The Gossamer Mage
From an Aurora Award-winning author comes a new fantasy epic in which one mage must stand against a Deathless Goddess who controls all magic.Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic.Mage scribes learn to write Her words as intentions: spells to make beasts or plants, designed to any purpose. If an intention is flawed, what the mage creates is a gossamer: a magical creature as wild and free as it is costly for the mage.For Her Gift comes at a steep price. Each successful intention ages a mage until they dare no more. But her magic demands to be used; the Deathless Goddess will take her fee, and mages will die.To end this terrible toll, the greatest mage in Tananen vows to find and destroy Her. He has yet to learn She is all that protects Tananen from what waits outside. And all that keeps magic alive.

The Gossamer Mage Details

TitleThe Gossamer Mage
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 6th, 2019
PublisherDAW
Rating
GenreFantasy, Adult, Magic, Science Fiction Fantasy

The Gossamer Mage Review

  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a sad update for me to write. This was one of my more anticipated releases of the year, and I went into it with such high hopes, I honestly couldn't have fathomed hating it. The premise is incredible — especially considering I'm a massive sucker for any story in which Death is a character, rather than simply a state of being — but it was absolutely ruined for me by the stylistic choices in writing. On one hand, Czerneda's writing is so immensely detailed that I kept finding myself b This is such a sad update for me to write. This was one of my more anticipated releases of the year, and I went into it with such high hopes, I honestly couldn't have fathomed hating it. The premise is incredible — especially considering I'm a massive sucker for any story in which Death is a character, rather than simply a state of being — but it was absolutely ruined for me by the stylistic choices in writing. On one hand, Czerneda's writing is so immensely detailed that I kept finding myself bogged down by minutiae, which is a strange complaint to have considering my other biggest complaint: everything is so incredibly vague, I felt lost from the first page and it never improved. I typically would keep going to the end in a case like this, because usually, I think it's not the author's fault if I'm confused, but looking at other reviews is telling me that this is a massive issue for nearly every Goodreads user who's written a review for this book so far, regardless of whether or not they completed the book.Among these larger issues, a few other minor complaints I had: the names are nearly impossible to keep up with, the narrative frequently breaks into paragraphs full of sentence fragments for no reason, and despite there being so many different perspectives, each POV character's "voice" feels identical to the last.Again, this makes me so sad, because I had such high hopes, but I don't have anything positive to say about this book beyond its most base premises, and I won't be reaching for anything else by this author any time soon.Thank you so much to DAW Books for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Bob Milne
    January 1, 1970
    A little over six years ago, Julie E. Czerneda made the transition from science fiction to epic fantasy with A Turn of Light. It was a book that stood apart from the grimdark movement as something bright and vibrant. It was a happier sort of story, one with a deep mythology, an epic sort of pastoral world-building, and a traditional take on magic.The Gossamer Mage marks an entirely new foray into realms of fantasy, and while it still has a sense of magic and wonder, Tananen is definitely more gr A little over six years ago, Julie E. Czerneda made the transition from science fiction to epic fantasy with A Turn of Light. It was a book that stood apart from the grimdark movement as something bright and vibrant. It was a happier sort of story, one with a deep mythology, an epic sort of pastoral world-building, and a traditional take on magic.The Gossamer Mage marks an entirely new foray into realms of fantasy, and while it still has a sense of magic and wonder, Tananen is definitely more grimdark than Marrowdell. This is a story of loss, of sorrow, and of sacrifice . . . set in a world where magic demands a toll . . . with a Mage of the Deathless Goddess who seeks to break her hold and a Daughter who seeks to restore her voice.Czerneda has crafted a fascinating world with a simple, yet intriguing mythology that blends religious and secular authority through magic. It is magic with geographic limits and gender boundaries, which is curious in and of itself, but it is the gossamer of the title that is key to the entire book.This is a book that has the feel of something mythic or legendary. Not only is it heavier in tone than the stories of Marrowdell, but it is a heavier read as well, its language and style demanding both patience and attention from the reader. The Gossamer Mage is very much like Czerneda's science fiction, in that it's not a story to be breezed through or glossed over - not if you want to take anything significant away from it. Personally, I found it best digested one long chapter at a time, leaving me time to think about what happened, and to consider what it all means. It's worth the time, especially as you start making connections between themes and ideas in the final third, but you need to be patient before that appreciation sets in.Maleonarial (Mage) and Kaitealyon (Daughter) are the two primary characters here, with the story told largely from their points of view. I liked both immensely and thought their development from very different embodiment of the Deathless Goddess' influence on Tananen to human beings with personalities, motivations, emotions, and needs was exceptional. What started out as a story with a cold sort of mythological feel becomes warmer and deeper as the story moves forward, and their mutual respect lays the foundations for saving the land and altering the fabric of magic.While I didn't enjoy this as much as I did A Turn of Light or A Play of Shadow, I do think I appreciated it more, especially in considering the final pages and what they have to say about the themes of intent and sacrifice, and how they are so suggestive of conflicts and issues we face in the real world today. The very idea of a gossamer is wonderful, and the more you understand of what they are and why, the brighter hope shines through the darkness of the book.https://beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.com/...
