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The Choice of Magic

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The ancient magic of wizards was anything but dark. It was the enlightenment that lifted humanity from the squalor of superstition, and the worship of fell spirits and capricious gods, but those days are gone. The shining glory of the sorcerers burned away the subtlety of wisdom, replacing it with easy power, held only in the hands of the elite—a new age built upon the ele The ancient magic of wizards was anything but dark. It was the enlightenment that lifted humanity from the squalor of superstition, and the worship of fell spirits and capricious gods, but those days are gone. The shining glory of the sorcerers burned away the subtlety of wisdom, replacing it with easy power, held only in the hands of the elite—a new age built upon the elemental supremacy of aristocrats and the ignorance of the masses. But this will change, for the greatest power comes with knowledge, and the deeper teachings of wizardry have not been utterly lost. The last wizard of the old tradition still survives in solitude, nursing tired grudges and waiting for death. His passing might have gone unnoticed, but for the imposition of a youth too stubborn to accept his refusal to take an apprentice. With a new student comes new hope, and that hope has caused old powers to stir again. That the world will change is inevitable, but the shape of the future is anything but certain.


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The ancient magic of wizards was anything but dark. It was the enlightenment that lifted humanity from the squalor of superstition, and the worship of fell spirits and capricious gods, but those days are gone. The shining glory of the sorcerers burned away the subtlety of wisdom, replacing it with easy power, held only in the hands of the elite—a new age built upon the ele The ancient magic of wizards was anything but dark. It was the enlightenment that lifted humanity from the squalor of superstition, and the worship of fell spirits and capricious gods, but those days are gone. The shining glory of the sorcerers burned away the subtlety of wisdom, replacing it with easy power, held only in the hands of the elite—a new age built upon the elemental supremacy of aristocrats and the ignorance of the masses. But this will change, for the greatest power comes with knowledge, and the deeper teachings of wizardry have not been utterly lost. The last wizard of the old tradition still survives in solitude, nursing tired grudges and waiting for death. His passing might have gone unnoticed, but for the imposition of a youth too stubborn to accept his refusal to take an apprentice. With a new student comes new hope, and that hope has caused old powers to stir again. That the world will change is inevitable, but the shape of the future is anything but certain.

