I had the opportunity to review Thieves & Wizards by Jaxon Reed as an ARC (I received this for free in exchange for a review). The first page confused me—but that was my fault… I wasn’t really paying attention. I reread it with more than just passing attention and I was hooked. The realm Reed creates is full of magic and intrigue and a hierarchy of wizards and kingdoms in accordance with colors/jewels. While some of it felt derivative (Greystone is obviously the realms Gandalf stand-in) there is a comfortable feeling of many other works (LotR, Eragon, Shannara, etc.) featuring magic and the writing is tight and high-quality so the mythopoeia (even if it draws on the author’s favorite peers) absorbs the reader rather than alienates him or her. Thieves & Wizards is a quality read and I can recommend it without hesitation for readers 5th grade through adults.
What I liked: the early hooks and way the magic permeates the realm. also, the writing quality.
What I didn’t care for: the cover is kind of meh… also, the book blurb is super weak… it doesn’t mention a single main character and is very broad and vague (both no-nos according to every expert out there…this is probably why I was already glazed over when I read the prologue). Hopefully readers look past that and pick up the book anyway: the doorway and exterior might be unassuming, but inside of the house is superb.