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The Torch that Ignites the Stars

(Arcane Ascension #3)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  4,428 ratings  ·  259 reviews
After concluding their first year at Lorian Heights, Corin and his friends catch a train from their native Valia to the distant country of Caelford. For most, this would be a simple vacation. Corin has other plans.

-Meet Anabelle Farren, the eccentric owner of Farren Labs, and learn about artificial attunements.
-Seek out Warren Constantine, a previous Arbiter, for training
Kindle Edition, 571 pages
Published December 6th 2020
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  4,428 ratings  ·  259 reviews

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Ryan McCoin
Dec 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I am a longtime fan of Andrew Rowe and his books. I loved How to Defeat a Demon King and Sufficiently Advanced Magic was groundbreaking. However, I have some issues with this book. Below are some of those issues, in no particular order, but with some spoilers.

This story felt a little poorly planned and like the author didn't quite know what to do with it at times, like it was a placeholder to set up the next book. In the beginning portion of the book Corin goes over some enchanting projects that
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Got through 70% of the book and couldn't force my way through more. Basically, it's a book where there's a lot of Maybes, Mights, and Coulds, but where nothing actually gets accomplished.

I am not even sure why the main character is the main character at this point. He's one of the most boring characters I've ever read, (view spoiler)
Tushar Thakur
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Compared to the previous two books the prose has taken a nosedive, too much modern American colloquialism ruins my suspension of disbelief, add to that the numerous grammatical errors this book suffers from and you have got an amateurishly written book.
Plot-wise it was okay, the worldbuilding was much better with scenario rooms in the Spire climbing section being the most enjoyable part of the book. The overarching plot was lacking with many of the characters refusing to answer basic questions w
Oct 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-shelf, fantasy
You know, when it comes right down to knowing what you want and setting all your sights on it, and that little something has to do with magic systems, rules, developing your magic skills -- or just plain breaking the system -- then none of us of that *special* breed can go wrong with LitRPG books like this.

Hey, the tale is all progression, a little mystery, and a lot of learning. I LIKE this kind of thing. Hell, I love it.

And so I am here to say that Andrew Rowe is kicking some major ass again.
Kitty G Books
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book in the series, and I'm so glad there's so much more story to come. This is the third book following Corin and his family and friends as they learn about their attunements and the potential they have to create real-world changes. They are a tight-knit group including Mara, Patrick, Sera, Cecily, Keras and Corin, along with many others who pop in along the way. Each of them have their own magic system runes and attunements, and they're all fairly young and still figuring ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really hope Jin Dalen doesnt get left behind, PLEASE. I want him to be part of the story.


I loved the book. More world-building and expansion on the magic System. I enjoyed Corin's fight scene a lot and hope to see more of his combat capability next book (considering the epilogue, I think we will see a lot more action next book). And finally, Sera is getting a break she deserves, hopefully, (thanks Jin). Cannot wait for the next book.
Executive Summary: A bit of a slow start and some VERY clunky prose, But overall another fun entry in the series. 3.5 stars, rounded up.

Audiobook: I really like Nick Podehl and he once again does a great job here. He uses a variety of voices that makes each character distinct. There are parts of this book through no fault of his own that are a bit painful to listen to as "unabridged" audio, but not too many. Overall I really enjoy audio and will continue to do this series that way.

Full Review
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Reading this book gives me the rather odd feeling of oscillating between “this book is awesome” and “I should really just find this tedious, but I’m actually loving it.”

Let me explain. The Arcane Ascension series (of which this is #3, though there are some outrigger books that kind of complicate things) is LitRPG, so it’s got not only a story but lots of video game/role playing game elements packed into it. These need to be evaluated on their own merits, if I’m going to be fair.

The story is grea
Jun 12, 2021 rated it liked it
I liked it and, as per usual, the audiobook narration is superb. But The Torch That Ignites the Stars felt like a filler book - like if JK Rowling wrote about what Harry did on his summer holiday, all wrapped up in one book. This could have been Arcane Ascension 2.5.

It was fun, it had tower climbing and weird ethical conversations, but by the end it felt like Corin was exactly the same person as he was when the book started.
Jeffrey Jones
Dec 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I don’t really understand what happened with this book. I loved the first two. And I loved weapons and wielders. However suddenly everything seemed so inconsequential with the way things were going with this book. Many of the characters suddenly became extremely obnoxious. Sera, who I once thought was maybe one of the most interesting characters, now was almost completely unbearable in almost every scene she’s in. While Corrin... I mean, his personality seems to change from one thing to another ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Rowe does a wonderful job of world-building and it is a joy to read one of his books. This adventure explores part of the continent not visited before in the series and our intrepid travelers manage to visit another tower and discover another facet of the goddess.

A lot happens in the book but it doesn't always seem that things advanced much. Corin didn't get much done on his to do list. He met people but his objectives weren't really met. Some progress was made but it just seems like there shou
Sadie Rose
Dec 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Aug 2021 Update: Listened to the audiobook this time around! Same feelings as before. Lots of fun, but not quite up to the previous books story wise.

The Torch that Ignites the Stars was a fun read, but it suffers from a pretty heavy case of middle book syndrome.

