Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A young mage must navigate dangerous trials and political intrigue as she competes to become the next royal sorcerer.


"Candidate" is a thrilling and captivating young adult fantasy novel written by Rachel E. Carter. Set in the fictional world of Ryiah, the story follows the journey of a young girl named Ryiah, who dreams of becoming a powerful mage. Filled with magic, romance, and intense competition, this book takes readers on an exhilarating adventure as Ryiah navigates the challenges of a prestigious magical academy and discovers her true potential.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in the Kingdom of Jerar, where magic is a highly sought-after skill. Ryiah dreams of attending the prestigious Academy of Magic and becoming a mage, despite coming from a humble background. She is determined to prove herself and follow in the footsteps of her older brother, Alex, who is already a student at the academy.

Ryiah's journey begins as she applies for the Academy of Magic and faces the grueling entrance trials. Alongside her peers, she must compete in various challenges to prove her worth. As she excels in her studies, she catches the attention of the powerful mage, Prince Darren, who becomes both her ally and her rival.

As Ryiah delves deeper into her magical studies, she faces numerous obstacles and setbacks. She must navigate the complex dynamics of the academy, dealing with ruthless classmates and demanding instructors. Amidst the intense competition, Ryiah develops a complicated relationship with Prince Darren, which adds an element of romance and tension to the story.

Main Characters

RyiahThe determined and ambitious protagonist who dreams of becoming a mage
Prince DarrenThe powerful mage and Ryiah's rival and love interest
AlexRyiah's older brother and a student at the Academy of Magic
EllaRyiah's best friend and fellow aspiring mage
Professor ReiseA strict and demanding instructor at the academy

Summary of Story Points

Chapter 1-5: Trials and Entrance

  • Ryiah applies for the Academy of Magic and faces the challenging entrance trials.
  • She meets her roommate, Ella, and they form a strong bond.
  • Ryiah catches the attention of Prince Darren and starts to develop feelings for him.
  • The candidates are divided into three factions for further training.

Chapter 6-10: Training and Rivalries

  • Ryiah struggles with her studies and faces intense competition from her classmates.
  • She forms a rivalry with Ivar, a fellow candidate, which pushes her to work harder.
  • Ryiah faces a setback in her magical abilities but refuses to give up.
  • Prince Darren becomes Ryiah's mentor and helps her improve her skills.

Chapter 11-15: Exams and Secrets

  • The candidates undergo grueling exams to test their magical abilities.
  • Ryiah uncovers a dangerous secret about the academy and its hidden agenda.
  • She faces betrayal from someone she trusted, leading to a confrontation.
  • Ryiah discovers a hidden power within herself and gains confidence.

Chapter 16-20: Friendships and Alliances

  • Ryiah forms alliances with other candidates to navigate the complex dynamics of the academy.
  • She faces new challenges and obstacles in her magical training.
  • The candidates compete in a challenging tournament, showcasing their skills.
  • Ryiah's relationship with Prince Darren becomes more complicated.

Chapter 21-25: Final Trials and Revelations

  • Ryiah faces the final trials, testing her skills and resilience.
  • The truth about the academy's dark agenda is revealed, leading to a rebellion.
  • Ryiah and her allies fight against the corrupt forces within the academy.
  • The story concludes with a thrilling and unexpected climax.

Main Events

  1. Ryiah's application to the Academy of Magic and the entrance trials.
  2. Ryiah's developing relationship with Prince Darren and their complicated dynamics.
  3. The discovery of a dangerous secret within the academy and the subsequent rebellion.
  4. The intense competition and challenges faced by Ryiah and her classmates.
  5. The final trials and climactic events that lead to the conclusion of the story.

Themes and Insights

  • Perseverance and determination: Ryiah's journey emphasizes the importance of never giving up on one's dreams, even in the face of adversity.
  • Power and corruption: The story explores the consequences of unchecked power and the need to stand up against injustice.
  • Friendship and loyalty: The bonds formed between Ryiah and her friends highlight the significance of trust and support in overcoming challenges.
  • Self-discovery and identity: Ryiah's quest to become a mage allows her to discover her true potential and embrace her unique abilities.

Reader's Takeaway

"Candidate" is a captivating and action-packed fantasy novel that will keep readers engaged from start to finish. The relatable protagonist, Ryiah, and the intricate world-building make for an immersive reading experience. The themes of perseverance, friendship, and self-discovery resonate with readers of all ages. With its blend of magic, romance, and intense competition, this book is a must-read for fans of young adult fantasy.


Rachel E. Carter's "Candidate" takes readers on a thrilling journey through the magical world of Ryiah. The story follows the determined Ryiah as she navigates the challenges of the Academy of Magic, forming alliances, facing rivalries, and uncovering dangerous secrets. Through themes of perseverance, friendship, and self-discovery, the book offers valuable insights and a captivating reading experience. "Candidate" is a must-read for fans of young adult fantasy, filled with magic, romance, and intense competition.

Candidate FAQ

  1. What is the genre of the book?

    The genre of the book is young adult fantasy.

  2. Who is the author of the book?

    The author of the book is Rachel E. Carter.

  3. What is the main plot of the book?

    The main plot of the book revolves around a young woman named Ryiah who enters a prestigious magical academy to become a candidate for the War School.

  4. Is 'Candidate' part of a series?

    Yes, 'Candidate' is the first book in the 'The Black Mage' series.

  5. What age group is the book suitable for?

    The book is suitable for readers aged 14 and above.

  6. Are there any romantic elements in the story?

    Yes, the book includes romantic elements as Ryiah navigates relationships while training at the academy.

  7. Is the book fast-paced?

    Yes, the book has a fast-paced and action-packed plot.

  8. Are there any magical elements in the story?

    Yes, the book is set in a world where magic exists and plays a significant role in the plot.

  9. Is the book suitable for fans of fantasy and magic?

    Yes, if you enjoy fantasy books with magical elements, 'Candidate' will likely be a great read for you.

  10. Does the book have a cliffhanger ending?

    Yes, the book ends with a cliffhanger, leaving readers eager to continue with the next book in the series.