The Counsel of Wizards

The Sunset of Magic Book 2

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
230 Pages
Reviewed on 12/04/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Alistair Potter writes Fantasy, Science Fiction, short stories and poetry. His work has been read on the BBC Radio4, Scottish Shorts series, and he is former recipient of a Scottish Arts Council New Writer's Bursary. 

To be honest, where the plot for "The Counsel of Wizards" came from, I'm not sure. I had a whole pile of unresolved issues left over from the first novel, and as soon as I started it just 'grew like topsy' - with everything seeming to slot together and evolve on the page - many a time I'd be doing 'something else' (like showering) and I'd have to stop and go and write the next bit. It was a lot of fun!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite

Grant Moy is a science student on the planet Nephus. One morning he is summoned by his father with the surprising news that a dying wizard, who is the custodian of a fabled library, has requested his help. Grant has no idea why he has been selected in this way; he does not believe in wizards or magic and had thought that the library in question was a myth. But the request has arrived via an old and trusted friend of his father, and the possibility of the library being real, and the knowledge that it might contain is an irresistible lure.

The Counsel of Wizards by Alistair Potter chronicles Grant’s amazing adventure which will take him not only to the fabled library (which exceeds his wildest expectations), but involves him in developing his unexpected and unimaginable magical powers. He will travel to another planet to try to find and petition the Counsel of Wizards, accompanied on his journey by Bort, a hulking Trollid, and Lineth, a capable warrior and expert with a sword. Together with Calem Brindle, an aspiring alchemist, and Lofti, a Dunnit Sprite who they meet and enroll in their quest on the planet Parhal, they will battle pirates and bandits, and traverse mountains and deserts in an urgent and increasingly desperate search for the Counsel.

The Counsel of Wizards is book 2 of The Sunset of Magic Series, but although reading book 1 (which is excellent by the way), would enhance the novel, book 2 is perfectly capable of standing alone. Like book 1, it is well-written, and set in beautifully imagined worlds sporting a cast of colourful characters. Alistair Potter is a skillful author whose clear, unhurried prose and well constructed plots will leave you with a pleasant, lasting memory of his work. Highly recommended - I am looking forward to reading the next adventure in this series.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Counsel of Wizards by Alistair Potter is the second book in The Sunset of Magic Series. Grant Moy has learned that he has magic powers and is still finding his way. He can’t call on his powers whenever he wants to, however, and that makes things a little difficult at times. His life is challenging, but, as a good scholar, he finds his own way although his confidence needs some development before he can truly master his abilities. Things are about to heat up for Grant, though, when the Wizard Torven, a powerful wizard who is dying, requests his help. Will this be the push that Grant needs to develop his powers and learn how to use them properly? And what role does Bort, the last Trollid, play in Grant’s life?

The Counsel of Wizards (Book 2, The Sunset of Magic Series) by Alistair Potter was a cracking read. I read the first book and it did help with some of the character development, but, although I feel any series should be read in its entirety, you could get away with reading this one on its own. Alistair Potter shows that he has an amazing imagination as well as a true mastery of the written word. He has created a magical world filled with magical creatures in such a way that you can’t help but be transported into it. The descriptions are enough to make you feel as though you are really there and it is something of a disappointment when the story ends and you find yourself pulled sharply back to your own real life. The story is unique, well crafted, fantastical yet strangely believable at the same time. The character development is excellent and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves tales of fantasy, of magic and mystery, but I would recommend that the books are read in order to get the true feel for the story.

Ray Simmons

The Counsel of Wizards by Alistair Potter is a great adventure tale. It is heavy on character development and I found the characters unique and intriguing. It is a tale of magic and sorcery, but the magic, while well developed, is not used as the answer to every problem. The magic cannot be easily called upon for every situation as the central magic user, Grant Moy, is new to magic and is still developing his ability. On top of being new to magic, though, he is a good scholar. Grant is young and has to develop confidence in himself before he can master anything. We can see his growth as a man and a wizard and it is very well written.

What makes The Counsel of Wizards unique is the way the magical creations are portrayed. My personal favorite is Bort. Bort is a Trollid. This seems to be a creature Alistair Potter created by combining the powers and abilities we would normally find in the traditional portrayal of dwarves and trolls. It is something I haven’t seen before, but it works very well indeed. It adds a lot to the story that this great character is the last of his kind. There are other creatures of magic and fairy and they, too, are presented in a unique and thrilling way. All in all, this book is very well written, the plot makes sense, and the characters are some of the best I have seen in modern fantasy. A great book.

Divine Zape

The Counsel of Wizards by Alistair Potter is the second book in The Sunset of Magic series. After reviewing the first book in the series, I knew I’d be taking a very long journey with this author. Yes, I was hooked by the powerful plot line, the excellent prose, and the complex characters. The second installment is also very captivating and it begins with a powerful hook: “Lad, I am about to reveal a secret. A secret I was sworn to keep by a surprising and unusual friend called Torven.” These are the words spoken by the father of the protagonist just at the beginning of the story, capturing the reader’s interest and announcing the conflict. After speaking these words, the old man, Endor, informs the young scholar Grant Moy that the dying Wizard Torven needs him, but for what? Thus begins a tale of great adventure, but does Grant have what it takes to fulfill a mission that requires great strength, knowledge, and magic?

I love books that entertain, that transport me to a magical world, uprooting me from my immediate environment and plunging me headfirst into a new culture, a new world with interesting characters, and Alistair Potter is a master at creating such books. The Counsel of Wizards features very complex characters. They are well-developed and they allow readers to experience new ways of looking at reality through well-crafted dialogues. It is wonderful to explore the inner worlds of characters like Bort, Endor, Grant, and others. This book opens a door to an adventure readers will remember for a long time. The plot is strongly knit with elements of suspense that fuel the reader’s interest. The prose is seductive and it feels like a spell is woven into it; one just can’t put it down. The Counsel of Wizards is a book for readers who love a well-written fantasy series.