A trespass against divine mandate since the beginning of time, the lure of a tempestuous power, and a fantastical world filled with men and mythical creatures. This is the backdrop of Mathew Bridle’s YA Fantasy, Young Warlock.
The young Dekor is a talented mage, taken under the wing of the great Magnus–however that doesn’t stop him from the seduction of fire magic, and we see his downward spiral. This is especially dangerous amidst the war-torn lands of Alzear, where dark forces conspire to meddle in the affairs of men.
What I enjoyed about Young Warlock was the fact that the main character, Dekor, wasn’t a neatly-wrapped, predictable mage. He made mistakes (a couple of huge ones), and he stumbled and fell. Not your “typical hero,” right? His struggle felt real, because the seduction of darkness is real. You either face it and defeat it, or fall into it, and the portrayal of what can drive someone with good intentions toward darkness was done well by the author.
The friendships between several of the characters were endearing, and certain exchanges were downright funny 🙂 I was intrigued by the different religions that emerged in this world, some people extolling The One, while others worshiping the Divines. In addition, the land is populated by elves, dragons, the undead, and goblins. You can tell that Mr. Bridle has meticulously planned out and built a world with a rich history, beautiful scenery, and the hustle and bustle of different peoples and cultures filling day-to-day life. This is definitely something for epic or high fantasy readers to check out!
With that said, I did find difficulty latching on to certain characters or events because it is all so epic and huge, and the p.o.v.’s shift between chapters. You’re not with Dekor the entire time, and you’re not with the heroes of the story the entire time (sometimes you get a peek into what the villains are doing). This is fine, but I felt a little lost at times because the number of cast members and intricacies kept growing (but thankfully, there’s a glossary at the back).
I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone, but it definitely leaves things open for a sequel, and Dekor has some major work to do. Will he be able to redeem himself? I also want to find out what happens with Dorn (the mother of his child).