First Year : The Black Mage

  • by Rachel E. Carter
  • Narrated by Melissa Moran
  • Series: The Black Mage
  • 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead - the realm's most notorious war school for those with magic.
Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every "first-year" is given a trial year to prove their worth - and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail - and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.
When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship, she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve - and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat. Still, nothing is ever as it seems - and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in - herself. Will it be enough?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wait Until You Meet Priscilla

I enjoyed this story very much. It slowly drew me in and I looked forward to resuming the narrative each time I halted the book. The Black Mage is a story about twins, Ryiah and Alex, attending a magic school. It is a Medieval type world where the twins are considered "low born" by the nobility. Ryiah, the main character, struggles to win a place at the academy. Priscilla is her major nemesis and she takes "mean girl" to the next level. There is the "spare non-heir" to the thrown and all the usual sycophants that help make the story exciting. I will definitely get the next book in the series.
Melissa Moran does an excellent job as narrator.
I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator
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- Hudson the Basset "The Baby"

A Great YA Novel And Promising Start To A Series

“First Year: The Black Mage Book 1” is an excellent YA novel about twins, Ryiah and Alex. The two set out to join a prestigious mage academy, but the road to becoming an accomplished mage is not easy. The Academy has a brutal weeding out process that takes power, talent, and a strong will to survive.

“First Year” seems to be more about Ryiah than Alex. The mage academy teaches three types of magic, alchemy, healing magic known as restoration, and combat. Ryiah, who wants to become a combat mage, has her work cut out for her. Surprisingly, author Rachel E. Carter didn’t make either Ryiah or Alex particularly skillful. Both children are perennially at the bottom of their classes, but they somehow manage to hang on.

There are other students—supporting characters that are likable and not so likable, but definitely not one dimensional. “First Year” is all about the weeding out process just to earn the right to become mage apprentices. Although that isn’t a whole lot of plot, enough happens in book one to feel like a full length novel without feeling like the novel was padded to reach its length.

Narrator Melissa Moran did a great job bringing the Ms. Carter’s words to life. She also has a pleasant sounding voice that sounds age appropriate to the characters. Her male character voices weren’t bad either. Sometimes I find male character voices done by female narrators a little comical, especially if the female narrator has a naturally high voice.

Overall I found “First Year: The Black Mage Book One” to be an enjoyable read/listen and I would definitely like to finish the story by reading/listening to books two and three in the trilogy. Finally, this audio book was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of Audio Book Boom.
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- Ashanti

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-27-2016
  • Publisher: Clean Reads