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Forge of the High Mage

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The book's title is perfect in describing his character arc: which includes his doubts and concerns, trying to understand his place within the military, his working relationship with Nightchill and Dujek Onearm, as well as his magical potential, leading to mastery. Other characters from the past get some great page time to flesh them out and further imperial politics (plus a little from the Guard) are also given more context. Surprisingly, Forge of the High Mage is exactly what the title says, the forging of the High Mage Tayschrenn into the formidable and intimidating figure seen in MBotF. I can't give away too much due to spoilers, but let's just say I was hoping for some serious land and ship battles but again they all happened mostly off page. He has a degree in Creative Writing, studied and worked as an archaeologist, travelled extensively in South East Asia, and lived in Thailand and Japan for several years.

Finally, it is worth noting that there are a couple of big-name cameos in Forge of the High Mage with characters who are not directly involved in the action taking place (yet). The book’s title is perfect in describing his character arc: which includes his doubts and concerns, trying to understand his place within the military, his working relationship with Nightchill and Dujek Onearm, as well as his magical potential, leading to mastery.My only regret, and I appreciate it may have been a little dry, was we didn't get a little more context on the Jhistal and it's exact perversion. Forge of the High Mage is a book that I have been eagerly awaiting since I finished my early review copy of Kellanved’s Reach in January 2019.

One question I was left with was the amount of time passing between the start of this series and the beginning of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. These present a varied mix of interesting characters whose thoughts and feelings we are given witness to. Never the less, it is still a very enjoyable book, and a fun look back at some of the series' best characters. I understand that this segment was at a heightened stage in the book with regards to pacing, yet, even so, I think the breakneck speed wasted the potential of what should have been a legendary confrontation.I've eagerly awaited more books in this series, and there was a bit of confusion at first whether this was a sequel to the main series or another volume in the Path to Ascendancy prequel series. This volume spends a lot of time with the High Mage Tayschrenn, which is cool because we never knew too much about him before. Esslemont continues his early empire Path to Ascendancy sequence impressively with the fourth instalment, Forge of the High Mage.

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