Jander Teregnan has never wanted anything more than to become a mage—to serve his king and defend his country as he explores his natural talent at commanding the strange force known as magic. Of course every apprentice needs a master, which comes with its own set of challenges...especially when the master he's chosen for himself is none other than Andrei Teresh, personal advisor to the king and master mage of the city of Vallerin. Andrei, however, has more pressing problems on his mind than dealing with the unsolicited advances of one untrained mage-apprentice. A fierce and merciless army of unknown intent is sweeping across the land, threatening the security of the kingdom he has sworn to protect. Even worse, dragons—long thought to have withdrawn from the world of mankind—are emerging once again and spreading chaos in their wake. Somehow, Jander must find a way to help; not only to prove that he can be of use in the defense of his kingdom and become a mage, but also to secure his place at the side of the man he hopes to claim as master both of his magic and his heart. -Prequel to the Dragon Mage Chronicles-
J.A. Jaken has been writing homoerotic fiction for more than ten years. She got her start in the profession writing slash fanfiction, where she has published numerous stories under the pen-name Rushlight. Over the years she has written erotic short stories and novels in genres ranging from science fiction/fantasy to gothic horror to modern detective mysteries.
She realized at a young age that she was attracted to the darker side of life in the fictional stories she felt compelled to write. She feels there is something enormously satisfying about putting a character through intense physical and emotional hardship, and then carrying him or her through out the other side. She believes that is the main reason why she tends to write stories with a darker edge to them. Characters are the most interesting when they've had all of the baggage, all of their many masks, stripped away from them and they're left with nothing but the purest core of who and what they are.
Outside of writing, her interests include studying foreign languages, riding horses, practicing martial arts, and collecting medieval weaponry. She speaks a little bit of French, a little bit of American Sign Language, a little bit of Japanese, but she's not really fluent in any of them (although she's trying!). She's endlessly fascinated by just about everything she sees around her and is constantly looking for new ways to learn and improve her knowledge of the world.
Full series review 5 Stars for the fantasy element. The story is incredibly well written and developed. I love it when an author takes the time to make magic a full fledged character, fully developed, explored until it comes to life as strongly as the main protagonists. I really enjoyed going on this adventure with Jander. Seeing his quest to find a master mage come to fruition. To see him grow into his own unique magical path. To looking beyond casual sexual release and finding love and a partner. To fighting battles despite his fear and terror. To gain self-worth despite all the damage done in his youth. He is a very lovable and relatable character.
3 Stars for the romance This is the only thing I found a bit lacking. And it's definitely a personal problem. I'm never satisfied when it's too easy nor am I satisfied if the romance is too complicated. In this case other than minor rebuffing at the beginning of The magician's Apprentice it's pretty much smooth sailing, I love you's, I want you's and I need you's. And for me it was a bit off putting, I wanted more fire, more conflict. The steam in itself is more sensual then erotic in this series, which is fine but I did start skimming most of the sensual scenes because they all read the same to me. It's a lovely enough romance and I'm certain most would find it more than satisfactory but I found the strength in this series is in the fantasy element.
Regardless I'm leaving this series at a 5 Star rating because I did love it and I was entirely transported into the story J.A Jaken has written. This might not be super intricate as most heavy fantasy series but there is a beauty in the simplistic and accessible way this story is told. 💛
Highly recommend it to fans of dragons, fantasy & mages! Also this prequel is a must, it's honestly book 1 without it you won't be apart of the protagonists first meeting, first time they accept their feelings for one another and so forth
While this was a nice introduction to JA Jaken's Dragon Mage Chronicles, it could easily have been cut in half. The prose was lovely, truly, but the author's verbosity really slowed the story down... especially in the last half of the book. 470 pages should really have been around 250-300 pages max. World building was pretty good but some of the supporting characters were lacking in depth.
I would like to have known much more about Andrei's past. He really was an enigma. Also more about the kitlings. Must insert here: if one decides to include sex scenes in one's books, do make them more than tepid bordering on silly/boring. And don't stick real-world, 21st Century slang into a high fantasy story! I.e., "hot damn". It just stuck out like a sore thumb.
