Black Mage – the first 3 books

I haven’t written any book reviews on here yet. I am not sure if its something that will happen very often, but I felt compelled to write about this one right now. I am actually hoping to come up with a format for reviews that make it more appealing for me to do them….sort of…questionaire like. If anyone wants to write me up a template, I will love you forever.


This will be for Rachel E. Carters first 3 [of 4] Black Mage books. I reread them recently enough that I should remember parts. I hate spoilers, so all reviews will remain spoiler free. If you ever think something is a spoiler, please let me know [in a nice manner], and I will remove it. I really don’t like writing reviews. I never wrote them on Goodreads, and then when I did, someone went through and stole them…WORD FOR WORD. Not all, but most of them. I wasn’t the only one affected, but I haven’t been able to write a review since, and that was….back in 2015? So I will try my best to get back into them. Sorry ahead of time if it is rough.


BLACK MAGE: FIRST YEAR
synopsis taken from Goodreads

Pages: 276
Original Publication Year: 2014
Series: The Black Mage – 4 book series, with a [free] prequel novella

Magic. Romance. Rivals. Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms, and Tamora Pierce.

Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice —pursue a trade or enroll in a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight, or mage…
For fifteen-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a mage and train in Combat, the most prestigious faction of magic.
Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Everyone is rooting for her to fail—first and foremost among them is Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.
Will Ry survive, or will her dream go down in flames?”


I really enjoy these books. Like, SO much. I love the main character [for the most part…] and if you know me at all, you will know that I can hardly ever stand the main female character. By the time I am done, I have usually forgotten their names – I kid you not.

Riyah, is brave, and stubborn, and determined. I love how Rachel has portrayed her as so. I also love that at first…..she is totally at the bottom when she gets to the school. She wasn’t written automatically good at anything, and you get to see her struggle and fail, and struggle and fail some more….but you also get to see her overcome her fears and her weaknesses.And Darren….OH, Darren. I love him. He is an asshole, I always love the jerks.

Over all, she was very well written. The whole book, all the books are very well written. Rachel definitely knows how to write a story, and I feel like her books are severely underhyped and so unknown. The books have it all, twins, love, hate, fighting [insane fighting], magic, bullies, mean girls, love triangles, more fighting….betrayal, death, more death than I maybe wanted to see, but still, it happens. I definitely recommend them, regardless of what I say after this paragraph. Really! Read these books.

AS MUCH as I like them though…..as much as I LOVE them, actually. As much as I praise them, and as fast as I can read them……there are also parts that I do not like.

The covers, for one. I was not a fan of the original covers….so, don’t judge a book by its cover.  You’d be missing out. I am almost always upset when I hear that a series is getting a cover change….BECAUSE IT ALWAYS HAPPENS NEAR THE END OF THE SERIES, seriously, what is up with that? It is so annoying. I hate it. ANYWAY….I am usually not happy about cover changes, but I was, in this case…even though I have 2 of them in paperback…so that part sucked….but HONESTLY? when they revealed the new covers, I was really disappointed. I don’t like them. I’d show them to you, but I don’t know how to do photos yet, and even though it has been explained to me twice already, I just don’t get it, haha. The covers are no longer Ryiah and Darren. NOT so bad, although I love me some Darren. The background is pretty, but…I felt like the model was entirely too awkward looking. And with the stance, and the look of it over all, I feel like I’ve seen it a dozen times before. It is generic. I wanted something more.

And as I was rereading Candidate….I remembered what I didn’t like most about it. It is a great book, overall….but when I took the time to actually think about it, or not think about it as the case may be….I couldn’t remember if I was reading the Black Mage series or another series. One that I know for a fact that the author loves, and one, which I feel may have influenced her writing too much. I would love to see someone read this series and tell me if it reminds them of another one.

Don’t get me wrong! I love Rachel, I love her writing, and I am pretty sure she is on my “autobuy author” list [and it is a short list]. I love the story, I love the characters, or hate them, if they are meant to be hated……I just don’t care for, how I can’t decide if I love or hate the similarities. It was really subtle at first…..and NOT EVERYTHING IS THE SAME, it isn’t plagiarized in the least bit, but some parts just automatically made me think of the other series, and I don’t know if it is good or bad. I am looking forward to reading Last Stand, and seeing if that thought process stays the same, or if it will change.

Have you read a book that made you think of another? was it a good or bad thing, in your mind?

I feel like this wasn’t much of a review….I think what I most wanted to say was the last part. Maybe by the time I have read Last Stand, I’ll have figured out my “questionaire” style review template and it will be better. Thanks for reading!

~Ash

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Verbal Bookshelf Tour [pt2] | Our Book & Bookish Thoughts

  2. Pingback: February Wrap Up | Our Book & Bookish Thoughts

  3. Pingback: Black Mage: Last Stand [Spoiler Free] | Our Book & Bookish Thoughts

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