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Ink Mage (A Fire Beneath the Skin Book 1) by [Gischler, Victor]
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Ink Mage (A Fire Beneath the Skin Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 402 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

In the first installment of the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, the city of Klaar has never fallen. No enemy has ever made it across the Long Bridge or penetrated the city’s mighty walls. Even when a powerful invading army shows up at the gates, the duke and his daughter, Rina Veraiin, are certain that it poses little threat.

But they are cruelly betrayed from within and, in a horrific spasm of violence, the city is brought to its knees.

With the help of her bodyguard, Kork, the battle-trained young Rina narrowly escapes the slaughter and makes her way to the lair of an ancient sorcerer—the Ink Mage—who gifts her with a strange, beautiful set of magical tattoos.

Now a duchess in exile, Rina sets out on a quest to reclaim what is rightfully hers, aided by a motley assortment of followers who will help her in her cause—some for noble reasons and others for their own dark purposes.

With the enemy’s agents nipping at her heels, Rina must learn to harness her new and startling magical powers if she is to assert her rightful place as ruler of Klaar.

This book was initially released in episodes as a Kindle Serial. All episodes are now available for immediate download as a complete book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2584 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (22 October 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,157 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was ok felt a bit rushed in parts, but as it was written as episodes I can understand why. The main character is quite likeable, if your new to fantasy fiction there is definitely worse places to start than this, (easy to read) I don't want to say anything to negative about it as its the first in the series and is just setting the scene for the story. have just started the second book and that's already much better written as is often the case with a new trilogy. If your a veteran Fantasy reader of Robert Jordan, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, etc... this first book may seem a bit tame.
If you've read the painted man trilogy by Peter V Brett than the writing style between the first and second book is very similar.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Girschler's run on the Deadpool Corps intrigued me- a great grasp of characters, pacing, and comedy- and so when I found he wrote fiction, and it was discounted on Amazon, it was an instant win.
I read a few of his other stories, but Ink Mage was the first instance of creating a whole world and making it compelling, along with its characters.
The lead-up to the book's climax had me finding excuses anywhere I could find a moment to keep reading. Enjoyed it immensely!
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Good story, though wrapped it up too quickly. could have been room for more books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 684 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing book. 31 July 2016
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this book. Think it is very fascinating to have a fantasy book based around tattoos and ink and gaining power with each tattoo received. I enjoyed this book even though questionable story line. The plot is a little unbelievable to me though in the sense that a spoiled daughter of a duke would become a savage mage killing non-stop making at times. Character development not as intricate as some of the recent books I have read but enjoyed the concept and reading the book. Was a nice deviation from typical plot lines of some of the fantasy books I have read recently. Found it a little hard to believe a king would ignore part of his land being invaded and leave it to a young girl to defend her land with the help of just a few others. And the Chamberlain to the king sends the young girl to a Temple of Death for a death tattoo. Good book for a diversion from the usual fantasy book. I did find the book captivating enough to keep reading it consistently to the end of the book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Your new favorite light fantasy series. Great intro to fun characters in an interesting world. 21 March 2017
By Chris Daley - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great new fantasy series. Gischler has put together a really compelling story that makes sense as the first in a series but also largely (thankfully) stands on its own.

None of the characters are complete surprises but they're also far from copies of others. While one character's use of magic develops a bit too quickly and without many consequences, the story otherwise moves without many bumps. Gischler deftly avoids too many of the tropes of the genre and does a few innovating things.

While the book doesn't break a ton of new ground, it's fun as all get out. A really enjoyable read in a world with lots of potential (much hinted at throughout) and without any mustache twirling villains. The writing is smooth and engaging. The short chapters are perfect for community or multitasking too.

A great debut of an interesting magic system and well crafted (if not overly detailed) world.
307 of 338 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Honestly, are we reading the same book? 30 March 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If someone put the Encyclopedia of Fantasy Tropes and Stereotypes into novel form and then had a stoned college student transcribe it for maximum typos, this is about what I would expect to see come out the other side. (For example, "solider" and "soldier" are both words, but not interchangeable. Also, you cannot ever, ever say "here" when you mean "her"... and so on. There is a reason proofreaders get paid for their work, and it's to keep people like you, Mr. Gischler, from looking like a chump.)

