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A Blight of Mages Hardcover – August 4, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Adventure, magic, friendship, love, and a battle of good versus evil - I can see this tale becoming a classic." --- Scifichick.com on The Awakened Mage

"
Karen Miller has it all and writes it well." --- Blogcritics.org on The Awakened Mage

"Intriguing characters and a finely tuned sense of drama..." --- Library Journal on The Innocent Mage

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Karen Miller was born in Vancouver, Canada, and moved to Australia with her family when she was two. Apart from a three-year stint in the UK after graduating from university with a BA in communications, she's lived in and around Sydney ever since. Karen started writing stories while still in elementary school, where she fell in love with speculative fiction. She's held a variety of interesting jobs but now writes full-time. Find out more about the author atwww.karenmiller.net.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (August 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316029223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316029223
  • ASIN: 031602922X
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,142,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karen Miller was born in Vancouver, Canada, but was raised in Sydney, Australia where she still lives today. She wanted to be a writer from early childhood, but that took some time to happen. While she was waiting she worked as a public servant, a receptionist, in the horse industry, in local government, in publishing, in telecommunications, as a college lecturer and ran her own science fiction/fantasy/mystery bookshop. She fell in love with Star Wars when she saw it on the big screen, the very first time it was released in 1977. That love affair has lasted her whole life. So far she's written six mainstream fantasy novels and two Stargate SG-1 tie-ins.

Customer Reviews

In lesser detail, here are some other wonderfully drawn characters.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
This book could have easily cut out at least 1/3 of the pages, and I wish it had because then I never would have picked it up on a whim.
Williams
If you read this book you need to read the rest of her books in this series.
Mr. Timothy M. Brubaker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Confused on August 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought that this was one of Karen's best books. There was a ton of magic, but it showed it from the perspective of a mage (science and art). Magic was definitely used as an allegory to the perils of genetic engineering and perhaps atomic power.

This book is a great character study of both Barl, Morgan (Morg), and their families. I surprisingly enjoyed the development of Morgan, even though he was the supreme villain in other books. Jervale and the olkens have a minimal presence as the book concludes in the migration to Lur.

I remember glazing over tons of pages in Innocent Mage, Awakened Mage and the Fisherman's Children series just waiting for something to happen. Then in the end there was always a major clincher out of no where to get you to buy the next book. In those books it seemed that once the characters were developed a side plot had yet to be created in order to decide why we readers care. Plot and character development did not compliment each other. I did not read those books because I found an interesting fantasy plot or conflict but because I became attached to the characters.

This is where a Blight of Mages blows the others away. I felt like there was a clear plot that intertwined exquisitely with the characters. Of course, there could only be one ending and I was able to sympathize with both Barl and Morgan.

You won't be disappointed if you read it.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Williams on May 15, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After readings books 1 & 2 of the Godspeaker trilogy, I swore on a stack of onions that I would NEVER read a Karen Miller book again. I was sucked in by the grittiness and blurred lines between light and dark in Empress, but was shocked dumb almost from the start of The Riven Kingdom, because it was so simplistic. It was the first time, after reading fantasy for 20 years, that I'd never finished a complete trilogy.

But I picked this one up anyway without reading the back, just because of its size and because I wanted to give NOT being a fantasy snob a try for once. I buy books and toss them after 100 pages if I get annoyed -- I learned this lesson after reading the first 3 books in Elizabeth Haydon's Rhapsody series before finally being disgusted enough to simply throw them out and not read ANY. MORE. -- but I'm trying to teach myself to give any and every kind of author a chance. What a mistake. This experience has proven to me that my first instincts about books, and authors, are usually right.

I guess this is supposed to be a prequel to other books set in this world, right? It does not inspire me to read anything from this author ever again. The plot is easy to follow: in a land where almost everyone can use magic, there is a caste system set up called "ranking". An unranked girl fights against being unprivileged, while a ranked guy fights against having privilege. They meet halfway through the book, fall in love, create some crazy magic, yadda yadda.

My issue wasn't with the plot, although it was simple and full of unsophisticated arguments for and against caste systems and the privileges of the wealthy. It wasn't even with the magic, which was boring and wholly unimaginative (think incants, sigils and crucibles).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By panc.jefe on August 19, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have really enjoyed Karen Miller's other books, including Innocent Mage and the Awakened Mage; however, A Blight of Mages was just plain terrible. The dialog was drawn out, tedious and just boring. I skipped page after page and didn't miss a thing. It seemed like she was just trying to plump things up to make a fatter book. That was bad enough, but at least there was a good story going along.. until the last 150 pages or so. At that point the entire story shifted, went completely off track. She resorted to multiple pages of text in italics to yank the storyline away from the rest of the book, inserted it into a new place with a wholly new set of characters, introduced virtual superpowers to the heroine, and then ended it not with a conclusion, but with a period. Extremely disappointing. A waste of good reading time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By veverine on October 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is the prequel to the Innocent Mage series. The series is wonderful, I love it! I would suggest reading the Innocent Mage series first and reading the follow up books before this one. That is the order in which they came out and I always wondered about the story for the charactors in a Blight Of Mages before she finaly wrote it. This book though is a really good read :)
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By Kevin Hester on February 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic prelude to the series. Read the others first and this last to truly enjoy it. Miller does it again.
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By Rhunya on October 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this one just as much as the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series. Interesting to get Barl's past; makes the other 2 books that much more interesting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the book, it showed a lot about the Doranens and show how they began and why they came to Lur in the first place. I really thought it was interesting how she gave magic life through incants and sigils while making physical ingredients part of creating magic. The story between Barl and Morgan was very interesting, I enjoyed the realism that came with all of the interactions and how there was always a subtle tension that escalated by the end of the book.

Unfortunately, this is where the fun ended for me and my gripes begin. CAUTION, some spoilers after this.

The relationship between Morgan and Barl gave the story plenty of steam as they are the cause for the problems in the end. However, how it ended was very lackluster and hardly worth the read really. She explains that Barl figured out the key to Immortality and is going to give it to Morgan as a wedding gift, but hides it by completely changing the mages name and the incantations itself! This doesn't fit into her previous entry of the both disgusting it out and Morgan using if before Barl.

Another problem I had was the journey from Dorana to Lur. It was short and kind of tossed aside like it was unimportant to the plot, when it was one of the most important journeys of the whole story. There was also never a remotely clear explanation on where Morgan's new strength came from.

From the time she hit where Morgan became the antagonist, it all started to go down hill and lost all sorts of momentum for the story. I would have gladly paid for another book, if she had just taken the time to show the journey and remembered the smaller nuances that would have made it great.
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