Book Reviews

Series Ender: Swords and Fire Trilogy

Welcome to the first edition of Series Ender which is a post I’m going to write when I finish a series. This doesn’t happen so often since the timing of series are often so skewed, but I wanted to give these series a chance once all the books are out for you to go back.

So how this will work is I’ll listen ten reasons why you should read the series and link my reviews so you can check them out. Warning, as you continue reading reviews you may encounter spoilers in the Goodreads summaries or my mentions of certain characters! You’ve been warned!

This series consists of The Tethered Mage, The Defiant Heir, and The Unbound Empire.

Ten Reasons You Should Read This Series

book review The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso
  • I can’t get over how this series and The Tethered Mage came about! Caruso basically asked what would happen in a society of magic users. They wouldn’t just let magic run loose, they’d have a system for magic enforcement.
  • There’s phenomenal women in this book whether you have Amalia’s clever and emotionally distant mother, Amalia’s own introduction into politics, Zaira’s unabashed honesty, so many more.
  • The world has Witch Lords which was a pleasant surprise. I can’t really think of any other comparison except that they’re a lot like faeries to me. There’s this similar disregard, in some of them, for human squabbles, as well as a vanity and quirkiness – which seems sinister and creepy sometimes.
  • The line between agency and protection is one that is continually discussed and developed throughout the story. How do we know when we are protecting someone? When is this too much or infringing on their ability to make choices?
  • There is so much political manipulations within this book. It’s actually quite delightful, not only because we see Amalia grow into her own power, but it provides such a unique background to the story.
  • In this vein, Amalia is often forced to ask herself duty versus desire. Ambition versus love. Is it more important to sacrifice the ones we love for the future of our country? For ourselves? What does being a good ruler entail?
  • Amalia and Zaira’s friendship is one of the most satisfying I’ve read about. Even though there’s a power imbalance between them due to Amalia’s role in Zaira’s life as well as Zaira’s power, they manage to provide support, understanding, and love for each other.
  • I really love the side character, some of my favorite are Terika and Kathe. I mean it’s hard to pick my favorite, but I love how unique they are. There’s a fine balance between how much we know about these characters and how much more we would love to know!
  • The covers look phenomenal together! Talk about a good plan for these beauties, I absolutely love the bird on the front cover and in my mind I hope it’s a crow for reasons you will find out if you read the books!
  • Some extra themes that are developed are: can people truly change, where is the line between human and monsters, do we become the person we are because of how we are treated or what we do with the treatment we receive?

If these reasons seem like something you’d be interested in, then make sure you check out this series! Start with The Tethered Mage: Amazon(US), your local indie, The Book Depository, and Goodreads.


What is your favorite underrated series?

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