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September 12, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: Mudlark, by Chris Matthews

Book Review: “Mudlark” by Chris Matthews

On the outskirts of the city, a young orphan boy, Lark, is forced to scavenge the muddy flats of the river for treasure in order to survive. When he finds a magical box that cannot be opened, his life changes forever. Lark soon learns that he is destined to battle the Capposeign—the corrupt and evil theocracy that rules the city of Perous with fire magic.


However, Lark soon discovers that he has his own sort of magic, earned through a childhood spent in the water. He must quickly learn how to use his power—or die trying. In his quest to take down the Capposeign, Lark must ally with a witch, an artist, a revolutionary, and a strangely familiar and beautiful courtesan. Facing the powerful fire mages will push Lark and his friends to the very limit as they fight to save the city—but will their efforts be enough, or will it all go up in flames?


This novel was one I found by pure chance. Mudlark, by Chris Matthews, was luckily sold well enough in the description for me to add it to my ever growing list of things to read. It was different than I expected it to be, but that’s hardly a bad thing for a book, now is it?


The basic plotline is this: There are elemental magics in the world. Three of them, water, earth, and air, gave up most of their power to save the world years ago. The fire mages, the Capposeign, now have control and run a strict and authoritarian government. The only way to defeat them is to find a way to bring back the rest of the magic. I’ll be honest–it wasn’t an idea that I had never heard before. Still, as such, Matthews did a very good job with it. He managed to keep me entertained throughout the entire book. I think the frank and easy writing was what made the novel so likable, although it made for a few slow action scenes. I also think that there could have been a little more substance to the 431 pages, but it was still very interesting. Perhaps my need to know what was going to happen next fueled my impatience.


The book has a cast of characters that vary in age. The main character, Lark, is around sixteen. Don’t let that fool you however, there are some mature elements in this book that would keep me from writing it off as a teen book. Lark is a dependable sort of guy, but he can be a little naive at times. His transition to uneducated worker to key instrument in saving the world was neither too fast as to be unbelievable, nor too slow to be of any use to the reader.

I think the book was a good choice for something to read when you need a novel that is engaging and interesting without being over-the-top. If you would like to see for yourself, check it out here!


A Daily Dose of R&R


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