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Journey to the magical world of Erthia in this exciting full-length ebook prequel to The Black Witch by critically acclaimed author Laurie Forest.

Before Elloren Gardner came to possess the Wand of Myth, the Wand was drawn to another bearer: Sagellyn Gaffney.

Sage’s affinity for light magery, a rare skill among Gardnerians, makes her the perfect protector for the one tool that can combat the shadows spreading across Erthia. But in order to keep the Wand safe from the demonic forces hunting for it, Sage must abandon everything she once knew and forge a new path for herself…a dangerous course that could lead to either triumph or utter ruin.

304 pages, ebook

First published August 1, 2018

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About the author

Laurie Forest

19 books3,395 followers
Laurie Forest is a New York Times, USA Today & Internationally Bestselling Author who lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. She has penned THE BLACK WITCH, THE REBEL MAGES (a compilation of the prequel novels WANDFASTED & LIGHT MAGE), THE SHADOW WAND, THE DEMON TIDE & is currently writing THE DRYAD STORM (Book 5.0 of The Black Witch Chronicles).

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5 stars
1,741 (45%)
4 stars
1,482 (38%)
3 stars
539 (14%)
2 stars
64 (1%)
1 star
17 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 307 reviews
Profile Image for Laurie.
Author 19 books3,395 followers
March 8, 2018
This is a personal one - and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you. It's Sage Gaffney's story (the young women with the Icaral child who gave Elloren the White Wand in the beginning of The Black Witch). This book loops into Book Two and is best read after The Black Witch and before The Iron Flower. Enjoy! (Light Mage is out July 1, 2018)
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
568 reviews717 followers
August 24, 2022
I just wanted a palate cleanser and something that felt like more of a light read. This definitely served that purpose. The problem with reading fantasy of this type though is that is so readable I kind of lose track of time when reading and end up reading it in one or two sittings and then I ended up not doing anything else I was supposed to. The only thing is I've already forgotten everything from the other two books in the series even though I just read one earlier this year. I decided to just borrow the next book in the series now so I can read it before I forget everything again. This did stand well alone though for what that's worth.
Profile Image for Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard.
1,143 reviews247 followers
August 2, 2018
I mean...is anyone really surprised that I finished this book in less than 12 hours on a work day?

Imagine living in a world where society imposes restrictions on women to trap them, accused them of lying about assaults and where ppl don't teach children about contraception...wouldn't that be crazy...? (Read with HEAVY sarcasm)

Loved it! I am really hoping we get Sage Incorporated in the next book! She has to find her beau!
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
March 29, 2022
Second time read & first-time review. Oops?

Light Mage is the second novella in this series. Even though this is the second time around, for me, I was still pretty excited to re-read Sage's story. We don't know much about her in the first book so I was intrigued to see what I could re-learn. It's safe to say that she's a pretty interesting and likable character (again, for me).

She goes through a lot of crap. Whether it's having a baby out of wandfast or stealing her sisters for their protection. She's a force to be reckoned with. It was also interesting to see her views on certain things change throughout this but then again... she needed to due to everything that was happening. It was an eye-opening experience for her.

As for the romance? Well, things went a bit too quickly for my taste but then again it is a novella. So that tends to happen. I did enjoy it all though because anyone would be better than the guy before. Seriously, a homeless trash bag of a person could be better.

In the end, I'm excited for the sequel of this series because I haven't read it yet!
Profile Image for Suzzie.
908 reviews164 followers
January 19, 2019
t was great to get the backstory to Sagellyn and her baby, and the White Wand (with some on the Shadow Wand). It was briefly touched upon in the novels but this novella gives readers more of it. I liked it and found it to be very interesting. Pretty sure her baby is going to play a huge roll in the coming novel so I think readers of the novels in the series should check this one out before book three comes out in March.

My quick and simple overall: a complete novella that does not feel rushed or shortsighted. A great read and I honestly would say a must for series readers.
Profile Image for TL .
1,825 reviews35 followers
May 28, 2020
Buddyread with Melissa :)
Loved Sage, and watching her grow into a confident woman determined to do what needs to be done.

The scenes with her makeshift family warmed my heart too.:)

The romance I did end up rooting for but I thought it moved a little too quick at first. I can udnerstand why they were drawn to each other though.

One "secret" and "reveal" weren't overall surprising but still exciting. Ciaran's definitely was a surprise (a good and bad one, depending on how you look at it).

