by Azrael James
In Belstrom, an ancient and mystical land where the Curo Wizards rule and life is cheap, Tizrah has known only a lowly existence at the armory with her father Eldim. Sweeping floors only to look forward to a life of domesticity, she finds herself longing for something more. Forbidden to take part in the Warrior Trials at the local arena, she sets off on a journey to prove herself worthy to be numbered amongst the men, but when she stumbles upon her destiny her life changes forever.
Korlin, a recent graduate of the High Wizard’s School of Curogath, sets forth on an assignment to save Belstrom from an ancient magic once thought eradicated. Risking his life while facing danger on all sides, he must realize who he is, and what he must become.
Mark of Destiny weaves together the threads of a captivating fantasy adventure, while remaining epic in scope, and modern in its originality.
Mark of Destiny follows Tizrah and Korlin as they each set out to discover and meet their fates. Tizrah finds herself marked after an odd encounter on a road, while Korlin is set the task of tracking her down and capturing her, despite knowing nothing of her identity.
What I like most about this story is that both main characters are truly likeable, even when one seems to be pitted against the other. I love how their stories evolve and intertwine, making this a complex, but satisfying read. I also dig the humorous situations and banter, as well as the modern, but not too modern, language used by the characters. It feels epic, but the style and length make it great for folks who prefer books that aren’t big enough to knock someone out with.
I was a bit surprised Korlin turned out so nice based on some of the hints about the High Wizard’s School of Curogath. With so few making it through and one of the final few being slaughtered at the ceremony to induct them, I’d have thought he’d be a harder man. I also wanted to know more about how the Curo magic works. The rune magic is pretty well explored, but I never got a feel for the Curo side. Also, the elven remnants have magic, but that isn’t explained much either.
Overall, I really liked this story. I think fans of epic fantasy, magic, and quests will love it. Also, it’s a great choice if you like these sorts of reads but don’t want to dig through flowery language or overly long books.
I received the review copy of this book from the author.
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