Raised by wizards who never missed an opportunity to remind him of his deficiencies, Ned grows up believing his mage skills are seriously lacking. Conscripted at an early age, he fears it’s a back-handed way to ensure he sustains an honorable death in battle.
Battling prejudice, insidious lies and lack of knowledge about his mage powers—which are really quite different from wizard magic—Ned finds ways to keep going. His first mission away from the wizards teaches him he’s stronger and more resourceful than he thought. Against stiff odds, he learns different isn’t necessarily bad and true love has a way of shining through.
Will Ned complete his mission, or leave the world of wizards behind forever?
Ned’s life has been little better than a nightmare. Even though the wizards have treated him terribly, they are the only family he knows. With the war against the Infernals going poorly, Ned is sent on a mission to find some help. His chance of success is slim, but Ned is grateful for the opportunity to get away from the battlefield. Once he has some distance between himself and the wizards, Ned’s first taste of freedom is intoxicating. Belittled and bullied by the wizards for his entire life, Ned now finds himself in an interesting position. Does he complete his mission and return to the wizards who raised him, or slip away and make his own fate?
It is very easy to like Ned. Despite his upbringing, Ned is a kind young man. Unfortunately, the wizards have all but crippled his self-confidence. I have a soft spot for underdogs, so I found it very easy to cheer for Ned. I can’t believe he has stayed with the wizards as long as he has. I certainly wouldn’t blame Ned if he turned his back on them when given the opportunity.
Everything changes when Ned saves Amanda’s life. Even though she is a complete stranger, Ned doesn’t hesitate to put his own life at risk to save her. It is the first indication that Ned is made of stronger stuff than he realizes. As Ned experiences love and kindness for the first time in his life, he starts to see the world differently, making his decision regarding his mission very clear. I must say, it was a pleasure to watch Ned grow into a strong and courageous man.
The world Ned inhabits is interesting and filled with a variety of unique people and creatures. However, I feel that the story needed a lot more detail to fully round out the mythology that Ms. Gimpel crafted. As I read, there were several times when I found myself frustrated when details were sacrificed in favor of a faster pace. I wanted to know more about mages, wizards, and how the Earth got into such a terrible state. Sometimes a bit of explanation was provided concerning these topics, and sometimes they were completely glossed over. Despite this issue, I will say that Ms. Gimpel always provided enough information to keep the plot moving smoothly and avoid confusion.
Overall, I think Fortune’s Scion is a good book. Ned is a great character and I truly enjoyed watching him grow into a fine young man. I recommend Fortune’s Scion to anyone looking for a fast paced fantasy with a touch of romance.