Monday 24 May 2021

Book Review: Dark Apprentice (Fall of Magic #1) by Val Neil (Fantasy)

Title: Dark Apprentice (Fall of Magic #1)
Author: Val Neil
Publisher: Living Relic Press
Publication Date: 1 July 2021
eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

A psychopathic wizard. An immortal mage. An epic battle of wills.

Nikolai doesn’t want much out of life: sex, immortality, and the power to disembowel anyone who crosses him. But with dark magic forbidden, his only option is Medea–a mage so deadly even the Enforcers give her a wide berth. Despite dire warnings that her apprentices don’t survive, Nikolai won’t stop until she agrees to train him. After all, he’s a killer himself.

Barbaric and brutal, the training is a far cry from what Nikolai expects. When a mysterious illness strikes Nikolai down, he suspects he’s found the secret to Medea’s longevity. He resolves to find out what happened to her previous apprentices. If he can locate the source of her power, he can turn it against her.

Medea swore off training dark wizards–none of them take the craft seriously and the ungrateful bastards always try to kill her. This one definitely seems the backstabbing type, but magic is dying out and she hasn’t felt such magical strength in centuries. If she can control the boy, show him that magic is more than curses and necromancy, he might obtain the power he desires. If not, well . . .

What’s one more dead apprentice?


Dark Apprentice by Val Neil was a fun read. I liked both Medea and Nikolai as characters and enjoyed their interactions. The story kept me interested from start to finish and I ended Book One keen to find out what would happen next. This was a fantasy tale with a good dose of humour. At times I despaired over the characters' bad decisions and misunderstandings, but part of the fun was in seeing where those misconceptions would take them. I would definitely be interested to keep reading in this series. Dark Apprentice gets a solid four-stars from me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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