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Book Review - Storm and Spire: Magnify

Review of Storm and Spire Magnify book I by Stefanie Lozinski

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

You can watch this on Youtube here:

Probably for ages 13 and up because of some violence and darker scenes. It was, however, very clean and painted sin as something bad.

I have been following Stefanie on social media for a while now, so really wanted to give her book a try. She talks often about how she feels God inspires her in the writing process, which is beautiful, and made me really curious as a Catholic myself.

It contains a lot of very Christian messages: this idea of One God, The High One as He is called in the book, a One true religion, and so forth.

Some parts made me think of the early Christians in Rome, particularly those who converted from paganism. It had a martyr/persecution feel to it. You, likewise, had the main character doubting his pagan religion, and turning to the Truth.

Wes is in a particularly tough spot being the Envoy, the one who is a priest of sorts and offers the sacrifices to the false gods. He is the only one who can do this, marked by a moon scar on his face, so for him to turn his back on this for the sake of following Truth, that’s huge!

I liked seeing Wes’ development. He starts as a flawed character with a lot of room for growth: a slight glutton who is a bit overweight, a bit of a coward who ponders suicide and ponders leaving slave children to their own demise <-- that was probably one of my favourite scenes in the whole book, by the way. Wes goes from being a mostly likeable coward we can sympathize with because of his depressing past, to a hero who is willing to die for the Truth.

- Another main character is the dragon, Celesyria (named after a place in the Old Testament in the book of Machabees). She is likewise pretty flawed, lying to her parents even if for a good reason. She does mention regretting this later in the book. She kinda struck me as a bit of a teenager initially at parts, which seemed strange to me being a dragon who is supposed to be hundreds of years old I think, though for a YA book this probably holds marketing value. She also grows, though not as much as Wes does partially because her flaws may not be as apparent/strong.

- I, personally, wasn’t sure how I felt about a talking dragon initially. I know even Tolkien has a talking dragon, and I love Tolkien, but it still seemed odd to me at first, maybe because I was writing my book at time I started reading Stefanie's book and, as you might know, my book likewise has dragons in it although they are very different; they don't talk and are more animalistic whereas Stefanie's are more humanistic. Also, as I got into this book, the idea of a talking dragon grew on me.

I found some parts in the book felt slow to me, though maybe that’s just me. I am a very impatient person. There were lots of action scenes scattered about though, some beautiful world building and imagery. The ending was especially riveting. There were some profound thoughts to ponder as well.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was well-written and an inspiring story. I am reading book II now because that ending was so intense! I’m definitely hooked.

I frequently recommend this book to others on social media, so it is safe to say that definitely made a huge impression on me.

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