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Summary

Conquering fate takes sacrifice. 

Victoria of Ourtown believes two things: that the bright, wandering star in the heavens is an abandoned spacecraft which brought her ancestors to this world and that destiny and the will of gods are nonsense. Vic used to scoff at stories of wizards too, until she acquired their powers. Once a warrior, now a secret wizard, she just wants to live an ordinary life and find a way to atone for the mistakes she’s made. 

Ashel of Narath knows that the wandering star is the god who created humanity, but this difference of opinion doesn’t stop him from loving Vic. All that keeps them apart is a thousand miles and a tragic loss. 

Lornk Korng needs Vic and Ashel to execute his plans for conquest. The fact both want him dead is but a trifling snag in his schemes. A bigger problem are the world’s indigenous aliens and an ancient enemy whose victory could wipe out humankind. 

As plots and counterplots clash across time, Vic and Ashel must choose their allies carefully, or risk losing not only each other but everything they know. 

A gripping tale of wizardry, warfare, and moral dilemmas unspools in a breathtaking blend of fantasy and science fiction.

©2021 A. M. Justice (P)2020 A. M. Justice

What listeners say about A Wizard's Sacrifice: A Dark Science Fantasy

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Who Can You Trust?

** spoiler alert ** I've read a couple of versions of this book, but I've sat on a review until cracking through the audiobook, where I think the story excels the best.
Novel. 4.5*
Audiobook. 5*

It is an interesting tale, picking up from A Wizard's Forge, but not in a happily ever after sense. Vic is a closet wizard where wizardry is banned. Latha's other royal family are equally fraught.Queen Elekia is hanging onto pwer by her fintertips, Ashel is crippled with rapidly reducing future options, and Bethniel is the pawn in the governmental powerplay. The only positive is Lornk Korng is deposed and imprisoned and the war is over.

It should be the dawn of peace, but it is anything but. All the baggage from book one is dumped into the cauldron of political infighting, and a discontented populace struggling to make ends meet. The question of what happens when the soldiers come home that was dodged in the LOTR films, lands front and centre in what initially seems a successional crisis, but is the second round of a global conflict.

Then half the cast disappears down the rabbit hole...

The sci-fi elements in book one, plus the use of magic in a non-magical world are skilfully woven into a number of twisting storyarcs that give a widespread cast page time without being overly bloated. Current and past characters intermingle as legend and survival of the human race struggle towards each other, while fighting amongst themselves and their enemies.

Without giving much away, don't expect a disneyesque ending. Pretty much every character is tormented by their situation, the challenge ahead, or their lack of options. No-one is unscathed in a pretty punchy ending that is stunning in audioformat as it twists and shocks.

For me Earnk, is a tad underused, Ashel is tormented beyond the point he needs a good slap and Wineyll still annoys me. No-one is a hero, everyone is flawed and quite often events (and Parnden) get the better of the characters in the past and present. In that regard, the realism is brutal. Just like in STNG, Picard doesn't immediately recover after Best of Both Worlds. Here Everyone hates Lornk Korng, Parnden and Meylnara, and the damage accrued has a cuvlmative effect.

There is a lot to pull together, and if you're banking on the likely outcome, you may find things become worse and unexpected. Race and faction fight everyone, or stand inactive - unable to act. If the current world lacks magic, the old does not. If you like big booms, portals, siege warfare and tense, impossible situations, you can't go far wrong.

Tight editing, elegant prose and a seeming rampant desire to mess up every character in play hides a elegant storyline highlighting many human flaws. The heroes are the ones able to function. With luck they may stay standing, and in war - who can you trust.

There's plenty of life in this world if developed further, particularly the first contact.

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A solid direct sequel to A Wizard’s Forge

A Wizard’s Sacrifice brings back all of the action, romance and complex threads that were prevalent in the first book of the series, and A.M. Justice does it all with the same strength of detailed storytelling. Each scene is flavour to the five senses, which works equally with the quieter and action-packed moments alike. Leah Casey returns as the audiobook narrator, and once again delivers it all expertly in perfectly-produced audio, bringing the characters and scenes fully to life. There’s no need for me to write a long review, just enough to say that anyone who enjoyed A Wizard’s Forge will equally enjoy A Wizard’s Sacrifice whether you’re reading it or listening to it.

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The Woern Saga Series a recommended read

Both book 1 and 2 are enjoyable, interesting, complex, reads with well written storylines. I definitely recommend them. The narrator did a great job too at bringing the story to life.

I was given a copy of this book for free of my own choosing and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • C.T.
  • 01-01-21

Fantastic sequel to A Wizard's Forge

A WIZARD's SACRIFICE by A.M. Justice is the sequel to the extremely enjoyable A WIZARD'S FORGE that came out a couple of years ago. The story covered the dark and gritty tale of a young scholar getting enslaved, escaping, becoming an assassin, and then gaining the power of magic. It also dealt with uncomfortable topics like Stockholm Syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder.

