The Quarter Mage


Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 10/16/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The Quarter Mage by Angelina J. Steffort is a fantasy novel and the first book in a new series by the same name. Sanja, a human princess and runaway bride, flees a cruel court and a grotesque bloodbath to save her neck. Assuming a new identity, Sanja enters the fairylands, a place that no reasonable person would even consider visiting, especially one who was groomed to do little more than sit on a throne and pop out the next generation of royals. In the sheltered world of the fae is a magic system accessible to Sanja as a human but, even if she'd known about it, she had certainly never been exposed to it. Ultimately, it's the mages that keep Sanja from becoming a fae fatality and one, in particular, Tristan, that also may provide Sanja with a sanctuary of the heart and some magic of her own. As it turns out, she will need both in abundance.

The Quarter Mage is a fun fantasy with a lot going for it and, as the first in the series, has so many ways it can still evolve. Angelina J. Steffort has a knack for threading tension through each scene and crafting a landscape that feels immersive and authentic. The writing is ideal for young adults and has the necessary quick dive into Sanja's liking for Tristan, which impatient readers will relish. I am a fan of cutting to the chase so this worked out wonderfully for me, kept the storyline at a steady pace, and allowed the plot to unfold faster without too much romantic baggage. There's a delicious twist to this that hits hard later, as Steffort dangles a triangle in front of our faces that locks the reader in for book two, The Hour Mage. I love the trials, the focused-femme fight that Sanja grows into, and look forward to what Steffort has in store for us and Sanja's coming of age next. Highly recommended.

Jennifer Ibiam

Sanja Zetareh Lazar, the princess of Cezux, was the daughter of a greedy king. The king sold her in marriage to a wicked lord, Cyrill, in exchange for wealth. Unfortunately, Cyrill had separate plans, and the wedding became a catastrophe when he killed the king and wanted Sanja dead. Sanja escaped to Aceleau, the land of fairies, but she wasn’t safe. So she signed into the service of powerful mages to learn magic and take back her throne. Over time, sparks flew between her and the mage Tristan, but trouble loomed because the fairies hated humans. The fairy king also hunted Sanja, and everyone she loved was bait. With no magic to wield, Sanja must fight to save her throne and her lover. Follow Sanja’s story as The Quarter Mage by Angelina J. Steffort.

The Quarter Mage by Angelina J. Steffort is an action-packed tale of survival. It features themes of romance, magic, resilience, courage, revenge, loyalty, and more. I loved the storyline and world-building because the novel had an epic flavor. The fairylands felt realistic, and the story first pulled me in before taking off. Greed destroys the greedy because they don’t know when to stop. It is also unfortunate that those who should protect their children give them up. My heart broke for Sanja, but she was formidable. I also developed a soft spot for Recienne Olivier Gustine the second and can’t wait to see what happens in subsequent installments. There is some good in him. Thank you for a beautiful book, a great plot, and descriptive writing. Please write more.

Stephanie Chapman

Narrated from Princess Sanja Lavar’s point of view, Angelina J. Steffort’s The Quarter Mage has a fantasy beginning in Cezux. Sanja doesn’t want to marry Cyrill. After King Lazar signs the marriage certificate, Cyrill kills him and his guards. Cyrill makes Dimar run his sword through Sanja. She regains consciousness, finding herself being dropped off in the borderlands. Dimar gives her directions and leaves. Sanja enters Fairyland’s woods where a fairy attacks her. He steals her valuables and disappears. The following day, the fairy returns with another fairy. Sanja makes a deal with him to take her to Aceleau City. She tells him her name is San. Inside the city, she steals a loaf of bread, but a man grabs her arm. He drags her into Zelia’s house. Sanja must choose between the offer of staying and working to pay for her keep or living alone on the streets.

Angelina J. Steffort intertwines mystery and suspense into this fantasy world. The vivid details of the scenery are beautiful and I could envision every moment. The characteristics given to the different fairies are brought out by their dialogue. I could almost hear the deceptive voice of the fairies who dislike humans. The prince of Fairyland built dangerous tension. I couldn’t tell if he was evil like his father, or whether he had compassion for Sanja. As I read each page, brief hints emerged, but I felt the same shock as Sanja when her life's purpose was revealed to her. The unpredictable plot made this book difficult to put down. I see a sequel being created despite it being a standalone book. The Quarter Mage will entertain anyone who enjoys a slow-burn romance in a fantasy world.

Delene Vrey

Forced to flee after her new husband murdered her father and her loyal court followers, Princess Sanja goes to the Fairylands, where she hopes she will find refuge. However, she loses her provisions to a golden-eyed fairy who helps her to the city of Aceleau. Believing she will find somewhere safe in the city, she is caught unawares as she is forcefully led to the house of the Master Mage. There she is faced with a choice: stay and learn from the two Human mages in the Fairy city or take her chances on the streets where her survival could not be guaranteed. Sanja soon attracts the attention of the Fairy King, whose cruelty to humans is exceeded only by that of his son. A plot stretching over two kingdoms comes into play as Sanja has to fight for her life and those of the people she loves. Facing the cruel king and finding aid from a most unlikely source, can she save herself and those who depend on her? The Quarter Mage by Angelina J. Steffort is an enchanting and riveting story that you will not want to put down.

The Quarter Mage by Angelina J. Steffort is a new adult high fantasy that is a welcome reprieve from the many YA fantasies on the market. The characters are believable and show growth and resilience throughout the development of the tale. As in most fantasy plots, kings and their power, or misuse of it, is one of the most prominent themes. Family, loyalty, and love are other topics that make the story a well-presented and believable tale. Meant for readers 17 and upward, this book fits into the category of New Adult fiction perfectly and has some mature content. The magnetic intensity between the main characters will make your heart skip a beat. The author has captured the characters' emotions, and it is a delicious read that will become one of my favorites alongside The Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and The Flame and the Arrow by Emigh Cannaday.

Alex Ndirangu

Do you want to enter a fantasy world brimming with artistic splendor? Then Angelina J. Steffort's The Quarter Mage is the book for you. Soon after they exchanged vows, Princess Sanja's new husband and his men began murdering innocent people, the king, and even Sanja. The princess miraculously awakens in perfect health in a new realm of fairies whose magical prowess will astound you. This fascinating world, however, is not entirely safe for a normal, vulnerable human lacking magical abilities, such as Princess Sanja. This will also be the first time in Sanja's life that she will not have servants to do her bidding. It will not be easy. However, with the help of new friends and a charismatic young man named Tristan, she'll discover just how strong and capable she truly is. You will not only be able to visualize the exciting narrative as she sets out on utterly thrilling adventures to save those she loves, but you will also become addicted to this world.

Angelina J. Steffort introduces the reader to a brand-new magical system and setting. My favorite aspect of the book is how the flashbacks are formatted and incorporated into the story. This was an excellent way to introduce the characters and reveal more background information about them, especially for the modern sections of the story. The book's overall emphasis on the characters was equally admirable as each one actively contributed to the plot and kept it moving. I found the author's language to be simple and appealing. She described each scene vividly. For example, she ended up giving me the impression that I was watching Princess Sanja enjoy a drink at the river or even standing next to her as she observed the lush green of the grass and leaves gently swaying in the wind, with blossoms floating on top like sea foam. The Quarter Mage is a book that inspires us all to think deeply about ourselves, address our problems, navigate life, and remind us that personal freedom is always worth fighting for.