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The Choice of Magic

Art of the Adept, Book 1
Written by: Michael G. Manning
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Art of the Adept, Book 1
Length: 20 hrs and 42 mins
5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The ancient magic of wizards was anything but dark. It was the enlightenment that lifted humanity from the squalor of superstition, and the worship of fell spirits and capricious gods, but those days are gone. The shining glory of the sorcerers burned away the subtlety of wisdom, replacing it with easy power, held only in the hands of the elite - a new age built upon the elemental supremacy of aristocrats and the ignorance of the masses.

But this will change, for the greatest power comes with knowledge, and the deeper teachings of wizardry have not been utterly lost. The last wizard of the old tradition still survives in solitude, nursing tired grudges and waiting for death.

His passing might have gone unnoticed, but for the imposition of a youth too stubborn to accept his refusal to take an apprentice. With a new student comes new hope, and that hope has caused old powers to stir again. That the world will change is inevitable, but the shape of the future is anything but certain.

©2019 Michael G. Manning (P)2020 Podium Audio

What listeners say about The Choice of Magic

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a great start

I wasn't expecting much with the story, but was pleasantly surprised with how well it was written. While much of it is predictive, it still entertains. The approach and storyline are a new spin on the existing magic in the fantasy genre and make it worth the read.

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Enjoyed it except...

It is pretty clear in the second half the only way to author could think of to move to story where he wanted was to have the MC start making unbelievablely bad decisions while at the same time being completely oblivious to the obvious solutions to his problems. Solutions that were quite literally repeatedly shouted at him earlier. It’s abit of a pet peeve of mine when authors do this. An MC making natural feeling mistakes is one thing, thier brain just turning off every time the author needs to shove things along is another.

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Fantastic story even better narrator

This book was a treat to listen to I could not but it down. It grabs you by both ears and drags you along on a journey of magic, mayhem and wonder.

The does a fantastic job with all the characters and it feels like it is different people speaking, even if it is the same narrator.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone a fan of fantasy and magic books, there is a wonderful world full of nuance and complexity that make this a very well rounded and unique world.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-06-17

Here's my opinion...

I'd like to first explain that yes, I did in fact enjoy this book. Just look at the scores I gave it...but like with all reviews, you should take my opinions with a grain of salt.

That being said the book starts out with a 12 year old peasant boy who's just about to turn 13 and has likely only been given a basic education from his single mother who just so happens to operate an apothecary. Yes the MC does stupid things...he's a frustratingly ignorant boy going through puberty who's quick to anger, quicker to direct blame and easy to fool, just like 90% of all 13 year old boys are like when not in direct sight of their mother.

That's the whole point of the book, it's a coming of age story, if your not interested in that and want to skip straight to when he's a man and knows everything...read a reincarnation fantasy novel...there's tons of them now. Personally I have to be in a specific mood to tolerate an ignorant MC so there is no shame if it's just not your thing listening to another person learn and grow.

To each their own, but if your willing to forgive a small child their faults and hear them succeed then give this book a try, you can always return it if it's not your cup of tea.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alex
  • 2020-06-04

Holy cow

yes I said it this book was amazing really if your looking for a good book I recommend this book to you hope you enjoy it as I did

9 people found this helpful

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  • Chase Delano Morgan
  • 2020-06-03

Frustrating character development

Author takes us on a journey. MC's stupidity grates at your skin, but he is a kid thrown into the midst of all sorts of craziness.

I was a BIG fan of the Mageborn series, so I expected good things from this series. It's different from what I expected, and I have honestly been very frustrated with MC as I've been listening. I realize my frustration stems from the fact that I'm invested in the character and I want him to be better, to make better decisions, to be braver, etc.

I wanted to bash the MC in my review, but if I'm being honest the author has actually done a fantastic job of developing MC's character. I guess I just have to grit my teeth and deal with all the stupid growing pains in the hope that eventually he'll do better. I wanted Will to be more like Mordecai, but Will's story is his own and this series is more ambitious than the Mageborn series.

It's a good book. I'd encourage you to give it a listen/read.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Ed Feustel
  • 2020-06-06

More Please

I really enjoyed this. I hope that Audible will acquire and make available the next two volumes!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 2020-06-08

4.5 Stars. Top quality fantasy.

This was an excellent start to a new series. The characters are nuanced, the story and world building have depth and breadth, and Tim Gerard Reynolds gives his usual spot-on performance.

The only caveat I’ll include concerns Manning’s very realistic portrayal of an adolescent (and teenage) boy. Around the early middle of the book I found myself wanting to wring the MC’s neck for his rash and impulsive decisions and his simultaneously idealistic and boneheaded view of the world...

I should point out that those characteristics are often the hallmark of this age group... In this Manning has eschewed the unrealistically mature behavior of the majority of young MC’s in the coming-of-age fantasy genre. For once we get a main character who actually acts his age sometimes, and doesn’t portray a ten-year-old with the confidence and gut instincts that most people won’t develop until they’re pushing 30, if ever.

The good news is that even if he’s a little annoying for a part of the book, he’s annoying in a way that is not only credible, but authentic. The even better news is that if you hang in there for just a little bit, much of this behavior is tempered by the character’s development and experiences. And in retrospect, it only adds to the richness of the story and genuine identification with the MC.

Still, I struggled with wanting to give this book a 5 star rating (I am admittedly stingy with those)... All of the necessary elements were there, and as stated above, even the part that was a bit frustrating as it was happening ended up being another reason to respect Manning’s talent and craft as a storyteller.

I guess in the end, as much as I enjoyed this book, it didn’t quite leave me with that undefinable feeling that you get when you finish a book and know that you have just experienced something truly amazing.

All that said, this is a no-brainer for fantasy fans in general, but especially for those who are into the epic, sword and sorcery sub-genre. You should probably spend the credit. It’s more than worth it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Luke Steepy
  • 2020-07-06

Where’s the second book

Great book highly recommend. Audible doesn’t seem to have number two though, which is disappointing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gary Boyce
  • 2020-06-26

SO GOOD!

This was a very enjoyable book. Perfectly written and performed! Audible, I need the other two books!

3 people found this helpful

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  • jackie
  • 2020-06-25

It's good.

There are a few, "why" moments but not enough to turn you off the tale. Finished in two sessions. Can't wait to see what happens next.

2 people found this helpful

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  • stone
  • 2020-06-25

Awesome!

I could not stop listening. I enjoyed as much as I enjoyed the Dawn of Wonder. Awesome book amazing Narrating. I laughed alot!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-06-23

Way better than I thought it would be!

I was mildly interested in reading this based on the description but the fact Tim Gerard Reynolds was the narrator put it over the edge for me in buying it. This was well above what I was expecting and now I'm kicking myself for not waiting until the others came out on here. I have yet another series to play the waiting game for with just the first taste on my mind.

2 people found this helpful