The Forbearing Mage

The Adventures of Jack Wartnose

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
385 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Forbearing Mage is a work of fiction in the Christian fantasy, adventure, and humor subgenres, and it forms the second work in The Adventures of Jack Wartnose low fantasy series. Penned by author A.S. Norris, it is best suited to the general adult reading audience. In this next installment of the adventures of promise-keeper Jack Wartnose, his quest for the Tome of Time continues, but not without the invasion of yet more shadowy figures from his wayward past. His estranged daughter Margaret is one such obstacle, driven by revenge and seeking to thwart Jack at every turn. Add to that another rival chasing the tome, the ever-present complaints of his wife, and a whole council of mages watching his every move, and a humorous chaotic adventure awaits.

Author A.S. Norris picks up the pace with this second-in-series read now that the first novel has well and truly set the scene. I felt the action intensify at once in this tale, and we were right back with Jack, Muriel, and faces old and new as the quest continued in style, wit, and cinematic description. I love the way that Norris crafts dialogue, sparing us the typical Hollywood-esque slickness in favor of the way real people speak, every line sparking a new giggle as we await the inevitable punchlines and chaotic situations that Jack gets himself into. I enjoyed the new plot twists in this tale and found that they complemented and contrasted with the first story well without repeating too many of the same dynamics. Overall, The Forbearing Mage will certainly please readers who enjoyed the first book in the series and whets the appetite for even more from this engaging and enigmatic cast of characters.

Luwi Nyakansaila

For the past eight months, Jack Wartnose, an apprentice mage, has been on a quest to find the Tome of Time, an ancient artifact that can grant immortality. On his quest, he found his long-lost love, Muriel, married her and discovered he had a son with her. His new family members join Wartnose and his crew but encounter many setbacks. The first is Margaret Stormgale, Wartnose’s estranged daughter hell-bent on killing him. The appearance of Margaret puts Wartnose’s marriage in jeopardy, and he loses the trust of his crew members. Second, the Mage Marshals and Inquisitors accuse Wartnose of violating the Mage rules by using magic beyond his skill level. This begins a trial that puts his quest on hold. Will Wartnose ever complete his quest and attain the glory and recognition he desperately desires for his family? Get a copy of The Forbearing Mage (The Adventures of Jack Wartnose) by A.S. Norris and join Wartnose and his crew on another thrilling adventure.

Action, adventure, magic, and comedy, The Forbearing Mage brings you all this and more. From Wartnose’s family drama to Chiyu and Eustace’s wild journey and a mysterious villain in the mountains, the story captivated me from start to finish. This is the second installment in this book series, but it can be read as a stand-alone novel because A.S. Norris reintroduces the main characters and their skills in the first chapter, written seamlessly into the story. Each character has an intriguing backstory and a distinct personality. Wartnose is a determined leader and a caring man. The way he fights for people is beautifully showcased in the court scene and when he teaches his son about trading. Margaret Stormgale is a new character with an unpredictable personality, and I cannot wait to see what she does next. From the surprise ending, it is safe to say Wartnose’s adventures are not over, and I hope to read the next book in this series because I am eager to know where his quest will take him next. Great story.

Parul Sood

A.S. Norris's The Forbearing Mage: The Adventures of Jack Wartnose takes readers to an enchanting world full of magical moments, misadventures, ample humor, and romantic elements. The enigmatic Tome of Time is what Jack Wartnose, a novice mage living in a medieval-like world, is looking for. Jack encounters several opponents during his journey, such as his estranged daughter Margaret Stormgale. Margaret not only hounds him with her razor-tongue wit but also wields her mother's deadly spear against him. Jack struggles with his previous sins and is now constantly monitored by the ever-watchful Inquisition, currently headed by his past colleagues. Jack must continue his search for the Tome of Time while seeking redemption under mounting pressure.

The Forbearing Mage distinguishes itself by blending Christian morals and values into the world of fantasy. A.S. Norris has skillfully combined these elements throughout the narrative, delivering a refreshing mixture that attracts readers looking for substance and significance in their entertainment. With their interactions providing humor and lightheartedness against an adventurous backdrop, these well-developed characters take center stage. Flawed yet relatable, Jack's character pushes forward, striving to make an impact despite his troubled past. With captivating narration and immersive visual imagery created through descriptive language, this story keeps you engaged throughout. Immersed in this enchanting world where anything is possible, readers will eagerly turn the pages. The second volume of this excellent series, The Forbearing Mage proves itself as a rightful and deserving sequel to its predecessor. This book delivers an engaging and pleasant reading experience that triggers the imagination.

Stephanie Chapman

The Forbearing Mage is the second book in The Adventures of Jack Wartnose fantasy series by A.S. Norris. Wartnose and his fellow adventurers were leaving Angel Basin on a quest. While resting at the roadside, Brien sees two familiar burly men approaching. Wartnose was off taking care of his personal needs when a spear-wielding Margaret attacked him. Meanwhile, Gunther and Hardouin struggled with Muriel and the rest of the group, so they could not help Wartnose. After a brief skirmish, a botched spell caused everyone to be contained in bubbles. Regula, a marshal, found the group and she arrested everyone before taking them back to Angel Basin. Elsewhere, Eustace and Chiyu, who were hoping to join Wartnose on his quest, witnessed the arrest and decided to continue with their travels, but were facing harsh weather and rumors of bandits roaming the area. Selenus had learned what Wartnose was seeking. Determined to find the missing book, Selenus had to prevent the Marsh Lizard revenants from killing Wartnose.

A.S. Norris introduced several elements from Wartnose’s past. On learning that Wartnose had been with other women, Muriel lashed out at him. Skully involved Jack and Brien in some of his underhanded schemes for money. Gunther’s disappointment was easy to understand. He thought he was doing something honorable by reuniting Margaret with her father. Selenus received more depth as well. Something about him was curious, and even his assistants seemed to question his motives. I thought the council was rather brutal in how they handled cases. The vivid descriptions of every protagonist and the multiple perspectives kept me from putting the book down. The transitions between them were easy to follow. I recommend The Forbearing Mage to fantasy readers who like witty dialogue and unusual characters.

Foluso Falaye

Though Jack now knows where the Tome of Aeternus is, he is not alone in his quest for it as his progress is being monitored closely. Furthermore, he is forced to confront his past transgressions by the mage council, creating a diversion in his mission. To add to his predicaments, he finds out he has a vengeful 14-year-old daughter from a former, deceitful marriage, who happens to be bearing scars from her troubled past. She blames her troubles on his departure. Consequently, Jack is forced to choose between fulfilling his role as a father while risking his life or abandoning her once again and dealing with a guilty conscience. In A.S. Norris' The Forbearing Mage, Jack gets closer to completing his quest yet finds even more tumultuous obstacles in his path while confronting family obligations, bureaucratic challenges, and fierce competitors.

I loved Margaret's addition to the story. She is bold and fiery despite her abusive past involving her stepfather. Additionally, the book's graphic display of violence and gory fight scenes evokes strong concerns for the protagonists. In a spine-chilling scene involving a fight with extremely tough monsters, I had to remind myself that the threats were only fictional. Norris' ability to create intriguing, humorous chaotic scenes should be studied and made into textbooks. I was completely glued to the book's abundant supply of exciting chaos, whether it was a dramatic court case, a crowd fight that heavily influenced by alcohol, or an amusing family brawl. The Forbearing Mage is a worthwhile sequel that adds more intriguing world details and characters to the Adventures of Jack Wartnose series. It further proves it's a highly promising addition to the low fantasy world with its beautiful, artistic chaos.