Magium: The Mage Tournament by Chris Michael Wilson
Genre – Epic Fantasy
About the Book: Magium is a Book About Mages – And That’s It
“However, in order to become a mage, he must first win a deadly free-for-all tournament against the most powerful mages in the world.
The fantasy world that the story takes place in is inspired by Dungeons and Dragons and by classic RPG games such as Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age and Skyrim.
The story of Magium starts at the beginning of the tournament, right after Barry and all the other participants are magically teleported to the continent where the contest is taking place.
The tournament takes place on a continent hidden from the rest of the world, where there are mythical creatures like dragons and hydras, but also remnants of an old and technologically advanced civilization, whose magically powered devices are still being used in the present day.
Due to his lack of magical abilities, Barry will be forced to use one such device, called a stat booster, which absorbs the magical energy around it and converts it into stat points. By leveling up stats such as Speed, Reflexes and Premonition, Barry will gain supernatural abilities that will help him survive against all the experienced mages that are also participating in the tournament.
As the series progresses, Barry will meet with other participants, he will make friends and enemies, and he will gradually find out more about the continent he is on, and its inhabitants. He will find out that a person called “The Creator” had established several utopias in this place, six hundred years ago, where animals and humans lived in harmony, and food was created through magic. What Barry will get to see through his travels, however, is the downfall of these utopias, some of them being on the brink of destruction. As he begins to get involved with the people of this land, Barry will need to decide if he can simply ignore what is happening before his eyes, or if he will intervene, at the risk of being banned from the tournament, and forfeiting his dream.” – Publisher’s Blurb
The Review: Magium – Rough Around the Edges
We love reading an author’s first book, there are few experiences like it. Undoubtedly, there will be errors and contrivances as the author learns their trade. Unfortunately, along with being full of those, it doesn’t quite feel like it was a fully realized idea. Part LitRPG, part dungeons and dragons fantasy, it never finds its footing or gains the strength to become more than a middling read. Written in present tense, we follow Barry as he competes in the tournament against these experiences mages for the chance to become a mage. Right there is the depth of the story, and as much as we looked, there is nothing beyond it. This leaves us with a bland every-man with a magical device that lets him compete toe to toe with this superior combatants.
We don’t normally question the consistency of the story, but the premise of this seems a bit bizarre. Ignoring the events of the story, as to not spoil them, on the surface it is difficult to understand why mages, who are already mages, would compete in a tournament to become a mage, which they already are, and risk their lives in doing so? This was the question we were hit with from the blurb. It just didn’t sit quite right with us, and while some reasoning is presented in the story to handle this seeming incongruence, it too feels contrived.
One More Thing – We Wish Magium Got Better
We tried to search this tome for some silver lining, and it was tough. We liked Daren, a little, but even some of his better dialogue was not enough to salvage this adventure from mediocrity. To finish our review, let us take one final look at Barry, Daren, and even Kate. Look at these names, possessing all of the banality of a late nineties sit-com. They are at the heart of the book, those names, these characters even, could be transplanted anywhere to act as boring background noise. They add nothing to the story or the world of which they’re a part. And, unfortunately, their story is just as bland as their names.
The Rating: Solid C
We tore Magium apart, and while we’re not sorry, we want to emphasize the main point of our review. Magium is not a bad book. It was contrived from loved and better adventures, perhaps as some kind of tribute, and we can applaud that. That being said, even understanding the intent, we can find little in Magium’s pages that can lift it any higher than the throng of fresh, underdeveloped genre novels in which it is steeped.
These words exemplify our experience. Mediocre. Middling. Uninspired. While it is by no means the worst book we have read, it did nothing to stand out either. The entirety of it forgettable, and that is not something we like in our books.
Do you want to read Magium: The Mage Tournament? You can find it here.