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  • Koeur
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4.4/5Review: I was not real exited to visit Czerneda’s world again based on a previous work herethat left me less than thrilled. As a fellow biologist I began this novel firmly in her corner with pompoms.This was not only surprising but just plain amazing. The prose, while stilted, adds a characters’ off tilt perspective on events as they unfold. Really unique approach to character development. Each story line wends and interesting way across the pages, diverging, then coalescing once ag Rating: 4.4/5Review: I was not real exited to visit Czerneda’s world again based on a previous work herethat left me less than thrilled. As a fellow biologist I began this novel firmly in her corner with pompoms.This was not only surprising but just plain amazing. The prose, while stilted, adds a characters’ off tilt perspective on events as they unfold. Really unique approach to character development. Each story line wends and interesting way across the pages, diverging, then coalescing once again to a patterned whole. This sinuosity is built upon a solid foundation of world building so that you know exactly where you are in relation to each characters experience.The minor downs of this novel were the limited quests that would have expanded the entirety of the world (denizens, geography, history, culture etc.). The movement is more inverted with expressive inner ruminations and lengthy dialogue. Not a bad thing, just different.The mage craft is interesting and somewhat unique. Where the pen, ink, and words are used on paper in this novel, Victor Gischler utilized ink and words on skin in the “Fire Beneath the Skin“ series 5-years ago. Although different manifestations arise from each use of these disparate magics, the similarities are too coincidental to dismiss. But like they say, there is nothing new under the Sun.This is a long novel that seeks to entertain through a character(s) ups and downs. Get it.
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  • Beth Cato
    January 1, 1970
    Read. Provided a blurb. Absolutely adored this book.
  • Mackenzie (bookish_black_hole)
    January 1, 1970
    (rating: 3.5)When I saw the synopsis of this book I was IMMEDIATELY drawn in. I mean, magic through writing in a secret language? Magic that has a cost that is literally your life force? Rebelling against the system to kill a goddess?? I mean this is basically the best premise, what more could you ask for?After finishing the book, it’s funny that even though this book is exactly about what the premise promises, it’s still nothing like what I expected. I think I expected more of an action/adventu (rating: 3.5)When I saw the synopsis of this book I was IMMEDIATELY drawn in. I mean, magic through writing in a secret language? Magic that has a cost that is literally your life force? Rebelling against the system to kill a goddess?? I mean this is basically the best premise, what more could you ask for?After finishing the book, it’s funny that even though this book is exactly about what the premise promises, it’s still nothing like what I expected. I think I expected more of an action/adventure story, whereas this books is more of a character and world exploration, and is on a much smaller scale than I thought (though it still does deal with the fate of the world).One thing I loved from the very beginning was the concept of magic in this universe. The mages are called “mage scribes” and use a forbidden language to write out magic. Just as important as the language, even more important perhaps, is the intent of the mage when he performs this magic. If the intent is not pure, a “gossamer” is formed. Gossamers are magical beings that are not harmful to humans, but playful and sometimes tricky. They have a life of their own. It was very interesting to have a system built so heavily on the intent/will of the person performing the magic rather than having it be some system based on just learning spells or potions or etc. It brings in such a human element to the magic, and by that I mean it naturally brings in the possibility for warped magical creations, mistakes, and consequences. It makes the magic feel more real to me.The world and story Czerneda created are beautiful and mythical. This feeling of reading a myth of legend is helped by the interludes between sections of the book that seem to give a hint at the history of the land. I almost wish those hadn’t been so vague, because though they added to the atmosphere I felt they didn’t add much to the actual story.I very much enjoyed the cast of characters, because we got to see so many different paths of life within this world. My two favorites are Maleonariel and Kaitealyn. Maleonariel is a mage scribe who is turned young again and is intent on destroying the Deathless Goddess so all can live free without having to pay the terrible price for magic (their own lives). Kaitealyon (Kait) is in service to the goddess as a hold daughter, who can hear the voice of the goddess and help carry out her will. It was super interesting to see how they are both given “Her Gift” (magic in some form) but practice it and serve the goddess in two very different ways. Other characters include Kait’s son, a boy with a strong gift, another mage student, a lady in charge of a major holding in the realm trying to figure out what evil is happening, and many more.I think it’s important to note that I did actually have a very very hard time getting in to this book at the beginning. The writing style was not what I’m used to at all. There were a lot of sentence fragments that for me threw off the flow of the story. There is also this interesting contradiction in the style where there is a lot of detail in describing the minutiae of each scene but at the same time, the overall picture of the story is very vague. In addition, we are following a cast of characters, and though the stories of each of them come together in the end, in the beginning we are following them individually. This wouldn’t be a problem except for we only get a small glimpse of each point of view before it switches to the next person. These things all made it hard for me to figure out what what happening. However, as I kept reading things became more clear as the storylines merged and I got used to the writing style.I think this book will be pretty hit or miss, based on the issues with the beginning. Some, like me, will keep going and end up loving it, and others will not get on with the style in the beginning and not enjoy it. To each their own!Thank you SO MUCH to DAW Books for sending me an ARC to review! I am so grateful.
