Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but fun read..., November 14, 2007
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This review is from: The Innocent Mage: Kingmaker, Kingbreaker - Book One (Mass Market Paperback)
A peasant prophesied to save the world, a royal family (including a bratty princess), two classes of people : magic users at the top and everyone else below them, a magic wall protecting a kingdom, a malevolent spirit, long thought dead, plotting revenge and destruction (The Dark Lord). These are just some of the fantasy tropes you will find in The Innocent Mage. By all accounts I should have hated this book, but found myself enjoying it.

Karen Miller doesn't do anything original here, but her writing style is flowing and easy to read. This book is essentially character study focusing on the friendship between the title character, Asher, and the royal prince, Gar. This dynamic is interesting and carries the book. The dialog is sharp, and often funny. Each character is given a unique speaking style that fits them perfectly. Characters are constantly coming into conflict with each other and this, for the most part, makes an interesting read.

The plot of The Innocent Mage is really weak. This could have been a truly great book if Miller had a better story to tell with these characters. The biggest problem is that not much happens from beginning to end. Characters do grow and change, but nothing really happens to them. I can enjoy a book without lots of magic and big battle scenes, but this book consist of characters walking around and arguing with each other. In the last third of the book something happens that comes completely out of left field which may the ending seemed rushed and awkward. Speaking of the ending, the book ends on a severe cliffhanger having resolved none of the storylines.

This book was far from perfect but was a quick and entertaining read. I will definitely read the second and concluding chapter, Awakened Mage to see what happens to all of the characters. Not one of the best fantasy novels I've read, but if you're looking for a fantasy book to read this should hit the spot.
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