January 17, 2024

The Revenge of Magic (The Revenge of Magic #1) by James Riley

The Revenge of Magic (The Revenge of Magic #1) 
by James Riley
Rating: 3 Stars
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Format: Audiobook (Personal Library, Libro.fm sale)
Publisher: Aladdin

The Revenge of Magic by James Riley is an audiobook that I picked up through a Libro.fm sale, and it is an interesting (though not particularly memorable) read. With elements of both Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and Dhonielle Clayton’s The Marvellers, I think it is a book that appeals equally to young readers who enjoy science fiction and fantasy. 

The premise and the worldbuilding of the book were what sold me on the story, and convinced me to keep reading. I really connected to the idea that magic has been returned to the world, but only children born on or after a certain date are able to wield it. While Fort does end up going to a school to learn to wield his powers, it was interesting because the teachers are very limited in what they can actually instruct their pupils on (given that they cannot perform any of the magic themselves). For example, the healing instructor usually gives classes on anatomy and gives suggestions on how to use different spells to their best effect (but cannot do more than critique their actual work). 

The lack of a “memorable” quality (and the reason I could not give the book a full five star rating) comes from the actual plot of the book. While it was enjoyable reading the book, I could not tell you much about the minute details of the plot after putting the book down. Sure, there are bits about children being the only ones who can do magic and save the world and the ‘discovery day’ but I don’t recall much about Fort’s day to day interactions with the other students or why he was such a unique case. 

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I don’t think I was the target audience, but given that I’m many years older than the expected age range that’s ok. While I would definitely pick up subsequent installments to the series, they would be more filler books rather than something I would go out of my way to pick up. Narrator Kirby Heyborne did an excellent job with the project and bringing Fort’s perspective to life with his performance in the audiobook narration of the book. 

About the Author

James Riley is the New York Times bestselling author of the HALF UPON A TIME series, the STORY THIEVES series, the REVENGE OF MAGIC series, and the new ONCE UPON ANOTHER TIME series. Contrary to what previous biographies have stated, he is a) real and b) not the character Nobody from his STORY THIEVES books. Where would people even get that idea? (Spoiler: From him. He totally made it sound like he really was Nobody. He thought it’d be funny. We’re sorry.) 

He was born in Connecticut, where he lived for only a short time before moving to … well, quite a few states. He currently lives in Northern Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., because that’s where his cats are. He has three of them. Other people think that’s a bit much. 

James is currently working on the final book of the ONCE UPON ANOTHER TIME series, so he might be a little busy. But feel free to e-mail him with questions at jamesrileythatwriterguy@gmail.com, or ask him anything on his blog.

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