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  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Fantasy*Rating* 3.0*Thoughts*The Gossamer Mage, by author Julie E. Czerneda, is a story that takes place in a fantasy land called Tananen. The world’s only remaining magic is in Tananen, where only women can speak the Deathless Goddess language, and only men can write her spells – both at a terrible cost. But now something dangerous and dark has come into Tiler’s Hold, destroying magic creations, and silencing the Goddess. Meanwhile, there is a mage on a mission to dest *Source* Publisher*Genre* Fantasy*Rating* 3.0*Thoughts*The Gossamer Mage, by author Julie E. Czerneda, is a story that takes place in a fantasy land called Tananen. The world’s only remaining magic is in Tananen, where only women can speak the Deathless Goddess language, and only men can write her spells – both at a terrible cost. But now something dangerous and dark has come into Tiler’s Hold, destroying magic creations, and silencing the Goddess. Meanwhile, there is a mage on a mission to destroy said Goddess not knowing that with her death, an even larger threat may rise.*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Calvin Park
    January 1, 1970
    Standalone fantasy is a bit of a rarity. So often, whether because of Tolkien or other influences, we end up with trilogies or epic sagas spanning four or more books. I’m a huge fan of big epic series, but it’s also nice to enjoy a self-contained story from time to time. The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda scratches that itch perfectly. With world building that includes unique and engaging elements as well as an incredibly fascinating magic system, Czerneda’s novel is sure to please fantasy f Standalone fantasy is a bit of a rarity. So often, whether because of Tolkien or other influences, we end up with trilogies or epic sagas spanning four or more books. I’m a huge fan of big epic series, but it’s also nice to enjoy a self-contained story from time to time. The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda scratches that itch perfectly. With world building that includes unique and engaging elements as well as an incredibly fascinating magic system, Czerneda’s novel is sure to please fantasy fans looking for a standalone read.Czerneda’s story is filled with amazingly unique world building elements. The magic system in this world involves mages paying life in order to create made-creations of various sorts that perform certain tasks or otherwise do their bidding. The story doesn’t hesitate to explore the impact this has on the world. Magic is expensive because doing it shortens the life of the mage. This also results in a number of very well-off, geriatric mages. It’s rare for fantasy to explore the implications of powerful magic-users as they begin to lose their memory, their physical abilities, or their restraint. Czerneda, on the other hand, does an excellent job of fleshing out the very real negative effects of aging on the mages themselves as well as on society as a whole. The magic was outstanding because it played such a role in the lives of the characters affected by it. Incredibly well done! The religious system and mythology of the world are also interesting and there’s actually a good bit crammed into this novel, though it never felt shoehorned in or like it was dumped on the reader. Each bit was well integrated and felt important to the story and world building necessary for the story to have the impact it did. As the plot ramps up after the initial introductions the stakes quickly become epic and Czerneda does a good job of keeping the tension high. Initially this is done through a number of questions and mysteries surrounding the goals of the antagonists, but this is all handled in fresh ways that kept me engaged throughout. I can’t say that this is a fast-paced novel, but it is very well paced and an enjoyable read that kept me reading and gave me that “just one more page” feeling. Part of this was helped along by the range of emotions the novel elicits. There were moments that made me smile, moments of joy but also moments of sadness and intense emotion. This emotional range made the story shine. In terms of criticisms, my main complaint with this novel is that the chapters are incredibly long, but in the midst of these we change perspectives back and forth between characters often. We might have a page from one character’s perspective, only to jump to a different character—in the same geographical area—for a few pages before jumping back to the first character before moving on to a character in a different location. I was never confused about which perspective I was reading, but to change perspective so often was a little jarring before I got used to it. The story also has a bit of a mythological feel to it and I never felt connected to a particular character. In the end, this didn’t end up as a huge negative. It almost felt like the characters were more legends than individuals. It’s a different writing style that perhaps isn’t as common in modern fantasy, but I think it turned out well here. I can’t say enough about the magic, religion, and story itself. A fine standalone tale, I imagine The Gossamer Mage will be one I’ll return to often. A wonderful, hopeful fantasy, this is one you don’t want to miss. 8.5/104.25/5 stars.5 – I loved this, couldn’t put it down, move it to the top of your TBR pile4 – I really enjoyed this, add it to the TBR pile3 – It was ok, depending on your preferences it may be worth your time2 – I didn’t like this book, it has significant flaws and I can’t recommend it 1 – I loathe this book with a most loathsome loathing
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  • Lauren James (storied.adventures)
    January 1, 1970
    Full review on my blog, Storied Adventures !*I received a copy from the publisher as well as an e-arc from NetGalley for an honest review.*This was actually really hard for me to get through. I loved the plot and characters and the uniqueness of the story, BUT the writing was really hard, for me personally, to read. It was choppy and and I had to re-read sentences and paragraphs to understand what was going on. It's not a very long book but it took me almost a month to read. That never happens f Full review on my blog, Storied Adventures !*I received a copy from the publisher as well as an e-arc from NetGalley for an honest review.*This was actually really hard for me to get through. I loved the plot and characters and the uniqueness of the story, BUT the writing was really hard, for me personally, to read. It was choppy and and I had to re-read sentences and paragraphs to understand what was going on. It's not a very long book but it took me almost a month to read. That never happens for me!If you are interested in an extremely unique book that will definitely be unlike anything you've ever read, with writing that's very VERY different, then you might like this!
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  • Christian - Knightingale Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    DNF:I really tried to get through this book and pushed forward to about page 100, but this book definitely wasn't for me. I found the writing style not to my taste, the names were definitely hard to remember and keep straight, and the plot was a bit of a blur and confusing.