Horrible cliches aside (oh, how cute! The princess--I mean duchess--is falling for the stable boy. Who could have predicted that?!) A lot of the novel just doesn't make sense or display any amount of research. For example, a bodyguard who teaches his charge (who he's been protecting and training since she was born) rapier first, hand-to-hand last, and apparently never even THINKS that she might need more practical weapons training in something other than a dueling weapon until there is literally an army on her doorstep. One who also, apparently, can take on an entire squad of elite fighters single-handedly, but it too stupid to stop at any point after said battle to wrap a simple bandage so he doesn't bleed out and leave his charge completely unprotected and on her own in a snowy wilderness with enemies all around her. This would also explain why he fell for the Evil Steward's "maybe you should check the garrison" ruse instead of being at his charge's side when she and her father were meeting with the enemy.

Why is there a rapier on a wall display of hunting weapons? Why does a stableboy (HEAD stableboy!) show absolutely no emotion about killing a guy (except to whine about how in the act of COMMITTING MURDER he may have bruised his ribs)? Do you realize that an arrow flying so close to your head that the fletching touches your ear wouldn't tickle, it would slice your ear open? How does a HEAD stableboy go from "servant I don't even see" to potential love interest in the space of a few pages with no emotional development in between? I also love how the heroine goes to sack a local noble's country estate for valuables, only realizing AFTER she gets chased off by the bad guys that she has a string of jewels in her hair.

I like the idea of the tattoo magic, but the application of it is so weak that the whole thing felt sad and underexplored. Everyone she found seemed practically desperate to put a new tattoo on her and make her the first new tattoo mage in ages (because tattoo mages are... y'know... dangerous.) And while it's a fascinating idea to explore, I have no idea why people seem to think it's original. Not only have I seen it done in fantasy before, but it's actually a part of real life human tradition in multiple cultures going back millenia.

Underwhelmed, under impressed, and once the cliches stopped being hilarious and just got tedious, I totally lost any interest.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Characters and Fast Action 4 February 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ink Mage, at its best and worst, moves at a great pace. Action comes fast and hard. Characters have emotions and motivations. Ink Mage is for the most part a very fun read without feeling

This book was released as a Kindle Serial over eight parts. The first of eight parts seems committed to including as many uncomfortable or overused plot devices as possible. The rhythm of the narrative made it endurable, and the next seven parts were well worth it.

By the fourth part, the story has grown into its own tale with its own flavor. From this point forward, Ink Mage is captivating. Rina becomes a strong character and strong protagonist. She is ultimately driven by her own values and strength, where prophecy or the world's end are motivators in other novels. A tight cast of main and supporting characters each bring their own philosophies to the story. Their actions and moral codes are just as strong as Rina's. The diverse worldview are used to fuel the story's pace instead of detracting from it.

Instead of dragging the story down with long conversations about what their philosophies dictate, they simply act on their philosophies. Their beliefs are no less clear for this. The story is much more enjoyable.

Fantasy and action elements feel fresh and exciting. Some of this is the serial format's positive influence. Neither the plot nor the action is allowed to linger too long. The magic systems, politics, and unique moral outlooks are all credits to Victor Gischler's talent.

The eighth and final part of the story felt necessarily rushed. The main story arch reaches an exciting and satisfying conclusion. Other important events from late in the book feel unresolved by the last words. This feels like a downside to the serial publication method. It also leaves a huge opening for a second book to start with.

Ink Mage is a fun and smart fantasy novel that shakes off even its own trappings to become its own exciting story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Beginning to a Fantasy Trilogy 15 September 2016
By Stephen Wise - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Victor Gischler does it again with this very enjoyable first part of a fantasy trilogy. The characters feel contemporary in their thoughts, actions, and dialogue rather than being trapped in a period sensibility. But rather than being out of place, this helps the reader better connect to the characters. What makes this stand out from being another "Lord of the Rings" clone is the premise of the main character getting powers through magical tattoos. It's very inventive and cleverly drives the story. Gischler's typical gonzo style is more subdued here than in, let's say "Gestapo Mars", though it's still very adult in nature. Regardless, this novel is very accessible to the average reader, who should find it a fun read.

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