30 review for The Choice of Magic

  1. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    A new favorite of mine. A must-follow-series! In this one we got: - An interesting system of magic (wizards-sorcerers-warlocks-herbalism-turyn) - Nice dynamics - Not too an RRMartinesque murder of characters but they do take hits - Things happen - Characters are well-written and likable / or not and paradoxically interesting because of that. Too easy read but it's okay. Not everything needs to get written by dear old Kant. Q: The king terrified him, and the king was completely mad. (c) Q: “I’ll make an a A new favorite of mine. A must-follow-series! In this one we got: - An interesting system of magic (wizards-sorcerers-warlocks-herbalism-turyn) - Nice dynamics - Not too an RRMartinesque murder of characters but they do take hits - Things happen - Characters are well-written and likable / or not and paradoxically interesting because of that. Too easy read but it's okay. Not everything needs to get written by dear old Kant. Q: The king terrified him, and the king was completely mad. (c) Q: “I’ll make an ass of myself wherever I please... My face is just tagging along for the show.” (c) Q: This is so wrong, he thought desperately. I’m about to be choked to death and all I can do is fantasize about my faery aunt. Where did I go wrong? (c) Q: You’ll either learn or I’ll bury you in the garden out back to feed my plants. There is no middle way. (c) Q: You’re going to be a great wizard someday, skillful and well-educated ... But you’ll probably still be dumb as a stump. (c) Q: “I just can’t do it!” “That’s the spirit! ... Accept your own incompetence and you’ll never be disappointed.” ... “Shouldn’t you be encouraging me?” “Where’s the fun in that?” (c) Q: “I’m not going to warn you again,” said the old man. “Take these ugly-ass soldiers and turn around. I don’t like killing, but I’m not above improving the world by getting rid of fools.” ... “Why don’t you step up here and try me out if that’s what you think, you hairless flesh-bag,” sneered Arrogan. “I was dealing with scum like you long before your father paid your mother to sleep with him.” ... I’ll gladly tell you my name,” said Will’s grandfather, “but then I couldn’t let you live. Last chance. Would you rather hear my name or keep breathing?” (c) Q: If you didn’t learn about such things, you couldn’t yearn for things you would never be able to have. (c) Q: “For one hour I’ll freely and honestly answer your questions while you do the same. At the end of that time we end our discussion under an oath of peace. I will offer you no harm and you will do none to me.” (c) Q: “Grandfather would have lost his mind if he heard you say that.” “He hated sorcerers,” explained Erisa. “And the fae,” added Will. “And deer,” said his mother, beginning to smirk. “And fools,” said Will. “Don’t forget the king,” said Erisa. “The nobility,” added Will. “And most people in general,” finished his mother, grinning. (c) Q: If you’re going to keep doing things like this, I’d just as soon kill you myself and get it over with! (c) Q: “Think about what you do. If that big heart of yours gets you into a fight, you might not be the only one bleeding at the end. Your friends might wind up bleeding for you.” (с) Q: “I’m not an aristocrat,” ... “I know that, otherwise I’d be kissing your ass instead of cussing you, dumbass,” (c) Q: “People like me can do anything we want to people like you. You realize that, don’t you? We don’t need proof or approval for our cruelty, either. Justice is irrelevant when you deal with nobility...” (c) Q: Soldier, if you don’t know who your friends are, you’re dumber than I thought... (c) Q: He could hear his grandfather’s answer in the back of his head, All of that comes second to the fact that you’re a mentally challenged half-wit. (c) Q: You can talk?” “Most people are surprised when they discover I can speak,” (c) Q: “It just struck me that way. My entire world has been turned upside down and in the middle of it all you’re telling me that you think the doctor wants to enslave you. I may have been blind, but you’re dense, Will. Has anyone ever told you that?” Will smirked. “Yes, all the time. My grandfather never let five minutes go without reminding me. And I never said ‘enslave,’ I said make me her servant. I don’t think she’s evil per se.” (c) Q: His body felt light, almost ephemeral. He had been forced to wear the heavy gambeson for months and the mail shirt for the past few weeks. Without them it seemed as though he floated over the ground. (c) Q: “I thought you died, Sergeant,” said someone not far away. “In your dreams, Corporal,” said the indefatigable Sergeant Nash. “I was not given permission to die. Until I am, I will be here with your sorry ass. Now, get up!” (c) Q: Shut up, he told his inner coward. (c) Q: “Do you know what it is?”... “There’s a lot I don’t know. Are you feeling better?” (c) Q: All mages are fundamentally the same, but they have their differences. Wizards focus more on knowledge than the amassing of power; warlocks deal mainly in things of the flesh to attain their goals. (c) Q: “I think she’s crazy,” said Sammy one day as they were weeding the garden. “She stares at you like she’s going to eat you.” “You’ll protect me, though, won’t you, Sammy?” said Will, only half-joking. (c) Some editing mishaps didn't discourage me from reading: Q: He had spent it all buying good for his mother, and he hadn’t yet been paid for the past week. (c) Food must have been meant in this one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Main character is annoying I really wanted to like this book, the writing was well done and it had some great characters. The problem is with the main character. He makes stupid and rash decisions over and over. I kept hoping that he'd mature but no. I wanted to like it but the main character is stupid and you can't fix stupid. Main character is annoying I really wanted to like this book, the writing was well done and it had some great characters. The problem is with the main character. He makes stupid and rash decisions over and over. I kept hoping that he'd mature but no. I wanted to like it but the main character is stupid and you can't fix stupid.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shane Lawrence

    Well written but some big gaps This book is well written and a reasonable length. However the main character eventually becomes unbelievable. Without giving the plot away, becomes the sole heir to a library of knowledge but decides to ignore that in favour of running around like a chicken. Refuses to learn, constantly beaten and abused by those in power so he keeps risking his life to help them and goes back for another beating...even the stupid learn eventually but not our manic character. He’s Well written but some big gaps This book is well written and a reasonable length. However the main character eventually becomes unbelievable. Without giving the plot away, becomes the sole heir to a library of knowledge but decides to ignore that in favour of running around like a chicken. Refuses to learn, constantly beaten and abused by those in power so he keeps risking his life to help them and goes back for another beating...even the stupid learn eventually but not our manic character. He’s the kind of slave who stays up at night fixing the overseers whip when the overseer keeps breaking it whipping him during the day because it’s the “right thing to do”.....

