Reviews of The Unsuspecting Mage: The Morcyth Saga Book One

“Want to be a mage? Then do we have the job for you…” Sounds great for a veteran role-player. When on-the-job training entails battling demons, learning magic through trial and error, and living in a world without toilet paper, things could get rough. But to be dropped in the middle of a forest and having to do it on your own with no instruction…welcome to James’ world.

Reviews of The Unsuspecting Mage: The Morcyth Saga Book One by Brian S. Pratt

Lisa Vandiver reviewed on March 30, 2011

I found this book to be both interesting and entertaining. I love this kind of mystic story and fell right into it, and enjoyed it very much. Mr. Pratt has a great talent at story telling and any minor errors are easily overlooked. I found myself being drawn into the story and anxiously awaiting to see what next terror or triumph was going to unfold for the main character James. I am looking forward to continuing in the series. I will continue to be a reader of Brian Pratt's adventures.
(review of free book)
PM Geuze reviewed on March 5, 2011

As posted on my Facebook page:

I just finished this first of eight books by Brian S Pratt that was for offer at the Smashwords website. So far the selections at Smashwords have been a whole lot of miss but this is a hit. Provided for free under the guise that all following books are charged for, the story is simple in the simple RPG format. The writing is simple and easy to read. While the writing is easy enough to read, you get the sense that somebody better at writing English is tutting at the prose, but it is a light enough touch that you can still enjoy the story.

Given an interest in middle fantasy, and an social repressed teen magically transported to a magical land, the story picks on the path of finding his way through a strange land. Characters come and go, each adding a small part to the hint that there will be an overreaching story yet to be seen.

I saw that the author has managed at least eight books, so what has been hinted to, clearly will be delivered over time. So if this sounds interesting, come look at the free edition at
(review of free book)
John McHaffie reviewed on March 5, 2011

This is a very good series. I have read all 7 of this series, the first book of the sequel Travail series, and am anxiously awaiting the publication of the next book.

I agree that there are some slow spots, but overall this is a very engaging and visual series. It really creates imagery as you read it, and the action just gets more and more intense as the book goes on. In the other books it gets *really* intense as well.

I cannot imagine trying to review a book after only reading a few pages, so I am unsure how some of the one or no-star reviewers are coming up with their opinions of this book.

I think it is obvious by many of the comments (such as improper use of amber alert) that many people have not even read the book carefully at all. Do not care for this type of genre, or for some reason just want to post something negative.

If you like fantasy books (like Weis / Hickman type stuff, etc.) then you will LOVE this in my personal opinion.

Hey it's free. Give it a read and definitely read it for more than a few pages lol. You will find that you will be purchasing the next one... then the next one... just like I did.

If you must defer to proper grammar and sentence structure to create a comfortable reading environment for yourself, then this is not for you.

I give this book 4 stars only because there are others in this series that I think are better written as far as keeping the reader engaged in the story. Keep in mind that this is a *series* so after reading it just imagine how good the others get!
(review of free book)
Benjamin Haynes reviewed on Jan. 4, 2011

I rather enjoyed this book, and found that I even more drawn to the book because it was written in present-tense. Such writing styles in my opinion make me feel more like I am there either as or with the character in the story. The book was well written and I enjoyed following James as he discovered magic and how to use it. I also enjoy how there was a limit to the magic he could use, unlike most fantasy book with magic in them a person in this book was only limited to what his or her body allowed, so it seemed more reasonable and made the story more interesting as he struggled with his limits. Bought the whole series and plan to read it again and again
(review of free book)
Shoobydoo reviewed on Jan. 1, 2011

I only managed to get through 8 pages of this before asking myself why I was bothering and hitting the back button. The present-tense writing is incredibly distracting, but I am a poor judge of that because I absolutely despise present-tense writing in general. What dialogue I read was stilted and very unnatural. The main character starts out as trying to be an interesting subversion, by making James interested in geeky and nerdy things, but in practice it just seems like a poorly written author stand-in.

When the author actually wrote "It's not like he was fat or anything" was really the last straw. That is not the kind of sentence you put in a professionally written manuscript. (And yes, that is what the independently published should strive to be; professional.) That is the kind of thing you say in a conversation with your buddy when trying to defend your sedentary lifestyle. In fact, it would have been fine if this sentence was used as a piece of dialogue between two characters DISCUSSING the main's sedentary lifestyle. However, it was a piece of background information about the character. Instead of revealing James' traits through his actions and interactions, we are instead treated to lovely infodumps like "It's not like he was fat or anything. He just wasn't in to that sort of thing." If that's the best this book has to offer, you can count me out.
(review of free book)
Jason reviewed on Dec. 28, 2010

I'm surprised at the high rating other reviewers have given this book. My guess is that the other reviewers are on the young side or the author is bumping his own work.

The book is written in the present tense which is actually really distracting. It may be that the author decided to do this so that readers might associate it with the way the GM of a role playing game narrates but it doesn't make it less disconcerting.

The book's dialogue and plot are very simplistic, suitable for young readers but probably not for most adults. I found the whole book to be a demanding slog. Not recommended for advanced readers. Only barely recommended for anyone else.
(review of free book)
frostschutz reviewed on Oct. 26, 2010

The style takes some getting used to at first, since it's all in the present tense instead of the usual past tense for fantasy novels; so he goes, sees, says, asks, hollers, rides, camps, fights, etc.

The story is mysterious and many questions aren't answered, so the main character doesn't know why he is taken to the fantasy world, or what exactly it is he's supposed to do there. So he travels in search of answers, but instead finds himself in trouble at pretty much every corner.

Although the book is free, the ending is a total cliffhanger so if you enjoyed it at all, you're basically forced to buy the next book as well. I ended up buying the entire series after finishing the second book.

The only thing I can criticize about this story is that it gets a bit too repetitive sometimes; ride, fight, camp, ride, fight, ...
(review of free book)
Thomas Harning, Jr reviewed on Sep. 22, 2010

Great read and a great introduction to a new book series. May not have started reading if it were not free... reading drove me to get the next one! The attention to detail on the mechanics of how things work in the environment are not "inconsequential" but an enhancement to the experience. Look forward to reading more of Pratt's work.
(review of free book)
Donal Fitterer reviewed on Jan. 14, 2010

I liked the book. The beginning caught my attention and I was able to ignore some of the issues I have with the author's writing style. The middle dragged on but the last part of the book was exciting and I fell into the story. I was bummed when the book ended and I found out I needed book two. If you keep in mind that the author is inexperienced (this is my opinion, not a fact) and you are looking for just a fun story then by all means read the book. I have yet to decide whether I am willing to buy the second book. It does make me want to write my own story!
(review of free book)
redwriter reviewed on Dec. 10, 2009

This is a fun and exciting story following a teenager as he falls into a world of magic. My main problem is not with the cliche plot, but with the authors tendancy to get caught up in inconsequential details. I felt like yelling at my screen "who cares about money, get on with the story". But aside form a few flaws it was an extremly entertaining story.
(review of free book)