Indie Book Review – The Tethering by Megan O’Russell

It’s time for another indie book review!. Read on and find out what Jay thought of The Tethering by Megan O’Russell.

Megan O’Russell’s The Tethering is an introduction to a tale that promises to be more compelling and interesting as it unfolds, while standing on its own as an exciting and magical tale in modern day.

Jacob is used to being alone, but that doesn’t mean he likes it. With his mother long gone and his father almost entirely absent from his life, it is not parenting or guidance that Jacob needs to grow into the man he sees within himself. What he needs is love; he finds it in Emilia, a beautiful and special young girl that befriends him in his early youth. Like an angel, Emilia flits in and out of his days, his mind and his heart. Then one day she is gone, with no explanation and hardly a goodbye. Time drags even slower for Jacob then, and his unreliable father becomes increasingly more unreliable.

What little life and freedom Jacob has is threatened by the sudden death of his father; in his pain or grief or anguish at having the rug pulled from under his feet, Jacob touches a power within him that raises alarms in very high places in the magical community. His angel returns to him, but she says he must leave his old life behind forever; the world she is offering is one being ravaged by war and dissent within different factions of magic users. Jacob must choose whether or not to become a fledgling wizard in a world where the use of magic is more dangerous than ever; as any young man with a heart would do, Jacob follows her into the mysterious life that she lives.

Soon Jacob is learning the history of magic, the importance of wielding it with care, and the special rush of channeling such power. That’s not all, however; for the first time, Jacob feels like he has a family. There are people around him that care for him; they understand his past, and have high hopes for his future. It almost doesn’t matter that he has competition when it comes to the girl of his dreams; with the loving embrace of his new family around him, Jacob feels as though anything is possible.

All is not peaceful for long, however; soon Jacob learns that he must stand trial for his accidental public display of power, and that the ancient orders of magic are no longer content to live in secret. Tragedy strikes a nearby city while he awaits trial, and several of the judges meant to try Jacob begin to suspect that he is somehow involved. Once again, Jacob finds himself in a world that is falling apart all around him. As the situation becomes increasingly more complicated and overwhelming for the new wizard, his old survival skills and new magical talents are both put to the test. Yet more challenges await Jacob, and his decisions will cause ripples in the magical community that he must live with forever.

This was a super fun read; there was so much going on, and the story pulled me along swiftly. There was enough humanity in every character to make me feel for them at least a little, and to remind us that even the most striving heroes stumble and fall. It was rewarding to watch them grow along with the story, and easy to see many possible paths stretch out before them in their immediate and distant futures. The book’s flowing conversational style beckons the reader inward and onward right away, and creates an immediate link with the main characters. The story that unfolds does so quickly, moving with that continual pull toward what happens next. Each turn is taken with cautious abandon, and with too much of a quickness to see what might be coming around the corner.

O’Russell’s writing painted clear and vivid images, and brought the story to life with clever dialogue and colorful characters. More than once, I found myself looking for a nearby object to try casting a spell on, something that would freeze or burn without hurting anything. Reading about her character’s exciting new life had me right there in magic class with Jacob, nodding along when he got it right. When the twists started coming, I was delighted to find that there was more to this story than meets the eye. I would recommend this fun adventure to anyone who could use a little more magic in their life, at any age; and I look forward to reading the next installment in this exciting series!

Want to grab a copy of this book for yourself? You’ll find The Tethering at Amazon – The Tethering by Megan O’Russell

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