Title: The Rite of Wands
Author: Mackenzie Flohr
Publisher: BHC Press
Publication date: 10th March 2017
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Wands at the ready for a tale of magic and secrets! Mierta McKinnon experiences a terrible vision of the future during his Rite of Wands ceremony – an initiation all Warlocks must face. He becomes obsessed with finding a way to change his destiny and does everything in his power to change the future, unaware of how his decisions will one day reshape the kingdom.
I found the exterior to be visually appealing, with a simple but elegant cover that matches the story well. Inside I was pleasantly surprised to find an interesting looking map – a nice touch by the author. Coming from England, I found the shape of the map very familiar! However, it was well edited to reflect the geography of the world I was about to enter. Flicking to the back, I found a couple of sections which provided information on the meaning and pronunciation of the various words and dialects used.
I immediately felt invested in Mierta’s quest and was fascinated by the development of his character. He serves as a great example of how persistence and single mindedness can slowly turn into obsession, fundamentally changing a person. Orlynd on the other hand, gave me a sense of satisfaction, cheering him on as he made the journey from a young, unconfident boy to a brave and trustworthy advisor to the King. I found his sense of duty and the extent he goes to protect his king very touching. Overall there was a good mix of characters with a variety of motivations, from the deeply focused young Warlock Mierta, to royalty with hidden agendas.
The book is structured using a common approach, with the story told through multiple characters in multiple locations by alternating chapters – in this case between the characters Mierta and Orylnd. However, it did not always alternate by chapter, at some points switching after short sections or every few pages. This made it hard to stay immersed in a plot which swapped storylines at a rapid pace, though I admit it also kept me on my toes.
‘The Rite of Wands’ is interesting from a linguistic point of view. Orylnd uses a dialect that was a little hard to decipher at first, but which I got used to, mainly thanks to the useful guide at the back. It was definitely a fun experience learning a dialect while following the story, but also initially a little time consuming having to stop and look words up. For the most part, the author’s work reads smoothly though at times I felt some word choices were a bit unnatural causing me to re-read sentences, weakening my immersion.
The way that the events developed the characters was enjoyable and kept me guessing. Just as you’ve made your mind up about someone, they make a choice which can completely change your outlook.
This story is suitable for Fantasy fans of all ages and will hook both older and younger audiences. I would definitely recommend giving ‘The Rite of Wands’ a read and look forward to the next instalment in the series.