Sometimes you just find a book series you really enjoy. It may be the characters, may be the world building, may be a bit of both. It isn’t necessarily the best series, but you don’t care: it just ticks all of your boxes, and you enjoy it for what it is. I’m not one of those people who thinks everything should be a literary masterpiece, because that would be no fun. What I like is an engaging story, that has a satisfying ending, and a great ride to get to said ending and for me, The Spoken Mage series is that. Does it have story telling flaws? I think so, especially with some of it’s pacing in the 2nd, and 4th books. Is it a bit cliché? Yeah, totally. But do they do a good job building up the overarching plot, romance, and ending the story well? Absolutely. So for that, I honestly loved reading this series and recommend it to fantasy romance fans.
The premise of the series is what got me to pick this up in the first place. In this world, the magic system revolves around writing. Only nobles can channel magic in a way that won’t kill them, so the common born are banned from reading and writing, so they don’t channel magic poorly and harm others. Elena is a common born, who finds out she can use magic through speaking, not writing, and she’s sent to a magic school for noble born children to channel her gifts, and learn how to use them. Crazy adventures, politics, and romance ensue as the four book series is Elena’s time at the school. Basic premise, right? Other than the magic, I wasn’t super keen on a magic school setting. I don’t dislike it per see, but there are a lot of tropes built into this sort of a setting and I hadn’t read a school setting since Harry Potter. But, I had nothing to worry about, as there’s so much more to this world then just going to school. I really enjoyed the themes set forth in this book, that Elena had to navigate the political landscape she was thrust into, and figure out how to fight for common born rights among a world of nobles. She realizes however, being common born has its own set of issues, as does being mage born. She and her classmates learn from each other, as they both had stereo types about each class group in their heads and it was nice seeing the characters grow from one another’s experiences. Elena herself grows a lot throughout and it was just really enjoyable to read.
The romance is great too. I love Prince Lucas so much, he was hands down my fav character and him and Elena growing and learning from each other was so fun. I will say there were some parts in the series as far as their romance that were pretty groan worthy, but overall it was fun to read and I hope we get more stories with them in the future.
Now, the nitpicks I have mainly pertain to the 2nd and 4th books. In book 4, everything was tied up a little too neatly, and there was a stretch in the middle of the book that just felt unnecessary, and only seemed to be an engine for the author to make sure all the plot points she wanted to happen for sure happened. The book was the longest one, so I had hoped we’d get a bit more fleshing out for some characters, and that we’d get an extra chapter or 2 of wrap up. I liked how it ended, but just an extra chapter or 2 would have pushed it over the top for me.
Book 2, I have so many issues with. Like it was my least favorite in the series, it moved the plot forward the least. I can’t super remember what happened in it? I remember important things pertaining to Elena’s powers took place, and her and Lucas’ relationship happened as well, but other than key characters popping up and Elena’s powers developing, book 2 feels like a lot of missed potential. There were moments like that throughout the entire series I feel, but they got glossed over by how much this series did right so it didn’t bother me too much.
The Spoken Mage series is a lot of fun. Like I said, it ticked a lot of boxes in fantasy I like: A lot of action, great romance, interesting magic and world, great characters and character development. If you like a fairy tale style page turner of a series, you can read the entire series in this compellation here
I hope I was able to share my love of this series sufficiently! I really enjoyed reading it, it was so much fun start to finish. I think it’s important to highlight indi authors, and I plan to do so more later on this blog. I’ve pretty much been reading self-published stuff exclusively for the past few months, I really enjoy the different things an indi author can do in their books as opposed to guidelines traditionally published authors have to follow.
Have you read any good self-published authors you like? Let’s talk about it in the comments!