I really enjoyed the strange science fantasy world that the author has created. The planet was settled by human space travelers millennia ago, only to lose the majority of their technology and revert to a Medieval state. However, the planet also possesses a race of insectoid aliens who have a peculiar relationship to the local trees as well as access to world-changing powers related to the Woern parasites

The book opens with Victoria successfully crushing the slave-holding armies of Relman with the power of sorcery. Vic can and does level mountains with her power but each use of it is something that brings her closer to death. However, it seems like the price is well worth it since it allows her capture the evil nobleman Lornk. Lornk was the man who held her prisoner, chopped off the hand of her lover, and warped her entire sense of being with deliberate attempts to brainwash her with kindness.

Unfortunately, nothing remains good in Vic's life and she still suffers crippling guilt as well as self-loathing for the fact she survived where so many of her people did not. It causes serious issues in her burgeoning romantic relationship as well as contributes to her belief that any happiness in her life is fleeting. It doesn't help that sorcery is illegal and while many people know she is a magic-user, public revelation would lead to her exile.

A.M. Justice is a master of both melodrama as well as high stakes political intrigue. The conflicts among the feuding families include illegitimate children, long-dead romances, gaslighting, and complicated webs of personal intrigues. Lornk is a particularly well-designed villain as he attempts to frame his every action for the greater good while fostering fatherly or romantic relationships with his worst enemies. His greatest skill is that he can portray himself as a well-intentioned extremist and misunderstood progressive versus the narcissistic psychopath that he actually is.

The blend of science fiction and fantasy is well done with a large portion of this book's plotline dealing with time-travel in addition to magic. Science and magic are not portrayed as enemies in this world but simply the case of the latter being something wholly inexplicable to the human colonists. Much humor is derived from the fact that the predominate religion in the region is from a misunderstanding of the records relating to the original spacecraft that brought them here. Even then, enough bizarre and miraculous events confuse "heretics" like Vic who believe in a space-based origin for mankind.

Secondary characters from the first book have much bigger roles this time around with my favorite being Bethniel. The daughter of Latha's ruler, she is attempting to prove herself but finds herself continually overshadowed by Vic's deeds. Everyone has their own plots and counter-plots, though, which makes the book a vibrant as well as engaging read.

In conclusion, I very much liked this book and am glad to have read it. It is full of politics, twists, and turns as well as more than a few doomed romances. These are all things I enjoy reading about. The narration is beautiful and the narrator does an amazing job.

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  • Sparky's Girl
  • 02-03-21

Not a standalone in my opinion.

In reading the information on this book, I decided to give it a run as a standalone story since I haven't listened to the first one. I was so confused at multiple points because the characters kept referencing the first book. The story itself was good, but do yourself a favor and get the 1st one first. Narration was great and I never had to ask myself which character was talking as their own personalities were brought out well.

*I requested this book and am voluntarily leaving this review

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  • Michael P.
  • 25-02-21

Even Better Than Forge

In the first book, we are introduced to a richly detailed world and major characters who are complex and well developed. This series explores quite a few deep issues, like the effects of psychological trauma and fighting toward a path of healing and hope. In this volume there is plenty of emotion, well conveyed to tug on the heart strings in sad and happy ways. Overall, I enjoyed this book even more than the first. Even with so much going on in different locations, there was plenty to keep me involved with the story. I know this is designed where a new reader can enjoy it without having read the first book, but I think doing so would cheat yourself out of some depth and richness. Certainly recommended for fans of the genre.

Narration is well done here. Production issues noted in the first book are not present in this volume. The narrator gives the right amount of energy and emotion to help really feel with the characters.

I was given a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

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  • Crysta M
  • 17-01-21

An amazing sequel

I had really been looking forward to this book after listening to A Wizard's Forge and it exceeded all expectations. The world building continues to be fascinating and I loved getting more details about their history and the other cultures that live there. And just like in A Wizard's Forge, A.M. Justice explores some difficult topics with emotions and morality, so while it's an excellent story it's also very thought provoking.

There's a lot more romance subplots than in the first book, which would normally annoy me but I found myself enjoying them in this case. Some felt a bit rushed to my non-romantic sensibilities but overall I felt it did add to the character development and so I was invested and like the romance plots too.

I was really keen on getting to hear more of the logs and finding out more how their world and culture came to be. A.M Justice answered a lot of my questions from book 1, but then prompted a bunch more I'll need answered in book 3! So I eagerly await the next edition in this series.

And, of course, Leah Casey did a fantastic job once again giving voice to the characters.