There simply wasn't enough dragon in this dragon mage story. Amirhal was magnificent, Jaken outdid herself in creating this incredible creature, but we simply didn't see nearly enough of him to satisfy readers like me who love a good dragon story. I'm a bit hesitant to go on to the next book, but perhaps I'll be surprised. In a good way.
All that said, yes, I'd recommend this first book to fans of high-fantasy dragon stories.
The Magician’s Apprentice is a violent book, opening with a scene of rape. One of the characters has been a prostitute since childhood, and isn’t that far from being a child anymore. Characters are kidnapped, held at knife point, and repeatedly threatened with rape. Jander is even magically assaulted as the dark mage, Kirin, uses his powers to try to bring Jander to orgasm against his will. The scenes themselves aren’t overly graphic, but they may be a bit much for some readers.
Jander is a young man with a healthy libido, a dash of ambition, and a pleasant, easy-going nature. Growing up his father made it clear what he thought of his delicate, different son and I doubt the man shed a tear when Jander left home. Jander’s mother always supported him, though, and it’s that support that helped turn him into the person he is. Again and again, Jander moves to help others, to help the young prostitute, Boaen, fight off his rapist or to take a blow meant to kill Andrei for himself.
I’m going to preface this by saying this is the first time I’ve read this author, and after finishing The Magician’s Apprentice I’m keeping a close eye out for the Dragon Mage Chronicles to follow. I was completely pulled into this world the author created, and can’t wait to follow Jander and Andrei on the rest of their adventures.
The matchup of the young, magically inexperienced (but promising) and dedicated Jander with the older, skillful but gun-shy when it comes to taking on an apprentice mage that is Andrei…it’s opposites and age-gap and teacher-student all wrapped up in an interesting fantasy world. It’s also a recipe for slow burn romance, mostly due to Andrei’s reluctance to start anything with Jander being his apprentice (and yes, there’s more than that but I don’t want to spoil anything).
I was slightly put off at first with Jander’s casual attitude about sex, as it made me wonder how he could have feelings for Andrei. While I wasn’t totally okay about that (though this also may be due to my own personal views regarding sex and relationships), once Jander was on track to becoming an apprentice and his focus shifted so Andrei was more front and center, I became more comfortable.
There are times when the story does seem a bit sluggish, but this is mostly balanced out by the developing romance and the elements that lead up to the major conflict near the end. Yes, there are dragons to be found here—I just wish there was more page time for them. But the kitling (a likely dragon evolutionary relative) that Jander has for a companion helps make up for this, while also giving some insight into Jander’s burgeoning magical abilities. It should be interesting to see how Jander’s talents develop from here.
As a prequel, this story does have a lot of setup going on, and there are still areas that need to be filled out more which I expect we’ll see once the Dragon Mage Chronicles start releasing. The Magician’s Apprentice is a good start, and definitely has my interest piqued for more. I’m wavering between 4 and 4.5 stars for my rating, but I will say that if you’re a fan of M/M fantasy/adventure romance stories, you’ll likely enjoy this book. Be aware though that there are some scenes that may disturbing for some readers including attempted rape and assault. That and the sexual content mean this book is meant for readers 18+.
This is an amazing m/m romance. This author has sucked me into this world and now I sit here awaiting the next series. I have read one other book from this author and have re-read it time and time again. This was just spectacular. Ignore that 1 star review it was written by a person who obviously cannot read categories.
Rating (All ratings use a Scale of 1-5) = 4.5 Stars; It was a good start to a new fantasy series. The story was well written, full of details, and full of court intrigue. It just didn't quite stand out enough to reach 5 stars for me.
Blurb = 1; Did not come with any trigger warnings & there are some truly disturbing scenes.
What stood out = Lots of little things, but nothing major for this story type.
Mood Type / Appeal to those looking for = A story of a small town boy that goes to the big city and comes into his own; Reluctant teacher /apprenice relationship; Young but noble king and his friendship with a whore; cute bonded animal; Orphan heroes and more.
Warnings = Multiple violent scenes; Definitely not for those triggered or especially sensitive to attempted rape and /or sexual intimidation in more than one scene. It made me extremely uncomfortable (as it should), and this is not an area of sensitivity outside of the norm for me. Mild insta-love feel for the most sensitive of this. There is a lot of sleeping around before couples are established that some might find off putting. But all played an important part in moving the story forward and did not feel contrived or gratuitous.
