First Year

First Year
Rachel E. Carter
Published date
Wydawnictwo Uroboros

In her debut First Year Rachel E. Carter is taking us to Jerar, a fantasy land, where all young people are faced with a choice. Either pursue career in trade or try to get into most prestigious academy to become a soldier, knight or a mage. Our protagonist, Ryiah, is convinced she is good enough to become a mage, and not just an Alchemist or a Healer. She’s striving to be the most elite kind of them all - a Combat mage. But she soon finds out that her poor lineage is putting her in great disadvantage. After first year only five students are taken in for training for each fraction, but there is over a hundred volunteers. Does she has what it takes to become the best student in her year? Or is she just wasting a year of her life?

The book is very easy to read. The story is quite simple and typical for young adult genre and there’s not much surprises or twists. But it’s quite engaging. Even though I wasn’t mesmerized by story or characters I spent a very pleasant time reading it. There is no time for boredom here. The action is always dragging us along and we keep our fingers crossed for the underdog main character to finally succeed.

The characters are quite interesting, even though they are also very juvenile sometimes. But considering they are all just a kids around 15-17 years old I guess it’s appropriate. But sometimes it was a bit too much, I often rolled my eyes at Ryiah thoughts and commentary. There is a little bit of romance there, but it’s not instant love and it’s going in a slow pace, so it’s fine. Although there’s not much surprise there either, it was obvious from the first few pages of the book actually.

I think that this series will have much more to offer in the next books. Here we can see only just a small part of the complete new, fantastic world. There is not much said about its customs and history, so I expect that after the year in Academy we will see more of that place. And I expect the story will get more interesting too.

I feel this book is quite similar to The Magicians’ guild by Trudi Canavan (even the names of the series are almost the same The Black Magician Trylogy / The Black Mage). I think I liked it a little bit more then The First Year. But maybe it’s because I read it years ago, when I was younger. Nevertheless I think that fans of Trudi Canavan will also like this series, so if you are one of them don’t hesitate to read this series.