To start on a positive note, as I mentioned this book was a lot of fun. The challenges were a blast to read about and almost always played out differently than I expected, and it was great to spend time with the characters that I've come
Eric Allen
May 21, 2021 rated it it was ok

This book is pretty much just filler. It doesn't really seem to serve any purpose within the greater narrative of the series. Most of it is things we've already seen before, and is pretty underwhelming as this is the third time through without much of a change up. The things that the book tries to do differently from the previous two don't really work, because it falls into the same trap that Star Trek did with its holodeck episodes. People are watching Star Trek to see Sta
Venson Mascarenhas
Dec 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Waste of time reading this. This is probably the last book I'm reading from this series. ...more
Julia Sarene
Apr 25, 2022 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this a bit less than the second book.
The characters are still great, and I adore spending my time with them!

The pure stats and enchanting got a bit too much at times though. While it was perfectly balanced for me in book two, here I found myself wanting the story to move on every so often. Not necessarily because it was too much of stats and explaining, but because it wasn't nestled I to the story as much. There's one long piece where we just read what things he wants to make, and it'
Craig Willis
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book 3

I've continued to love all of the series that Andrew Rowe writes, each one having a unique style and feeling even though they are set in the same world. However, the Arcane Ascension series has always been my favourite.

If you are reading a review for book three, you've probably already read the other two. If you have, this is more of the same, but better. Go buy.

If for some reason you've not read the other two, then my reviews on them would be better, but the series as a whole ha
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Long awaited - greatly enjoyed

I really enjoy these books. The series focuses on a character who has to work twice as hard with his attunement / magical abilities related to enchanting things to be a combat duelist. He has in many ways started to reach his peak at that - having used so many devices to compensate for magical abilities that are far from being intended to work in combat.

Seeing how far he has come is One of my favorite parts of this book. I look forward to a book 4, though imagine i
Dec 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks-tbh
Arcane Ascension always had the benefit of having better prose combined with a unique setting which made it the perfect entry and a staple for people enjoying the power-progression fantasy.

The third book however unfortunately did not live to my high expectations set by its predecessors. The frame of the story (i.e three different factions plotting to change how the powers are distributed in the world in the way they want) is fantastic, but got thrown so far into the back, that even though the st
Jul 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook

I definitely like the tower sequences more than anything else that happened in the book. Happy to have gotten caught up on this series, but not sure if I'll continue to follow the books because I did not enjoy some of the other books written for the world.
Steve Naylor
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Rating 3.0 stars

My enjoyment really decreased with this book. I guess the main reason is that I really couldn't understand the goals in this one. In the first book Cadence wants to get an attunement and find out what happened to his brother. The second book was more of the same. Get stronger and find out what happened to his brother. The was a pretty good balance between the action, the practical learning and the theoretical magical learning. This book deals with the time immediately after book
Louis Kalman
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Rowe has possibly the cringiest dialogue and characters I've ever read. Don't know why I bothered with this after reading the first book of his Keras series and how it had the same awful interactions. The rest is proficient enough but Rowe writes like he has never interacted with another human being outside of watching anime and talking to 'quirky' people on Twitter. Everyone pokes each other, "eeps", his dialogue with his sister is her trying to constantly sound witty and badass when it's just ...more
Dec 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
The author's time spent in video games becomes apparent, as the story is full of extended side quests that take place for no apparent reason, and dialogue that reads like it was picked from a dropdown box, all wrapped up in cover art far more exciting than anything you'll find inside (checklists! extended monologues on made-up details of magical systems that will be discarded when they're inconvenient! surprise ethical concerns!)

Why is it that authors think human beings say "Point."? I've heard
Frane Rogić
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A solid continuation of the series if not as good as the first 2 books, a lot of mysteries get solved and some new ones get introduced. It also seemed as this book had the classical middle book syndrome where the cast didn't have enough power to influence all the events that are happening so it served as a setup for the next 1 or 2 books.

Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 22, 2021 rated it liked it
It's fun. I read it fast. Some of the characters have funny lines. But it feels like empty calories. The plot doesn't seem to be going anywhere and Rowe's writing style/environments feel computer generated. Not sure this needed to be a whole novel to cover what amounts to a few weeks.

Rowe still struggles with properly setting up stakes in his world. Either his main characters survive ridiculous encounters that they should have no chance in. Or they go up against the simplest odds and they will o
Matt Vallee
Jun 28, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars

The Torch that Ignites the Stars once again follows Corin and company and once again picks up directly after On the Shoulders of Titans. The entirety of this book covers the students' summer vacation between their first and second years at the academy, consisting of the train rides to and from Caelford and the two-ish weeks spent visiting. Corin is on a mission from Tristan to seek out another arbiter which, as expected, doesn't end up being a simple task.

I'm quickly learning that "pr
Akshat Mishra
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great Book

Bit different than the other two but Another great addition to the series. A lot interesting characters were introduced this time around. It's a great base for what is to come next.
Brendan Coffey
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A Great continuation

A Great addition to the series. Solid Character work, and it expands the setting well. Though at this point, Chekov's left so many guns lying around, some of them are bound to start going off...
Dion Crump
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love it

Not many books can get me to put down another one to start it but Arcane Ascension is one of them.
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