Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell

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Artificers are the gilded princes of the Iron Empire and craft metal with their skillful hands. Mages are violent criminal outcasts and craft spells with their bizarre minds. Devin competes to become the best artificer in the empire . . . but he's secretly a mage.

All the apprentices in the Artificer's Guild envy Devin's genius and skills, especially Benson. The apprentices build crude prototypes of powered armor for mock battles in the guild courtyard. When Devin transforms himself into a mechanical dragon to slaughter the competition, Benson steps into the role of dragon slayer. Devin's secret grows heavier as he claws his way to the top. He's started hearing eerie voices clashing back and forth: the stout words of the being he calls ‘the artificer' and the oily whispers of ‘the mage.' Their battleground is Devin's shattering mind.

Join Devin's quest in Book One of The Artifice Mage Saga: a fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody's hands are clean.

“Steampunk Ender's Game with magic (and explosions).”
– Erin Kahn (http://woodbtwntheworlds.blogspot.com/2017/08/rotten-magic-jeffrey-bardwell.html)

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