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20485784

Books never die, but they can be forbidden.

Medeisia is a country in turmoil ruled by a blood thirsty king who has outlawed the use of magic and anything pertaining to knowledge. Magery and scribery are forbidden. All who practice are marked with a tattoo branded onto their wrists, their futures precarious.

Sixteen year-old Drastona Consta-Mayria lives secluded, spending her spare time in the Archives of her father’s manor surrounded by scribes. She wants nothing more than to become one of them, but when the scribes are royally disbanded, she is thrust into a harsh world where the marked must survive or die.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

I have so many feelings right now. This book put me through an emotional meat grinder and must be what Ron Weasley meant when he said “you’re going to suffer, but you’re going to be happy about it.” I wasn’t really sure if I would like the story when I started, but I became very attached to the characters very quickly and there were dragons. How am I supposed to resist dragons?

The plot:

This book was a quick, easy read and I appreciate that. Not all of us have eight hour blocks to devote to the literary pursuits (though I have been known to take eight hour blocks) and this story packs a lot of twists, suspense, danger, magic, and hints of romance into a relatively small space. The world building wasn’t dumped on all at once, but built up gradually, and there was enough emotional angst to give me a tight feeling in my chest through most of it.

The characters:

Drastona, or Stone, is the narrator of the story, a prophesied savior alleged destined to liberate her country from the tyranny of a cruel despot. She was a good balance of a character. While she wasn’t the damsel in distress who needs constant rescuing, she also wasn’t the kick@$$ heroine who can get easily overrated. She could be frustrating at times, but I adored her and it’s just a matter of time before I go and download the next book in this series.

Kye was an interesting character in that he was haunted by things he’d done, but the circumstances under which he’d done them were a bit unusual. (It makes sense in context.) He’s one of those characters I just want to take away from the author until she’s nice to him…poor baby.

The two dragons we meet are a father and son pair—the dragon rex, Feras, and his son, Lochlen. While they were fierce and powerful as befitting dragons, they were also endowed with a sense of humor to offset it. I thought Ms. Ryals’ portrayal of their species was excellent and it only served to once again make me wish I lived somewhere that they existed.

There is a while cast I haven’t mentioned and you’ll have to read it yourself to meet them, but overall, the characters in this book were concise and succinct. There wasn’t an overburdening of detail, but there was still enough for us to get to know them.

This was a wonderful YA true fantasy and the world (at least mine) needs more of these.

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Find Mark of the Mage on BN.com

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