The Auron Chronicles: Message Bearer by M.S. Dobing
Message Bearer follows Seb, a young man that’s always been inexplicably drawn to certain locations. When his latest sense leads him to an abandoned church, he witnesses a murder of a young woman at the hands of a terrifying creature, and barely escapes with his life, thanks to a stranger’s help. When he wakes in a hospital, and has to outrun another attempt on his life, Seb is taken to the Magistry, a hidden fortress of Mages who are followers of Danua, and the Brotherhood, those bound by oath to protect this realm from the sheol, demon-like creatures that can possess humans. It is here that Seb learns that the woman Sarah, passed on some of her memories to him in her final moments, but they can only be unlocked by Seb. He also learns he is a latent Mage, but since he is not part of one of the founding families, he is shunned and trained by another outcast mage.
But the more time Seb spends at the magistry, the more clearly he sees things. Mages and the Brotherhood don’t get along, and the sheol attacks are becoming more frequent and organized.
Meanwhile, there’s another faction interested in Seb, the followers of Balor, and the other side of the Magistry’s coin. Conspiracies and secret alliances are formed, and a young Danu follower, Sylph, is beginning to question her master’s intentions as she also has flashbacks to Sarah’s death and memories.
So there’s a lot going on here. Mainly, the story is told from Seb’s perspective, though we also hear from Cade, the Brother that saved Seb, and Sylph, to keep us informed of all factions and what they’re doing. By entwining these three storylines, the author keeps us interested in the bigger picture, and increases the tension. Sylph, by far, is my favorite character, as she’s playing a more dangerous game than the other characters. Seb is growing, though most of the story involves his training, which while interesting, can be tedious. Cade shows the tensions between the Brotherhood, the mages, and the effect on the world, which is grim. There’s a lot of action on all three sides, which inevitably collide. The plot is full of twists and turns, and we switch perspective just enough to get hints of what’s coming, which kept me turning pages, not knowing who to trust.
There’s a lot of action, and I really enjoyed the theories behind Danu and Balor’s involvement in the creation of the weave, and how it affects Earth. I also enjoyed the theories and limits behind the mage’s magic. The characters are well-thought out, and Seb and Caleb’s sarcastic and often irreverent comments bring a little bit of humor to an otherwise serious book.
Seb falls a bit unwittingly into that “chosen one” trope, even if he was chosen out of desperation, and he starts to question things, as all chosen ones seem to do. Malek also seems to follow the “evil overlord” trope, but there are some characters in here that shake things up a bit.
The only big issue I had was the writing. There were verb tense issues, misused words, and unfinished thoughts. If this had another round with a proofreader or editor, it would be much cleaner.
Overall though, I found the plot interesting and fast, with great descriptions of the Weave. Metaphysical stuff is always hard for me to describe, but the author paints a great picture using all of the senses.
My Rating: 4.1/5
If you’re interested in Message Bearer, you can buy it on Amazon for only $.99 or free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. It’s a great deal!
Thanks for reading,