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Sufficiently Advanced Magic - Andrew Rowe

Discussion in 'Books and Anime Discussion' started by CareOtters, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. CareOtters

    CareOtters Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

    Jun 8, 2010
    In the spirit of moving away from megathreads, here's what I've just been reading: the Arcane Ascension series by Andrew Rowe. The second book came out recently, and the first has been knocking around for a while longer.

    I downloaded it without paying through Kindle Unlimited, which is what prompted me to take the chance. Even then, it did take me a little while to get into it. It's clearly self-published, and, as such, despite being to a relatively high standard it does have a bit of shakiness when it comes to certain aspects of narrative balance, exposition, and pacing. It gets better as the book goes on. Immeasurably so, in fact, which makes me suspect that the author didn't really edit too heavily beyond correcting errors.

    The basic premise is still enjoyable, though: in this fantasy world there are a series of towers full of monsters and traps. People enter the tower as a rite of passage and emerge with magical marks which grant them abilities - abilities which differ from person to person according to which mark they're given - putting them in classes much like summoner, guardian, etc. There's a highly technical and in-depth look at the magic of the series for the most part. This is both good and bad. The main character has lots of moments of introspection trying to puzzle out how it works, which I found really interesting. His class is "Enchanter" which means we see a lot of him attempting to craft magical items. It's a bit of a change from the usual protagonists we see, so that's fun.

    It does sometimes feel more like engineering with magic as opposed to the whimsical wonder of series like Harry Potter. This might make it more to some tastes and less to others. Apparently the author's day job is in game design, and I can see the influence within the worldbuilding and story alike.

    As a fun aside, the main character is somewhat neurodivergent - possibly on the spectrum, definitely asexual. It's not made to be a big deal, but is an interesting bit of background flavour.

    I'm actually reading the second just now, and the second feels much more polished compared to how I remember the first. I don't know that I'd pay full shelf price for these books, but they were an enjoyable read. I'd recommend them to any fantasy fans with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.


    TL;DR - AU D&D meets magical item crafting​
  2. Glimmervoid

    Glimmervoid Groundskeeper

    Dec 21, 2011
    I read Sufficiently Advanced Magic a while ago and rather liked it.

    Here is a review I wrote at the time.

    And here is what the author responded.

    So yeah, cool book and nice author.