Young Adult – Gift of the Unmage

In a world chock-full of magic, Thea is powerless. Despite the fact that she is “supposed” to be one of the most powerful mages in the world – born the seventh child of two seventh children – Thea is a great disappointment. She’s not just bad at magic, she’s completely incompetent, utterly unable to do even the simplest spell. As she enters her teenage years, Thea is increasingly worried that she will be sent, in disgrace, to the Wandless Academy, a small school for those poor unfortunates who are unable to do magic.

Then, in a last desperate attempt to unlock Thea’s potential, her parents send her to a special tutor. Cheveyo isn’t just from a different place, he’s from an entirely different time and world. What he and Thea discover, both about her “potential” and about Thea herself, is a surprise. What Thea will then do with that information is up to her….provided she survives the sudden danger that is threatening her entire world.

The fantasy aspects of this book are well-thought out. The worldbuilding is well done, with elements of traditional cultures from out own world along with people and places that exist only in Thea’s dimension. Thea’s understanding of herself and her place in the world are handled thoughtfully, while never really taking away from the action that is a large part of the book. The scenes in the Wandless Academy felt stronger and more real than the several chapters wandering about with Cheveyo, but that may have been done purposefully. This is the first in a trilogy.

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