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The Gossamer Mage

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  89 reviews
From an Aurora Award-winning author comes a new fantasy epic in which one mage must stand against a Deathless Goddess who controls all magic.

Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic.

Mage scr
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by DAW
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Average rating 3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  211 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
This is such a sad update for me to write. This was one of my more anticipated releases of the year, and I went into it with such high hopes, I honestly couldn't have fathomed hating it. The premise is incredible — especially considering I'm a massive sucker for any story in which Death is a character, rather than simply a state of being — but it was absolutely ruined for me by the stylistic choices in writing.

On one hand, Czerneda's writing is so immensely detailed that I kept finding myself b
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A little over six years ago, Julie E. Czerneda made the transition from science fiction to epic fantasy with A Turn of Light. It was a book that stood apart from the grimdark movement as something bright and vibrant. It was a happier sort of story, one with a deep mythology, an epic sort of pastoral world-building, and a traditional take on magic.

The Gossamer Mage marks an entirely new foray into realms of fantasy, and while it still has a sense of magic and wonder, Tananen is definitely more gr
Dec 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
This book has one of the most confusing writing I've ever read. I'm sorry but I had to DNF it at 10%. I didn't understand a thing. I just couldn't do it to myself. I can't spend several hours trying to understand a story with difficulty when I could easily spend these hours reading a five stars book.

(Thank you for giving me an ARC via Netgalley)

Beth Cato
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blurbed, 2019, fantasy
Read. Provided a blurb. Absolutely adored this book.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.4/5

Review: I was not real exited to visit Czerneda’s world again based on a previous work here
that left me less than thrilled. As a fellow biologist I began this novel firmly in her corner with pompoms.

This was not only surprising but just plain amazing. The prose, while stilted, adds a characters’ off tilt perspective on events as they unfold. Really unique approach to character development. Each story line wends and interesting way across the pages, diverging, then coalescing once ag
Mackenzie (bookish_black_hole)
(rating: 3.5)

When I saw the synopsis of this book I was IMMEDIATELY drawn in. I mean, magic through writing in a secret language? Magic that has a cost that is literally your life force? Rebelling against the system to kill a goddess?? I mean this is basically the best premise, what more could you ask for?

After finishing the book, it’s funny that even though this book is exactly about what the premise promises, it’s still nothing like what I expected. I think I expected more of an action/adventu
An idyllic magical fantasy that's delightful in places, and ponderous in some. The prose was dense, and Czernada has a knack for describing every minutae and internalising the characters thoughts, which made the novel somewhat slow. But, occasionally there are sharp poetic flashes which enhanced the wonderful vibe of reading a good story. In some aspects, this book reminded me of Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea with its rustic and pastoral setting.

The overall premise of the story is the c
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

I wanted to read The Gossamer Mage because the cover was absolutely gorgeous and the blurb sounded fascinating. I was very excited for this book, but it didn’t really live up to my expectations. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. On one hand it was incredibly slow and very easy to set down, but on the other it was also beautifully magical and the ending left me feeling so satisfied. It took me 6 days to finish
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
“The world was once barren.

We were once alone.

Magic, once, was lost.

Now it will never be, for magic is again part of the world and us. And the stories we’ve yet to write, together.”

In a world once full of magic, only one land remains untouched by the unspeakable evil intent on consuming the very magic of the world. Tananen, an isolated land separated from the rest of the world, is the one known place where magic still exists. The people of this land worship the Deathless Goddess, whose words
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I am a huge, huge fan of Julie Czerneda. Her sci-fi stories are among the best I have ever read – the Webshifter stories of Esen in particular. Her forays into fantasy also captivate me. TURN OF LIGHT was a game-changer for me as a writer. It proved that audiences really do have a hunger for deep world-building with slowly, patiently, delicately revealed facets.

There are plenty of summaries already, so let me highlight the things about GOSSAMER MAGE that delighted me the most.

The magic is beauti
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: I adored the magic system in this story, but I wasn't as excited about the plot.

I have such mixed feelings about this book, which makes me a little sad. From the moment I saw the magical cover, I knew I wanted to read The Gossamer Mage , but I have to admit I struggled to get into it, and I’ll explain why in this review.
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Fantasy
*Rating* 3.0


The Gossamer Mage, by author Julie E. Czerneda, is a story that takes place in a fantasy land called Tananen. The world’s only remaining magic is in Tananen, where only women can speak the Deathless Goddess language, and only men can write her spells – both at a terrible cost. But now something dangerous and dark has come into Tiler’s Hold, destroying magic creations, and silencing the Goddess. Meanwhile, there is a mage on a mission to dest
Lauren James  (storied.adventures)
Full review on my blog, Storied Adventures !

*I received a copy from the publisher as well as an e-arc from NetGalley for an honest review.*

This was actually really hard for me to get through. I loved the plot and characters and the uniqueness of the story, BUT the writing was really hard, for me personally, to read. It was choppy and and I had to re-read sentences and paragraphs to understand what was going on. It's not a very long book but it took me almost a month to read. That never happens f
Christian - Curious Quill

I really tried to get through this book and pushed forward to about page 100, but this book definitely wasn't for me. I found the writing style not to my taste, the names were definitely hard to remember and keep straight, and the plot was a bit of a blur and confusing.
Calvin Park
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Standalone fantasy is a bit of a rarity. So often, whether because of Tolkien or other influences, we end up with trilogies or epic sagas spanning four or more books. I’m a huge fan of big epic series, but it’s also nice to enjoy a self-contained story from time to time. The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda scratches that itch perfectly. With world building that includes unique and engaging elements as well as an incredibly fascinating magic system, Czerneda’s novel is sure to please fantasy f ...more
3 stars, Metaphorosis Reviews

The world’s only remaining magic is in Tananen, where only women can speak the Deathless Godess’ language, and only men can write her spells – both at a terrible cost. But now something dangerous and dark has come into Tiler’s Hold, destroying magic creations, and silencing the Goddess.

