The Rivalry for Alsatia by Justice Shepherd and Reggit Dogger 

This magical novel tells the tale of Catalina Dewin, an aspiring mage who is forced to overcome a variety of obstacles and difficult choices in order to figure out what kind of person she wants to become. Magic isn’t an abundant resource in Alsatia, sometimes the thin balance between peace and pandemonium has the possibility to come undone and force everyone to choose a side. When Catalina accidentally forces her brother into a hole in the space-time continuum, she is kicked out of school, leading her to become the apprentice of the strange Archmage Kalron Castellan. Through her experiences with Kalron she meets an interesting cast of characters that includes an erratic fire-wright, a futile paladin, an intelligent illusionist and a knight of the undead. This unlikely group of misfits bands together to fight against the powerful wizards whose misguided ideas about the nature of the world threaten to take everything over the edge. Catalina and her friends have to fight off attacks from a variety of terrible creatures and traipse across treacherous terrain in order to find a sacred enchanted key that has the power to save the world from erupting into unending chaos.

The Rivalry for Alsatia by Justice Shepherd and Reggit Dogger is the first of a planned seven book series of adventure that takes place in a dangerously magical world. Although this book is just the first of many more to come, it is enjoyable in its own right as a standalone tale that keeps the pages turning as suspense continues to mount while Catalina and her crew journey on in their mission of bravery. This book is written in such a way that certain essential plot points are not revealed all at once, instead the mysteries of magic are delivered at a balanced and delightful pace. The plot has just the right amount of tension, separated by well-placed times of rest and conversation. The tale itself is very creative and imaginative, but at times the story does feel a little bit bloated. Nevertheless, The Rivalry for Alsatia is sure to be only the first engaging novel of what promises to be a truly visionary series.

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