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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Gravity of Deceit: An Elemental Magic Rivalry by L. Scott Clark is the third book in the Sorcerer's Guide series. Jet's sophomore year began with him having little knowledge of magic and now that his journey continues, he returns to his beloved school where he reunites with his friends and his feelings for Seyanna grow. New leadership has created a shift in the atmosphere on campus following Shane's actions. Working to free his closest allies, Jet sets out on a quest in search of the next missing piece of the Phoenix just as his enemy begins his next moves. Can Jet trust his friends to help him in this quest or will Shane gain the upper hand with the help of his cohorts?
The lovely writing style creates a vivid image of a sprawling landscape and the surroundings feel like stepping into a fantasy world. These descriptions are woven throughout the quest and action of the plot, beginning with the opening which is a prime example of these lush details. The writing is visual as well as subtly humorous with clever phrases such as how Seyanna's demeanor toward Jet takes a page from the temperature outside by being decidedly chilly. The series has created a history that lurks throughout the plot and through prominent figures such as the story of how Queen Aurora saved the Grey Panther. L. Scott Clark's vivid details remain delightful with unique twists of mythology blended into the story to create an original world. Certain classic elements are featured such as the role of Pandora and her box, and references to Avalon, which pairs well with the original aspects featured. These include magical weapons and unique animals that take fun twists on the ones we know like a moose-like creature with six legs. The clever world-building gives originality to the world and draws you into the magical atmosphere along each quest taken.
Quests are a prominent part of the story, balancing the mythology elements as Jet and his friends work together for the third piece of the Phoenix. Regardless of the high fantasy elements, L. Scott Clark never forgets that Jet is still a teenager with moments woven in where he and his friends act like teenagers. Whether talking about girls or going to class, they feel genuine in their coming-of-age struggles, humor, and feelings. Subtle themes can be drawn such as Jet receiving a lesson in keeping his heart open and Seyanna closing her eyes when seeing a ghost. With well-crafted prose and epic world-building, Gravity of Deceit is a high fantasy built for all ages to be swept away in adventure, mythology, and friendship.