The Black Mage: First Year by Rachel E. Carter
Before the age of seventeen the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice -follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage…
For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead -the realm’s most notorious war school for those with magic.
Yet when she arrives Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every “first-year” is given a trial year to prove their worth -and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail -and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.
When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve -and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat… Still, nothing is ever as it seems -and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in -herself. Will it be enough?
After Ryiah and her brother Alex travel for days to get to the Academy having a run in with dangerous bandits where Ryiah discovered she really had magic and almost getting trampled by the royal court they finally make it where the real work starts. After Ry and her new friend insults Prince Darren in front of everyone they get off on the wrong foot which doesn’t help since Ryiah keeps bumping into him and they slug insults at each other which just makes Ry more determine to become an apprentice. After getting behind the second day she decides to hide and stay late in the library so she can get caught up when she discovers she’s not the only one that does. Prince Darren the non-hair stays too. This starts their unlikely and odd friendship where Ry forces him to help and insults and injures him plenty, but that doesn’t seem to stop him. Even though Priscilla seems to think that she is going to be engaged to the non-heir it doesn’t stop him from helping Ry, which just pushes Priscilla to hate Ry even more and doesn’t help that they seem to always be pinned against each other when clearly Priscilla is stronger then her. Towards the end of the First Year the competition starts to get brutal and Ry and the non-heir have an out when he helps Priscilla to hazes her. This book will leave you asking: What’s going to happen between Ry and the Prince? Are Ella and Alex going to end up together? Why does Ella hate the prince so much? Which 15 will get an Apprenticeship, and will Ry be among them?
I like the play between the characters in this book. Prince Darren really pushes Ry to be better and subtly helps her with her powers and fighting technique. He is actually a pretty good friend to her even if it takes Ryiah a while to figure it out and when she does she goes and apologizes to him, which he ruins by helping with the hazing that happens and Ry ends up heart broken. I love Ella and Ry’s friendship! Ella tells it like it is and I love her for it though she is strong she is hiding something and she doesn’t want anyone to know. Ella reminds me of my older sister who is always there for me.
I give this book 4 stars it’s a really good read and the next book is even better! I read this whole book on my drive from my parents place to Chicago for my cousins graduation I only put it down a 30 minute nap on the drive there and for breakfast.
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Until next time Enjoy and Read On!
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