#BookBlitz and #GuestPost of Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell @twigboat #giveaway

Posted December 11, 2018 by Zoé in Book Blitz, Giveaways, Guest Posts, Reviews and Stuff / 1 Comment

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Jeffrey Bardwell to my blog and his book Rotten Magic!  And he is also giving someone the opportunity to win a signed copy of his dark fantasy epic Rotten Magic! Thank you! 

So what is the book about?

Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell
Series: The Artifice Mage Saga #1
Published by Twigboat Press on August 9 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 116

Would you sacrifice your future to practice magic?

Artificers are the gilded princes of the Iron Empire. Mages are violent criminal outcasts. Devin competes to become the best artificer in the empire . . . but he's secretly a mage.

All the apprentices in the Artificer's Guild compete by building crude prototypes of powered armor for mock battles. When Devin transforms himself into a mechanical dragon to slaughter the competition, his rival Benson steps into the role of dragon slayer. But Devin's secret grows heavier as he claws his way to the top. He's started hearing eerie voices in his head: the stout words of the being he calls 'the artificer' and the oily voice of 'the mage.' How long can Devin be satisfied with fake dragon armor when the promise of true arcane power whispers in his ear?

Embark on Devin's dark epic journey in Book One of The Artifice Mage Saga. Join the fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody's hands are clean.

To me, this has piqued my interest. It is not my normal read but it is always good to get out my comfort zone once in a while and this book looks like it could do a good job of it!

Splitting Subgenre Hairs

Rotten Magic, Book 1 of The Artifice Mage Saga, would fit the ‘magic school’ trope made famous by the likes of the Harry Potter series except that Devin already knows he’s a mage, the school is a guild apprenticeship, and he goes there to learn about machines, not magic. It’s also a dark epic rather than an urban fantasy. On the topic of genres, I feel I must address the young adult issue. There are no sex scenes in this book, strong violence is off screen as it were, and the cursing is of the mild epithet variety (I drew inspiration from classic second world fantasies.) The story is as a friend of mine would describe it, clean fantasy, a term I did not know existed until she enlightened me. However, I did not write it specifically for the young adult market, but rather for a widespread general adult audience.

I meant for this book to be enjoyed by everyone who appreciates a good epic fantasy yarn. I suppose my objection to the phrase ‘young adult’ is semantic. I dislike labeling something solely on the basis of the age of the protagonist in the first book, thus I must take a quick peek at the rest of the series to see if it maintains that clean rating. 1) Do subsequent books break from the first when the protagonist reaches maturity? 2) Do themes of sensuality, genocide, torture, and brainwashing disqualify it? 3) Does accessibility by a young adult audience preclude adults enjoying the story? No, apparently not. The Belgariad, The Avatar, and The Ender series are YA second world fantasies (and one space fantasy) that check all three boxes.

This novel has been described as a dark version of Ender’s Game with explosions, and the themes within it are certainly no darker that those found in Avatar: The Last Airbender (the TV series), which handles adult issues tastefully. Both target a YA/teen demographic, but are enjoyed by all ages. Parsing young adult versus new adult versus adult subgenres gives me a headache. Telling someone they can’t read a book due to their age because the scenes or themes are too mature irks me and smacks of book banning. I won’t do it, and this novel goes to some horrific places. However, I believe the worst problem a young adult reader (and perhaps a few adult readers) may have had with this book was running to a dictionary from time to time. I’m told I write in a lyrical prose style with engaging human characters and beautiful imagery, but that there are a few gargantuan words tucked away in my books. I didn’t set out to enrich the vocabulary of my readers, that’s just the nature my author voice. Removing those words would be denying a part of myself. If you enjoyed a thrilling fantasy tale and learned some new words in the bargain, I’m all for that. I will go to the wall for that. Words are awesome.

Thank you Jeffrey for your post! 

So what are people saying about the book?

The Wood between the worlds says

Told in an engaging style with suspense, wry humor, and a strong undercurrent of magic, Rotten Magic is a thrilling roller coaster of a ride up to the top – where I expect we can catch the next book and set off on an even more thrilling journey. Bring it on!

Goodreads reviewer says

This was a thoroughly enjoyable novella. Quick, but helping flesh out a character, I thought it was great. It’s convinced me to continue with the series as I’m invested in Devin’s future and what is to come of him. Not to mention the whole mechanical dragon thing. I’m also super interested to learn more about this world!

Goodreads reviewers says

Talk about no walk in the park. This is one exciting, action packed, fast paced, nailbiting, pulse racing, page turning tale that captivates from the start. All the twists and turns, ins and outs, ups and downs, along with a few glitches and bumps make for one enjoyable experience. You get pulled in so deep that everything else ceases to exist. The characters and their personalities are unique with traits that flow along smoothly. You feel what the characters feel, be it disappointment, anxiety, pressure or just try to get through. The scenes are so graphic and detailed it’s easy to picture each scenario as it plays off one another perfectly. Jeffrey did a remarkable job bringing this read to life flawlessly. Fantastic job Jeffrey, thanks for sharing this bad boy with us.

If these reviews have piqued your interest, then go on enter the giveaway!! 

Giveaway time

Enter here

Check out his other books here

Until next time xx

About Jeffrey Bardwell

Jeffrey Bardwell writes fantasy with elements of epic darkness, steampunk, and romance set in the Metal vs. Magic Universe. His character-driven books are guaranteed to include gritty realism, political intrigue, lurid entanglements, dry wit, and dragons in differing proportions. He devours fantasy and science fiction novels and is most comfortable basking near a warm wood stove. When not writing, Jeffrey enjoys cooking, gardening, and shooing baby dragons from the compost bin.

The author lives on a farm and in a prior life worked as a community ecologist. He is overfond of puns and alliterations. He is also an unabashed history and mythology enthusiast and would love to hear from you.

Email jhbardwell@gmail.com

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One response to “#BookBlitz and #GuestPost of Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell @twigboat #giveaway

  1. jenchaos76

    Because I read Stephen use a YA myself, I don’t usually hold books back from my kids. However, I do have a problem with sex being overt in a story.