The Unsuspecting Mage (Morcyth Saga Series #1)

( 2588 )

Overview

Little did James realize when he answered the ad in the paper that he would be thrust into the middle of an adventure that will test the limits of his intelligence and courage. Not given any sort of explanation why he has been brought to this world, James, a high school senior, must discover the reason.
He quickly realizes that he's able to use the knowledge he gained through the hundreds of books he's read, as well as the time spent in role ...
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The Unsuspecting Mage (Morcyth Saga Series #1)

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Overview

Little did James realize when he answered the ad in the paper that he would be thrust into the middle of an adventure that will test the limits of his intelligence and courage. Not given any sort of explanation why he has been brought to this world, James, a high school senior, must discover the reason.
He quickly realizes that he's able to use the knowledge he gained through the hundreds of books he's read, as well as the time spent in role playing games to help him along.
The world he's been brought to is one on the edge of war and only by learning to control the magic within himself will he be able to survive the trials ahead. With the help of a boy named Miko, he sets out across this strange world to discover why he's there and what he must do.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780984312726
  • Publisher: Briansprattbooks
  • Publication date: 12/1/2005
  • Series: Morcyth Saga Series , #1
  • Pages: 316
  • Sales rank: 690,128
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"What are they going to do with us?" asks James nervously.

"They'll probably torture and kill me. You, they may kill or they may take you south and sell you to the slavers. Sorry kid," replies Ceryn.

An outlaw a little larger than the rest, with a tattoo of a snake on his left arm, comes over and kicks Ceryn in the side and yells, "I told you to be quiet! Another word and I'll cut your tongue out." To emphasize his point he kicks Ceryn hard in the side two more times before walking off.

Two of the outlaws continue to stand guard over James and Ceryn with their swords drawn and ready. James scoots a little closer to Ceryn and in a barely audible whisper asks "Are you okay?"

A sleight nod of Ceryn's head gives the affirmative.

"I'm going to try to loosen our bonds," he says.

Another nod, Ceryn understands.

Trying to concentrate James says:

Ropes that bind me and you

Come apart in pieces two.

James can feel a slackening in the ropes' tension as they break. Ceryn turns his head towards James, and gives him a surprised look when he feels his bonds snap in two.

Whispering so only Ceryn will hear him, he says, "Now for the outlaws, be ready." Another nod from Ceryn, he understands.

Looking around he searches for something that he can use to hurt, maybe even kill the outlaws. His gaze comes to rest on the fire and an idea takes shape. Speaking softly, he begins to cast his spell.

Fire that's hot

"Hey the boss said no talking," one of the guards says to James.

Ignoring him, James continues,

Fire that's bright,

"I said to shut up or I'll come over there and shut you up," exclaims the guard one more time.

Send balls of flame

Walking over to James the outlaw says, "Ok, you asked for it" Reaching his side, the guard gets set to kick him hard in the head.

Before the guard can complete the maneuver, James looks him in the eye and shouts the rest of the spell:

To burn outlaws this night!

At the final utterance of the spell, balls of flame explode out from the fire. Sailing through the air, they begin striking each of the outlaws, igniting their clothes. The spell uses far too much of his unreplenished reserves, and causes him to pass out.

Ceryn sees James slump into unconsciousness but can't take the time to see if he's okay. When the balls of flame erupt out of the fire, he immediately rolls and trips one of the guards. Knocking him to the ground, he quickly jumps on top of him while fire begins consuming the guard's clothes. Wresting the sword out of his hands, Ceryn upends it and plunges it through the man's chest, pinning him to the ground.

Getting to his feet quickly, he places a foot upon the dead outlaw's chest and pulls the sword free. A nearby guard cries out as his hair ignites and goes up in flame. Moving towards him, Ceryn strikes out with his sword and the outlaw's head goes flying. The head hits the ground and rolls like a flaming ball until it comes to a sizzling stop.

Screams fill the night, both of terror and anger. Another of the outlaws is lying motionless on the ground as he burns. Still another is running through the forest, a pillar of flame in the darkness, the man's screams echoing through the night. Looking around, Ceryn sees no sign of the leader and the remaining two.

Returning to where James lies on the ground, he finds him still breathing but is unable to wake him. Using one hand, he takes James by the shirt and begins dragging him towards the cabin. He doesn't get very far before he sees the man with the tattoo and the two remaining outlaws coming at him from the direction of the river, dripping with water.

"Ceryn," he shouts, "I'm going to gut you and let the animals eat your entrails while you're still alive to enjoy it. And then I'll cut the heart out of that demon damned mage." Covered in burns, clothing all charred, they make a frightening sight. He comes straight for Ceryn while the other two move to flank him.

