on October 18th 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult Fiction
Prince. Prodigy. Mage. Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms, and Tamora Pierce.
This prequel novella is set before the events of First Year (The Black Mage Book 1), following Prince Darren as a child through adolescence and his first run-in with Ryiah at the Academy of Magic. Readers discover the dark backstory between the two princes and their father, as well as the ensuing events that shaped Darren into the Academy’s most prodigal mage.
I’m not typically a fan of novellas and usually do not read them, but I was waiting anxiously to read this novella since after picking up First Year. I came late to reading this series, all books already published (thank goodness), and heeded the advice of others to read Non-Heir after Candidate.
I feel like Prince Darren is difficult to understand in the first two books in particular. In Candidate, more of the prince’s past comes front and center but it’s still mysterious and Ryiah only knows what she is told, so in Non-Heir we can learn what his childhood was like along with his older brother. I felt bad for Prince Blayne and the reason that he becomes such a villain. The one thing though is that the entire court just allowed the king to be horrible, absolutely horrible. The court is just as much to blame as the king in all that happens. I’m surprised that rebellions and revolutions hadn’t happened successfully yet. One knife to the gut could have just solved so many problems, but y’know no story would have happened if it were so simple.
I have a better understanding of Prince Darren now and can forgive some of his obnoxiousness in Candidate.