Still want to kick some Gardnerians in the behind, for starters *glares* Scarlet Witch and Hulk frequently came to mind during certain passages. Gardnerians and me would probably not have gotten along.

I hope we see more of Sage and learn more of her Light Mage power. Would love to see what else she can do with it.
Profile Image for Elora.
30 reviews1 follower
August 21, 2018
ACTUAL RATING: 4.75 Stars ⭐️

I am in awe currently at Laurie Forest’s ability to suck me into her writing yet again. This series will be the death of me (but like in a good way).

Normally I never give novella’s anything above 4 stars (for some reason my brain has a hard time justifying giving something 5 stars when it’s not a full novel... this literally only makes sense to me in my brain I am aware it is a completely ridiculous notion, 🤷🏻‍♀️) Light Mage is the exception to this rule! Although this is a novella it felt like a full novel.

Sage’s story was so engrossing and made my heart hurt for all the things she had to go through. I was so attached to her as a character.

There is a trigger warning for Sexual Assault in this novella, which Forest personally addresses in the beginning with a note to the readers giving exact chapters for those scenes for reference and explaining how those scenes came from her own personal experiences. I applaud her for her courage and bravery for including something so personal in her writing.

Not only was the writing fantastic, the plot and pacing were great! If you’re a fan of slow burn, gritty, high fantasy novels that deal with dark and harsh themes I would strongly recommend this series. It’s a thought provoking, and hauntingly realistic even though it’s played out in a completely fictitious world.

Now if you excuse me, I’m off to reread The Black Witch in preparation for The Iron Flower

🐉 🖤
Profile Image for Aly.
2,619 reviews
March 24, 2022
2nd time reading

It's difficult to read Sage's story at first because she's forced to bond with a stranger at thirteen and is abused by her parents and fastmate for a while. I just wanted her to be happy and powered through to Sage being happier and freer. I love seeing her stand up for herself and stop letting others use her or treat her poorly. I'm pretty sure we see her in the other books and I'm looking forward to more of her cute family!


I really enjoyed this prequel to The Black Witch. Sage is great character to follow and I liked seeing how she got the Wand of Myth and passed it on to Elloren.

Sage has grown up as a Gardnerian, so she has the same preconceived and racist notions as Elloren. The difference is that her views change much quicker and she starts out more accepting anyway. I felt bad that she was wandfasted so young and to a horrible boy too. Thankfully she gets out and finds a group of Celts, elves, and other races to help her.

I really enjoyed her relationship with Ciaran, they're cute together. It progresses pretty quickly, but they're kind of like soulmates, with their magic reacting to each other so I wasn't mad. The ending is so hopeful and I'm looking forward to seeing Sage and Ciaran in the second book!
Profile Image for Selene Kallan.
Author 15 books126 followers
September 1, 2018
Rating: 5 Supernovas

Imagine living in a world where people are segregated based on their race. Where religion has been twisted and turned into a weapon, aimed against other's beliefs. Where fear of the unknown leads to hate and cruelty. Where little girls have no right over their own bodies and are forced into marriage.

Not difficult to do, right?

Sage Gaffney comes from an extremely religious family, even for a Gardnerian. She has been taught that being obedient and following the teachings of the Ancient One will keep her safe. Safe from the demons that want to corrupt her people, safe from the vile men that hurt innocent girls like her. Her bubble shatters when she learns -in the worse way possible- that evil thrives within her own people; hidden behind mountains of lies.

She is thrust into the cruel reality of being shunned by her family, her kind and all the other races the Gardnerians have hurt. But she is not alone, she finds allies from where she least expects, compassion from those who she thought were evil, patient teaching from the shunned; unconditional love from a man she “should” fear. There is a lot of pain and heartbreak for her, but also a lot of friendship and love.

Sage is brave, compassionate, kind and she learns fast. The kind of heroine I can root for easily; she makes mistakes, but learns from them and comes out stronger in the end.

The love interest, Ciaran, is one of my fave male MCs. He is different from many others, and I loved that. There are a lot of lovable secondary characters, my absolute favorite is Rivyr, I need more him and his antics.

A must read by an author that has quickly become one of my favorite.

