A Ragged Magic (The Runebound Book 1)
by Lindsey S. Johnson
Review by Gayle Surrette
Per Aspera Press Kindle Edition ISBN/ITEM#: B00O2R1SX0
Date: 18 November 2014
Rhiannon Owen sometimes saw things -- things that were not before her. She thought she saw someone drowning and she spoke up, hoping he'd be saved. For that, her mother, father, and older brother were hanged. Her younger sister was allowed to live as a way to control Rhiannon. Rhiannon watched her family die and then was taken to be tortured because she was a witch, a witch not sanctioned by the church. She was rescued, but now the life she had is gone forever and she must help her rescuers bring down the people who are tearing about her corner of the world in their quest for power.
A Ragged Magic by Lindsey S. Johnson is the first book in The Runebound series. The world building is believable within the context of this story as the reader can assume that there's a lot more going on out of sight and knowledge of our point of view character -- Rhiannon. It's a Middle Ages type fantasy. Magic exists but all magic users must either be trained by the church and work only for them or renounce magic forever. Church magic is okay but if not sanctioned by the church it could mean your life. It seems from the story that this is a new thing.
As we follow Rhiannon as she attempts to settle into her new identity, we learn a bit about the politics of the world and the power plays between royalty and the church. There's hints that what's happening in this area is not necessarily the norm but it is crucial to taking power away from the current rulers.
This particular story is self-contained and the resolution is satisfying. However, it also sets up for the books which will follow. While this particular challenge was faced, there will be a lot more. Rhiannon is a strong multidimensional character, and the series, based on this first book, has a lot of potential. Much of the action is in dialogue, misdirection, and quick wittedness rather than in sword fights and battles, though there are a few of those also. Will good triumph? And, what is the good? There's a lot of potential for this series and I look forward to the next installment.