Sunday, 11 October 2015

ARC Review: Candidate (The Black Mage #3) by Rachel E. Carter Synopsis:
Welcome to the Candidacy. Where dreams go to die.

Twenty-year-old Ryiah is a black mage of Combat, but she is not the Black Mage. Yet. She’s had her eyes on the legendary robe for as long as she can remember, and in just one year she will have a chance at her country’s prodigious –and only- tourney for mages... Too bad she is going up against a certain non-heir. The one person she has yet to beat.

Meanwhile Ry has a year to prove herself in her new role as a war mage and the prince’s betrothed. Neither is quite what she expected and complications arise on both fronts. War is on the horizon, and with so many enemies the kingdom of Jerar’s fate is more than ever at risk.

The Candidacy finally arrives, but it’s only the beginning. Nothing can prepare her for what comes next.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

Wow. Rachel as done it again! Just thinking about this book makes me grin, and also want to throttle something – an unusual combination but you’ll understand once you’ve read it (which you totally should. And soon, because I need to fangirl with someone okay? Okay)

There’s so much to say about this book and so much I can’t say for fear of spoiling, so I’ll start with the fact that everything has stepped up a level. The world, the character depth, the “oh my god that did not just happen” moments all got a whole lot greater and I couldn’t be happier about it. As a reader I often go into books (particularly sequels) excited as well as nervous but I found that I was only excited (jumping up and down excited no less) because I knew that even if the author threw in hundreds of curveballs and killed off characters, I’d still thoroughly enjoy it. And she did. And I did.

One of the biggest surprises for me was the amount of time spent away from my beloved Darren (granted it’s probable that I would have wanted more scenes even if we saw him every other page…) This isn’t a “romance” series and so their relationship didn’t take centre stage, which made me treasure those moments even more; while also opening the story to many different directions.

In this instalment tensions are rising throughout the world, revealing secrets and characteristics people would prefer to be kept quiet. True colours are starting to come through… My non-spoiler low down of characters: love bad-ass female protagonist, want to marry 1 prince and kill the other, a certain king is full of ****, the kind best friend is someone everyone should have in their life, MC’s parents break my heart, the brothers… Yet to be decided.

What it comes down to is the fact that this book has everything I could have asked for, so if you’re like me and love an epic fantasy series with a kick-ass heroine, momentous plot, complex characters and enough action/romance to be satisfying, picking it up is a no-brainer.
Favourite Quotes:
“That’s the thing about enemies. You never know who they could end up being.”

“Darren wasn’t darkness, and I wasn’t his light.
I needed to show him he was fire. My fire. Something filled with light. Something good. Something just like my but wrapped up so tightly in his own barrier of darkness it could burn. Unless you knew how to unravel him.
Pressing my lips to his I shut my eyes and channelled my one single promise.
I will never give up on you.”

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