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The Dark Mage by Ciaran Corby - Book Review

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The Dark Mage by Ciaran Corby

Syren, the Jerusalem of the magical world, is the city every mage desires to posses and where fantastical races of beings call home.  It is a place where dragons, faeries, goblins, elves, and dwarves, are as common as the green blades of grass in our own world.  This is a place of magical wonder and of immense ancient power that runs underneath the city by way of lei lines.

Here, right outside the ports of this very old city, we are introduced to Kerberos, the handsome, brooding loner; the dark mage.  Intent on taking the city by force, Kerberos arrives on his mystical ship created from the bloody planks taken from the sacrificial alters of the very gods.  He has no respect for the current ruler of Syren, believing a ruler should not be an elected official, but someone with power who is not afraid to use it and is willing to take what he wants.

Gailyn, the ruler of Syren, serves the phoenixes, making him a Phoenix mage.  The phoenixes represent life, and we come to understand that Gailyn, is the opposite of Kerberos.  One destroys, the other creates and protects.

All is progressing well for Kerberos until he ports his ship, then his world and what he thought he knew, is turned upside down.  Although Kerberos has planned well, complications arise in the form of a blood thirsty vampire named Denella, and a benevolent and striking faerie named Seana.  Things begin to change for Kerberos and he must make life changing decisions.  He comes to understand the void within his soul that has led him to practice the despicable blood magic.  And so, his metamorphosis of the soul begins.

From the mind of Ciaran Corby, in The Dark Mage, comes a myriad of vivid characters, all vying for our attention as the story moves smoothly from one scene to the next.  We are introduced to characters that we will remember and will want to know more about.  And Ciaran does not let us down as he spins a fine web of intrigue and plot twists around new and familiar characters that appear in several of his other novels.  In your voyage through his other books, you will run into recognizable characters.

Surprisingly, this book is a quick read, only 198 pages.  It’s good to see an author who is true to his genre and writes from the soul, not only because he wants to, but because he has to.  Ciaran Corby gives the impression that he sincerely wants to tell the stories of these characters.

The character of Kerberos is representative of us all, in that we may be heading in one direction, but then, are struck with a truth about ourselves that inevitably leads us down a different path.  It is a struggle that we will all deal with in our own lives, in one way or another, and in different degrees. It is the eternal struggle to be true to what and who we are. 

Do we take the new path, or continue down the old path?  Do we stay set in our ways, blinding ourselves to the possibilities and wonders a new future may hold?  And do we forego the metamorphosis of our own souls?

All of Ciaran Corby’s characters have a story to tell.  All have a journey to walk.  Some succeed and some fail.  If you enjoy high fantasy, role playing games, or just a good story, I encourage you to read this book, and if you still want more, I encourage you to read the other stories by this author; you will not be disappointed.

All Content ©2009 L.Uttich/C.Silverthorn & Silverthorn Press