Fringe Realms: Mage – ARC review

01 - fringe realms mage

My rating: 5 of 5!
Published: the 9th of January 2019
Written by: L.J. Swallow
Series: Fringe Realms
Length: 307 pages
: Free copy generously provided.
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to ARC read this book for Lisa, who generously sent me a free copy of her book, in exchange for my honest review. Please note that all views and opinions are my own!




The blurb:

If you woke in a new world at the fringes of reality, how would you know whether you’re a player or a character in the game?
Eleanor wakes in a forest with vague memories of her life, no possessions, and a silver band strapped to her wrist. She’s not sure what’s the strangest about the next event – meeting spiders bigger than a human, or the fire that shoots from her hands.
She steps further into the dark and comes across three guys who are part of this unfamiliar new world. Jay the cleric with muscles worthy of a warrior, Dean the smart-mouthed assassin, and her real-life friend Aidan-who can now transform into something terrifying.
All four are convinced they’re stuck in a game, and their combined powers can create a team as strong as the characters they once played online. Now they need to figure out how to reach the end game and escape.
The group journey through their new world filled with hazardous quests and rewards where working and levelling up together brings the four closer.
Everything changes when they discover somebody hidden inside the game. Ethan has dangerous secrets to share and information that threatens Eleanor and her companion’s future. Why is Eleanor in the game and what will she find when she reaches the fringes of her new world?

Ready Player One meets westworld in this new sci-fi fantasy series with gamelit and reverse harem elements.



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It is no secret that I’m a huge fan of L.J. Swallow’s writing and this one is no exception. I’ve previously read a gaming romance under her romance name (Lisa Swallow), so I figured this would be like that but with a reverse harem twist. How wrong I was! This is nothing like her previous work, not even a little bit. Its so much more. Much more interesting, extensive, demanding and that’s just how I felt as a reader. This book demands attention, and I had the hardest time putting it down. Even to sleep (R.I.P sleeping pattern).

I’ve games my fair share of hours, days, weeks, months and even years myself. World of Warcraft took a huge chunk of my years in the 20’s and sometimes I would play so much, that even my dreams took place in Azeroth, where even sleep didn’t stop me from carrying out imaginary quests as either my shaman or my hunter. Though, I am glad to note that my dreams were no way near as vivid, as Lisa’s imagination is in this book.

I actually find it hard to write a lot about the book, without giving too much away. But I found the characters (no pun intended) easy to connect with. Especially as they’re all so different. Throw in some life threatening goblin fights, and the majority of the group seems to quickly learn that they need to stick together. However, 1 character seems to be a riddle wrapped up in a mystery: their tank, a feisty and bossy girl named Zara. For some reason she’s not as keen on the group dynamic of the game, and at least once it seems like she slips up and reveals more than intended. However, the book ends on one enormous cliffhanger, and I for once find it almost impossible to predict what might happen next.


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Lets chat

Are you a gamer? Do you like to read about gaming worlds? Let’s talk in the comments!


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