Title: The Wheel Mages (Changing Tides #1) (Kindle book)
Author: Aimee Davis
Synopsis: Alena Kozlov is one of the last of a dying kind. As the first water mage to be inducted into the Sanctum in over fifty years, she has the opportunity to help the old order destroy a band of rebel mages who threaten the principles the Sanctum is founded upon.
Blinded by loyalty to the Sanctum and love for her master, Alena and three other mages set out to investigate the rebels, but the more she discovers, the less she understands.
Confronted with hard truths about the Sanctum she once believed in and the corruption she sees within it, Alena must make one of the most difficult decisions of her life: follow the path she’s trained for or leave the Sanctum behind.
Whatever the answer, she knows one thing for sure—the old Sanctum saying is true: It is a rocky road she must travel.
Rating: 5 stars
Review: I got this book straight from the author herself, and oh wow, I have so many feelings about it. I’m still reeling from what happened. Oh I know! Lets express my feelings in gifs!
When I started it:
Halfway Through Reading It:
When I finished it:
Okay, so lets begin actually putting these feelings into words.
When we first meet the main character – Alena – she’s finishing her mage training with her mentor Nikolai, and on her way to the mage headquarters, otherwise known as the Sanctum. When they get there, we meet another mentor-student pair; Catalina, and her sullen student Felipe. From there, everything snowballs out of control.
This book is just the perfect mix of all my favourite fantasy novels – the relationship between Alena and Nikolai reminds me of Maerad and Cadvan from Alison Croggon’s Pellinor series, and the constant twists and turns is very similar to Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. Is it hard to tell I have a particular taste in books?
These mages were the magical world’s equivalent of royalty.
The whole way through though, I was flipping back and forth between what guy I wanted Alena to end up with – why did you have to make it so hard? Making me choose between the charismatic Felipe, and the absolutely darling Nikolai? Evil. Pure evil.
His pleading eyes shattered the fragile walls I’d tried to construct around my feelings for him.
I glanced at Nikolai again, at his high cheekbones, kind green eyes, messy brown hair, and broad muscular body.
The world building was exquisite, and the characters’ developments were written so well, that I just want to go back and read it all over again. The best thing though, is that everyone makes questionable decisions, and nobody’s either pure good or pure evil. Everyone has darkness in them, in real life and in this, and I appreciate that.
Another important aspect I loved about this is that Aimee Davis effortlessly weaved in the existence of same-sex relationships into the story. That was especially nice to read about, since a lot of other fantasy books sidestep the subject with a few exceptions. It wasn’t made a big deal about, but it also wasn’t swept under the rug either. Props for that.
He’d said his father had sent Isabelle away because she liked girls.
“I wouldn’t expect your master to speak ill of the Sanctum, but there are unwritten rules. One of those rules is that they don’t train mages with my… proclivities.
Overall, this is an incredible book, and I’m so thankful to the author for emailing me and bringing my attention to this magical world. I’m definitely going to be looking forward to reading more of her stuff when it’s published. If you like high fantasy, and magic, and men who are equally as attractive and sweet as each other, this is something you just have to read.