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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Wayward Mage is a work of fiction in the fantasy, adventure, and romantic comedy subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and forms the first novel of The Adventures of Jack Wartnose low fantasy series. Penned by author A.S. Norris, this amusing and action-packed work follows our titular character through several unexpected events, not least the inclusion of his wife and son on his latest quest to uncover the Tome of Time. Jack’s past actions and promises for the future collide spectacularly as he tries to keep his word and please all parties until a swarm of assassins also joins the mix.
Author A.S. Norris has crafted an engaging work that really establishes exactly what to expect from this series and creates an immersive fantasy world packed with danger and comedic opportunity. There’s something very Terry Pratchett in the way that Norris balances his comedic aspects with the engaging sword and sorcery plot, making his characters believably human in their emotions, dialogue, and connection with one another, but also great figures of fun when they’re put to the test against beasts and villains from the wildest corners of the imagination. I really enjoyed the father-son dynamic and the little hints of what might follow for Jack’s wayward progeny in future books. Christian readers will also likely enjoy the moral level of the tale and its links to spirituality, which is well-balanced so as to underpin the story without overpowering it. Overall, The Wayward Mage is highly enjoyable and recommended fantasy novel for fans everywhere, and I can’t wait to see what more the series has in store.