Monday, June 15, 2015

Trail of the Torean (Saga of the God-Touched Mage #2) by Ron Collins

Release Date: November 30, 2014
Publisher: Skyfox Publishing
Series: Saga of the God-Touched Mage series, Book 2
Author Website:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Two sects of magic users, the Lectodinians and Koradictines, joined forces in order to rid the world of the Toreans, including Garrick, but they never counted on Garrick becoming an integral part of the Gods' plans. In order to either learn more about his newly-discovered powers or rid himself of the curse completely, Garrick accepted a contract alongside Darien, another hiding his true identity to be his own man.

As they journeyed together, they found themselves in the midst of turmoil at every turn. Whether they fought for their own lives or helped a fellow Torean escape the clutches of the others, Garrick struggled to find a balance between the part of him which wanted to heal and the part of him that sought destruction. Can he find a way to reconcile the two halves before time runs out for both him and Adruin?

I was thrilled to have time to get back to this series of books written by a local author. The second release, which began with Glamour of the God-Touched, continued Garrick's tale after the discovery of new powers, his master murdered, and his whole world turned upside down. This book revealed more about the three mage orders as well as some history about other mages who were also known to be God-Touched. Information about the God-Touched's full potential was shrouded in myth and lore. Each side of the magical triad had their own and wanted to be better than the others. Therefore, the reader was left to explore the limits and consequences alongside Garrick throughout the book.

As with the first book, Garrick was the central character in this tale, but he wasn't alone in his adventures. In order to complete a contract for coin, he agreed to ride with a companion, Darien, as an insurance policy that one of the riders would return with the merchandise. The differences between the two men were noticeable from the start. Where Garrick was quiet and guarded, Darien was jovial and likely to sing in order to pass the time. I really liked the relationship that grew between them as they were tested with several situations where trust played a factor. Along with these two, more individual mages were introduced. I got the feeling that these men and women weren't people who would be toyed with or taken lightly. They possessed great powers and each of them knew they were revered or reviled for those powers.

Not only did the book have new characters and meatier interactions to savor, but this book also featured new cities. While one appeared to be a larger version of the village Garrick lived near, the other was located in a desert-like place. These places and the landscape between offered several occasions for action and adventure for the duo and became character-like themselves.

From the first chapter the pace of the novel was quick, yet steady. As more secrets were revealed and action took place, the pacing gathered speed. I wasn't surprised at the end when the mad dash to freedom was matched by dialogue and what was occurring in the scene. The author did a great job allowing the reader time to breathe between battles before leading them into the fray once again. Even in the very last chapter, the pace mimicked the story in such a way that I felt the sense of acceptance that washed over the characters.

Overall, I found myself invested in both Garrick's history and his future now that new information was known. With well-thought fight scenes and descriptive spell work, the author continued laying the foundation of a series worth further exploration. New characters on all sides with their own agendas for Garrick impacted the story thus far, and possibly in the future as well. I'm curious to see how Garrick settled the war within himself while fighting continued all around him. What future role does Darien have in this whole thing? This book answered some of the questions I had after book one, but left me with new questions. I'm very much looking forward to delving into the next book. For those who love a great adventure tale full of political intrigue, gods who love using humans as playthings, and seeing the underdog fight his way to the top, I recommend this book be placed on your TBR as soon as possible!

Trail of the Torean (Saga of the God-Touched Mage #2) by Ron Collins is currently available online wherever books are sold. It can be purchased in either paperback or digital (Kindle) download. It's also available in a bundle package with all the books in the saga. The following link will bring up the book's page at Amazon for purchase.
Trail of the Torean (Saga of the God-Touched Mage #2 by Ron Collins

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