The Magic Catcher

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The Magic Catcher (Black Jewel 0.5) (Chronicles of Ezeth)

Last Free Dates: 27th Feb 17 to 3rd Mar 17
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...Mages, Dragons, damsels and a very different take on society, in a low-fantasy world where magic is traded as a drug? This was fun to read...

A short fantasy adventure, with a heroine cold as ice.

There’s a glitch with the formatting where all paragraphs including speech, start hard against the left side with no indent. The effect feels initially like a wall of text, but if you don’t let this put you off there’s an interesting short story here.

The 0.5 in the title made me think this was a prequel short story to a novel, which indeed it is. However it reaches a natural break rather than a contrived ending or sudden cliffhanger: Aprestine has completed this adventure, discovered a new mystery and her new quest really is a story in its own right. The story is continued in “The Black Jewel” and on the strength of this I was almost tempted to buy it. If I hadn’t had two hundred other books on my review queue I would have done, and if the novel is as strong as this story I’m sure I would enjoy it.

There isn’t much deliberate world-building. Instead the world is created around you as Aprestine runs into new situations, and as with most short stories it doesn’t go into backgrounds: who the magic catchers are, how it started, etc. Fantasy names are mixed freely with modern day ones, so it seems natural after a few pages. Aprestine is cold, but competent enough that she can be respected if not liked. Contrary to the classic quote about heroines, I don’t want to be her, but I’d definitely want her on my side. The other characters aren’t really that developed, although you get a quick view of personalities, but that works for the story as we see them through her eyes and she is very much task focused.

I enjoyed it. Dragons, damsels and a very different take on it, in a low-fantasy world where magic is traded as a drug? This was fun to read.

I’m torn between a 3 and a 4, because the ending seemed a little rushed, but without knowing where the next book starts it is hard to tell how necessary this is.

Rating: 3
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