The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker, Bk 1)
The Innocent Mage - Kingmaker, Kingbreaker, Bk 1 Author:Karen Miller "The Innocent Mage is come, and we stand at the beginning of the end of everything." — Being a fisherman like his father isn't a bad life, but it's not the one that Asher wants. Despite his humble roots, Asher has grand dreams. And they call him to Dorana, home of princes, beggars -- and the warrior mages who have protected the ... more »kingdom for generations.
Little does Asher know, however, that his arrival in the city is being closely watched by members of the Circle, people dedicated to preserving an ancient magic.
Asher might have come to the city to make his fortune, but he will find his destiny.« less
First book of two of "Kingmaker, Kingbreaker", which was originally meant as a single novel. (I think she may be writing more books to follow these two.) Not bad for a first series, and very different from her next two (The Godspeaker Trilogy and Rogue Agent). I see a lot of development in her writing as she grows in to it, but they do remain on the level of pleasant "potato chip" fantasy.
I really enjoyed this. The writing just drew me in. The dialogue was clever without being shallow, the problems were big without being pretentious and the characters were very real. I look forward to reading more by Miller.
This is the first of a duology by Karen Miller. This book starts the story of Asher, an Olken, who lives in the small fishing village of Westwailing. He has a large family though, and wants to have his own fishing boat for him and his father. So, he decides to set out for the city of Dorana, the city of the Doranen, a magical race. Asher leaves word with a friend, and flees in the middle of the night.
In Dorana, he manages to make his way into the royal household as a friend and assistant to Gar, the non-magical prince of the land. His close friend, Matt, the stable master, and Dathne, a local bookstore owner, are there to guide and help him in his transition. But they're not all that they seem.
All the while, evil lurks on the doorstep of the peaceful country of Lur, since the Doranen made this their home years ago to flee Morg, an evil magic user. Asher and Gar both seem to center in helping fight off this evil, but neither yet knows it. Barl, the ancient Doranen who gave her life to make a wall to protect the people of Lur, left behind a strict set of rules to keep the magic whole. Will these rules stand? Will the evil spread?
This is an interesting book. The author creates a whole new world, where there are two races. The Olken, or non-magical people, and the Doranen, or the magic-users. Dorana is the main city of magic users, and also where the royal family lives. Gar, one of the main characters, was born without magic. So, his father appoints him the Olken Administrator so that there is a go between for the Olken and the Doranen.
Asher is a normal fisherman, who does one small thing, and manages to make his way into the heart of the prince. Throughout the book, they really become more like brothers than friends. Asher is Olken, so, he has no magic, but as the book goes on, there's hints that that might not necessarily be true.
The first three quarters of this book are just life in Dorana for Asher, and getting used to his position in the royal household. But, while it's fairly mundane, it's not boring. Even though there wasn't a lot of action, I still found myself turning page after page.
The last quarter of the book is the buildup for the next book, and really the climax of the overall story. I did not see what was coming with Durm, although I knew that something was going to happen, I never expected that. And what comes from that? Nope. Had no clue. This author really doesn't give much away in foreshadowing.
Ms. Miller leaves this book on a cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to start the second book! If you're into fantasy books at all, this will be right up your alley! Be sure to pick it, and it's sequel, The Awakened Mage, up today!
With a title like this one and the blurb that it has, I was expecting a tad more magic to be involved. But that does not negatively affect the book's performance. There is certainly plenty of political intrigue involved, for those who enjoy it (I certainly do).
I think this book does a great deal of justice to the development of the "minor" (or shall I say, "less major") characters. I found it hard to hate some of the characters, even though everything they have done have warranted that feeling. Although, of course, there are some exceptions whom we can channel our strong feelings toward without feeling the slightest remorse.
At the end of the day, the difference between a five stars rating and a four stars rating is my own personal bias. There is one "plot mechanism" (I'm not sure what else to call it) that I really dislike, but by no means does that make the book bad.
One warning though, make sure to have the second book on hand before finishing this book, it will make you want to read more!
In short, great book! I would recommend it to people who like political intrigue and fantasy readers who like magically based worlds.