The Tethered Mage

The Tethered Mage

3.8 (5,311 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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'I couldn't put it down' Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library

'I raced through this exquisite debut in three days and adored it' Fantasy Book Review

In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled - taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that could threaten the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.


'Absolutely recommended and on my shortlist for favorite books so far in 2017'
Book Smugglers

'A brilliant novel' The Eloquent Page

'Fantastically readable, incredibly addictive and intelligently plotted . . . I loved it' Liz Loves Books

'If you like fantasy, you'll love this book' The Tattooed Book Geek

Books by Melissa Caruso:

Swords and Fire
The Tethered Mage
The Defiant Heir
The Unbound Empire
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 128 x 197 x 30mm | 330g
  • Orbit
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0356510611
  • 9780356510613
  • 11,279

Review quote

The Tethered Mage is freaking AWESOME . . . it's one of the best first novels in a brand new high fantasy series that I've read in ages . . Absolutely recommended and on my shortlist for favorite books so far in 2017 -- BOOK SMUGGLERS What a tremendous start to the trilogy . . . I thoroughly enjoyed every moment that I spent reading The Tethered Mage, there's action, plenty of plot twists, perfect pacing and superb world-building which combines with scintillating storytelling and a fascinating cast of characters to create a fully engrossing read . . . If you like fantasy, you'll love this book -- TATTOOED BOOK GEEK Charming, intelligent, fast-moving, beautifully atmospheric, with a heroine and other characters whom I really liked as people. (I overstayed my lunch break in order to finish it.) I would love to read more set in this world -- Genevieve Cogman, author of THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY A brilliant novel that delivers on all its initial promise. The characters are well realised and the plot is captivating . . . I was entertained from beginning to end -- THE ELOQUENT PAGE The Tethered Mage spins two captivating tales: a battle of wills between a feisty heroine and her bonded warlock, and a battle of wits between an empire and its rivals. Stuffed with intrigue, romance, and betrayal, this is a scrumptious read -- Vic James, Author of GILDED CAGE A beautifully written political fantasy drama full of courtly intrigue, powerful enemies and phenomenal magic potential. I raced through this exquisite debut in three days and adored it -- FANTASY BOOK REVIEW Caruso deploys a dizzying mix of politics, complex interpersonal relationships and twisty plotting with an intensity that sets it apart in a crowded genre . . . Add in refreshingly developed protagonists and an unusual magic system and the result is an immensely engaging start to a welcome new series -- B&N SCI-FI AND FANTASY BLOG The Tethered Mage is a fantastically readable, incredibly addictive and intelligently plotted fantasy novel, the start of a series that I cannot WAIT to read more of - I loved it -- LIZ LOVES BOOKS A breathtaking book. Equal parts fantasy and political intrigue, The Tethered Mage pulls readers relentlessly through labyrinthine turns of conspiracy, adventure and romance -- BOOKPAGE This is a compelling first novel, with female characters at its heart. The tension mounts, and there's plenty of action and incident and fire and danger . . . In short, I loved it. I WANT MORE -- LIZ BOURKE Intricate and enticing as silk brocade. Caruso's heroine is a strong, intelligent young woman in a beguiling, beautifully evoked Renaissance world of high politics, courtly intrigue, love and loyalty - and fire warlocks -- Anna Smith Spark, author of THE COURT OF BROKEN KNIVES The Tethered Mage is a riveting read, with delicious intrigue, captivating characters, and a brilliant magic system. I loved it from start to finish! -- Sarah Beth Durst, author of THE QUEEN OF BLOOD Engaging and entertaining with intrigue, a good pace, and strong characters. Zaira and Amalia are bright, bold heroes in a smartly constructed world -- James Islington, author of THE SHADOW OF WHAT WAS LOST With a rich world, political intrigue, and action that keeps you turning pages, The Tethered Mage is classic fantasy with a fresh voice -- Jeff Wheeler, author of THE QUEEN'S POISONER An enchanting voice and an original world you won't want to leave -- RJ Barker, author of AGE OF ASSASSINS The Tethered Mage is gorgeous, intricate fantasy. Caruso creates a world in which magic is interwoven with politics, the fate of city-states and noble houses balancing on the daring and initiative of two compelling and vastly different heroines, supported with a rich and vivid cast of characters. One of the best new books I've read in years. I can't wait for the sequel! -- Vivian Shaw, author of STRANGE PRACTICE The Tethered Mage is the best kind of fantasy: intricate world-building, the most intriguing of court intrigues, and a twisty plot. But while readers might pick it up for those elements, they'll stay for the engaging characters and the unlikely friendships at the story's heart -- Rosalyn Eves, author of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION A great balance of characters, intrigue and magic and just left me wanting to read more -- SPECULATIVE HERALD The Tethered Mage is a fantastic first novel . . . it is easily my favourite 2017 debut set in a secondary world -- FANTASY BOOK CAFE
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About Melissa Caruso

Melissa Caruso was born on the summer solstice and went to school in an old mansion with a secret door, but despite this auspicious beginning has yet to develop any known superpowers. She has spent her whole life creating imaginary worlds, and in addition to writing is also an avid larper and tabletop gamer.

Melissa graduated with honours in creative writing from Brown University and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her first novel, The Tethered Mage, was shortlisted for a Gemmell Morningstar award for best fantasy debut.

Melissa lives in Massachusetts with her video game designer husband, two magical daughters and assorted pets. You can find her on Twitter, where she posts about writing, tea and sword-fighting in ballgowns.
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Rating details

5,311 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 24% (1,297)
4 42% (2,217)
3 25% (1,325)
2 7% (380)
1 2% (92)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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