Book Review–Wilder Mage by CD Coffelt
Justus Aubre is a wilder. A mage unbound to the Imperium, and therefore a dangerous wild card in their eyes. The Imperium wants him, wants his power, but Justus has hidden for many years and now has some semblance of a normal life. All that’s about to change when Sable Rounds walks through the door of his antique shop, looking for work. Justus instantly knows what Sable is, he just doesn’t know the danger he’s in.
Alone, also on the run from the Imperium, Sable longs for a normal life. For somewhere to belong. She finds this when Justus hires her, but she knows it’s temporary and fragile, an illusion. Though she hates to think about it, she knows that one day she will have to move on.
The Imperium is always behind her, waiting. When they finally find Sable, they find Justus. And all hell’s about to break loose.
First, you probably know CD Coffelt as Huntress and our fearless leader over at Unicorn Bell. She is also my first real critique partner and I love her dearly. With our swapping of stories, I had the privilege of reading this book before it was contracted. The second read through was just as enjoyable and rewarding as the first time. Huntress crafts a wonderful story of courage and love set in a chilling reality where one crazed woman controls all those who can work magic. Well, almost all.
Justus is the one who got away. He’s a strong hero, even in his sullen moods you can’t help but like him. He lives by his convictions and is doing quite well for himself until the unexpected happens. He falls in love. And with the most dangerous woman possible. No not the crazy one, but someone that can actually be used against him.
Sable is running from the Imperium, but she’s never free of their watchful eye. She is the prize worth waiting for, and once crazy Tiarra gets her she’ll be the weapon to bring down all who resist the Imperium’s control. Even Justus.
I love all the characters in this story. Bert the impertinent teen who has to learn the hard way, the sweet couple who take care of everyone, even the two hunters struggling to break free of Tiarra’s grasp. There are also some great magic slinging duels as well as lots of tamping down hot emotions. Of many kinds. 😉
Without giving any spoilers, I just have to say that I loved the subtle difference between the original ending and the published ending. The clues have all been dropped and I’m just waiting for Huntress to write the next book. I love how Justus’ inner struggle is more of the focal point at the end as well. I can’t wait for the next in the series!
I give Wilder Mage by CD Coffelt a 5! And not just because I love Carol. The book really is that good.
1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure