The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso | REVIEW


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The Tethered MageThe Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso (Swords and Fire #1)
Published by Orbit on October 24th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Pages: 480
Format: ARC


In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled — taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army. Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.

But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.


The Review


** Received an ARC from Hachette Canada for an honest review ** 

The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso is a fantasy about a world where magic is a coveted thing. Those born with the Mage mark are taken and conscripted to join the Mage army for the empire. When one of the councilwoman’s daughter captures a near adult Mage, her life is now bound to her forever. With civil issues turning ugly inside the empire, and a rival nation showing up and causing trouble, it is now up to Lady Amelia and her Falcon Zaira to do something about it.  

I had an absolute blast reading The Tethered Mage. I loved the world that Caruso created. There was equal amounts of political strife, threats of war, love, friendship, action and adventure. Her writing was seamless as she took us on Amalia and Zaira’s journey together. The fantasy, magic, and lore is well fleshed out.  

I also enjoyed the characters quite a bit. Where Amalia is gentle and soft spoken, Zaira is crass and loud. They are an odd pair that work well together. You know what they say, opposites attract. They have a very nice dynamic and I loved seeing them go back and forth trying to outdo each other. 

There is so much more to the story we have yet to discover. I’m really interested to learn more about the Vaskandan people and their magic system! 

My one major complaint would be that the plot was way too big for the story, at least in my opinion. There were a lot of dry moments near the end. I felt like Caruso could of had more big reveals to keep the story exciting from beginning to end. There was a lot of go around to solve the “mystery.” 

Aside from that, The Tethered Mage was a fantastic start to what I hope will be an awesome series. I look forward to the sequel!

Let me know what you guys thought of The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

Jesse Nicholas Sig



Melissa CarusoMelissa Caruso is a fantasy writer, tea drinker, geek, and mom, not necessarily in that order. She lives in Massachusetts: a magical land where you can find great white sharks, two hundred year old stone walls running randomly through the woods, and cider doughnuts. Despite being born on the summer solstice and going to school in an old mansion with a secret door, she has yet to develop any super powers (that I’m allowed to tell you about, anyway).

Her debut fantasy novel, THE TETHERED MAGE (first in the Swords & Fire trilogy), is coming from Orbit Books in October 2017.


Published by


Jesse Nicholas lives in Toronto, Canada. He is an aspiring writer and one day wishes to have a novel published. Along with writing, Jesse enjoys music, travel, trashy TV, and is an avid reader of anything in the Young Adult and Fantasy/Sci-Fi genres. He is currently posts reviews on the novels he reads on his blog, and spends hours upon hours coming up with ideas for a future stories.

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