  4. 5 out of 5

    ✰ Aileen ✰

    “Kill a prophet, and suddenly he's a martyr. If I'd left him alive, he might have lived long enough for them to figure out what a needle-dicked bug-fucker he was. Instead, killing him just poured oil on the fire.” ★・・・・・・★・・・・・・★・・・・・・★・・・・・・★ 3 magical stars for Manning! The Choice of Magic is a good book. It has great and complex characters, a well-constructed plot, and just enough magic to make the story interesting. If you're into learning wizardry from an almost five-hundred-year-old man who i “Kill a prophet, and suddenly he's a martyr. If I'd left him alive, he might have lived long enough for them to figure out what a needle-dicked bug-fucker he was. Instead, killing him just poured oil on the fire.” ★・・・・・・★・・・・・・★・・・・・・★・・・・・・★ 3 magical stars for Manning! The Choice of Magic is a good book. It has great and complex characters, a well-constructed plot, and just enough magic to make the story interesting. If you're into learning wizardry from an almost five-hundred-year-old man who insults his apprentice on a daily basis, this is the right book for you. Be warned, however, that it's not very action-packed. The plot drags on and on sometimes, which made it a tough read in my opinion. Maybe the author wanted to save the exciting parts for the following books? Anyway, I’m still glad to have read it, even if I won’t finish the series, and can definitely recommend it! ★・・・・・・★・・・・・・★・・・・・・★・・・・・・★

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Moralez

    Truly Awesome. I just finished this book(in one sitting) and now I’m contemplating how on earth will I get up in 3 hours for work. Curse you again Mr. Manning and I look forward to the next book!

  6. 4 out of 5

    cultureulterior -

    This is garbage. There's no reason whatsoever for that boy to join the army, and yet he does just because the plot demanded it. This is garbage. There's no reason whatsoever for that boy to join the army, and yet he does just because the plot demanded it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Todd Barrett

    This author........ I thought I had another good read to start with this new series. However, I wish I had not read this book. This book left me wishing it was a thousand pages longer or that he had finished the entire series before publishing the first book. I enjoyed this more than the start of the mage born series. This book will get anyone hooked on this author and unfortunately he has not written enough books yet. After you’ve read his books go and read Patrick Rothfuss as you what for the s This author........ I thought I had another good read to start with this new series. However, I wish I had not read this book. This book left me wishing it was a thousand pages longer or that he had finished the entire series before publishing the first book. I enjoyed this more than the start of the mage born series. This book will get anyone hooked on this author and unfortunately he has not written enough books yet. After you’ve read his books go and read Patrick Rothfuss as you what for the second book in this great start of a new series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Wilson

    A New Masterpiece Manning's years of practice in his Mageborn series have truly paid off in this thrilling start to a new series. The far more refined writing had me forgetting I wasn't reading something by Brandon Sanderson or another master of fantasy with 20 years experience. Continously entertained and gripped in this new story the whole way through. Cannot wait for the next installment. Manning is fast climbing the ranks and will surely be known as a master of fantasy himself soon. A New Masterpiece Manning's years of practice in his Mageborn series have truly paid off in this thrilling start to a new series. The far more refined writing had me forgetting I wasn't reading something by Brandon Sanderson or another master of fantasy with 20 years experience. Continously entertained and gripped in this new story the whole way through. Cannot wait for the next installment. Manning is fast climbing the ranks and will surely be known as a master of fantasy himself soon.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    As another reviewer put it...how ever did I wake up for work this morning? An often used story line of a young boy being tutored in magic by a cantankerous master...yet more. Having read the Mageborn series some years ago and having enjoyed it thoroughly, I only realized after finishing this book that it was the same author. Had I known I might not have started reading this book on a sunday afternoon with the result of landing up carrying on almost through the night. This book should come with a As another reviewer put it...how ever did I wake up for work this morning? An often used story line of a young boy being tutored in magic by a cantankerous master...yet more. Having read the Mageborn series some years ago and having enjoyed it thoroughly, I only realized after finishing this book that it was the same author. Had I known I might not have started reading this book on a sunday afternoon with the result of landing up carrying on almost through the night. This book should come with a no-sleep warning. On that note Mr. Manning...please hurry up with the next one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Cross

    Excellent new storyline It’s rare indeed when a writer knows how to complete a long storyline and start something completely fresh and new. Bravo Mr. Manning. This book has almost nothing in common with his previous universe, from basic natural principles to characters, and yet it is still just as engrossing and the writer keeps his habit of creating characters that the reader will relate to. Now I have to wait for the sequel....

