Monday, March 5, 2012

Wizard Dawning by C.M. Lance

Title: Wizard Dawning
Series: The Battle Wizard Saga
Author: C.M. Lance
Length: 5912 Kindle Units
Rating: 4 stars

The Plot

Sig has always been interested in the magic that has grown in prominence since the climate changes in the late 21st century, but he never thought he had magic of his own. Then one day his great-grandfather Thorval comes to visit with some surprising news: Sig is actually the last in a long line of battle wizards with the power to increase in size at will. But the news is not all good, for it seems that Sig and Grampa Thor have an enemy who will stop at nothing to rid the world of battle wizards. And when an attack from such an enemy leaves Grampa Thor in a coma, Sig must go to Northwestern university to learn as much as he can as fast as he can, if he wants to stand any chance of saving Grampa Thor or himself.

The Good

I really liked the mythology concept behind Wizard Dawning. Sure, it’s pretty unlikely that global warming will cause an increase in magic, but if it did, I have no doubt there would be a slew of academics who became super-excited about the whole new world of physics they could now explore. And those few scientists out there who believe in the paranormal now would so be saying, “I told you so!” There was some very interesting world-building surrounding Sig and his fellow supernatural beings, who included werewolves, trolls, and witches.

Also, I have to give points to any book that features attacking zombie farmhands.

The Bad

There wasn’t so much anything wrong with Wizard Dawning so much as it was kind of boring. Sig was a little bit too perfect – talented and also hard-working, intelligent and willing to learn, basically a hero on all domains. Instead of making him appealing, it made him seem kind of wooden. His quest was very straightforward, and he seemed to have no problem taking time off from it to engage in side tasks that only served to add some rather obvious world-building opportunities.

I think part of the other reason I was somewhat uninterested in the book was that… well, I’m a girl. To some extent there exists a divide between the genders in terms of fantasy. Boys like to see an unlikely hero triumph over a villain in a painstakingly envisioned world, while the girls want to read about flawed characters overcoming internal and external obstacles and finding the right person to spend the rest of their lives with. Yes, this is an extreme over-simplification, and lots of fantasy novels appeal to people of both genders. I’m just not sure that this is one of them.

Alternately, it might just be a boring book. It’s kind of hard to tell. I was going to have one of my friends try it out, but he the book is sadly not yet available on Nook. Boys, if any of you decide to read it, feel free to let me know. Or, you know, rant about my horrible gender-biased-ness in the comments. I'm open to feedback from all directions.

The Romance

For such a simple, straightforward boy, Sig’s lack of a love life can get very complicated. Most of the women he encounters are Amazons, members of an all-female warrior race who focus on becoming the best fighters that they can be. Sig is eager to train with them, and though he is slightly better than their best fighter in his age group, they are close enough in skill that they can all learn much from each other, which is all Sig is really interested in. (Feel free to insert an eye roll.)

Unfortunately, Sig is unlikely to have a successful relationship with an Amazon, because the entire culture sees men as a means to having more (female) offspring.  Since Sig does seem to have the kinds of genes one would want to pass onto a fighter, he does have many Amazons throwing themselves at him, but the mild-mannered farm boy is far too honorable to take advantage of this.

He does begin to have a closer relationship with one of the girls, Giselle, but her mother quickly steps in and forbids any continuance of the relationship. At this point, I am not sure how to feel. I mean, I find it hard to cheer for a woman breaking away from her female-empowering culture so that she can find a man to settle down with. But I also don’t want to be pro-oppressive society that disallows love and choices. But I don’t really see a happy ending where Giselle defies her entire culture. I have to wonder whether Sig should maybe find another girl altogether.

Will I read more?

I’m not really interested in reading more of the series. It’s a fairly straightforward scenario in which a hero confronts a not-particularly-complicated-and-pure-evil enemy, and I have no doubt that he will triumph in the end. As for what happens in between… I guess I just don’t expect it to be that interesting. But if you like classic good vs. evil fantasy, and would like to see magic in a world much like our own, then you could do worse than to pick up Wizard Dawning.

See Details for Book on    Amazon     Barnes & Noble


Post a Comment