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  • Metaphorosis
    January 1, 1970
    3 stars, Metaphorosis ReviewsSummary:The world’s only remaining magic is in Tananen, where only women can speak the Deathless Godess’ language, and only men can write her spells – both at a terrible cost. But now something dangerous and dark has come into Tiler’s Hold, destroying magic creations, and silencing the Goddess.Review:Julie Czerneda’s been one of my favorite authors for years. Yet I haven’t been excited by her recent books. Have my tastes changed? Has her writing? Have her editors giv 3 stars, Metaphorosis ReviewsSummary:The world’s only remaining magic is in Tananen, where only women can speak the Deathless Godess’ language, and only men can write her spells – both at a terrible cost. But now something dangerous and dark has come into Tiler’s Hold, destroying magic creations, and silencing the Goddess.Review:Julie Czerneda’s been one of my favorite authors for years. Yet I haven’t been excited by her recent books. Have my tastes changed? Has her writing? Have her editors given her too much leeway? The Gossamer Mage doesn’t answer that question, but it also doesn’t go against the trend.Czerneda made her name in part by writing credible SF. Writing fantasy isn’t new to her, though somehow with the press of work, etc., I haven’t actually gotten around to reading her two prior fantasy books. Czerneda has imagination and skill, and, the fantastic elements of the book work. The world is interesting, fairly original, satisfyingly magical, etc.Where the book falls through is mostly in the mechanics. We switch from character to character, but most of them start at the same place and deal with similar issues, and I often found it hard to remember which was which. In theory, the three lead characters all have clear and distinct roles, but I found their voices very similar.There are interludes that are mean to break up the text and give us some outside perspective and worldbuilding information, but I found them both repetitive and too vague to be useful. There just wasn’t enough context overall for me to build up a clear hypothesis about what was happening and why – often key to this kind of ‘mysterious origins’ story.The ending exacerbates the problem. It ties things up emotionally, but it doesn’t really try to explain what’s been happening or how it all came about. There are loads of hints, but they lead to … nothing in particular. I don’t think it’s because I missed subtlety and nuance; it’s because Czerneda had a chance to explain, and simply decided not to. The result is intensely dissatisfying. This is where a more demanding editor could have come into play, which is at least the second time I’ve said that recently about a Czerneda book. It’s disappointing, not least because this could have been a satisfying book – all the pieces are there. And it should have been one.Sometime soon, I’ll go back to actually read the Night’s Edge books, and see whether, 6 years back, those turned out better.I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: I adored the magic system in this story, but I wasn't as excited about the plot. I have such mixed feelings about this book, which makes me a little sad. From the moment I saw the magical cover, I knew I wanted to read The Gossamer Mage , but I have to admit I struggled to get into it, and I’ll explain why in this review. Th I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: I adored the magic system in this story, but I wasn't as excited about the plot. I have such mixed feelings about this book, which makes me a little sad. From the moment I saw the magical cover, I knew I wanted to read The Gossamer Mage , but I have to admit I struggled to get into it, and I’ll explain why in this review. This is my first Julie E. Czerneda book, so I can’t speak for her other works of fiction, but I have heard other reviewers say that this story is much darker than some of her other books. One of the things I struggled with was the plot, but I’ll try to give you a short recap. The story is told from two main points of view. Maleonarial is a mage scribe who interprets the sacred words of the Deathless Goddess into intentions, written spells that produce various magical creatures and objects. For every spell written, however, there is a steep cost: the Goddess takes away a mage’s life bit by bit, and the mage ages at an impossible rate, until he finally dies. Unfortunately for the mage, he doesn’t have a choice. He must write down the words of the Goddess. Maleonarial, though, has had enough. He wants his youth back, and so he sets out to destroy her.At the same time, a hold daughter named Kaitealyon has just found out that her son Leksand has heard the voice of the Goddess and is destined to become a mage scribe himself. Devastated and knowing the horrible life in store for him, Kait is asked to accompany him on his journey to the mage school, where he will train.But on their way, they discover something evil is trying to destroy the magic of the Goddess. Kait and Maleonarial join forces to try to stop it, even as Maleonarial is still determined to kill the Goddess.By far, my favorite part of this story was the idea of gossamers, the “mistakes” created by mages when they write the incorrect words of a spell. Mages do not want to make gossamers, so they almost become objects of shame. But a gossamer is a wild and unpredictable construct, a creature set free from the constraints of a spell to fly away and live its own life. It’s a delightful idea, but it wasn’t as developed as I wanted it to be. Czerneda gives us examples of gossamers throughout the story, but they aren’t the main focus until the very end. Then several events come together in the last few pages and a lot of the story finally fell into place for me. I also loved the descriptions of how the mages create spells. Czerneda has a wonderful talent for vivid description, and she’s clearly spent a lot of time designing her magic system, from the pens the mages use to write with, to the ink pots full of incredible inks that make up the spells, to the parchments. The results of spells are called “made” objects: made-horses, made-cats, etc. If a traveling party needs fresh horses for their carriage, for example, a mage scribe could write a spell for them. When made things have served their purpose, they disappear in a burst of ash.But despite my love of the magic system, I had issues with the plot and the writing style. Czerneda’s sentence structure in this book is oddly formal but choppy, and I often came across sentences that I couldn’t make heads or tails of. This caused me to go back and reread the sentence to see what I had missed, but that ultimately pulled me out of the story. Some of the characters speak in hard to read dialects, and if you’ve ever tried to read Scottish brogue, for example, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.As for the plot, I struggled in the beginning, wading through all the many characters and trying to see how they fit together. There is a fair amount of information that needs to be conveyed, but Czerneda mostly spends time giving us the details of her magic system, while the drive and focus of the characters was pushed to the side until later in the story. The main thrust of the plot is the journey to the magic school, but the author takes her time getting there, and for me, this journey seemed to drag on and on. I also kept getting the characters mixed up, especially since the mages had such similar, hard to pronounce names.At the end of the day, I just wanted to fall into a good story, and plot wise, The Gossamer Mage just didn’t deliver in that respect. I think if I’d enjoyed the writing style more, this would have been much more enjoyable to read. However, despite my grumblings, I am very curious to read more from this author. Julie E. Czerneda has a wonderfully vivid imagination, and I do look forward to seeing what other worlds she can create.Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....I wanted to read The Gossamer Mage because the cover was absolutely gorgeous and the blurb sounded fascinating. I was very excited for this book, but it didn’t really live up to my expectations. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. On one hand it was incredibly slow and very easy to set down, but on the other it was also beautifully magical and the ending left me feeling so satisfied. It took me 6 days to finish You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....I wanted to read The Gossamer Mage because the cover was absolutely gorgeous and the blurb sounded fascinating. I was very excited for this book, but it didn’t really live up to my expectations. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. On one hand it was incredibly slow and very easy to set down, but on the other it was also beautifully magical and the ending left me feeling so satisfied. It took me 6 days to finish this book, and with the amount of time I had to read I should have finished it a lot sooner than that.For most of the first third of the book I wanted to DNF the book. It felt as if the plot had no real direction and I kept setting it down to do anything but read. While the book was written in third person it switched to focus on so many different characters that I found myself frequently forgetting what was going on with the characters when the book finally came back to them. I kept reading because the magic system really intrigued me and I was hopeful that the book would pick up its pace and that the plot would begin to feel like it was going somewhere.While the pacing remained very slow for the entire novel, about a third of the way in it started to feel as if the plot finally had a direction. I think that this book was so slow for me because the writing is so dense. The way it is written feels overly wordy, but it is also incredibly vivid and truly brought the world to life. The world building is exquisite and really brings home the fact that in this world magic has a price and that price is death.Once the plot brought the characters to The Mage School I found myself absolutely loving the book. While we had heard so much about magic, up until this point we didn’t see very much of it. This part of the novel was where Julie Czerneda’s dense writing brought magic to life in beautiful and fantastical ways.I found myself fascinated with all of the different creations that the mages made and since I was so engrossed I found the book moving faster for me. But I never did find myself attached to any of the characters. I think the character development was lacking a bit and the constant change in perspective made it hard to connect to any one character.Overall I’m pleased with the ending and left feeling satisfied, but not sure if I will return for any of Julie Czerneda’s other books. It was magical and beautiful, but far too slow paced for me. If you like dense vivid writing then you should give this book a shot.
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  • Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    I've now tried this book twice and just couldn't get into it. I was originally intrigued by The Gossamer Mage because I was fascinated by the premise. A Deathless God, magic fueled by your life-force, and a vague threat of total annihilation? Count me in! Unfortunately, The Gossamer Mage hasn't grabbed me by page 100. While I've read many reviews that say it gets better if you stick it out, I need something to keep me intrigued before the grand reveal. I do think that some readers will enjoy thi I've now tried this book twice and just couldn't get into it. I was originally intrigued by The Gossamer Mage because I was fascinated by the premise. A Deathless God, magic fueled by your life-force, and a vague threat of total annihilation? Count me in! Unfortunately, The Gossamer Mage hasn't grabbed me by page 100. While I've read many reviews that say it gets better if you stick it out, I need something to keep me intrigued before the grand reveal. I do think that some readers will enjoy this one, it just wasn't for me. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    This standalone epic fantasy novel has a fantastic premise and has some lovely descriptions, but I struggled to finish it. It's overlong with too much narrative, and though likable, the characters were not compelling. Full Review on My Website
  • Whitley Birks
    January 1, 1970
    This might have been a good book, but to be quite honest, I couldn't tell. The writing style was utterly confusing that I couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on.There is very little explanation for anything going on, we just get dumped head-first into this other world of magic and terms and places and just *STUFF* with no idea what any of it is. Which, to be clear, is FINE if we can pick up on context clues as the story goes on and figure out the world as we go. But this book also has This might have been a good book, but to be quite honest, I couldn't tell. The writing style was utterly confusing that I couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on.There is very little explanation for anything going on, we just get dumped head-first into this other world of magic and terms and places and just *STUFF* with no idea what any of it is. Which, to be clear, is FINE if we can pick up on context clues as the story goes on and figure out the world as we go. But this book also has a POV shift every 3-4 pages which means just as soon as I'm starting to follow what's going on WHOOPS BAM NOPE HERE'S SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. I just couldn't get invested in the story enough to carry on with reading it, alas. Maybe if I'd read the author's previous works and had some goodwill built up to trust it was going somewhere I'd feel differently, but this was my first Czerneda book so I'm just going to move on instead.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Gossamer Mage by Julie Czerneda has much to love for a fantasy novel. The world building is in done in extraordinary detail. The magic system is incredibly well defined. Everything is built up in a way that gives readers buy-in and plausibility. However, for me, it was very difficult for me to really love this book. It felt very weighed down in almost too much of everything it needed. If you simplified some of that information and gave the story more room for the story to breathe? It would have Gossamer Mage by Julie Czerneda has much to love for a fantasy novel. The world building is in done in extraordinary detail. The magic system is incredibly well defined. Everything is built up in a way that gives readers buy-in and plausibility. However, for me, it was very difficult for me to really love this book. It felt very weighed down in almost too much of everything it needed. If you simplified some of that information and gave the story more room for the story to breathe? It would have gone a long way to helping the story along.Full Review at Novellives.com
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  • Alysa H.