AUGUST 1 2018
Once again I'm stunned by Laurie Forest's writing.
Light Mage broke my heart, and made me fall in love with new characters.
Full review coming soon.
Profile Image for Shainlock .
737 reviews
June 27, 2020
This was the story about a light mage coming into her power and finding out that not everything your culture, your ppl, even your religion teaches you, in her case is necessarily true or right for her (or for every individual).
She has a rare affinity for Light magic and this was the neatest book to read. Sage opens her mind and her heart and she finds something much more special than what she has been told to think all of her life.
I loved this story.
This leads her to the MC in the main books and this is really important. Her story was really amazing.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,087 reviews222 followers
April 25, 2019
This series continues to be completely addictive. This novella which is really the length of some books gives us Sage’s story which I thought was a missing element in the first book. This also gives more detail on all the other cultures. I’m really glad I read this and am excited to go on to the second book.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,438 reviews830 followers
April 26, 2019
Good to finally discover Sage’s story. I hope we find out more about she does later in the series, maybe in the Iron Flower.
Profile Image for Kathryn Ford.
Author 1 book84 followers
May 10, 2020
This book introduces us to a lovely colourful array of new characters. It also fills in some gaps. Sage is a very likable character and it is interesting to watch her character development. As far as a love story goes, I preferred Wandfasted….maybe I'm just in love with Vale. xD I can't wait to read the third book in this series. So far this series is the best of the year.
Profile Image for Marzie.
1,128 reviews91 followers
September 15, 2018
This book was harder to read for me. If The Black Witch series has parallels to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale they are certainly strongest in this book, the story of Elloren Gardner's friend Sagellyn Gaffney. Sage is one of the bearers of the White Wand, having received it from a girl named Gwynnifer, who was lured into stealing it from the mage armory, seemingly by the wand itself. The wand instructs her that it is to be transferred to Sage and eventually she in turn transfers the wand, at great personal risk but with the reward of rescuing her beloved sisters, to Elloren Gardner.

Sage, who hails from Halfix, Gardneria just like Elloren, is one of the rare young women to defy Gardnerian religious and cultural norms. She is wandfasted at age thirteen to a brutish young man. By the time she sees him again at age eighteen, when she attends the university in Verpax, she finds that he is still enamored of another girl and is rough and angry in his manner with her. Sage runs away from him and her family after he and her parents beat her for her defiance. Hidden by an unusual family that runs a smithy, Sage builds an interesting new life for herself. She violates her fasting vows at great personal cost and gives birth to an Icaral child who may or may not be the famed Icaral of prophecy as far as the Gardnerians and the rest of the peoples of Erthia know. I am sure that we will see more of her partner in the third book in the series. Sage is a strong character and a rare light mage with interesting powers.

Temporally, this book is best read in between The Black Witch and The Iron Flower.
Profile Image for Peggy.
27 reviews7 followers
August 26, 2018
As soon as I finished The Black Witch I devoured Wandfasted. Then I re-read Wandfasted because I just couldn't let it go. (Vale and Tessla's story is at the top of my favorite romances.) Then I re-read Black Witch, then I read Light Mage. And as much as I want to re-read this and BW again I have decided to be strong and give other books a chance. Sigh.

Needless to say, I am obsessed with Laurie Forest's writing. Her world building and character development are perfection. And I love that I'm not just reading fun fluffy fiction but being challenged to think deeply about the complex current issues of racism and gender inequality.

Give your brain and heart a gift and read this series!!
Profile Image for Scott Tuscher.
11 reviews
September 4, 2018
The Light Mage Review

I’ve now listened to Wandfasted, the Black Witch and the Light Mage and I can honestly say that this series is quickly becoming one of my favorites. SPOILERS may be ahead! (But I’ll keep them small)

One of the things that continues to surprise and amaze me, is the attention to detail that Laurie imbues into her books. I think one of the coolest parts of this book was when I realized that Laurie had fully connected and intertwined characters into all three novels thus far (it reminded me of Tolkien!). What makes this so interesting is that she does it under the radar, so you have to pay attention to their names and their interactions to fully grasp these revelations. This might seem obvious, but at a specific point in the Light Mage I got so excited at the mention of one character that I had to go back and listen to the last 20 minutes of the Black Witch; and at that point I realized another revelation of a name mentioned in the Black Witch, and I had to go back and listen to the last 20 minutes of Wandfasted! It not only made me smile and laugh at the heart warming connections but it instantly made me grow fonder of each book and their characters.

