Book Review – Spells of War, by Gary McGath
Spells of War is one of the best reading experiences I’ve had in a while. Gary McGath is, first of all, an excellent writer and storyteller. He is able to blend the factual background parts you need to understand the story into it without pulling you out of the story or doing an info dump. He also clearly respects the intelligence of his readers. Further, he takes the time to remind readers that the worldviews of the period he is writing about differed greatly from the ones we hold today.
Now that I’ve addressed the technical reasons I enjoyed the book (I was originally reading it as an editing assignment, but fell in love with it along the way), let me address the story itself. Given the beliefs of the time period, I had no problem with the basic premise: that both sides in a war would want to use mages and magic to gain an advantage. I was fascinated by how said mages were used, and what the true cost of such use turned out to be.
I had not read McGath’s The Magic Battery prior to reading this, but it is now in my reading queue because I enjoyed this book so much.
I highly recommend Spells of War if you enjoy reading fantasy, historical fantasy, military fantasy, military science fiction, or just enjoy reading well-written books of any genre.