Knowing they'll follow him and ignore James as long as he's unconscious, he leaves him lying on the ground and approaches the outlaws with sword at the ready. Three to one would be bad odds in a normal situation but the outlaws, having just suffered bad burns, will be slowed by the pain.

Ceryn feints at the one on the right; out of the corner of his eye he sees the one on the left coming in to his exposed flank. When the one on the left slices towards Ceryn's head, Ceryn drops to the ground and rolls towards him, striking a serious blow on his thigh, opening an artery. The outlaw drops to the ground with a groan of pain as blood flows out of the wound. With him out of the battle, Ceryn then turns his attention to the other two.

Fanning out, the leader and the last outlaw come at him. The leader comes in with a swift thrust aimed at Ceryn's chest which he blocks and then follows with a slice at the leader's leg. Jumping back, the leader attempts to avoid the blow but fails as the tip of Ceryn's sword opens up a shallow cut on his upper thigh.

Seeing Ceryn's side exposed, the remaining henchman leaps in and thrusts. Ceryn twists just in time and manages to only get a small cut along his shoulder. Ignoring the pain throbbing there, he feints at the leader and then comes back with a backhanded slice that causes the henchman to stumble backwards and trip over the other outlaw who bled to death on the ground.

Seeing his chance, Ceryn presses the leader, who is becoming weakened from the loss of blood and the trauma of all the burns. Slash, block. Block, slash. He needs to finish the leader before the remaining henchman regains his feet and rejoins the battle.

Ceryn slices at the leader's head, at the arm, at the head, back and forth. The leader is successfully blocking each of Ceryn's maneuvers. "Ceryn, you cannot win. I am the better swordsman!" exclaims the leader. Undaunted by the taunts, Ceryn doubles his efforts.

Regaining his feet, the henchman moves to rejoin the battle. Ceryn sees him approaching and with a burst of speed and skill, continues his attacks upon the leader. The leader, with the continuing loss of blood from the wound in his thigh, is weakened and is beginning to show signs of slowing.

The henchman finally rejoins the battle and presses Ceryn hard, giving the leader time to drop out of the battle for a moment to catch his breath. Hack, hack, slash, showing no sign of skill, simply trying to bull through Ceryn's defense, the henchman hammers at him. Using skill acquired through many conflicts, Ceryn successfully blocks each of the attacks, and begins to understand the rhythm of the attacks. Hack, hack, slash. Hack, hack, slash. Timing it just right, he blocks the two hacks and when the henchman comes in with his slash, Ceryn drops under the incoming blade and thrusts with his own sword, taking the outlaw through the chest. Ceryn kicks out with his foot to dislodge the outlaw from his blade and turns to see the leader coming after him, a wild look in his eye.

With a primal scream the leader rushes at him, holding his sword in both hands. Bringing down the sword with all his strength he attempts to hew Ceryn in half. Striking the leader's sword, he deflects it away from him and throws the leader off balance. Ceryn then kicks out with his foot and connects with the leader's knee, snapping it. The leader drops to the ground with a cry of pain. Striking out with his sword, Ceryn slices through his back and severs the spine. Lying on the ground paralyzed, the leader stares with hate filled eyes at Ceryn as the blood flowing out of him first brings unconsciousness, then death.

Panting, tired, Ceryn surveys the battlefield and sees no one else alive. He tosses the sword down and walks over to James. Using the last of his strength, he drags James into the cabin and lays him down upon the bed. Collapsing next to James, he passes out.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2588 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(960)

4 Star

(616)

3 Star

(472)

2 Star

(232)

1 Star

(308)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2605 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2010

    Written D&D game

    This book read, almost exactly, like my younger brother's D&D games. Poor charcter development when there was character development. Sentence structure make some passages hard to comprehend. It is very well written if the author is a high-school student. The plot had potential but went nowhere.

    47 out of 78 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Couldn't stop reading.

    I'm very much a gaming geek and I think it would be wonderful to be able to live the lives of some of my RP characters. Brian S Pratt has given me an escape from day to day life that doesn't involve dragging out the dice or logging in to a forum. I absolutely loved this book. I was engaged from the very beginning, feeling somewhat in tune with the main character.

    Having read a few of the reviews on this book, I was hesitant to pick it up. I downloaded to my nook for free and gave it a shot. I had some complaints about writing style, grammar, character development. I stuck it out, though. Got used to the here and there odd scene and misspellings and now can't wait to see what James gets in to next.

    It really IS a good story. I think that, if you can read a book without cringing at every mistake, you could really enjoy this story.

    Though he has a quirky writing style, (third person, present tense) if you've gamed at all, you can get used to it very quickly!

