When his dreams of marrying his beloved Gallia crumble to ash, Jhond of the House of Reeve knows he must leave home. Having grown up among the old legends of the time of magistry, he decides to follow the clues to find the fabled Temple of the Magi. On his journey there, he meets up with Ninian, who knows more than it first seems. Together they investigate the Temple, and Ninian helps Jhond to realize the truth of his ability. Magistry is not simply a long past myth, it exists. Ninian is a mage—and so is Jhond.
It is only the beginning of their epic journey. They make new friends and dangerous enemies, become embroiled in a war of empires, encounter old loves and learn the value of forgiveness, while all the time Jhond refines his skills as a mage.
Gradually all the pieces begin to draw together, and Jhond learns he may be more than a simple mage, he might just be the answer to everyone’s prayers—the much-vaunted Eynan of long-forgotten legend.
In times of strife when all hope seems to be lost, a leader, called the Eynan, will appear, or so say the legends. However, the time of the mages is long past and few believe that the tales are true. Jhond has always studied the old histories, learning from his grandfather, and when he came of age, he became the guardian of a secret library. When his dreams of marrying his childhood sweetheart are destroyed, Jhond is forced to leave home. With his life turned upside-down, he decides that it is time to find the Temple of the Magi. He meets Ninian, who turns out to be a mage, and Ninian is convinced that Jhond is the long sought after Eynan. Never was help needed more as the Emperor of the Illurian Empire marches across nation after nation, added by a powerful mage, killing all who opposed them. Can Jhond learn about his power in time to save his world?
L. S. Gibson has written a fantastic novel filled with fast-paced adventures and fully developed characters. The setting is a richly described world which feels very real. Jhond is a young man whose happy plans for marriage are destroyed when his father reveals a long held secret, and Jhond is understandably devastated. He has spent his life as the third son, a scholar and philosopher, and all he dreamt about was making a home and continuing to look after his family’s library. But that was never his path and he soon learns that his destiny is to be the strongest mage of all, the Eynan. I felt that Gibson did an excellent job of developing Jhond so that I really believed in him. His transformation from a quiet scholar into a powerful mage is handled skillfully and compassionately.
There are a host of characters in the novel whom I also found compelling and most of them, very likeable. I was impressed by Ninian, who comes from a mage family which has been given the task of finding the Eynan. Ninian is a strong mage in his own right, but he only wants to find and help the Eynan. He and Jhond develop a close friendship, working well together, with no sense of rivalry. And then there is the ship’s captain Amired, who never before believed in the old tales, but who joins with Jhond and Ninian to fight for his country’s freedom. I could go on and on, but this three characters alone would make this a strong book and they are not alone by any means. Even relatively minor characters, such as a few of Amired’s sailors, are portrayed with well defined and believable personas.
The plot is full of action and while the book is 436 pages long, I found that I couldn’t put it down. I resented any interruptions, and I was totally absorbed in the plot as the action never let up. If you enjoy fantasy, this is definitely a book not to be missed. It offers a rich, complex story with great characters in an interesting setting. I highly recommend it to any lovers of fantasy.