The Blacksmith's Son by Michael G. Manning is an interesting book. It is a voyage of discovery, with plenty of adventure midst a great amount of humor, and is the lead-off book for the Mageborn series. I had a great time with this book.
BUT FIRST THE BLURB:
Mordecai’s simple life as the son of a blacksmith is transformed by the discovery of his magical birthright. As he journeys to understand the power within him he is drawn into a dangerous plot to destroy the Duke of Lancaster and undermine the Kingdom of Lothion. Love and treachery combine to embroil him in events he was never prepared to face. What he uncovers will change his understanding of the past, and alter the future of those around him.
Mort is a great character, both wise beyond his years and naive as heck. Manning goes deep into the world of Lothian, creating characters who are real and who respond to their circumstances in entirely realistic ways.
At first he his unaware of his birthright, and as his gifts develop and his knack for trouble unfolds, Mort grows into a strong character. I liked the interactions between Mort, his friend of noble birth, Marcus, and his love for good, brave, honest Penny.
Devon Tremont is a complete villain, the perfect evil character, as is Father Tonnsdale. They are well-drawn and dramatic, and both fear Mort's emerging powers.
I liked this story because it is a story. The surroundings of the village and castle, the people within the castle, their values and morals make a great backdrop to this tale of political intrigue and high adventure.