Hand Made Mage is a book by James Haddock, published on September 5 2019. It tells the story of Ghost, who was robbing the tomb of a duke, but he gets caught by an insane undead mage, who burns a set of runes on his hands.
Ghost, a young Criminal Guild thief, is ordered to rob an ancient crypt of a long dead Duke. He is caught grave robbing by an undead insane Mage with a twisted sense of humor. The Mage burns a set of rune engraved rings into Ghost’s hand, and fingers. Unknown to Ghost these rings allow him to manipulate the four elements.
Returning to the Guild to report his failure, everyone thinks he has riches from the crypt, and they want it. While being held captive by the Criminal Guild, Ghost meets Prince Kade, the fourth son of the King, who has troubles of his own. Ghost uses his newfound powers to escape from the Guild saving the Prince in the process.
Spies from a foreign kingdom are trying to kill Prince Kade, and Ghost must keep them both alive, while helping Prince Kade raise an army to stop an invasion. Ghost finds out trust to soon given, is unwise and dangerous. He is learning people will do anything for gold and power. As Ghost’s power grows, his enemies learn he is a far more deadly enemy than anything they have ever faced.
(Thank you goodreads, for providing the summary so generously.)
My reading experiences:
The first thing which I noticed while reading the first chapter, that the characters have really interesting names. I mean that should have been obvious to me, considering the main character is named Ghost, but still it came as a surprise.
The second thing which I noticed, is the problem of first person narrative. Too much ‘I.’ I mean I have read a lot of the first person books, from Dresden Files, and earlier books of the Laundry Files, which slowly got shifted to third person, and of course, Sherlock Holmes. But they didn’t have such overuse of ‘I.’
Another thing of note is that, the main character becomes overpowered very early in the book. After that, it just felt like reading the checklist of this overpowered guy, sink underground, find loot, kill people, and repeat.
My opinion overall:
The premise of the book sounds promising, and despite my gripes regarding the use of ‘I.,’ it was running fine, until the character got overpowered, and without much fanfare, got involved with a supposably disgraced prince.
Ghost is a rather flat protagonist, the fact that he doesn’t wishes to explore how exactly does his magic works increases his flatness.
There were few mistakes as well, most noticeable calling knives “Knifes.”
In conclusion, avoid this book. It is not worth your time, harsh though it may be to say it like that.