Title: The Tethered Mage
Author: Melissa Caruso
Series: Swords and Fire #1
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication Date: October 24th, 2017
Edition: Kindle Edition, 480 pages
CONTROL THE MAGIC, CONTROL THE WORLD
In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled -- taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army. Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.
Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.
But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.
This book is so good. I feel that I should mention that this book, while fast-paced it's not what most would call "action-packed". Most of the book is a lot of political intrigue, and less battle/fighting. I find political intrigue very interesting and exciting but I am aware that there are people who don't. Which is fine, but if you are one of those people then this book might not be for you, but I do hope you still give it a chance.
Now the characters. Amalia is a really interesting character. She's pretty different from other characters from books I've read who are in a similar position as she is. For one, her parent is 110% invested in her life, verging on controlling, but since she's the heir her mother stands back enough to make sure her daughter can lead but is still in her life enough to make her make tough decisions. She's not a fighter, she's not very good at the deceptiveness that comes with her position. She's a scholar, she likes reading and studying magic she can't wield.
Zaira is really sassy. and very blunt. She never hides her opinion on anything. But considering the how she's had to survive, it's understandable why she is the way she is. Though there is a lot about her that is kind of a mystery in a way. Since the book is told from Amalia's POV, we don't ever get to see what's going on inside Zaira's mind, or how her thought process works. She's not educated, but she's also not dumb.
There is a slight romance in this book, but it doesn't really take up any page time. It's mostly vague flirtation and attraction. But not really much beyond that. It stays very much in the background of the book.
I am very much looking forward to the sequel.