    I would suggest this book to ANYONE who enjoys gaming or fantasy novels.

    46 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    Amateur story, below average craftmanship. Only worth the price because it's free.

    I find it difficult to understand how this book could have gotten so many positive reviews. The premise is good, I'll give it that much, but the story itself is only passable, and the character developement is impossibly weak and difficult to believe. If it were a 15-year-old author submitting the book as a writing assignement, I'd say he had potential; but professional, commercial level writing, this is not. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say the author was encouraged by too many people that told him his writing was great, without giving him any real and honest criticism.

    First off, it's written in a very quirky present-tense form, which constantly pulled my attention away from the story and pointed it at the writing style. Second, it was way too expository ... the author was continually explaining how the characters felt, and why they felt that way instead of simply telling the story and letting the reader figure such details out themselves. In the same vein, many of the story elements were simply unecessary, as if it were a grade-school lesson, not a novel.

    The main character is horribly one-dimensional; thrust into a world of magic, after going to lengths to show us how he is too shy to even ask a girl for a date, he competently and calmly starts using his new magic, and acting the hero in every situation. Realistically, a person of the temperment and personality type originally protrayed would have curled up in a ball and gone catatonic. At the very least, he should have gone through some agonizing forced growth. But no, all the agonizing is on the readers side as he glibly begins slaying evil-doers without missing a step. He runs off on a quest that is unclear and unguided, and he has no compelling reason to do so beyond a gut feeling he ought to. He is competent and confident, and has no basis to be that way whatsoever. Om top of it all, he is condescending to his companions, as if they were the strangers, and he the experienced native.

    I'm sure the story worked well as a D&D campaign. As a novel, I think it fails utterly. I also think it is a shame the work was ever published in this state ... with some proper coaching, it's possible the author could have greatly improved his craft and actually produced something worth reading. But this book is not that, and the fact is has been published will only encourage him to produce more tripe in the same vein.

    34 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2009

    What a great story.

    I wish every free ebook would be this entertaining. Lots of action, magic and thrilling chase scenes. The hero is a young man from our world, one who is ready to graduate and is being pressured to find a job. When he answeres an ad in the paper, the adventure gets started.

    That's what I liked about this book the most. The action starts from the beginning and continues throughout. First there's a pack of wolves hot on his tail, bandits, and demonic forces. Trying not to give too much away here.

    Okay, now the detractors. The writing needs some work, as does editing. Nothing major, though I did notice where improvements could be made. For the most part, the story flows well, but there are parts where it bogs down on inconsequential scenes, such as haggling, eating at an inn, that sort of thing. Thankfully, these are few and far between.

    If I had to say what my favorite part of this book was, it would have to be the way James never has a chance to rest. A day here, two at most there, and troubles start. Not much in the way of down time you might say. The story rushes James along, throwing enemies at him left and right. I really enjoyed the trek through secret passages culminating in a subteranean boat ride.

    Now, let's talk magic. James is, of course, from Earth. But in this mew world, magic works and he can manipulate it. He uses his past experiences in role playing, along with ideas gleaned from hundreds of books he's read (he's a bookworm), to better craft the spells he comes up with. He's a bit rough at first, but gets in the swing of things quicky.

    All in all, a very fun and adventurous book. A good one when there's snow on the ground and a roaring fire nearby.

    29 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic Series

    I really loved this book; so much so, that immediately after I finished reading it, I purchased and downloaded the additional six volumes in the series. Took me two weeks to read all seven. Wonderful series. There is a sequel, however there is currently only one book finished (out of the proposed five) and I feel I must hold off, if only because I do not do well with cliffhangers. :-) Overall an excellent series, considering I usually read vampire fiction, and not overall fantasy. However, now that I've finished with this series, I shall definitely look into other books of a similar nature. Mr. Pratt has a lifelong fan in me. ThamasD

    18 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2010

    Needs an editor!

    Cool story line, likeable characters, and thanks for making the names easy to understand and pronounce, but pleasepleaseplease hire an editor:

    *"... marketplace was jamb pact..." Uh, what?

    *Sentences change tense halfway through.

    James seems surprisingly mature for a highschool student. Believable, if we had some explanatory back story for him.

    With some spit and polish this could be an enjoyable read. Self-published doesn't have to mean poor writing. I'd like to read the rest of the series, but the poor editing has me wary about laying out money for the next volumes.

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2010

    How did this get published?

    Amateur writing, no clear conflict, no clear antagonist, graphic killings without a motive, just...bad. I could find no justifiable message in it. If I had paid for this book, I'd be beyond annoyed. It reads like an adolescent writing about a fantasy. The main character is clearly a Mary Sue. I'll give this book one star since it won't permit me to give it no stars.

