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Vatar is an adolescent on the verge of taking his manhood test. He and his friends are on a hunting trip when they decided to cool off in a nearby river. Vatar has a premonition of trouble but tries his best to ignore it. None of his friends know about Vatar’s premonitions as they would be seen as a form of magic and magic is not allowed in the society in which Vatar lives.
Vatar and his friends wade into the river. They splash around a bit, all the while, Vatar’s unease grows. He starts to climb the riverbank, trying to get his friends to come with him. He was almost on the bank when they hear a rumbling sound, the sound of a lot of water heading straight toward them.
Vatar makes it to the riverbank and helps his friends climb to safety. All except for one of his friends. Torkaz, the Shaman’s son, was further away than the others. Torkaz gets to the bottom of the bank just as the flash flood hits the riverbed. Vatar reaches out for his friend and manages to grab him. However, the current from the passing water is too strong and the Shaman’s son has swept away. He is later found further down the river, drowned. This tragedy sets off a chain of events that completely affects the course of Vatar’s life. Some good, some bring challenges.
Ian McEuen was the narrator for this book and he did an excellent job. He did a great job with using different voices to help distinguish between each characters. I had no problems telling each character from another. The production quality was very high. No noticeable changes in volume or any audible cracks or pops.
Overall “The Shaman’s Curse - Dual Magics Book 1” is an enjoyable book. I did feel that they were spots where the plot slowed down a bit but there was action as well. Seeing as this is book 1, I expect that part of this book is background information to set up the other books in the series. So I think that’s why parts seem to lag a little.
If you are looking to start something new in the fantasy genre, I highly recommend this book. There are a total of four books in the series however only the first book is available on audio right now. I’m looking forward to the other books becoming available and seeing where life takes Vatar.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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WHAT IT'S ABOUT
Vatar risked his life to try to save his friend--and failed.
Now he has an implacable enemy in the vengeful shaman, who blames Vatar for the death of his only son. In his isolation, Vatar finds some comfort in daydreams. He knows the strange girl he sometimes imagines is just that--a dream. She’d better be.
Because, if she’s real things could get even worse for Vatar. The accepted magic of Vatar’s plains tribe wouldn’t enable him to see or communicate with a girl he doesn’t even know--or know where to find. That would be more like the magic passed down in certain, closely-guarded bloodlines among the ruling class of the coastal cities. And that’s bad. Very bad.
Unlike their own, Vatar’s people think the city magic is evil. If the shaman ever found out, it could be the weapon he needs to destroy Vatar. And yet, finding a way to accept the other side of his heritage may be the only way Vatar can ultimately defeat his enemy.
The two kinds of magic have always been totally separate. Until now.
I read the ebook when it came out and was thrilled to listen to it in audiobook. The narrator, Ian McEuen, did a great job adding accents to people from the various societies. I've read the whole series, and it was great to go back to the beginning again. I'd forgotten how resistant Vatar was to magic at first.
Mansfield's writing is solid, and she tells an imaginative and sometimes gripping story. Interesting cultures. I thought it was fascinating that the nomadic Dardani were actually more culturally sophisticated in some ways than the city people.
I found Vatar to be very likable, and I felt so bad for him. The terrible guilt at not being able to save his friend was bad enough, but to have his friend's father blame Vatar and seek to punish him was terrible.
Vatar's journey includes finding out that the father he's always known was not the one who had fathered him, if that makes sense. Vatar is appalled to find out that the "sperm donor" was a powerful wizard--or that Vatar has half siblings all over the place. The last thing Vatar wants is to have anything to do magic.
It was fun to watch Vatar really grow into a man--often in the school of hard knocks. To be so young and a "divorced" father only added to his challenges.
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