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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Stirring Power by K.C. Blackbyrn is the coming of age story of Jacob Wildleaf as he fights to find a cure for a mysterious illness spreading through his village. Jacob's journey begins with his first introduction to magic through a tree that smells like death. When his village is attacked and he loses everything, Jacob meets Elden, who tells him a story of magic. Elden is searching for a cure to magic through a man Jacob barely remembers: the father that abandoned him. Teaming up with Princess Adeline, the three race to rescue her brother, Prince Matthew, in order to recall the throne from Dreygon. Meanwhile, Dreygon sends his soldiers to destroy every village infected by magic, and to bring him Jacob. As Elden protects Jacob from the soldiers, no one can protect him from the strength of his growing powers.
In a fascinating and unique approach to magic, K.C. Blackbyrn brings to life a dark fantasy world which at its heart is the beginning of Jacob's coming of age story. Magic is typically perceived as a wonderful and mystical miracle, but Stirring Power flips that idea with magic viewed as a disease. Magic is out of control, painful, occupied with a lot of decay and death imagery. Everyone avoids those with magic, Dregyon has anyone infected killed, and those with magic die painfully. Yet Jacob manages to see the underlying beauty that can come from magic through a little dragen he bonds with. The dragen, called Niro, becomes his protector and friend, showing that there's two sides to magic. Stirring Power is an emotional, unique view on magic, with heart, loss, tragedy, and humor, containing several dark themes and imagery.