Review by Lauryn Angel
It’s very rare that I abandon a book without finishing it, but if I wasn’t reviewing it, I would have given up on The Gossamer Mage about 50 pages in.
The description was intriguing: a magic system in which each spell, or “intention” ages its practitioner, so that reckless young mages quickly become cautious, wizened mages. And intentions that are flawed become “gossamers” – wild creatures that can sometimes be dangerous. All magic is a gift from the Deathless Goddess, whose mysteries are honored by the Hold Daughters of each settlement. One mage has taken it upon himself to destroy the Deathless Goddess, freeing all of Tenanen from her tyranny, but unbeknownst to him, the Goddess protects Tenanen from an outside threat.
Sounds interesting, right?
Unfortunately, the story is bogged down with prose that is all too often stilted, encumbered with fragmented sentences. On top of that, the naming system Czerneda employs was too confusing at the outset – perhaps the index of characters should have been placed at the beginning of the book instead of the end. I had to read the first five pages twice before I had Malenorial and Saelenorial straight in my head.
These things aside, I did eventually get into the groove of the story and make my way successfully to the end of the book. I liked the story well enough, but probably not enough to pick up another book set in this world.