship lifted partly by spells; a steampunkish/dieselpunkish feel to the setting, but with lots of magic-as-technology and an assortment of fantasy races (elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, goblins, and so forth).

Because this is pretty close to what I often write myself, I read it with great interest. Because it's extremely well done, I also read it with
David Harriss
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Predictable Fun

Dobson's book is oddly light and humorous, despite the gruesome murder and genocidal conspiracy.
Like any decent mystery, the tale is twisted but littered with clues. And like any good mystery, there are enough clues to solve it.
Unfortunately, I had it worked out by the third mark; the story was good enough to keep me going, with solid characters drawn from classic archetypes, and the world building I have come to expect from a part of The Gamers production team.

A solid fantasy my
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Good, old-fashioned fantasy adventure w/mystery investigation

I enjoyed this, even if I did feel the wish to Gibbs-slap Tane a few times — he learned no lesson from how much hurt & anger he caused Ree before, and still tries to "protect" both of the very different but very capable females in his orbit from letting them make their own decisions to be involved! Still, I liked all the meant-to-be-likable characters, and enjoyed the plot. It even has an airship, with what was to me an obvious bit of
Nicolas Knight
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I know it's a harsh rating but it deserves it.

It's written like the opposite of the dresden files: A normal man in a world of wizards. It may sound like a compliment but it's not.

It's not much of a story and very little plot. It does have a semi coherent narrative but like most of these "List bad things to happen to the character and try to make a book out of it" books it doesn't actually need the main character to move along and if the villain had only stopped attacking the MC then (s)he would
eden Hudson
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a fun book! I just finished it and that's all I can think. It was so entertaining, from the beginning to the end. The world Dobson has created in The Flaw in All Magic is a charming blend of high fantasy setting, urban fantasy plotting, and magepunk—or would that be ancrystpunk?—technology, alive with enchanting characters.

Tane and Kadka make a great murder-solving tagteam of misfits: the only man without magic in a city of mages and a wide-eyed wanderer half-orc away from her frozen h
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: signal
Sort of a light magic-detective story.

The plot is that the main character isn't actually magical, but competes with mages due to being extra smart. The problem these stories tend to run into is that if the main character gets plot-induced stupidity it's extra disappointing.

This was okay. I'll probably get the next one.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, detective
I've got a little bit of a soft spot for magical investigation stories, so this novel, which combines investigation with action and a whisper of social criticism, was right up my alley.

The Magebreakers, a wizard fraud and a foreign warrior woman recently released from her employment with the police, are a charming and funny duo and it's great to see a relationship between man and woman that doesn't turn romantic for no reason.

The thing that put this rating over the top for me, that earned this b
Chris Evans
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
The Flaw in All Magic reminds me a fair bit of some of the better The Dresden Files Collection 1-6 books, back when Butcher use to be a writer. Only in this, Tane is magicless in a land full of mages. Dobson has created a charming world and a full set of extremely likeable characters. The book starts off with a girl being killed, and throughout the story you learn enough about her that the death hurts more at the end of the book than the beginning. All and all a great book and I can't wait for t ...more
Shrinivas Deshpande
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book was quiet good without any of the usual OP hero or too lucky hero. The story was also quiet interesting. The story world is very vast and quiet interesting. Looking forward to reading the next book soon.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindleunlimited
Pleasant, fast read.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tane Carver is infamous. The only non-mage to have attended (and nearly graduated) from the university for mages, he's convinced his own life proves you don't need to be a mage to understand magic. But that was before his grand reveal got him expelled. Now he's lucky to find enough work to afford rent for his office. When a murdered girl leads to an invitation back, he's finally got a chance to do what he does best: find the problems in the spells that should have made the crime impossible.

Kelley Ceccato
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neville Sweijd
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Flaw in All Fantasy Books

Whenever an author writes a book in a fantasy world, especially one where people have magical abilities, they feel the need to give there main character these powers, and I am happy to say that The Flaw in All Magic is a welcome exception.
Tane Carver, is a quick witted ex-student of a magic university. Why and ex-student? Well that's because he doesn't have any magic, despite having been one of there best student for four years. The book follows him and a half-orc na
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A steampunk fantasy adventure full of mystery and magic. For a moment I thought I was reading one of the better offerings published by Wizards of the Coast - you know the type; the not too demanding but deeply satisfying story set in a richly realised world. Young adult appropriate, but not dumbed down or written solely for the over hormonal.

It's the story of a man without magic but with plenty of wit, unafraid to use it to prove that being magically skilled doesn't necessarily make a person sup
Christy A
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a thrilling read!

The underdog protagonist paired with the brutish enforced isn't exactly unique, but the way it is done and the character interactions are worth the read. The mystery is nice and engaging, and the action is top notch. The thing I think I'm going to return to the series for, however, is the extremely well-thought magic system and how is works so well within the story.

At no point did I think any character acted like a damn fool, which was a nice touch for a mystery story b
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
3.25 stars
A murder has occurred in the magical university that Tane Carver was expelled from, and they ask for his help. He befriends a half-orc, pick pockets a lot, and discovers a band of mean magic elites who think they're better than everyone else. And he crashes an airship. An easy whodunnit supernatural mystery.

