Battle Mage by Peter Flannery
Synopsis from his web site [http://www.peterflannery.co.uk/battle-mage.html]
The world is falling to the burning shadow of the Possessed and only the power of a battle mage can save it. But the ancient bond betwen battle mages and dragonkind is failing. Too few dragons are answering the summons and of those that do, too many are black. Black dragons are the enemy of humankind. Black dragons are mad.
Falco Dante is a weakling in a world of warriors, but worse than this, he is the son of a madman. Driven by the need to understand his father’s actions Falco makes a decision that will bring disaster to his people and drive him to the brink of despair. As he tries to come to terms with everything that has happened Falco follows his friends to the Academy of War, and all the time the shadow of the Possessed draws closer.
If the kingdoms of Wrath do not stand together they will fall. Only Queen Catherine de Sage can see what needs to be done, but the other kings are stubborn and her rule is constantly being challenged by the rising power of the magi, a powerful body of scholars and magic users who seek to rule the land themselves.
As Falco struggles to unlock his power so the dark forces of the enemy work on the minds of weaker men. The magi are determined to stop him and even the Queen has her doubts. Will Falco succeed in becoming a battle mage or will he be lost to madness and murder, like his father?
I enjoyed this book, it draw me in as I got to know Falco and his friends and enemies. As he grew in power and suffered loss. I love the idea of demon possessed people and the fight to stop this evil. The battle scenes make sense and the internal logic of the story works. By the end I could not put the book down [although I was reading a e-book]. Just as I thought I knew how the story would go it twisted and off it went drawing me in again.
By the end I was thinking about the christian story, particularly with the Hermit, The Healer and the Fisherman. Sacrifice redemption and faith struggling with temptation.
Well worth reading