The Circle of Sorcerers, Book One in the Mages of Bloodmyr series, is a straightforward coming of age tale of a young man who must learn the extent of his magical powers while fighting against evil forces. It’s simplicity of plot is a blessing for readers that want to enjoy a more traditional style of fantasy storytelling. Kittrell doesn’t bog the tale down with red herrings, unnecessarily complicated schemes, and convoluted subplot seeds that don’t get resolved for six or seven books (and by then, do you even remember what the point of the subplot was?). It’s a pleasure to be able to enjoy a fantasy novel and not need to maintain a score card to keep track of things for a change.
The primary issue for me with the novel, however, is disjointed dialogue. There are too many inelegant lapses in the dialogue that make conversations feel like data dumps instead of organic character development. For example, Marac says, “I’m Marac Reven, heir to the fortunes of my father Bordric and his holdings. Ours was the first family to settle this land, and I can’t let my family down.” This line may have worked if spoken to a stranger, but it is actually spoken early in the opening of the book to his best friend and the story’s main character, Laedron. And even then, it may have made sense if the conversation was about some weighty matter of honor, but it’s really just two teenage boys discussing why Marac refuses to marry Laedron’s sister.
If you aren’t a stickler for dialogue like I am, you probably will either gloss over this or not notice it. This is an otherwise solid addition to the fantasy genre. For me, it became difficult to get into some of the characters because the dialogue felt forced and unnatural. I still enjoyed the book and plan on adding other books in the series to my TBR list. But the dialogue did detract from my enjoyment of the story.