Which brings me to my next positive rant. The fact that Laurie can make me smile, laugh and cry at various moments of every single book, consistently and whole heartedly is a huge nod to the expertise of her craft. I believe I’ve had more laughs, tears of joy and sadness in both the Light Mage and Wandfasted than I’ve had in much larger books I’ve recently read. And that’s a gross understatement. And I think it’s due to one of the things that attracts me to this series the most; it’s the literal connection to our reality that Laurie conveys so well.

Laurie can so easily relate the many different occurrences of racism and oppression in Earthia to the racism and oppression that we humans endure on earth and it really hits home. The struggles of not only each heroin but also of each companion is so strongly felt that I quickly grow connected to all of them. And her Gardnerian main characters are so well developed and each are so uniquely (and similarly, I like this) evolved that I connect to them on an unrivaled emotional level. Sage and Elloren start their character arcs with so much naivety, but with such huge hearts (it’s easy to see why the white wand would choose the both of them) and in each story they face very real danger and confrontation that molds them into the heroins we want to see: strong, intelligent and genuinely good.

All I can hope for now is that Laurie continues writing about the journeys of Tessla, Sage and Elloren in a lengthy series that I hope to come. Because I cannot get enough of these three ladies and their awesome powers and resolve.

I strongly recommend the Light Mage and this series to everyone. If you want your imagination to light up and renew with magic, emotional and physical struggle, friendship and love then you’ve come to the right place; read the Light Mage!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Penelope.
11 reviews
August 15, 2018
Beautifully written and the story was full of such great surprises. I really liked how the characters developed throughout the book, especially Sage. It was easy to connect with the characters.
Profile Image for Lynette Noni.
Author 20 books4,512 followers
December 27, 2018
This is a great filler novella to offer insight into Sage's story. It took me a little to get into it, but soon enough the new cast of characters came to life and drew me into their story. I so hope they all end up crossing paths and teaming up with Elloren and co. in the next books, because that would be epic.
Profile Image for BabyLunLun.
810 reviews101 followers
August 11, 2018
If you ask me whats the best book of 2017 I have ever read, I will say look no further than The Black Witch. WHY? Bcuz The Black Witch is everything. It can be downright trashy with all the girl on girl hate and boy drama but at the same time it is also a very deep book. It tackles deep and controversial topics like racism. I don't want to be arrogant to say that white ppl as a majority living in America couldn't and would never understand racism. But there are some things that is hard to grasp to comprehend unless u are a minority yourself. I am glad and surprise Laurie has such an astonishing understanding on racism. I understand its an important topic but its getting really old when u have included it in ur one novel and 2 novellas.

The worldbuilding in Light Mage continue to expand and I think its a different one than The Black Witch. I am sad to say that it is more show than being explain.

In Light Mage, Laurie also pays her tribute to the #MeToo movement.

Perhaps Sage's story will help you to understand how futile the idea of speaking out can feel to someone raised in a very strict environment where the culture does not support the empowerment of young woman

I have no idea what how strict an environment Laurie lives in. But it can't be this worse especially in America. I come from a muslim majority country and I don't think the society here is even comparable to the society in Light Mage. So u can't say that this #MeToo problem in Light Mage is a mirror of our society . Ur culture is crucial to what ur society think of the #MeToo problem.

The society in Light Mage share a lot of similarities to a strict and conservative islamic society. I mean the really extreme kind. Woman's sole purpose is to being married off. They don't have much rights. Mixing of genders is look down upon. Woman are expected to act in a certain way and be modest and be a pretty little specimen for the boys.

Thats how the society in Light Mage is.

When u have these kind of expectations , it is almost certain to shape ur culture where woman are to be blame in the events of rape happening. Women are expected to cover up in order to not lure men hence men think they have the right to rape the woman if she is not dress modestly. It encourages the sexualisation of woman. Woman don't have a say in their own fates.

The culture in ur society determine how ur society approach the #MeToo problem.

Look I am not muslim but I seen enough shit coming from muslim. Hijab is not compulsory in my country but still I see idiot muslim men keep saying woman should cover up to not lure men. Muslim woman being judge bcuz their hair is showing from their hijab, their clothes are too tight. Anyway u can see where I am coming from. Don't even get me started on "two woman equal one men" and "u need 4 men to witness the rape to prove it is a rape". Very glorious religion.

