Candidate starts off after the explosive ending of Apprentice (Book 2). Candidate (Book 3), sees Ryiah as she prepares for her wedding to Darren, the non-heir and The Candidacy, the dangerous tournament that all class of Mages take to determine the nation’s next Council of Magic and the legendary Black Robe of War Mages. This book takes a darker turn and I am actually glad of it – as I have never totally warmed to Ryiah and found her frustrating at times in past books.
She does have her moments in this book, I value her determination and work effort to get to where she wants to be. She trains hard and fiercely defends her country, he family, friends, herself and all that she has achieved. But here lies my frustration – for someone who loves her friends and family so much she does cut them out a lot and doesn’t take any advise or assistance, even when it is clearly the best course of action. Yes she has grown so much since the last books as a character and is still struggling with her new status as a High Born and Fiance to a Prince – but sometimes I do find her a little blinkered and naive to what is going on around her. This is nothing new, baring in mind her selfish and harsh treatment of her ex-boyfriend Ian and ex-mentor Lynn, and I am glass to see that both of these get some sort of closure in this book and shows as I said that Ryiah is finally starting to grow and see her own faults!
As I said however you can’t fault the girl for her passion, drive and determination and I do think towards the end she has an a epiphany moment – so I have hope in the next book that I will finally come to love her fully! I am stealing a quote from the book that just about sums my feelings up for her;
“You, you are a cockroach. No matter how many times we tried to get rid of you, you kept finding a way to scuttle your way back. And as much as I don’t like you, well, you are persistent. And even I can admire you that.”
And now lets move on to the awesomeness that is this book! There is murder, betrayal, family struggles and traitors in our midst! The country is on the brink of war and tensions are running high between not only the characters but the lands in this world!
I am so glad that finally we get to delve into some of the dirty laundry of the Royal family and the backstories of Blayne and Darren’s childhood.
Then we get to the Candidacy – well – I.was.not.expecting.that! As I said the book takes a dark turn and never more so in this section of the book!
“Welcome to the Candidacy. Where dreams go to die.”
So of course Darren and Ryiah have to face each other in the arena, being the 1st and 2nd ranked mages of their year of graduated War Mages;
“Two longstanding rivals.”
“And only one robe to bear.”
“Who will win?” Darren’s tone was wry. “The handsome prince?”
I grinned. “Or his valiant betrothed?”
I can hold my hands up and say yes I know they are War mages, but I think I have slightly forgotten how dangerous and scary that can be! Well Rachel certainly reminds us here and later when Ryiah gives an E-P-I-C speech;
“Do you know the difference between a nation of merchants and a nation of warriors? Only one of them is prepared to fall on its blade.”
Then its the crazy downwards of a roller coaster – where everything seems to happen and wow what a ride to the finish it was! Although some of the subtle hints aren’t so subtle, the ending still surprised me!
“That’s the thing about enemies. You never know who they could end up being.”
I am not sure my heart is ready for the final book Last Stand! But i am certainly going to battle through it and hope that in the end my poor heart is healed.
Rachel E Carter “I.FORGIVE.YOU”.
If you liked this book, I think you will also like;
The Magician’s Guild (The Balck Magician Trilogy 1) by Trudi Canavan
The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker 1) by Karen Miller
What I am reading Next – Maximum Ride Forever (Maximum Ride 9) by James Patterson
What I am currently Listening to –
Okay so I am kinda having withdrawal symptoms from Lucifer – thank Goodness it’s back on next week. So I have kinda made a Lucifer playlist to get me ready for the next episode! Some of my favourites being;
What I am currently watching – I Love me some Netflix on a rainy weekend. Okay, so binge watching is probably more like it!
The Witches of East End.
I can’t wait for the new year to officially be over – so that I can get back to my weekly fix of Marvel’s Agents of Shield, Shadowhunters and Shannarah Chronicles! Whoop!