    January 1, 1970
    ** I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley **
  • The Book Dragon
    January 1, 1970
    I was given a free paperback ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Maleonarial, an old and experienced mage scribe, sets off on his own journey to find the right words to create the intention of killing The Deathless Goddess in order to free the mage scribes from her. What interrupts this work, however, is something even more dangerous than the Goddess herself. Kait Alder, a Daughter of Tiler’s Hold, can see and hear evil that is set on destroying the world I was given a free paperback ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Maleonarial, an old and experienced mage scribe, sets off on his own journey to find the right words to create the intention of killing The Deathless Goddess in order to free the mage scribes from her. What interrupts this work, however, is something even more dangerous than the Goddess herself. Kait Alder, a Daughter of Tiler’s Hold, can see and hear evil that is set on destroying the world, starting with anything magic. Pylor, Tiler Hold Lord’s cousin, is charged with finding out more about Maleonarial and his supposed magic that can hurt people. All three merge together to form one large party as they all make their way to the mage school with Saleonarial’s body and the newest mage recruit–and Kait’s only son–Leksand. They must all work together in order to keep the evil at bay long enough for someone to figure out how to kill it–for good. Will Maleonarial be able to hold off on his own quest of killing the Deathless Goddess in order to help Kait and Pylor?Julie Czerneda started this novel with such great promise and potential. I read the blurb and saw the cover, and began reading the novel with high expectations. It was so beautiful, with such a unique and intriguing premise that I couldn’t help myself! Unfortunately, I thought that it fell a bit flat. The biggest thing that bothered me as I began reading was the writing style itself. Czerneda, at least with this novel, tends to be very description heavy, bogging me down with unnecessary details and extravagant language. Additionally, it seems as if many of her sentences are simply fragments, to the point where I had to stop multiple times to reread a sentence, to still not understand what it was trying to say. It was as if she would leave off subjects or verbs in some of the sentences, and it would not only slow down my reading, but also pull me out of the story as I tried to decipher its meaning. Another small point to add onto this, is that Czerneda includes colloquialisms for the village folk’s accent, and that makes it extremely difficult to read. So much so, that whenever I would come across it, I simply skipped it. It was too much work and really didn’t even add anything to the novel or plotline.Going along with this idea of difficult comprehensibility, it was difficult to understand exactly what was going on in the beginning because of the constant change in POV and the plethora of characters with a POV, not to mention the very specific extra add-ons to some names, but which are used inconsistently. However, I will say that this got better the farther I got into the book. I finally got used to the characters and their names, and I was able to follow along quite easily once I reached about the halfway point.One other thing that I noticed about the multiple POV parts, was that they were so short. Each POV part that made up the larger section was basically only one scene. So, we would see one scene from one character’s POV, then hit a 3-star break, and then see another scene from another character’s POV, hit another 3-star break… etc. It made the reading rather choppy, and did not allow me to ever really get a feel for any of the characters. In fact, all of the POVs felt exactly the same, there was no difference between the characters. Adding onto this, there was also never any character dynamics. They all remained static and untransformed. None of the events that occurred changed them in any way, even temporarily. That was rather disappointing.So, I know what you’re thinking: If I have all these negative things to say about the novel, why did I give it 3 stars? Well, the truth is, I actually enjoyed the book…Once I got a little over halfway through. The magic system was still intriguing, the ending was somewhat unpredictable, and I simply wanted to know what would happen. I also really wanted to know what the heck was up with the gossamers! Obviously, they played some key role, as they’re in the title! Luckily, I was satisfied with the ending Overall, I would recommend this book for those who don’t mind taking a bit of time and effort to get through something magical. It was very slow and aimless, but I promise that it does eventually pick up speed and purpose! Although the purpose may seem a bit of a sidetrack. This is for readers who want something different to read, and aren’t afraid to work for it. And for those who simply love the absolutely beautiful cover!
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  • Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review + blog tour.For decades we’ve seen many mages in literature; from the boy who lived Harry Potter, fan favorite mage-detective Harry Dresden, to the all powerful Gandulf. In The Gossamer Mage, Czerneda introduces reader to a new kind of mage, one whom is wholly typical, Maleonarial, an all-powerful mage that has brought countless gossamers to life in the name of the Deathless Goddess.In the world of Tananen, t Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review + blog tour.For decades we’ve seen many mages in literature; from the boy who lived Harry Potter, fan favorite mage-detective Harry Dresden, to the all powerful Gandulf. In The Gossamer Mage, Czerneda introduces reader to a new kind of mage, one whom is wholly typical, Maleonarial, an all-powerful mage that has brought countless gossamers to life in the name of the Deathless Goddess.In the world of Tananen, those chosen by the Deathless Goddess are able to wield unimaginable magic. Mages have the ability to bring forth magic though the mechanism of pen and paper while Hold Daughter have the ability to hear the goddess voice and discern magic by auditory means. In The Gossamer Mage, readers follow Maleonarial and Hold Daughter, Kait as they try to defeat an evil that is plaguing their land.I thought the world building was very different and fascinating. Tananen is ruled by the Deathless Goddess and while many believe that serving her is an honor and blessing, those who are actually chosen know the insidious truth. There’s a reason why she’s called the Deathless Goddess. Like most things in life, there’s a price to pay when you’re given a gift. In the case of mages, they age prematurely depending on the amount of magic they use. Hold Daughters are chosen randomly as the goddess’ designate for mission, forfeiting their life when called upon.There were many characters and many narratives going on simultaneously in The Gossamer Mage. The main two is that of Maleonarial and Kait, whom I enjoyed reading from. I loved the dual point-of-view and seeing how each differed in serving the Deathless Goddess. The other supporting characters were also well-developed and wrapped up the ensemble nicely giving an extra depth to the world. I do want to one small caution for future readers, as with most fantasy, the characters have somewhat hard to pronounce names. Since we are dealing with mages and daughters…everyone’s name ended in either -onarial (mage) or -ealyon (hold daughter) which as you can see, be quite confusing.The writing itself was different and from other reviews, they’ve noticed as well.Census says you’ll either like it or hate it. I’ll be honest it was difficult in the beginning. At a glance, one would think that there was no structure. There were no chapters and it had odd breaks between paragraphs changing from one point-of-view to another without a clear transition. I initially thought it was choppy and clunky but as I went further into the book, I found myself assimilating to Czerneda’s writing style. Once that happened I found myself truly enjoying the plot more and really immerse into the world. With that said, it’d be best to check out a snippet or sample before purchasing and reading.All in all, I gotta say I enjoyed this book more than I anticipated. It started off slow and confusing to the point that I almost DNF-ed it but I’m so glad I didn’t. The book is worth pushing through the uncertain beginning for a truly magical world and satisfying ending. If you’re looking for a unique and fresh take on mages and out-of-box fantasy, I highly recommend checking out The Gossamer Mage.