Now sixteen-year-old Ryiah is an apprentice in Combat, her school’s most notorious faction of magic. When she finishes she will be a mage, but in order to do so she has to survive four years with a training master she hates and her old nemesis, Priscilla. To make matters worse the unwanted attraction Ry feels for her sometimes-friend-sometimes-rival Prince Darren is at an all time high –even though he is betrothed to the very girl she can’t stand.
Really, the only bright spot to Ryiah’s new life is the time she spends with her friends, including an older apprentice named Ian, who she finds herself thinking about quite often.
Just when things start to get comfortable they take a turn for the worse. An apprentice is killed in a rebel attack and several mages end up dead. Unwittingly, the apprentices find themselves in the midst of a budding unrest between Jerar and its northern neighbor, Caltoth. For Ryiah the impending conflict means many things, but as her apprenticeship draws to a close she finds her biggest problem at home.
Unfortunately for her, Darren’s not going anywhere.
Apprentice (The Black Mage #2) by Rachel E. CarterPublished February 17th 2015 by Astraea Press
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed on April 24, 2015
This review can also be founds on Goodreads.
It’s true that when you come out of a storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.
Ryiah and Darren aren’t the same people.
They’re so much more.
Only the bravest can love— and these two have the courage to love when all odds are against them.
Their love is lightning.
A second later there was a bright flash of yellow and a stark white display as lightning crashed in the air above. Only this time it hadn’t come from me.”
“Well done, Darren! What did you use to cast it?”
Darren’s eyes found mine. “Something I don’t regret.”
With his unexpected words, he struck me with lightning. I am 100% sure of it. I am electrified with feels, with love, with hope.
I love lightning. I love rain. I love storms. I love the chaos of their story.
PART 2. “When There is a Struggle. . . Trust No One.” – A Hopeless Study by Cee
There are things I like and there are things I don’t like. Then there is “the middle man.”
The Middle Man is the love triangle. I detest love triangles. This book’s love triangle highlights Ry’s theatrics and the reason why I dread a love-shape-anything. However, particularly for Apprentice, the element ended up in the struggle between like and dislike. The drama of the romance did pinch my nerves once in a while and eventually I got tired of the love/hate/push/pull between the three characters, but overall, their romance was a good and sensible touch to the story. It was necessary to show the suffering of the characters, the breaking of friendships, the loss of hopes and dreams, moving on from the past, holding onto a possible future, the good, the bad, how one can go through so much and still be ruled by love at the end of the day. Do you understand what I’m saying? The love triangle actually means something in the book. It has a purpose. It is not solely there to make the heroine loveable and attractive like so many YA books these days. Rachel has truly earned my trust and respect. Not only for how she handles the romance, but for Ry— a strong and ambitious heroine who isn’t always in control of her emotions but sure as hell know what they’re worth— and Darren— a hero who sees worth other than his own.
I like that this book is fast-paced, BUT it is too fast. Four years(?) are jam-packed into 300 pages?! Don’t get me wrong. The book is still awesome. It is action-packed with mock battles and fights with enemies and yet it’s not enough to satisfy and intrigued me. I’m constantly confused about the amount of passing time and the characters’ ages. A timeline of some sort at the beginning of every chapter or something would’ve been useful. Believe me, it felt like I read three books in one.
Non-spoil-ish: The ending— it’s possible I’m still in shock. First of all, the character death killed me. I REALLY LIKED THIS PERSON! Secondly, that thing and that thing and the other thing. OMG. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. I’M STILL HAPPY ABOUT IT.
I was fighting between rating Apprentice 4 stars or 5 stars and decided on 4.5.
4.5 LIGHTNING STRIKES!
I even created a special "lightning rating system" specifically for this series. (I was too lazy to cut the last lightning in half. Sue me.)