A review by myra_
The Other Magic by Derrick Smythe


This review first published on Oh Just Books.

The Other Magic is book one of the epic fantasy series Passage to Dawn. I'll be honest, I haven't read any epic fantasy books in the longest time, and this book was such a welcome surprise. At 600+ pages, it isn't a small book by any means, but it's just what I needed. The feeling of being able to immerse yourself in a book universe for days on end (and often late into the night) is a feeling I haven't experienced in a while.

The challenge with epic fantasy is being able to do justice to the detailed world building without needless exposition. Capturing the details and settings while not going overboard in a particular aspect is not an easy thing to do. Symthe does it in a way that seems effortless and keeps drawing you into the story. While it seems effortless, I know, as an aspiring author, that this is an immensely difficult thing to pull off. So I absolutely admire it both as a reader and a writer. At no point did the descriptions, scenes, or stories become boring or overbearing. It was neatly and beautifully woven into the plot as a whole. If more epic fantasy books were like this, I would probably read more epic fantasy.

The main players of this book are Kibure, a slave boy who doesn't know how to handle his newly discovered magic talent; Sindri, an outcast Klerol priestess who wants to harness Kibure's power for her own agenda; Aynward, a well-meaning prince who hasn't quite yet learnt the ways of the world and gets involved in things he couldn't anticipate; and Grobennar, a high priest who is starting to lose his position of power as trusted advisor to an egomaniacal God-king. The plot weaves together their stories and lives, and how things turn out in ways they couldn't have anticipated or imagined.

Read the rest of the review here.