Esmes Indie Highlights/SPFBO: The Grey Mage by Aidan Hennessey

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I liked this one, it’s a nice short story that was a welcome change from a few doorstoppers I’ve just finished. It was part of Pornokitsch’s grouping and has been eliminated already.

There’s a bunch of reviews in that link, The Grey Mage is in there though.

I also really like this cover.

Bingo: Self Published, Non Human Protagonist


The book opens with the main character running from slavers, he’s an elf who’s been captured after being thrown out of his country by his father. His father has disowned him because he’s unable to use the Art which is this worlds magic system.

He ends up being employed by The Grey Mage who’s exploring an archaeological dig looking for ancient relics, they end up finding secret passageways and ancient things people haven’t seen in generations.

There’s also a war going on between the White Wizard and the Black Wizard, and the White Wizard is trying to form an alliance with the Grey Wizard to finally throw back the onslaught from the Black Wizard.

There’s also a possibility of The Great Old One waking up – and no one wants that.

Final Score: 7/10


  • Aelzander – is the main character and this is a single POV book, I liked him, there wasn’t a ton of character arcs and growth since the book was only 107 pages long, but considering how short it was I found him easy enough to relate to.
  • Cassian – The Grey Mage he has a troubled past and is trying to get over it, and has no interest in involving himself in a war. His main goal is to learn and explore and to stay away from conflict
  • Vanaja – A half goddess who’s helping Cassian and Aelzander with their explorations, she has a really neat back story.

Final Score: 7/10



Despite this being a short book there was still interesting world building, Vanajas background was one of the more interesting bits for me. There’s a temple where a single man enters per generation to have a child with the Goddess who protects their sacred town. The children from this bond are half god’s and the women are kept in the city, while the men are sent out into the world.

There are creepy tentacle like monsters as well, there’s a few scenes where a sea monster that’s from the Nether world starts attacking.

The magic is really mysterious and abstract, I’ve been getting a lot of books recently taking this route and this one was pretty neat.

It’s not just the White, Grey, and Black Mages that can use magic, most of the elven race can use the Art, and some humans as well.

Final Score: 8/10


The writing was really clean, it felt edited and polished. The tone was pretty light and it went really quickly, with only 107 pages it took me about an hour and a half or so to read this so if you’re into short stories and don’t have time for long books this could be a good option.

Pacing Final Score: 8/10

Writing Final Score: 8.5/10


I’ve seen a lot of slave stuff and half elf stuff, but there was enough originality to it to keep me interesting.

Final Score: 7/10



  • People who prefer short stories
  • People who prefer single POV
  • People who prefer mysterious magic
  • People who prefer clean writing (no cursing)
  • People who prefer non human protagonist

Final Score: 46/60 or 7.66/10 or 4 stars on goodreads.


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