Books, Reviews

Book: The Fuller’s Apprentice

The cover of The Fuller's Apprentice by Angela Holder on a Kindle paperwhite

The Chronicles of Tevenar Book 1 – Angela Holder

All Josiah wants is a little excitement. His work as an apprentice fuller is boring, and playing in the mill’s machinery isn’t that dangerous. Everything goes fine—at first.

All right, he’s lucky the wizard Elkan and his familiar, a donkey named Sar, are there to save his life. Even better, when his furious master fires him, Elkan offers him a job as his assistant. Josiah jumps at the chance. Travelling around Tevenar for a year, meeting all sorts of interesting people, helping the dedicated young wizard and clever donkey serve them with the Mother’s healing magic—what could be more fun?

But Josiah soon learns that while matters of life and death may be exciting, they’re seldom fun. Impulsive actions, even when taken with the best of intentions, can have devastating consequences. And some choices have the power to change the future of Tevenar forever.

What appealed to me about this book before I even read the summary was the title. It reminded me of one of my favourite series ever (John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series). So I decided to go for it in the hopes of finding another great series.

Wizards and Guild (wo)men

It did not disappoint! The land of Tevenar has wizards and guilds men and women who all have their own kin name as well as their own guild (or profession). Women and men alike carry their weight putting food on the table for the family. Something I really appreciate and find a little lacking in some other books. Most of the time only men are strong and provide. Anyway, Josiah a fuller’s apprentice gets in trouble for his mischief and gets send on a journey around Tevenar with Elkan, a journeyman wizard hoping to become a master wizard after this journey. Elkan has a familiar, a donkey named Sar, and long the way it becomes clear Sar is not “just a donkey” and is much more than a travelling companion to Elkan.

Josiah’s good heart and intentions get him in trouble more than once, and not just him, but Elkan and Sar as well. Although he means well he usually acts on a whim without thinking through the consequences of his actions. As the story progresses, Josiah begins to grow on me and I find myself rooting for him. I was hoping his story line would take him to the direction of leaving the fuller guild behind. Maybe to become a wizard by bonding with Tobi a mountain lion to meet on their journey. Unfortunately his story doesn’t quiet play out like that, but I’m glad part of it was what I was hoping for.

Not just happy things

During their journey through Tevenar it becomes clear that being a wizard is not just fun and games and helping people. It’s about sometimes having to make hard decisions and realising wizards don’t have the power to do just anything. Difficult losses, tough lessons and limitations are mixed in with joyous occasions and happy endings.

If you like wizards, familiars, magic, a little mischief and lead characters with a good heart and good intentions I can really recommend this book.

I’m glad I decided to give it a go based on the name, because I found a new series I really enjoy reading. It’s well written, with attention to detail for the surroundings as well as the characters. And as much as it is a fantasy book and therefor fiction, it’s not too far of a stretch to accept it as “real”.

Rating: 5/5 stars

The Chronicles of Tevenar Book 1: The Fuller’s Apprentice by Angela Holder is available on Amazon

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