Yup thats all I gotta say. Light mage is not a mirror of my society (and USA society). Too bad that I have to disagree with Laurie Forest with this. But I do think she is a fantastic writer

Profile Image for Juliet Valcourt.
Author 1 book3 followers
September 1, 2018
What an incredibly moving story! I read most of the first half in tears. I am so appreciative that Laurie Forest doesn’t shy away from difficult topics that need to be discussed. The misogyny and cruelty that Sage (and her sisters) are subjected to is heartbreaking. The scene at the river affected me deeply - it was so well written and emotional. Sage begins as a victim, but she ends as an empowered mage who has found her true purpose in life.

And the new characters are simply delightful! Ra’Ven is such a gentle, empathetic soul and it’s easy to see why Sage falls for him so quickly. Rivyr’el is my new favorite though... his transformation from a flamboyant and cocky rebel to a heroic and enlightened freedom fighter is very well done. I enjoyed the flirtatious dynamic that he had with Sage and I hope he will find his happiness someday :) I’m looking forward to meeting all of these wonderful people again in upcoming books!
Profile Image for MadAlys Rivers.
117 reviews2 followers
February 9, 2023
I’m glad Sage had the courage to run away. She left behind everyone she knew to escape a bad life with a bad wandfast mate and she made that choice so quickly after he showed his true colors.

I do think things were a bit too convenient afterwards though. Right after she runs away, she comes upon a group of powerful beings who just happen to transport refugees. They very quickly decide to shelter and help her and they just happen to have a heavily warded place where they can hide her from the spells that are being used to track her. That was all a bit too quick and easy for my taste, but I still enjoyed the story.

I’m glad Sage was able to save her sisters in the end, but I wish we’d gotten to see her reunited with Ra’Ven. It was a bit of a bummer when the book just ended as she was on her way back to him.

I’m excited to see what happens next with Elloren and the main storyline.
Profile Image for Paula.
25 reviews2 followers
August 29, 2018

Sage story is one of strength, courage, and love. There is also deceit, hate, and pure evil that this Young lady has to overcome.
Sage has an attraction to light magic like no one has seen. This is the reason the watchers have chosen her to protect the light wand.
Light Mage gives you some more background to this beautifully written story that makes it an incredible read.
Laurie Forest has beautifully woven a tale that brings real life issues into a fantasy world. I believe will be read for years to come.
Profile Image for CrimsonRoseReads.
188 reviews8 followers
August 5, 2018
Sagellyn Gaffney’s Fascinating Story!!

Holy Ancient One!! I thoroughly enjoyed Sagellyn’s story filled with terrifying moments, plot twists, romance, and that wonderful thing that happens when an oppressed female character finds her strength and worth! I anxiously wait to see how Sagellyn’s story interweaves with Elloren’s in the coming books in this riveting series!!
Profile Image for Abby Pechin.
383 reviews
August 5, 2018
I stayed up all night to finish reading this book! I love this series and I think this was a perfect little tease before the next volume, plus I learned a lot about the snake elves, which is something I was really craving. Also, the sex scenes were amazing!
Profile Image for Jeanette Johnson.
753 reviews2 followers
August 9, 2018
Of course, I loved this book. How could I not when I adored the rest of the stories in this series. Thank you for providing the novellas. I especially enjoy learning back stories or additional information that tie into the main novels. I think Sagellyn's story is important and I'm glad we were able to experience her actual journey. Knowing her perspective of events was illuminating.
2 reviews
August 19, 2018
Favorite book ever

This book is a life changer it’s amazing all the books that come together in these series are perfect I can never stop reading them once I start ! I wish I had a wand and a tune blade !
Profile Image for Hannah Michaels.
567 reviews11 followers
August 26, 2018
I really, REALLY loved this deeper look at Sage. In The Black Witch we see so little of her. She’s an enigma. But in this, you really understand what she goes through and how Elloren’s journey begins. I can’t wait to see how she comes back and how her work helps the Resistance later on!
17 reviews
August 3, 2018
Amazing. Laurie Forest has done it again. Every installment of this series sucks me further and further into this incredible world she has created. She is truly a master storyteller.
August 5, 2018
Love this series so much...I wasn't sure I'd enjoy Sage's story like I did. Can't wait to find out more about her and everyone else in this awesome novella.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 307 reviews

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