4 out of 5 stars
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The Magician’s Secret by Charles Townsend opens with Delvin being accused of murder. A man dressed in black says Delvin stabbed Borlock. Delvin is absolved of murder when Borlock regains consciousness. Borlock claims a man from the Magician's Guild stabbed him. Delvin's mentor, Borlock, gives everything he possesses and a cryptic message to Delvin. At that moment, he passed away. His death crushes Delvin. He decides to be a magician and invites his friend, Greg, to come with him to Hengel.
In Hengel, Delvin has become reasonably popular as a magician. His friend has moved up from being a stable boy to an employed groomsman at a local inn. When Delvin touches a crystal, which he found in Borlock's trunks, he learns he can influence the thoughts of other people. When he is arrested, he never gets a chance to defend himself before being imprisoned. In the middle of the night, Princess Jarla frees Delvin, and he finds himself involved in the kidnapping of Princess Fionella. Jarla intends to stop Hengel’s war by returning Fionella to Argent.
Townsend created a story with an elaborate plot that details the travels of Delvin, Jarla, and Fionella. The towns and roads are vividly described. I had an impression of the independent personalities of the main characters. Delvin is a passive person with an aversion to violence. Princess Jarla, however, isn’t above using violence to achieve her goals. Curiously, she grows her nails extremely long and pointed. She employs them as weapons and is quite efficient with them. I disliked Fionella’s personality completely.
I felt empathy for Delvin throughout the story. He didn’t commit a crime, and Princess Jarla forced him into considerable danger. If he doesn't aid her, he faces imprisonment and death. If he did help her, he would be at risk of imprisonment or death. Despite trying to remain inconspicuous, Jarla treats Delvin like a lowly servant. I kept hoping he would stand up for himself. The entire story is narrated from Delvin’s point of view, and I was able to connect with his emotions.
I detected only a few errors in the entire book. However, they did not detract from my overall enjoyment. I would have liked to have seen more detail used to describe the characters. I have no idea what Delvin and Jarla look like. This left little for me to build on in terms of their characteristics. I could only surmise that Delvin was tall and thin, without an impressive presence.
I am rating The Magician’s Secret four out of five stars. I deducted a star for the lack of detail given to the characters. I think this would allow the characters to leave more of an impression on potential readers. Anyone who likes an adventure story with some mild magic mixed in will like this book. This book could be appealing to young teens and people who don’t focus on the external appearances of the characters. The cliffhanger ending left me eager to continue following this series.
The Magician's Secret
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