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The Mage on the Hill

(The Web of Arcana #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  632 ratings  ·  116 reviews
The Web of Arcana: Book One

A young magic user who wants desperately to live. A jaded recluse who has forgotten what living means. They’re each other’s only chance.

Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclus
ebook, 194 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  632 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I'm a huge Angel Martinez fan, and I enjoyed The Mage on the Hill, even though I wanted more.

This book felt like it took an eternity to read, even though it was just four days. I kept putting it down and coming back to it later. It didn't grab me like I wanted it to. Still, I think the author had some really interesting ideas, and the potential was all there.

I felt like I was missing a prequel or something where the magical world was explained. I needed way more context, way more background. I
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
You think finals are rough? Fail the Guild's channeling test and you're dead.

Toby has failed all the tests, but he doesn't want to die. When the Guild decides it's time for "humane" euthanasia, he goes on the run, hoping to find someone who can help him control his power before it destroys him.

Darius was once a talented and confident professor of magic. He had some success in helping students like Toby find their paths. But he made an error in judgment that killed his student, injured him badl
Len Evans Jr
I went into reading this book with very high expectations based on the reviews I read for it on Goodreads and Amazon. I am thrilled to say that it deserves all that praise and more! This book sorted reached out of my Kindle, grabbed me by the throat and demanded my full attention. I would have finished it in a flash except the first 70% of it was read at work, waiting for photos to scan and since they were not HiRes scans I was reading it in short bursts. Even with that being the case I still fi ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
“To you, I’ll give the world.”
― Christine McVie, Songbird

Toby is a young mage lacking the ability to channel his wild magic. As he is a danger to himself and others, the Guild has deemed him an “unplaceable” and sentenced him to a “humane” death in hospice. Toby’s only hope lies in Darius, an outcast mage and recluse with one eye who had some early success teaching unplaceables. A magical disaster caused him serious injury, the death of a student, and the city of Pittsburgh to nearly be destroye
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved Gravitational Attraction by this author and as I find it hard to say ‘no’ to a bit of magic, I was all in when I saw the blurb for this one.

And it was hugely enjoyable! We get:

.) interesting world building.

I was quite fascinated.
This universe is just like our everyday world, with tablets, Harry Potter and Star Wars movies, but people with magic exist in it, too.

Mages need to channel their magic into the web of Arcana to use it safely. Each mage is linked to one out of eight major web e
This was my first experience with this author, but unfortunately I picked the wrong book. It seemed like a fairly simple read, which is exactly what I was in the mood for -- but it's an age-gap romance. If I never read another age-gap romance again in my life, it'll be too soon. So with great relief I'm putting it down at 15%, rather than forcing myself to continue on with zero enthusiasm. I'll try something else by Angel Martinez instead some day. ...more
Joyfully Jay
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

The Mage on the Hill is essentially a story of healing and rebirth. Both Toby and Darius are in need of being saved–Toby so that he either doesn’t die due to his wild magic killing him or the guild medicating him to the point that he slowly drifts away while starving to death, and Darius to right the catastrophic accident that left an unbalanced mage in his care dead and Darius disfigured and outcast. These two reluctantly begin a journey with Darius teaching Toby h
Not quite 4 stars but I couldn't see rounding this one down...I really liked this 'verse Angel has created and am really looking forward to whatever is next! ...more
Yes, this boooook! I had such a good time reading The Mage on the Hill and it has a secure spot on my all time favorites shelf. The bulk of the credit for my love goes to (well, besides Angel Martinez, obvs) Toby. Oh, that sweet, sweet boy, I just loved him.

I’m getting ahead of myself a smidge as I owe you the reasons I swooned so hard at this book and its characters before I get to the actual swooning.

There were really so many reasons and the fact that everything came together in such an easily
Its no secret that I love fantasy in any form so it's always fun to read an urban fantasy done right such as this book was.

It had an interesting premise: magic users living among non-magic people with these mages either guild-affiliated or otherwise(these otherwise either had wild dangerous magic or had been exiled). Magic was also broken down into major and minor arcana channels with people having one major arcana channel and one or more minor arcana channel.

I found the world to be fascinating
4.5 stars
I really, really, enjoyed this book! It was interesting and different; although there are many familiar themes, I didn’t feel as if I’d read the story somewhere else before. There was magic, action, friends, and adversity. I loved seeing both Toby and Darius heal and get to know each other. Darius’s friends were eclectic and added to the story.

There is very little sex, which was ok as the situation didn’t really call for it. The final sex scene seemed a little perfunctory and the story
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Very interesting world building and I definitely want more of it. The plot was interesting and I loved both of the MCs. Looking forward to the next in series!
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Finished reading May 12, 2019
Review June 6, 2019
3.25 stars

As I scrolled through my news feed today, I can across Heather K's review of The Mage on the Hill by Angel Martinez. I knew I'd read it so went back to find my review. And nada. I was blaming GR for losing my review when I remembered I'd read it just before undergoing some epidurals for a spinal issue. Read: weeks on pain meds. So! Here's what I remember...

The lasting impression that it was not as good as some of Angel's other books. Good
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mm-romance

Well. I expected more from this story than what I got. I love Angel Martinez and was very anticipated reading this.

But...this was...simplistic? Lacked chemistry? Meh?

Yes, all of those.

I both wanted for something to happen and the story to end it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good. It just was.

