The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso

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Every once in awhile, someone who has extensive knowledge about the Young Adult Fantasy genre decides to request, read, and review a yet-to-be-released book representative of that knowledge.  … That is not that what’s happening here.
I rarely read Young Adult Fantasy. And I couldn’t tell you what elements, devices, characteristics, themes, or styles are used widely throughout it. So, it was a great idea for me to request this book, yeah?

I really couldn’t help myself. It sounded so interesting and exciting! I know the majority of my book reviewing peers on my chosen platform (YouTube) are big fans of Young Adult Fantasy and every once in awhile I find myself running to catch up to the bandwagon. I want to love the books I hear about most often, but if I’m being honest, it is not my genre of choice. So let’s talk about how I fared with The Tethered Mage now that you know all of that…

The first quarter of the book…. WIN!
The last quarter of the book…. WIN!
The middle of the book…. needs to work out in the offseason and come back next year for a shot at the championship.
(Clearly, there is some residual sports romance bleeding into this review. (See 9-25’s post.))

Seriously, I was really into this book as I was learning about the Serene Empire and the mage-marked. I loved Amalia and Zaira both! I even developed a soft spot for hard ass La Contessa. And then the bottom dropped out.

This book is loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. Longer than the majority of books that I have read lately and unfortunately, its long-ness was only amplified by the fact that it got pretty slow and boring in the middle.
Instead of playing with the fire warlock a little or even starting a war, invading a country perhaps, the characters in this book spent most of their time strategizing and looking at maps. Don’t get me wrong, it was important information, but it was just that. Information. I longed for an action-driven story the whole way through.

My Favorite Little Detail:
The poison. Amalia was poisoned when she was younger in a supposed assassination attempt. The poison stays in her system for the rest of her life and if she doesn’t continuously ingest timed doses of antidote, it will still kill her.
Awesome.