The Other Magic by Derrick Smythe

The Other Magic is Derrick Smythe’s first book — and what an incredible debut it is!

Thank you very much to BooksGoSocial who gave me a free review copy of The Other Magic through NetGalley.

The Other Magic is the first book in the Passage to Dawn series, and is an epic fantasy set in the world of Doréa. It follows the perspective of three (later four) characters — Kibure, Aynward, Grobennar and, later, Sindri. Kibure is a 12 year old slave who discovers he has magic. Aynward is the arrogant son of the King of Dowe, “the most prosperous, arguably most powerful, kingdom on the continent of Drogen.” Grobennar is the Fatu Mazi, head of the priesthood of Kleros.

It’s currently available on Kindle and paperback on Amazon. You can borrow The Other Magic for free as part of the Kindle Unlimited programme, or add it to your GoodReads shelf.

My review

I love reading epic fantasies and this was no exception. It’s an incredible debut novel. I loved all of the lore, history and general world building in this book.

All of the characters are very different, and this makes them all very intriguing in their own way. I enjoyed reading from all three characters’ perspectives. Aynward in particular was quite frustrating at times — his character is incredibly arrogant and I often didn’t really understand why, but this worked really well. It’s exactly how others in the novel also feel about him! I liked that he starts to grow and change throughout the book, too. I also really liked Sindri’s character and finding out more about her past and her motivations.

This is quite a long book at over 600 pages. But it’s definitely not a slow burn — this book is full of action and adventure! There is a lot happening throughout the book, in all three stories, that kept me interested throughout. My favourite part was when all three characters are in the same city and you ‘see’ encounters through their different points of view.

The Other Magic is a great book and I recommend it to fans of authors like Robin Hobb and Brandon Sanderson. There is so much here that I think I will need to re-read it, just to absorb it properly! I can’t wait to read the next one in the series and learn more about this vast, immersive world!

The blurb for The Other Magic

Darkness stirs in a world that is ill-equipped to confront it.

A prophesied king is born, but not all will benefit from his foretold conquests. In a realm where only clerics are permitted to practice magic, Kibure, a mere slave, draws the attention of much more than just his master after wielding an unknown force in a moment of desperation. In a twist of fate, Sindri, the priestess hired to strip Kibure of his power, defies the law, revealing designs of her own. But trust is in short supply in a land ripe with deceit. This wayward pair will have to work together if they hope to evade capture at the hands of the Empire’s most potent wielders.

Halfway around the known world, Aynward’s knack for discovering trouble drives him deep into conspiracies within which he does not belong. Too arrogant to accept counsel, he will have to learn the hard way that some actions have consequences that cannot be undone…

This epic fantasy series will be especially enjoyed by fans of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Michael J. Sullivan, Patrick Rothfuss, and Michael Wisehart.

Derrick SmytheAbout the author

Derrick Smythe has been fascinated with all things elvish, dwarfish, and magical since his days of running through the woods with sharpened sticks in defense of whatever fortification he and his brothers had built that summer. After consuming nearly every fantasy book he could find, he was driven to begin work on one of his own. When he isn’t dreaming up new stories, he can be spotted hiking the Adirondack Mountains or traveling the world. He currently resides near his hometown in Upstate New York with his enchanting wife, ethereal daughters, and his faithful-if-neurotic Australian Shepherd, Magnus.

Derrick’s debut novel, The Other Magic, is the first installment of his Passage to Dawn series, an epic fantasy set in the world of Doréa.

You can find Derrick on Facebook, or visit his website to find out more — his website has a free, 15 chapter excerpt available and maps to download!

The Other Magic is currently available on Kindle and paperback on Amazon. You can borrow The Other Magic for free as part of the Kindle Unlimited programme, or add it to your GoodReads shelf.