A YOUNG MAN WITHOUT MAGIC
Watt-Evans has a fluid narrative voice; his prose is quite simply delightful to read. This novel ably ties a land of magic to a land of laws and contrasts how well and how poorly they work together. The protagonist is compelling and essentially good, yet he finds himself outside the law. The antagonist is delicious, and all of the supporting characters are good, but the sudden and anticlimactic ending will disappoint
and frustrate readers.
Anrel Murau has grown up on a rustic country estate with his kindly uncle, a loving cousin and his best friend, a fosterling of his uncle's estate. After the traumatic death of his parents during a sorcerous accident, Anrel's life has been idyllic.
Upon his return from school, however, his best friend's radical political beliefs conflict with the local landgrave. His friend's murder and Anrel's reaction to the crime make him an outlaw, and now Anrel must find his place in the world, as a young man without magic. (TOR, Nov., 352 pp., $27.99)