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    The system of magic is truly interesting. The daughters are the only ones who can speak Her Words and live, but the mages are the only ones who can use intentions to create living magics. Those magics take the form of living things; so for example, magic can’t heal directly, but it might be used to create a plant which can be distilled into a healing potion. Elements such as the quality of the pen, ink, and parchment used can have varying effects on the magics. Since mages have to spend their yo The system of magic is truly interesting. The daughters are the only ones who can speak Her Words and live, but the mages are the only ones who can use intentions to create living magics. Those magics take the form of living things; so for example, magic can’t heal directly, but it might be used to create a plant which can be distilled into a healing potion. Elements such as the quality of the pen, ink, and parchment used can have varying effects on the magics. Since mages have to spend their youth and life to work magic, their magic is highly valued and compensated. But the inhabitants of Tananen are used to having nearly every aspect of their lives enriched by magic, so mages live fleeting lives. There did seem to be some inconsistency in how much of a mage’s life magic took. When the characters are throwing around magics later in the book, it seemed from the descriptions like each use took, if I had to guess, probably 1-3 years off of the mage’s life. Yet Mal started out with 300 bells, so obviously that can’t be true, even if he did have an unusual number. There was another mage depicted who was absolutely mired in the results of his magics, so again, a year or two for each use couldn’t possibly be the case. If the aging effects had just been subtler at the end the whole shebang would have made perfect sense. It also would have made the extravagant uses of magic more believable. Especially when mages apparently use magic so ubiquitously that even “no mage scribe used sparks to start fire.”I really love the characters. Kait, one of the daughters, is a back-woods woman transplanted to a city hold as a potential successor to the Hold Daughter. She’s out of her element, but seems to have an unusual gift to detect certain types of evil–a gift that’s going to be needed! She’s concerned, however, because she no longer hears the Lady’s Voice in her mind. (I would have liked a little more information about what that was like before it vanished. I never got a handle on, say, whether it was a two-way or one-way communication, or what sorts of things the Lady talked about.) Mal is also a great character. He’s determined to find a way to destroy the Lady so that she’ll stop draining the lives of mages, even if it means no more magic in the world. He has interesting history with many of the incidental (and not-so-incidental) characters, and he has a whole lot of depth. There are plenty of intriguing, enjoyable characters to accompany the reader on her journey.I found the narrative a little confusing at times. Some of the geographic description was hard to get a handle on. And there was just something about the wording in places that forced me to read sentences twice in order to figure out what exactly was going on–a kind of awkward wording here and there.I really enjoyed this book, and I think almost any fantasy fan would. It does get a bit dark and bloody in places, so just be aware.Original review posted on my blog: http://www.errantdreams.com/2019/08/r...
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    Full review is here, on my blog!~This tale has a very interesting premise, to be sure! In this world, the Deathless Goddess has gifted some people with the ability to magically write specially designed things into being, in exchange for aging prematurely – if their intention holds up with what they’re trying to make. If that intention is flawed, they’ll make a gossamer – a creature, sometimes strange, and usually quite harmless, but uncontrollable. Wonderous, at the least.Sick of the premature a Full review is here, on my blog!~This tale has a very interesting premise, to be sure! In this world, the Deathless Goddess has gifted some people with the ability to magically write specially designed things into being, in exchange for aging prematurely – if their intention holds up with what they’re trying to make. If that intention is flawed, they’ll make a gossamer – a creature, sometimes strange, and usually quite harmless, but uncontrollable. Wonderous, at the least.Sick of the premature aging aspect of magic, the mage scribe Maleonariel decides that he is going to find the Deathless Goddess and end her. But, the Deathless Goddess isn’t the only being on the scene. Something (or somethingssss) evil is lurking in Tiler’s Hold, and they might be after the goddess herself.This was a very well written book! I loved the prose. The story flowed really well, and this book was quite easy to read, in that it was never too difficult to either read it in large spurts, or littler bits in between spurts of working. I sometimes found that the story wasn’t capturing my attention all the way, but by the middle of the story, that seemed to have stopped happening, as I was more immersed with it. By the end, I liked this book a lot.We see this tale from several points of view. Firstly, there is of course Maleonarial, who is a mage who has lived alone and isolated for twelve years. We also see the story from the point of view of Kait, who is one of the Daughters (of the goddess. It’s metaphorical). She can hear the goddess’s words. Men can write them but not understand them. Women can understand them but not write them. We also see some of the story from the POV of Pylon, who is a kind of noblewoman from the hold in which the evil shenanigans are going down.The only part of it that really kind of blocked me from enjoying my time with it more than I did was that some characters have very heavy accents that are very apparent in their dialogue. Now, this might be just a nitpick on my part, but what is, I’m sure, intentionally meant to be an immersive use of language was the opposite for me. Totally broke my immersion because I would stumble over words that were all shoved together with apostrophes. C’est la vie, I suppose!~But, all told, in the end I liked this book quite a lot! The prose, and the way that the whole thing ended up really won me over. So, I can definitely say I had 4/5 stars of a good time with this one. I think that some people will like it more than others, but I’d certainly recommend it to anyone who likes the idea of magic via writing.Thanks to the author, as well as DAW via NetGalley for the review copy!