Here's what I didn't like: in the beginning, he said he was hardly an acquaintance of the victim, but it didn't take him long to think of her as a friend and then continued to deep
Frank Bertino
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Find the Flaw

Tane Carver was one of the top students in the University of Magic. That is until he revealed that he had no magic and that those without magic could understand it. The University, being embarrassed naturally expelled him even though he bested the other students in spellcraft. Tane has a brilliant intellect and has proven ability to see flaws in spells, so he is brought back to the University to help solve the impossible murder of one of the students. Not allowed to investigate the
Jacob Sindic
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book is a bit fast paced with how it arranges prose and leads from event to event, leaving a fair bit of the world and lore exposition to be dragged along through dialogue and interactions. This is both good and bad, as while it keeps events flowing realistically given the plot, it does indeed make some parts drag and take from the immersion as some things that should be somewhat ready knowledge are given elaborate explanations. Thankfully this only happens a few times, for the most part the ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, 2018
Book 2 is out so I'm probably going to buy it soon (after my library queue goes down a bit!) and continue on in this series. There must be more Kadka in my life! I would pay money to see a movie with Kadka in it. Tane is great and all but Kadka is the BEST.

I enjoyed the world, the various characters (major and minor), and the fact that Tane and Kadka are (mild spoiler?) not romantically involved. They are a great team and I look forward to more adventures with them so having them be friends ins
The Mysterious Reader
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s rare to find a fantasy that has a really new twist in it. Ben S. Dobson manages to do just that in his The Flaw in All Magic, which is the first in his Magebreakers series. This book is, quite simply, extremely imaginative and superbly written. It had just what I wanted including a great plot. I frankly love the concept of a human with no magic using his wits to outsmart magic users and everyone else. Tane Carver is a great character and I loved watching him take on all comers. The rest of ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
The flaw in all magic is the mage who casts it. Mages are human and humans goof. That simple observation has driven Tane Carver's life, and it is how he makes his living. He has no magic himself but is outstanding at theory and can spot flaws in magic.

Now the dean at his old school needs help to solve a locked room murder mystery. Tane willingly helps, getting embroiled in all sorts of troubles.

Tane is a bit obnoxious, always read for his soapbox. The best character is Kadka, a guard who attache
Douglas Debner
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last 10 books I have read have been terrible. Therefore I am very thankful to have found "The Flaw in All Magic". The MC is highly intelligent and competent, so much so he was able to trick his way through 4 years of mage school without magic. Now the same school that expelled him is hoping his wiles will be enough to solve a murder quickly enough to save its reputation. However, one mystery leads to another and matters of national pride and security come into play.

While I would rank "The Li
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed the intense world building and the mix of fantasy races all co-mingling in one world. The magic was interesting, the characters well drawn and the actions and resolution well plotted. I did dislike the "prologue" 1st chapter and wished not to have this start with the 'kill this person' chapter (Yes, I really, really hate this in mystery books). But once past that chapter, the world building and characters drew me in. I was also a little distracted that the major 'kill' spell was ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading fantasy books for over 5 decades, and I have very high standards concerning plot, character development, and writing skills.
Lately I've been taking advantage of emailed booklists with free first volumes of series, and most of those books get deleted before I am half-way through them.
Before I was half-way through The Flaw in All Magic I had purchased the next 2 volumes in the series. Everything I like in a story is here: well-developed characters with reasonable backstories to
Christine Owusuaa
Aug 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I am always a sucker for an underlying theme of humanity that colours even the most fantastical elements of a story and that was undeniable in this story. However I am a character reader first and foremost and that is where I found Tane to be a little bit lacking, because whilst I appreciated his motivations and intentions, I also felt he lacked a bit of depth in his personality and interactions with other characters outside of this. Nevertheless, where Tane was lacking in personality Kadka more ...more
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fresh and Lively

An excellent action story, well crafted and edited. The main characters are not just engaging, they’re a pair you’d enjoy having a drink with, even if you paid for the round. The magic system is new (which is great to see) and thoughtfully designed (which makes it even better). The action is nonstop and the world creation and history are real gems. The plot might be ever so slightly thin, but as a medium to introduce the characters and world it does a very good job indeed. All i
Aaron Nagy
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
You know, I rather liked this. Closer to fantasy mystery book, main character is competent but has faults including being arrogant. I was partially worried when it was revealed that the main character used sleight of hand into fooling mages he could cast magic that the author would go into way too much (and sometimes inaccurate) detail on this, but they resisted and handled those moments very well. The characters all had reasonable motivations and while the mystery was well constructed, the acti ...more
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Ben S. Dobson is Canadian writer who has achieved nothing of consequence. Many people like him anyway. This is inexplicable.

When he isn't writing fantasy novels, he can be found enjoying many fine, geeky activities. These include playing Dungeons and Dragons, watching Studio Ghibli movies, and playing video games (as long as they have a good storyline and require little to no skill).

You can email

Other books in the series

Magebreakers (3 books)
  • The Emperor's Mask (Magebreakers #2)
  • The Dragon Machine (Magebreakers #3)

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