Julie Czerneda’s been one of my favorite authors for years. Yet I haven’t been excited by her recent books. Have my tastes changed? Has her writing? Have her editors giv
Juan Manuel Sarmiento
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1-5-stars
I felt so drawn in by the synopsis and the cover. I mean, everything sounded great and there were a lot of magic stuff going on that were right up my alley.
Reading the book I realised it gives everything it promised but it's so overwhelmingly confusing. It's so hard to keep focused on the story and I had to reread several parts because I was getting pretty much nothing. On the other hand, I think I expected more of this book and more on the adventure/action-packed kind of book rather than a char
Aug 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
I was super excited about this book when I discovered it on audible last year. However, it was super disappointing. The names of the characters were far too similar to easily keep track of, especially when listening to the book. Also, there were multiple character perspectives within each chapter but there was no distinct break between one character and the next; I was almost always confused about who was narrating and what they were talking about. Lastly I thought that the descriptions were ext ...more
Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
I've now tried this book twice and just couldn't get into it. I was originally intrigued by The Gossamer Mage because I was fascinated by the premise. A Deathless God, magic fueled by your life-force, and a vague threat of total annihilation? Count me in!

Unfortunately, The Gossamer Mage hasn't grabbed me by page 100. While I've read many reviews that say it gets better if you stick it out, I need something to keep me intrigued before the grand reveal. I do think that some readers will enjoy thi
Aug 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This standalone epic fantasy novel has a fantastic premise and has some lovely descriptions, but I struggled to finish it. It's overlong with too much narrative, and though likable, the characters were not compelling.

Full Review on My Website
Costi Gurgu
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Julie E. Czerneda's Fantasy is a special species. She's a new voice in the genre, yet each of her books pushes Fantasy's borders a little bit further. Redefines some preconceived notions we have about the genre. Shines a new light on constructs that we thought already carved in stone with everything there is to say about them, already said. Not an easy read, but if you like Fantasy this book will be a real delight. ...more
DNF at 30%
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The novel is set in a region where magic is controlled by the Deathless Goddess, in which the price of writing magic is years off one’s life. If a mistake is made, a gossamer is made, a magical creature with a will of its own. Maleonarial is considered one of the most powerful of the Deathless Goddess’s Mage Scribes. He long ago sought isolation and had fallen out of favor. When she seeks him out through her accolades, however, he is drawn back into the life he tried to put behind him. Only, thi ...more
Whitley Birks
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
This might have been a good book, but to be quite honest, I couldn't tell. The writing style was utterly confusing that I couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on.

There is very little explanation for anything going on, we just get dumped head-first into this other world of magic and terms and places and just *STUFF* with no idea what any of it is. Which, to be clear, is FINE if we can pick up on context clues as the story goes on and figure out the world as we go. But this book also has
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Gossamer Mage by Julie Czerneda has much to love for a fantasy novel. The world building is in done in extraordinary detail. The magic system is incredibly well defined. Everything is built up in a way that gives readers buy-in and plausibility.

However, for me, it was very difficult for me to really love this book. It felt very weighed down in almost too much of everything it needed. If you simplified some of that information and gave the story more room for the story to breathe? It would have
Andrea McDowell
I hadn't planned to read this in March, but as it happened, all of the novels I was reading at that time were post-apocalyptic. And, as it happened, I was not in the headspace to read stories about the collapse of civilization in March 2020, for reasons you can probably piece together on your own.

So a fantasy novel with no dystopic overtones seemed like just the thing.

And on one level, that worked; absolutely nothing in it reminded me of Covid whatsoever. The characters were engaging and realist
Alysa H.
Jun 24, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: netgalley
** I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley **
Marie Judson
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm still waiting for another "Beholder's Eye"! ...more
Nikki Mitchell
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
I was given a free paperback ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Maleonarial, an old and experienced mage scribe, sets off on his own journey to find the right words to create the intention of killing The Deathless Goddess in order to free the mage scribes from her. What interrupts this work, however, is something even more dangerous than the Goddess herself. Kait Alder, a Daughter of Tiler’s Hold, can see and hear evil that is set on destroying the world
Helen Lowe
"The world, the magic, the mystery, not to mention a cast of very real characters — distinctive and original, THE GOSSAMER MAGE wove a spell that kept me reading well past ‘lights-out.’ " ~ Helen Lowe

When you’re asked to read a fellow author’s work with a view to a cover blurb, it’s a pretty big deal. Firstly, because it’s an honour to be asked. Secondly, because you have to feel you can make the time to do the work and the reading justice. And thirdly — hauntingly! — because there’s always that
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For over twenty years, Canadian author/ former biologist Julie E. Czerneda has shared her curiosity about living things through her science fiction, published by DAW Books, NY. Julie’s written fantasy too, the first installments of her Night’s Edge series (DAW) A Turn of Light and A Play of Shadow, winning consecutive Aurora Awards (Canada’s Hugo) for Best English Novel. Having completed her Clan ...more

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