Apprentice by Rachel E. Carter
Series: The Black Mage #2
Kindle Edition, 390 pages
Published 24th January 2017 by Rachel E. Carter (first published 17th February 2015)
Genre: fantasy, young adult, romance
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Synopsis: She survived a trial year at the Academy of Magic, but that was the easy part…
Now sixteen-year-old Ryiah is an apprentice of Combat, her school’s most notorious faction. When she finishes, she will be a war mage, but in order to do so, she has to survive four years traveling across Jerar, training with a master she hates, her old nemesis, Priscilla, and Prince Darren, her sometimes-rival sometimes… more?
Ry’s new apprenticeship is nothing like what she prepared for. War is on the horizon and her lessons aren’t just for practice anymore.
It’s time to fight.
Overview: Wow! Apprentice was not what I expected, but that might be on me since I did not take the title of the book literally. This book spans over Ryiah’s four years before she receives her black robe. Due to how the first book covered only a year, I was expecting something along the same lines, but that wasn’t the case. (I should probably read the synopsis of books more often…)
What I loved about the book: As mentioned in my review for First Year, I loved the chemistry between Ryiah and Darren. Rachel E. Carter did such a fantastic job in displaying Ryiah’s and Darren’s fiery attraction towards each other. Every push and every tug they went through did the same to my heart. So many scenes made my breath catch. However, those who’d made it to the end of the previous book would expect two love interests now, and you definitely get to read more on that in this book. I’ve to admit, I was rooting for Ian for a while, but when I finished the book… boy. Darren, please accept my humblest lowborn apologies.
The mock battles. I probably shouldn’t, but I loved how brutal the mock battles were. There was no mercy, even if it was just training. It made me interested in knowing more about how the Academy decides what’s best in training for their apprentices, if anyone had died in those mock battles before, but I suppose now that Ryiah’s out of it, there won’t be as much on it. That just means we’ll get to learn more about the seemingly impending war in the next book, however!
(I’m also really happy about the grammatical and format improvements in this book.)
Favourite line: “My dear, each one of us is a hero. The irony, of course, is that most will never receive the title.”
What didn’t work for me: Pacing in the book felt strange to me. It felt like too little happened in four years. I find it hard to believe that Ryiah was so caught up on training and mock battles that they had little time for anything else. What happened to her staying up late? I wanted to see more of her sneaking around, I wanted to know what more of her training was like, I wanted more to happen! It seemed like nothing much happened in four years, not even with Jahar’s situation. The book was so focused on romance, unlike in First Year.
Conclusion: I still love the series. Rachel E. Carter has a very special take on magic that I’ve not encountered in any other book thus far. Because of that, the Black Mage series currently holds a very special place in my heart. If only I weren’t busy, I’d have binge read everything in a matter of days!