Here's some super news!
Grady Harp, a Top 100 Amazon Reviewer and Art Reviewer for Poets and Artists Magazine, read The Wayward Mage and left a review. God bless him and thank you so much to Grady and to God for this kindness!
Here's what he had to say:
"Author A.S. Norris brings to his literary debut his own life of adventurous traveling around the globe and makes a strong impression with this lengthy but solid young adult ‘sword and sorcery fantasy’ book – THE WAYWARD MAGE. Even the name of the principal character – Jack Wartnose – shows clever creativity! And there is promise of more episodes to follow in this series. One of the many reasons this saga works so well, and will guarantee appeal to the designated Young Adult audience, is Norris’ sparkling wit. In the Prologue he presents the backdrop – ‘The age of the adventurer was well into its fourth millennium of existence. After the Great Cataclysm, humanity found itself on the brink of extinction and at the mercy of bloodthirsty and relentless hordes of monsters…’ With a plethora of odd names and places surveyed, the story opens with the wry humor: ‘The hot summer evening’s air refused to relent. As a storm gathered near the western horizon, three adventurers marched on the farmland highway. The wind occasionally blew, rustling the wheat and corn stalks that grew on either side of them. A distant flash of lightning illuminated the land beyond. “Storm’s rolling in,” spoke the mage as he looked over his shoulder. “Oh, you don’t say, Wartnose?” a frustrated thief quipped. “What magical divination did you use to figure that out?” “Bite your tongue, Skully!” the mage angrily retorted…’ The tale is complex, in a good way, and is condensed here – ‘So, you think being a mage is an exciting job class to choose? Oh sure, it’s fantastic being able to shoot fireballs or end an argument by making the other person float away. But some problems can’t be so easily dismissed. With these powers comes a hard price: an extensive and often intense training; we cannot lie; we cannot break an oath; and infractions and misuse of magical powers are punishable up to death—though, only if you delve into the taboo—to name but a few of the restrictions the Mage’s Code puts on us. And all that comes before you’re either tucked away in a grinding research facility or sent out to join other adventurers on quests. You always feel like you’re racing against the clock to meet the expectations of your superiors. You’re never paid enough. You’re expected to be a servant and deny yourself certain societal comforts and customs. Yet here, I find myself breaking that expectation. When, by a chance encounter, my party happened into a tavern where I was reunited with my childhood sweetheart and lover after almost twenty years, and she reveals I have a son—what was I to do? Abandon them again in favor of continuing my quest? Or face my past and make it right? What would you have done in my place? Jack Wartnose navigates being a father and making things right with his childhood sweetheart, mutinous party members, shadows from his past, and quests—all while the chase continues for the invaluable Tome of Time. Will Wartnose ever catch a break?’ Welcome to the fantasy scene, AS Norris – this is a fine beginning! Grady Harp, April 22"