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarz

    Top class epic fantasy I enjoyed every minute of this, a fantastic beginning to a new series from Michael. Interesting magical systems, good world building, and some really appealing characters. The obligatory grumpy old wizard is hilarious, and there's a few interesting women with fully realised characters. I think it'll appeal to fans of Tad Williams, Robin Hobb, Duncan Hamilton and many others. Top class epic fantasy I enjoyed every minute of this, a fantastic beginning to a new series from Michael. Interesting magical systems, good world building, and some really appealing characters. The obligatory grumpy old wizard is hilarious, and there's a few interesting women with fully realised characters. I think it'll appeal to fans of Tad Williams, Robin Hobb, Duncan Hamilton and many others.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steven Naylor

    Rating 4.0 stars This is one of those stories that I didn't like in the beginning and then it grew on me until by the end I actually liked it. The story follows the main character Will. He shows that he has some magical talent and is sent to live with an old hermit that lives in the woods who also might be his great great grandfather if you added a bunch more greats. In this world there are many different types of mages. Warlocks who make pacts with demons to get power. Sorcerers who use element Rating 4.0 stars This is one of those stories that I didn't like in the beginning and then it grew on me until by the end I actually liked it. The story follows the main character Will. He shows that he has some magical talent and is sent to live with an old hermit that lives in the woods who also might be his great great grandfather if you added a bunch more greats. In this world there are many different types of mages. Warlocks who make pacts with demons to get power. Sorcerers who use elementals to gain power, and wizards use use there own magic. Wizards now are considered to be the weakest of the 3 but that is not how it used to be. His grandfather is a wizard and hates sorcerers even more than warlocks. The grandfather is a huge asshole and berates Will all the time. He also doesn't tell Will why he is making him do what he is doing. Since I like to put myself in the MC place, I was very upset by this. I like to know why I am doing something more than most and I would not put up with being treated as he was. Then the story unfolded. We learn about the Fae and what happened to his grandfather to make him this way. (view spoiler)[ After his grandfather was killed Will decided to joint he army. It was illegal to do magic unless registered by the king but since Will didn't know how to cast spells at this time he thought it was okay. I don't understand half the decisions Will made. He just rescued his mother and cousin and yet he leaves them alone to go joint the army? The house was filled with books on magic that he could have read and learned magic, but he just left? Then he almost freezes to death while traveling. Most of what he did was stupid. Despite all that toward the end I really started liking the story. I still think Will is somewhat of an idiot but the way his grandfather treated him, I am surprised he can interact with anyone else at all. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dantegideon

    I understand the appeal of writing characters that are rude, ignorant knobs; let’s face it, the real world is stuffed with them, so it makes the fictional world seem more authentic. That’s precisely why I don’t like reading about them, however. If that’s what floats your boat, though, there’s plenty to like about this book which is otherwise well-written. I just didn’t want to hang out with Will, or anyone else in the book, any longer.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ptdog

    Books like this from author Manning are why I am a fan. Well paced, interesting characters and intriguing situations. Though the ending seemed to violate the rules of the protagonist it makes an acceptable cliff hanger. I hope he doesn’t take too long to write Book 2 in the series. I recommend his other writings. Check them out too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Collin Reece

    Another great book by a great author. I wasn’t sure if this book would live up to my expectations after the mageborn saga but it has easily. As with any great book I was sad to reach the end and can’t wait for the next one. Keep up the great work Mr. Manning.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Barr

    I’m looking forward to the next one! The last few Manning books have been a little downhill I think but this one is a fine return to form! I loved the idea of suppressing mana (“turyn”) as a key to longevity and control, it’s a neat twist on the usual cultivation-type nurturing of a source. I’m looking forward to the next one!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Art Winsor

    Another amazing book by Mr. Manning! I usually hate leaving reviews but I am a big fan of Mr. Manning., anything that benefits his career benefits my library. I was afraid that after the conclusion of his previous works that his next book would suffer. That wasnt the case at all! This is a phenomenal book! I really like his new spin on the concepts of magic.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Madison Stuckey

    A great new story Been following this author ever since the blacksmiths son, and i have to say i didn't think it could get better than the mageborn series, but this book has changed my opinion on that. This was a great nee story which has loafs of promise for future, as long as the goddamn cat doesn't ruin it first. A great new story Been following this author ever since the blacksmiths son, and i have to say i didn't think it could get better than the mageborn series, but this book has changed my opinion on that. This was a great nee story which has loafs of promise for future, as long as the goddamn cat doesn't ruin it first.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jay Fowler

    This is another excellent start to a series by Michael Manning. His mageborn series turned me on to this author and is in my top 5 high fantasy series I have read. This new series and first book has just as much promise even if he drove me crazy and made me find a rare Welsh cat legend. Lol. Read this book

