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The Line of Illeniel (Mageborn Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 416 customer reviews

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Length: 548 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 1223 KB
  • Print Length: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Gwalchmai Press; 1 edition (October 7, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 7, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005TVVS2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,927 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael Manning was born in Cleveland, Texas and spent his formative years there, reading fantasy and science fiction, concocting home grown experiments in his backyard, and generally avoiding schoolwork.

Eventually he went to college, starting at Sam Houston State University, where his love of beer blossomed and his obsession with playing role-playing games led him to what he calls 'his best year ever' and what most of his family calls 'the lost year'.

Several years and a few crappy jobs later, he decided to pursue college again and was somehow accepted into the University of Houston Honors program (we won't get into the particulars of that miracle). This led to a degree in pharmacy and it followed from there that he wound up with a license to practice said profession.

Unfortunately, Michael was not a very good pharmacist. Being relatively lawless and free spirited were not particularly good traits to possess in a career focused on perfection, patient safety, and the letter-of-the-law. Nevertheless, he persisted and after a stint as a hospital pharmacy manager wound up as a pharmacist working in correctional managed care for the State of Texas.

He gave drugs to prisoners.

After a year or two at UTMB he became bored and taught himself entirely too much about networking, programming, and database design and administration. At first his supervisors warned him (repeatedly) to do his assigned tasks and stop designing programs to help his coworkers do theirs, but eventually they gave up and just let him do whatever he liked since it seemed to be generally working out well for them.

Ten or eleven years later and he got bored with that too. So he wrote a book. We won't talk about where he was when he wrote 'The Blacksmith's Son', but let's just assume he was probably supposed to be doing something else at the time.

Some people liked the book and told other people. Now they won't leave him alone.

After another year or two, he decided to just give up and stop pretending to be a pharmacist/programmer, much to the chagrin of his mother (who had only ever wanted him to grow up to be a doctor and had finally become content with the fact that he had settled on pharmacy instead).

Michael's wife supported his decision, even as she stubbornly refused to believe he would make any money at it. It turned out later that she was just telling him this because she knew that nothing made Michael more contrary than his never ending desire to prove her wrong. Once he was able to prove said fact she promptly admitted her tricky ruse and he has since given up on trying to win.

Today he lives at home with his stubborn wife, teenage twins, a giant moose-poodle, two yorkies, a green-cheeked conure, a massive prehistoric tortoise, and a head full of imaginary people. There are also some fish, but he refuses to talk about them.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Manning's produced another example of good, traditional fantasy, and managed to add some originality. The writing in The Line of Illeniel takes a somewhat darker tone; while still well described, Mort, the protagonist, has to grow up and accept his new role as a Count when his land are under threat of invasion. The realities of war and conflict are somewhat harsher than the coming-of-age tale of the first Mageborn novel. The pacing remains quick, and Manning does a good job of developing the details; the magical system in particular gets some further development, and the political interests were well described. The dialogue scans well, though the incorrect use of commas can be a bit distracting.

I liked the plot; Mordecai, the protagonist, sole survivor of mage lineage and recently a Count, is forced to rapidly develop both his lordly and magical acumen to deal with the threat of an invading neighbor. Meanwhile, he has to deal with the voices he's started hearing, his tempestuous romance with Penny, and at night some demonic force has started moving. The "shining gods", the good gods (or so they claim) are also trying to gain Mort's loyalties, while Mort may well be turning into the first archmage in a millenium.

While there wasn't anything particularly inspired or new in Manning's first Mageborn book with respect to magical system, plot, or worldbuilding, this second novel introduces many more original nuances and shows Manning's development as an author. Overall, a solid effort and well worth the price, though it needs another run through for grammatical editing. I'd recommend this book to fantasy readers in general, will read the sequel, and fans of the first book will be pleased with the improvements.
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I'm leaving this review because I like what the author is doing, though I feel this installment left much to be desired (I loved the first novel). Consider this constructive criticism.

My main qualm is with the character development: without giving too much away, I feel Mordecai's character dev in this installment is way off. While I understand him acting counter to his disposition in troubling times, I felt as though some of his choices and actions were too far removed from how you'd expect him to handle the situations. This left a sour taste at times, particularly when he seldom looked back reflectively on these jarring against-the-grain decisions.

Moreover, everything seems very haphazard and repetitive - character 1 is mad at character 2 for doing x... two chapters later: character 1 is mad at character 2 for doing a slight variation of x. I think the relationships and interactions need to be thought through more carefully such that they are more.. substantial.

Altogether I like what Manning is doing, I just feel as though he may be moving to quickly to get the books out, and the quality is suffering disproportionately as a result -> a little more time rereading and refining (and maybe planning), and this could have been a considerably better read. The first novel was so much more coherent and I simply hope that Manning can achieve that coherence in Book 3.
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I am enchanted with Michael Manning's Mageborn fantasy trilogy and the epic tale being spun in a classic medieval setting. This vision and the underlying story are keeping me attached to this story although I feel that improvements could be made to the writing. To his credit, Michael Manning has made significant improvements from the first book. Most of the needed improvements, as I noted in my review of The Blacksmith's Son, were in characterization, dialog and point of view. Characterization and dialog are improved but still need development. Point of view issues were not noted in this book.

**SPOILER ALERT** SPOILERS: Characterizations and dialog are improved except when dealing with Mort's romantic relationship to Penny. Mort and Penny's relationship reads more like an adolescent soap opera than the deeper bonding relationship which is described. Also, Mort's ability to easily surpass generations of wizards because he avoided formal teaching is not very plausible. Mort is able in months to surpass generations of wizards in preparing for the climatic battle of the book. Mort rarely makes wizard mistakes (except the "I did not realize I was that powerful" type of mistakes). It would be nice to see a human fallibility on the magic skills.

The trilogy is charming. The writing shows steady improvement. I am looking forward to the final book in the trilogy.
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"Mageborn: The Line of Illeniel" is the second book in a fantasy adventure series by author Michael G. Manning. This was a Kindle ebook from that was a 797 Kb download and priced at $2.99 at the time of writing this review.

SPOILERS...general theme, no specific details revealed.

This second book continues to follow our main hero, Mordecai (Mort). Initially his circumstances appear to have changed, and for the better...he is now Lord Cameron after he has inherited his parent's Estate. To his credit he is eager to devote time, energy and what little wealth he has, to improve his holdings and the lives of his tenants.
However, a new and powerful evil presence has returned to threaten the land and it appears our wizard Mort is the only one willing to take up the challenge to turn the hordes away before they can overrun the realm.


Impressions...a mix of Pros and Cons...
1,) this is fantasy-lite...featuring totally unbelievable situations that rely heavily on the abilities of a mage extraordinaire. Grand deeds of heroic daring-do. If Mort needed something to solve a problem, well he'll just come up with a solution and viola!...fixed via magic. Someone hurt? he'll heal them. Need explosives? he'll manufacture them from whatever is available. Need a bunch of wagons transported from here to there? just draw a magic circle and move them within it and poof, gone. Nothing, absolutely nothing is beyond Mort's abilities...making for a tale that will likely frustrate and/or annoy many hardcore fantasy fans.

2.) as another reviewer said of the first book...his extraordinary abilities seems to come at no extra work, no slave to studying books or the selling of one's's simply there at his beck and call...
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