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those reads where the plot is interesting it just took way too long for me to understand it. “The Gossamer’s Mage” reads like a lost fairy tale or Greek myth with young men who possess magic gifted by the goddess find that the price of said magic is their youth but when a young mage is found to be creating monsters the journey begins to put an end to the threat only to learn that it hides closer to home. This book was a struggle to jump into and there was more than one moment in t This is one of those reads where the plot is interesting it just took way too long for me to understand it. “The Gossamer’s Mage” reads like a lost fairy tale or Greek myth with young men who possess magic gifted by the goddess find that the price of said magic is their youth but when a young mage is found to be creating monsters the journey begins to put an end to the threat only to learn that it hides closer to home. This book was a struggle to jump into and there was more than one moment in the first quarter of the book where I wanted to quit because I couldn’t figure out what was happening. There’s a lot of shifting povs in this book, which has around 6 chapter total, which makes it more difficult to keep track of the characters and the plot to the point that I thought it might have been an anthology between chapters 1 & 2 only to slowly see how it was all weaving together. Once getting out of that rough patch it actually became fascinating but at that point I was too far into the book for that to save my opinion of it. I enjoyed parts of the resolution but it wrapped up way too quickly, just when the climax was amping up I blinked and it was over and though the ending wasn’t bad it just seemed like we could have taken out parts in the middle to give us room at the end for it to breathe. This is a book I’m going to keep flip flopping on in terms of how I feel about it but overall it’s just okay.**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
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  • Kira
    January 1, 1970
    I was really excited to get into this book. The premise sounded incredibly interesting; a Deathless Goddess where mage scribes write her spells in exchange for premature aging and if the spell holds they make something; but if it fails because their intention is flawed a gossamer (a strange uncontrollable thing) comes to be instead. Once I got into the book I found myself really enjoying the prose. It's almost poetic or lyrical. While this made for a beautifully written story, it at times made i I was really excited to get into this book. The premise sounded incredibly interesting; a Deathless Goddess where mage scribes write her spells in exchange for premature aging and if the spell holds they make something; but if it fails because their intention is flawed a gossamer (a strange uncontrollable thing) comes to be instead. Once I got into the book I found myself really enjoying the prose. It's almost poetic or lyrical. While this made for a beautifully written story, it at times made it challenging for me to read in more than little bits.So I treated the book like a snack. One I would open and enjoy little bites at a time. Snacking between points of view from the mages to a woman who cannot write the spells but can hear the words of the Deathless Goddess. The book struck me as being similar to folklore or fairytales where you don't always get full contextual details to what is transpiring. A lot of the story isn't explained to the reader but left open for them to fill in. For me this doesn't put me off a book, I quite often enjoy this level of storytelling. I like mystery and magic where story lines intersect. I left the book wanting a little more. There was some fantastic world building but the characters blended together for me at times. With a little more individual identities I feel like I would have been more satisfied with the book as a whole. Instead I feel like I was left with pieces to savor after I finished.I feel like this is one of those books where there is little middle ground to the final impression. Readers will either love this or find it hard to follow. It's worth a read for those that enjoy fantastical magic and I feel readers who liked Strange the Dreamer will be attracted to this book.
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  • Brittany Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I admit it took me awhile to get through this. It was an interesting read with an intriguing conflict and premise, but the intricacies were hard to follow and nearly tedious at times. To keep names straight in the beginning, when each character uses at least four different names and titles, was nearly impossible. Various terms for the land and certain types of gossamers were also hard to keep track of. I think that was why it took me so long to finally push myself to finish. The author was thoro I admit it took me awhile to get through this. It was an interesting read with an intriguing conflict and premise, but the intricacies were hard to follow and nearly tedious at times. To keep names straight in the beginning, when each character uses at least four different names and titles, was nearly impossible. Various terms for the land and certain types of gossamers were also hard to keep track of. I think that was why it took me so long to finally push myself to finish. The author was thorough and very detailed, which I hate to complain about, but it was so much so that it weighed down the plot heavily and made it confusing, difficult to decipher, and slow. But I do want to applaud the thorough worldbuilding, magic system, and huge group of three dimensional characters.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    please write faster,Julie!i really enjoy when an author comes up with a new approach to old concepts! the writing of magic to bring it to life is a great example of this. i loved the details of the lens and ink. i love Julie and as a die hard fan i have read everything she has written. i could never get enough. i hope she lives forever and writes for an eternity.
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  • Amanda Bradburn
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 20%So far I've found this book to be difficult to read. Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm too tired, too distracted, or too judgemental. Whatever it is, the names are too difficult to keep straight, and the plot is confusing to me. Some elements aren't explained and so I feel lost, and some are over-explained into tedium. I find any interaction with Cil to be grotesque, and I can't handle the Designate's worm eyeballs.Thanks to DAW books for the ARC copy! Sorry it's not to my liking currently.
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  • vaderbird
    January 1, 1970
    2.7 starsI wanted to enjoy the title more... I liked the ending ...I liked the concept ... 5 star - Perfect4 star - i would recommend 3 star - good2 star - struggled to complete 1 star - could not finish
  • Garrett Olinde
    January 1, 1970
    A nice story, very whimsical at times. It is at times reminiscent of her Night's Edge stories.
  • Ashish
    January 1, 1970
    Nice - a new magic system. Appropriately spooky events in new settings. Original.
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