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pam Brann

    The choice of magic Amazing book, what a great writer! This was one of the best I have read in a long time. I hope he has more coming in this series. It was so funny I had to set the book down several time lagging so hard. Other times I would weep. That is the sign of a food book! Thanks Michael G. Manning!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael Robbins

    A Good Read I've read a few other books by Mr Manning and I've enjoy them a lot but so far this is my favorite series. Mr Manning knows how to use the perfect amount of blending story growth and action together. Adding one or the other to much and the book get boring but does it right and that makes for a great book. A Good Read I've read a few other books by Mr Manning and I've enjoy them a lot but so far this is my favorite series. Mr Manning knows how to use the perfect amount of blending story growth and action together. Adding one or the other to much and the book get boring but does it right and that makes for a great book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    M Hunter

    Impressive, entertaining and thoroughly engrossing Sometimes, there are books you skim to see what happens. Other times, you go to Wikipedia to get a summary.... then there are books that are just a great read - every page. This is one of those books. Great characters, engaging plot, meaningful dialogue and encounters...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Didrik

    Loved this book! It uses the tropes of many fantasy stories but twists then just enough to make it interesting. The author even mention many of these tropes in the book itself to illustrate that this isn’t going to fall into those tropes (or is it??) that question alone is what kept me turning the pages.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matthew.wizardgmail.com

    Good book There are times this book reads like an extended training montage written by a snickering teenager. I happen to like training montages... Good worldbuilding.. and the book was rather exciting at parts. Although not perfect, I appreciate this book for what it is. I think this would really resonate more with an early teen. But I had fun reading it despite that.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chase Moore

    Very good book This book I think is a lot like his others in the sense of the writing and how good his books are, really enjoyed the book cant wait to see where it goes. Would definitely recommend this book to people who have read his books and liked them .

  26. 4 out of 5

    tmurph

    Astounding I’m a huge fanboy of Mr Manning’s work, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but this book is amazing. Wonderful start to a brand new world. I can’t wait until the next book comes out.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Great new series from Michael G Manning A fresh take on magic systems. Very enjoyable. I can’t wait for the next book. The story had some predictable characters but for the most part I was surprised by the twists and turns.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Noah Wofford jr.

    You have hooked me again. Michael G Manning has done a wonderful job in his new series. It starts off a little weird and a little strange. It slowly sucks you in and the next thing you know, hours have passed. I am looking forward to the next installment.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sumukh

    This is a review for the entire Art of Adept series. If anyone has come here after reading the Mageborn series, this isn't half as good. This book isn't set in the Mageborn universe, so reading that series isn't necessary, though if you haven't read it i would suggest to ahead and read that first, its much much better than this one.I will segregate the review into pros and cons. Pros: Manning retains his pace in this book. This moves along pretty fast similar to his other books. The magic system i This is a review for the entire Art of Adept series. If anyone has come here after reading the Mageborn series, this isn't half as good. This book isn't set in the Mageborn universe, so reading that series isn't necessary, though if you haven't read it i would suggest to ahead and read that first, its much much better than this one.I will segregate the review into pros and cons. Pros: Manning retains his pace in this book. This moves along pretty fast similar to his other books. The magic system is similar to pseudo science concepts and is decently done. Its a rule based system again well developed and explained. Cons: ****Spoilers******** The problem with this series is the characterization of the protagonist. In some parts he is shown to be incredibly dense, while in others he is extremely smart, and in most cases extremely lucky. Even if you let this go, there are other larger issues such as most of the times there is not strong motivational factor for protagonist to risk his life. Yet he seemingly does so in a lot of situations and emerges out the victor because of pure luck. Overall the series does not have a strong antagonist and hence the entire end goal scenario is missing. Suddenly you have a very powerful antagonist who shows up in the third book and even he doesn't have any strong motivations to do all the things he does. And finally the biggest issue i found with this series is that all the time the protagonist keeps harping on how slavery of any kind is bad and finally when he has a chance to end it he just lets it go for reasons even he is not clear. The series completely loses it way into the third book and finally ends on a whimper. So read this if you have nothing else to do, but if you haven't read the Mageborn series, i would seriously recommend that one, its much more fun and amazingly welldone.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Connie Fogg-Bouchard

    knowing who you are Will is an untapped well of a mage. through incidences beyond his control, his magic blooms. to save his life, the grouchy, old hermit in the forest takes him away with him to live. and there he opens up to Will the world of magery. but even the joy of learning magic can be lost when tragedies intervene. Mr. Manning has done it again. I am so excited to see where this wonderful story will take us.

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