Monday, 26 March 2012

Review: Masters of the Veil by Daniel Cohen

Masters of the Veil (Masters of the Veil #1) by Daniel Cohen
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Released: March 1st 2012
My Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. Every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer. Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot. As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic - the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery - people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown, but all humankind. (from Goodreads)

Masters of the Veil was a great start to a new series. I loved the magical world the author had created, and was fascinated by the different branches of magic and how each person was suited to a different type. Definitely a page-turning read – I’m already excited for the sequel!

Sam Locke, our main character, was a pretty likeable guy. He was a bit arrogant and self-involved, and obsessed with football, but he was also absolutely hilarious and I loved reading about him (his conversations with Daphne were particularly amusing, especially when he crashed and burned trying to get her to like him). I sort of felt bad for him too, because before he found out about all the magic stuff, he was under huge amounts of pressure to perform well in this football game, which basically was going to decide his future. Anyone can understand how stressful moments like that can be – if you mess up one thing, that’s it, your future is over. Competitive sports, music, academia - the system is so unfair! One mistake can ruin everything - and Sam had to go through the horrible pain of making that mistake. Of course, it was all due to magic. And Sam soon realised that maybe he was destined for greater things than football. Whisked away to Atlas Crown, a place whether other magic (or Veil) uses like him resided, Sam learnt that he was one of the few people in the world with the power to use the Veil. It was definitely a lot to take in, and he didn’t really believe it at first (I don’t think I would have either). But eventually, he got used to the idea. Things were hard for him though, being a beginner and struggling to grasp just the basics. I could understand why he was frustrated, but I also do think he was a bit naive at some points in the book, believing things that were clearly a bit dodgy.

Glissandro was another character I really liked. He was Sam’s first friend at Atlast Crown and I think he was definitely a good friend to Sam. He was mute, and communicated through magic by playing a horn. He seemed quite shy, but got along with Sam quite well, and the two had a great camaraderie. Glissandro was a mystical magic user and I think there was definitely a lot more to him than you’d first expect. Looking forward to seeing more of him in the sequel!

My favourite part of the book was probably learning about the different types of magic, and meeting the different magic users. There were three main types: natural, mystical and power. Mystical magic definitely intrigued me most – not a lot was known about it, and the ones who were gifted in it often spent time studying it and it was all very...well, mystical :P. Natural magic seemed the most common, and power magic was sort of regarded as the worst kind, because most power magic users turned to the dark side. People took advantage of magic by using the Veil – the sort of personification of magic that existed as being. My favourite Veil user was probably Bariv. He was this mysterious guy, with the outward appearance of a young boy, but in actuality he was hundreds of years old. He was Sam’s mentor for a while, when he first arrived, and definitely got me curious. I liked reading about him and want to find out more, hopefully in the sequel! I also really liked May, the one who first found Sam, as well; she seemed so lovely and chatty and always willing to help anyone in trouble. Rona was definitely cool too – and old tribe king, he knew a lot about magic and what it could do, and his backstory was an interesting one. Thought there was a little info-dumping at parts, the story was interesting enough that I could overlook it.

Masters of the Veil had a great plot, and while there was a lot going on, it didn’t get too confusing or difficult to understand. Some things I guessed (there were chapters told from another point of view that sort of gave hints as to what was going to happen), but I still really enjoyed the story. I felt that things were resolved a little too quickly and easily at the end, but it did set up the next book nice and I’m definitely intrigued about what will happen next. And as I’ve said before, this was a very, very funny book. I was reading it in the library, and it was hard to stay silent and stop myself from laughing.

Overall, Masters of the Veil was an excellent intro to the Masters of the Veil trilogy, and I enjoyed it a lot. I recommend it to fans of books about sorcerers and magic with fun characters.

3 comments:

  1. Hmmm, I'm definitely intrigued. I wasn't too sure about this one, mainly because I'm a dreadful cover whore and this one doesn't do anything for me. But if you say that the magic is intriguing and the characters are fun, I don't see why I should resist, right?

    Asher

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  2. Sounds like a great dip into the fantasy world. I am interested in seeing Sam's convos and him trying to win over the girl. It is always great when the couple doesn't like each other and there is a lot of witty dialogue. Also the different magic users sounds very interesting.

    I haven't heard a lot about this but this actually seems like something I would like. Heck Johnny might even like this one.

    Thanks for the great review.

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  3. I am so intrigued by all the different types of magic! Magic in general fascinates me, so I love learning this kind of stuff in books. Plus the characters sound very likable and I like that while there's a lot happening, it's not overwhelming. Humour mixed with fantasy and magic? Brodie like! Awesome review!

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