HFN/HEA = For the couple, they feel strong, but their world is in complete chaos and in danger of imploding.
Series Notes = Prequel or #0 of the Dragonmage series which has 4 books at this reading. *Reading on? Yes *Reading back to back? N/A *Can be easily read without the previous? N/A
Rating Notes = (SubPlots, thoughts, etc... ) There were no major plot holes or issues that disrupted the flow of my reading. I stayed very engaged, though maybe not completely engrossed. I liked the m/c's as individuals and a couple along with their ensemble of friends etc... especially the child-king. I look forward to their contuing attempts to prevent war and bring to heel the shadow mage.
*************** I am way off my usual rate of reading over the last 11+ years. Real life has hit hard this year. Most recently with the death of my mother, and I had just been getting back into the swing of things. More upheaval appears to be on the horizon, but it has as much potential to be good as bad. I have no idea what that means for the rate of my reading and reviewing, but we will see... *************** Below is my philosophy on reviewing! *************** 1. I try to take into account and note common pet peeves often bemoaned by others. 2. "Brain candy' does not necessarily carry a negative connotation. (What is brain candy? Publishing industry 's version of pop music - Typically: formulaic, from a prolific author published often and quickly (like monthly), things escalate fast, and are often solved easily etc..) It has its uses: to pass time when tired, on the beach, etc... The problem comes when "brain candy" is unexpected or even disguised. 3. Blurb rating purpose: Like many readers, I do not like to think I'm reading one kind of story; just to end up with another. But...I also don't think a book should be docked stars for being as stated. If I don't like stories about "_________", and I choose to read it; I shouldn't give it 2 stars based JUST on my preferences. Unless... it wasn't clear in the blurb. 4. Other Factors that effect my perspective when reviewing: Since 2009, I have exclusively read m/m. My 1st was in 2007. I am a Kindle diehard, and I never do audio for m/m. I read at least 100+ books a year - with an average length of 220± pages; but the total number of books is usually much higher. My Goodreads lifetime rating (at the start of 2021) was a 3.64 average for 1527 books. Which considering, one should be better at picking out books the more one reads, I feel is an accurate average. I have over 795 reviews within the m/m genre here on Goodreads.
Dnf'd at 50 %. It wasn't even that bad, but very boring. No women except for that weird mini dragon, and the protagonist is sometimes very stupid. He isn't very good at using magic yet, but can't seem to think of any other way to get out of the scrapes he constantly gets himself (and others) into, even if, say, he has a knife his attacker doesn't know anything about. Also, I expected to read a romance, but up to now there was casual sex that makes people feel good, casual sex that makes people feel bad, and way too much attempted rape.
The author’s usual shortcomings have been taken care of. The main issue in Nicholi’s Vengeance and The Last Door was the plot. Despite good ideas, the slow pace was difficult to stand. In this book, the chapters are far easier to follow. The story remains classical and the logical setting of events is not always convincing (with an attaching but suddenly slutty MC), but some psychological insights worth the reading. A strong and good book, after all.
Even as Jadar searching for a master willing to take him on, he also searches for that certain relationship we all seek, love and the bonding on that deeper level. He finds his power and a few close friends in surprising areas along his way.
The Magician's Apprentice is the beginning of the Dragon Mage Chronicles. This one chronicles the meeting between Jander and Andrei. It was an exciting meeting and showed how dangerous it could be for JAnder and Andrei. I look forward to the next book.
A delightfully intense tale of a boy coming into his destiny and finding plenty of love and friendship along the way! Every sex scene is wonderful in its own way and all of them are incandescently hot. There’s a deeply evil villain who is also cunning and clever, a noble king, a playful kitling, a beloved friend, and a reluctant master mage, not to mention the main character Jander, and all of them feel fully realised and 3-dimensional.
Very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
This book has everything: magic, dragons, action, suspence, romance and great sex. Worning, there is rape, but it adds to the evil intent of the enemies in the book and how important it is that they must be stopped. This book kept me at the edge of my seat, rooting for the good guys to preserver.