Monday, October 23, 2017

Review: The Tethered Mage (Swords and Fire #1) by Melissa Caruso

The Tethered Mage by Melissa CarusoThe Tethered Mage
(Swords and Fire #1)
by Melissa Caruso
October 24, 2017
480 pages

Goodreads Summary:
In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled -- taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.

 Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.

But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.

The Tethered Mage is the first novel in a spellbinding new fantasy series.



I buddy read The Tethered Mage with a friend and it was fun getting to discuss the book together. We had some concerns but they were minor and we both ended up enjoying the book quite a bit. I really loved some of the magic concepts introduced.

The Tethered Mage is a book full of political influencers, power-hungry extremists, brave and reckless souls and timid yet sometimes bold young blood. These characters formed the foundation of the story. They took the guesswork and ploys to the next level as their push and pull became more intense and entangled. It was an absolute joy to follow Zaira, Amalia and Marcello around. This trio saw the best of actions ;) The shy and forbidden romance was a pleasant bonus treat.

The only issue I had with The Tethered Mage was the pacing. Major politics were at play so understandably there was a lot of set up however it really dragged. While I fully appreciate getting a clear picture of the political climate, much of it felt redundant after more than a few mentions. I could've done without the repetition but it wasn't so serious it affected my adoration for the characters.

The Falconer and Falcon magic system was fascinating. Learning about their complex relationship had my rapt attention. I'm impressed by the network set up for the mage-marked even if the motives do seem ambiguous at times. I have a feeling we will be hearing more debate over it in future books. I'd definitely be up to seeing more sides to the 'good will' of the Serene Empire.

I'm so thrilled there will be more to the world in The Tethered Mage. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the sequel. The title alone, The Defiant Heir, promises action and intrigues. I'm super pumped just thinking of the possibilities!

4.5 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. Sounds like a great start for a good series. I hope the second book will be a bit more fast paced :)

    1. It really is! Fingers crossed for the sequel. I hope you pick it up! :D

  2. This sounds good except for the pace. I can't read slow paced books anymore as part of my reading crisis. Too bad because this otherwise sounds good.

    1. Awww I'm sorry to hear about your reading crisis. If you like politics in your stories then you might not find this one slow! Might be worth it to give it a shot ;)


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