My rec? Lower your expectations and all will be well.
C.S. Poe
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I adore Angel Martinez, both as a person and author. Her writing is full of mythology and lore, humor, and heavy doses of humanity that inspires the reader to learn more and love more. Her books always leave me with a warm spot in my chest and an impressive hangover! The Mage on the Hill, though? I think it's the best Martinez title I've read to date.

The story is about a young man whose inability to control his magic is killing him. Tobias "Toby" Jones cannot find where he is meant to reside on
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great story, and a great start to a series. I had some issues with it (view spoiler) but the magic part of the worldbuilding was fun and interesting, and the ...more
Milly Molly
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I really enjoyed this book!
This is the first book of a new series and the story was complete within it but there are some tantalising threads that have me salivating for the next book already.
Angel’s world building is deft, new characters are brought in and blended into the storyline seamlessly and the tale continued to evolve with past events coming clear at just the right time.
Darius and Toby had me so invested in both the outcome of their quest and also in their burgeoning feelings for one
Serena Yates
Talk about being different and ending up excluded – this is an exciting tale about “wild magic” that not only kills its carrier if not tamed by a mage guild but that is also impossible to channel by any known group of mages. In this world, if the powers that be cannot put you in some “box” (the major and minor arcana of magic) and safely label you as belonging to a group of magic wielders that follow certain rules, then you are pretty much on your own. This is the situation a young mage named To ...more
3.75 stars rounded up

I have no understanding about the magic and how this universe really works. Usually I HATE that! I hate when authors writing about an alternate universe (paranormal, science fiction, et cetera) and then keep all the information for themselves. Probably thinking that readers can easily understand. Well, this lazy readers want that background information, okay??

So yes, I don't understand any of this Arcana talk.

Interestingly, it ended up not really a big deal for me because J
Dieter Moitzi
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-book-reviews
If I could, I'd give it even more stars than 5.
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This review has been originally posted at Gay Book Reviews - check it out!

Tobias “Toby” Kingston Freelander Jones is a young man with a huge problem: he has magic. But not classifiable magic, like almost everybody else—that would be no big deal. There are Guildhalls, one in each county, to teach and train you as soon as your major and minor arcana have been determined, i.e. the line
~nikki the recovering book addict
This struck me as unique. Also, a lot of effort was put into the thought of the technical side of the magic. I can’t say I understood it all but it’s intriguing enough that I’m super impressed by the effort.

This was a bit of a slow burn romance and not much sexy times. But again, I quite appreciated it because it focussed the story on the magic and the storyline and Toby. I hope we some day have a prequel to a time where Darius was the hotshot professor. I would like to see him in his element.

Elaine White
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Divine Magazine


The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez
194 Pages
POV: 3rd person, dual POV
Content Warning: forced medical-drug-use, euthanasia, May/Dec

Wow! The Mage on the Hill is everything you could want in an urban fantasy. Magic. Romance. Power struggles. And a whole heap of drama, within a plot that flows seamlessly. From slow growing trust to a tentative love, and the reunion of old friends and new, i
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Okay, I confess I have no clue about the arcana stuff and what it all meant so I just kind of slid over that in my mind, I had no great interest in trying to understand it, but the people story was the part I read for. I have to confess I had some serious anxiety at the end and the whole solution for out of control mages kind of enraged me as a parent. LOL I really wanted to see the guild mages have to eat crow but since this is #1 I presume I'll get to see them taken down to size a bit in the f ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

For the full review visit on 5/6

From that review: am always beyond thrilled to see Angel Martinez come out with a new novel, let alone a new series and The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) represents both.  My biggest complaint?  That the page count reads 170 pages and not 670 which is what I feel these terrific characters, plot, and relationship dynamics and history is due.

That Angel Martinez! 
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Boy, do I love a good M/M urban fantasy…and here in The Mage on the Hill, the author has done a spectacular job in crafting a unique and intricate world of magic and magic users that drew me in from the very first page. It has an interesting premise, with the majority of magic users having a clear major arcana affinity and belonging to guilds. But there are also those few who don’t fit into the guilds’ neat little boxes, either by having only a minor arcana affinity or none at all (known as a wi ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I. Loved. It.

I loved Darius. I loved Toby. I loved Darius WITH Toby. (view spoiler). The road trip plot was fun. And the “evil” was terrifyingly banal. And the ending is the perfect springboard for a series. Is the next book out yet? Why isn’t there a next book yet. I want it.
E.M. Hamill
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story. It was an excellent contemporary fantasy with a fresh magic system. Add a sweet falling in love story and you get one addictive book that will keep you up until you finish it. I suffered with Toby and Darius as they struggled to find the key to controlling Toby’s wild magic, and loved Darius’s friends. I can’t say much more for fear of spoilers, but it is just the kind of
Mere Rain
May 07, 2019 added it
Shelves: favorites

I would describe this as slightly more fantasy than romance (mostly because the characters sensibly prioritize survival over exploring their feelings). I thought the balance between the magical and personal plot elements was just right. I really liked the characters (the friends as well as the main two) and the unique magic system.
Kayla Jameth
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-romance
The Mage on the Hill is another well-written, well-thought out urban legend from Ms. Martinez.
Toby is a wild mage. His powerful magic won't settle into a channel, making him a danger to himself and everyone around him.

After his latest failure to channel, he sees the writing on the wall. The guild is about to wash their hands of him and then he will be facing euthanasia—in the nicest possible setting, of course. He can even choose which hospice.

But Toby wants to live, maybe find a lover, even jus
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Angel Martinez currently lives part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head. She has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

Angel's alter ego writes the all-ages science fiction - Sandra Stixrude.

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