A Mage's Power

Journey to Chaos

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
432 Pages
Reviewed on 08/18/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Brian Wilkerson was born in Lawrence Kansas and later moved to Twin Cities Minnesota. While in high school he wrote fanfiction about his favorite anime and while attending college he switched to original fiction. He majored in English Literature and History but ended up working for a bank. After hours he continues watching anime and writing original fiction.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

If you have ever played and enjoyed games like Final Fantasy, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights or any other role playing computer games (or even traditional pen and paper RPGs like I still remember them), then it is quite likely that A Mage's Power – Journey to Chaos Book 1 by Brian Wilkerson is a book you will like. Eric Watley, a rather ordinary, bullied, and often overlooked young man needs to finish a report for work but feels overwhelmed with it (and the rest of life) and calls out for help. Tasio, a so-called Trickster, is happy that he finally hears Eric's call for help and is even more delighted by the fact that Eric didn't specify what exactly he needs help for.

With Tasio's help, Eric gets his report finished but is also transported into another world that is filled with magic and wonders. A world, in which he suddenly is a teenager again, has to go back to school, finally finds some (weird) friends and turns into a battle mage (who, of course, has to learn a lot about magic). And of course there's a princess to save –- but that leads to a lot of trouble!

I enjoyed reading this book even though in some places it felt quite episodic, e.g. like something that could be turned into a season of longer TV series. Quite often (if you are a player), you will recognize where the author's ideas came from and at other times you feel like you would like to use your keyboard and mouse to move the character into a different direction. It certainly is a very entertaining story and the characters are really well done. There are witty dialogues and some unexpected turns –- I'd recommend the book to people who like light-hearted fantasy and don't mind odd situations.

Maria Beltran

In A Mage’s Power by Brian Wilkerson, the main protagonist is Eric Watley, a clumsy young man who works for Hanson Enterprises. Spineless, slow and not particularly noted for his intelligence, he leads a miserable life in the human world where people bully him. That is, until one particularly bad day he asks for help, and Tasio, the trickster, comes to his rescue. Transported to Tariatla, a fantasy world populated by characters like elves, magicians, monsters, clerics and mercenaries, Eric is trapped and his life changes forever. Receiving an offer to be a mercenary member of the Dragon’s Lair, he undergoes training in using magic and gets a valuable lesson in teamwork. However, there are forces around him who have a stake in his search for the Mage's Power. Will he be able to return to the world where he really belongs?

Brian Wilkerson is an up and coming writer in the fantasy genre and he certainly shows some promise. In his first novel, “A Mage’s Power - Journey to Chaos, he has proven that he is equipped with enough imagination necessary to become a noted author. His descriptive style is quite refreshing and, I presume, appealing to young readers. The plot may not be the most original in the genre but it is in its unexpected twists that the story stands out. The reader can easily empathize with Eric’s underdog character and it is quite natural to feel for him and wish that he will be able to finally stand proud for himself.

The members of the Dragon’s Lair are quite interesting characters too, and they depict the different people that we usually have to deal with in real life. With all the exciting adventures that Eric experiences and the different characters that comes his way, it is guaranteed that any reader will enjoy this debut novel from a promising new author!

Natasha Jackson

A Mage’s Power is the story of Eric, a young man down on his luck and severely lacking in confidence. Early in Brian Wilkerson’s debut novel, Eric runs into Tasio the Trickster Tasio is a Trickster by race, not by choice. Tasio is a witty little creature who is “finely tuned to human suffering,” and proves his point by granting a few of Eric’s wishes. Tasio is from the fantasy world of Tariatla, which is a strange mixture of traditional fantasy elements -— elves, orcs and monsters -— and more mundane real world fixtures such as diners, reality TV and a job center. Once in Tariatla, Eric hooks up with a group of mercenaries who use their magic skills for profit. The Dragon’s Lair consists of Eric along with his teammates Nolien the healer and Tiza the fighter, and Basilard Bladi the mentor.

Overall, most of the elements in A Mage’s Power work well together. Although not unique, the combination of fantasy and real world elements are perfect for a young adult audience reluctant to imagine a world without technology. The story begins slowly but within a few chapters the excitement kicks up a notch and it’s a thrill ride from there. Brian Wilkerson gives us the requisite bookworm and badass chick friends in Nolien and Tiza, but very little about A Mage’s Power is cliché. There were times I felt I was being tossed from one adventure to the next, but it worked. While some may find it off putting I found it perfect for the targeted audience who don’t want to be bogged down with unnecessary details and simply want to get to the “good stuff.”

Wilkerson did a fantastic job creating this fantasy world that is splendidly mapped out. You feel well immersed in Tariatla, complete with talking birds and Horlfs. It is easy to get lost in this fantasy land.