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Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite
A sudden awakening of magical powers that coincides with a prophesied sign mark a twelve-year-old slave, Kibure, as the agent of a dark god in Derrick Smythe’s thought-provoking epic fantasy, The Other Magic. Shackled, gagged, and caged, it seems death is the only outcome for Kibure when Sindri, the renegade priestess hired to sever Kibure’s magical ability, is unable to do so. However, Sindri has reasons of her own for wanting to keep Kibure alive and convinces his master instead to take Kibure to the Eastern Markets and sell him there. Meanwhile, Magog, the god-king of Angolia, charges high priest Grobennar with finding and destroying the dark god’s emissary as part of the preparations for the prophesied Purge.
An exhilarating and unpredictable plot combined with steady pacing in The Other Magic makes for addictive reading in The Other Magic, book one of debut author Smythe’s Passage to Dawn series. Smythe masterfully conveys the more complex elements of world-building through legends and myths mentioned within The Other Magic. Spoilt Prince Aynward’s tertiary education allows for a fascinating intellectual exploration of the perceived ties between magic and religion and how this applies when every faith’s followers consider their institution and the deities they observe to be the one true faith. This also provides a stimulating thematic link to Kibure’s trials and the purposefully warped perspective on good and evil displayed by the god-king and Klerol priests. The Other Magic is an exciting epic fantasy debut with an invigorating, mentally stimulating thematic premise that will delight YA and adult readers alike.