Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.
Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
I was beyond excited to receive this as an ARC because growing up, I absolutely adored Tamora Pierce’s books and the Immortals quartet was my introduction to Tortall. If you haven’t read any of her books before, you can still read this as it’s the backstory to one of the characters in the Wild Magic trilogy who isn’t from Tortall.
I both loved and was upset about the different setting – it was great seeing more of the world but I did miss Tortall and all the characters I loved. It was interesting getting to see Arram as a child and Ozorne and I loved a lot of the side characters. We also get to start learning a bit about the Immortals.
Unfortunately, not much really happens in this book. It’s literally just Arram going to school and his day to day life. Now, that can be interesting but at times it was just a bit too mundane. One aspect I did like was that it focused a lot on the fact he was a young teenage boy and all the issues that he faced as part of growing up – I think that will really help young boys that read the books, as it’s something I’ve not seen much in YA fiction.
I’ll definitely still read the next one because it seems like this book was mostly just laying the groundwork for the next book as there are a lot of things that need resolved. In the end, I came away rather disappointed by this as I was hoping for much more.
As much as I love Tamora Pierce, I would only recommend this to fans of the Immortal Quartet. If you’ve never read her books, I would highly recommend starting with any other series because this one is definitely not her best work.