    14 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2010

    Don't bother downloading this

    Forget free--you couldn't pay me to read this. It reads like it was written in a high school freshman-year "creative writing" class. I'm a bit on the geeky side myself, so it's not the subject matter that bugged me, it was the awful, awful, awful writing.

    13 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

    Liked the story, not the writing style

    I enjoyed the story, but it felt as if this book was a rough draft and still needed editing, polishing, etc. I have not decided whether or not to read the other books in the series because the writing style was lacking. If you enjoy a good story and don't mind a book that still needs editing then I recommend this to you.

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2010

    good book especially sence its free!

    I have read alot of free e-books. Most of them are .... well lets just say that its a darn good thing that they were free. In my humble opinion this one was great. I believe it was by smashwords. I have read several of theirs and they were all good. They have a great marketing ploy, give you the first one in the series free get you hooked and you buy the next ones. I will more then likely be buying the next one.

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    Unsuspectingly Interesting

    Simple story of a boy out of his element, literally. Cast into a world of magic and intrigue, he has to learn his purpose and place, and soon.

    I enjoyed the story, and the sudden cliffhanger at the end left me looking for the second. Unfortunately, all of the series except the second book is available in the ebook format. Hope to find the second one soon!

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I didn't even finish the first chapter

    I was looking forward to downloading this for my new nook. Sadly, it didn't live up to my expectations. The author's writing style is very choppy and juvenile, to the point of distraction. It's sad because I feel like the storyline has potential, but only in the hands of a more experienced writer, or a talented editor.

    If you're looking for magic try Mercedes Lackey's "Elemental Masters" series, or for a younger reader "The Gemma Doyle Trilogy" by Libba Brey. For complete fantasy go for anything by Tamora Pierce.

    12 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An enjoyable work of fantasy

    I didn't expect much out of this book considering it's price (free). That being said this book honestly surprised me by being one of the better fantasy works I have read recently. It takes the classic swords 'n spells fantasy quest concept and adds an interesting twist. I intend to purchase more of the series next time I am in need of reading material.

    11 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    Wonder why I kept reading...

    Sounded like it was going to be interesting. Had the potential to be. Started out interesting despite the funky way of writing. Then bam. There is NO point to this book! NONE! When will the main guy develop a little? Never. When will there be a plot? Never. I cannot believe there will be a series of this! I know it is fantasy, but come on, some of the things that happen in this book are TOO out there....set up with all the funds needed in a new world within the first 25 pages. PLEASE!

    10 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2010

    Just can't bear to read any more....

    I've only read the first 100 pages or so, but I simply cannot take any more. The style of writing is too basic: sometimes it feels like the author simply put down dialogues that could have been part of a film script, but that certainly should have been reworked for a novel. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of novels told in the present tense, although it can work well in some cases (Philippa Gregory, for example)... However, in this novel it simply served to irritate me further...

    9 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2010

    Great idea; needs editing

    The idea of the book is really good and the story hooked me from the beginning. However, I found the author's attempted use of present tense jarring, distracting, disorienting, and uncomfortable. Besides this, there are numerous momentary lapses into the usual past tense, which only intensifies the disorientation. I haven't finished the book yet; but I will probably not purchase any more in the series unless they are edited, refined, and rewritten in past tense. Still, I think this author has good potential and simply needs some good editing to come out with a work he can be proud of.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I loved it!

    Loved reading this book and now the series, I like the writing style and am now on book 4 or 5 but had to go to another website (kobo) to download the other books as they are not available from BN.

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    Difficult to Read

    I seriously wanted to like this book. The writing, however, is atrocious. Writing entirely in present tense is a challenging technique, and not one that this author has mastered (neither has his editor). The constant present tense, plus mistakes, have made this book extremely difficult to plow through. Add to that the moments of unnecessary detail, which add nothing to the story, and I feel as if I'm wading through someone's journal (not even a good one), but that can't be right because journals aren't written in present tense. The concept is good, there are good scenes, but it's very difficult to get past the writing. I would have purchased more of the books in this series if this one had been readable. Sorry.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    You get what you pay for!

    I picked up a nook while traveling and picked up a few of the free books for it, since it was fast. After being stuck for 15 hours in airports and flying with nothing but this to read, I hit the next airport bookstore for a hard copy of something. The story is slow, the descriptive language overwhelming. While the idea is interesting and shows promise, the actual content the book contains could have been conveyed in about half the number of pages. Overall, it's nothing that can't be fixed with a good editing.

    8 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2006

    Awful

    I'm sorry I ever bought this awful book. This book is so poorly written as to be unreadable. Avoid this book at all costs.

    8 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2605 Customer Reviews

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