"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 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.
©2007 Karen Miller (P)2010 Tantor
"A solid epic that posits political intrigue, ethereal prophecies and a rags-to-riches hero against a vivid if familiar fantasy backdrop." (Publishers Weekly)
This was my first experience with Karen Miller's work. I enjoyed both books in this series very much. This is Fantasy with characters I could understand, a lot of raw emotion, and a rich background story only hinted at. Looking at the other books available, I can see that the history behind the Innocent Mage is out there as well. Miller breaks a couple 'rules' of writing and does it very well. She writes in dialect, and she calls real things by made up names. These rules are meant to be broken, but it takes a good fantasy writer to do it. She succeeds. The narrator of these books handled the dialect very well but does not return to read the series that comes after, and that may be a difficult switch. I was looking for long fantasy novels where I could get involved with the characters and not have my attention wander. Miller gave me that and I will continue to read her novels. The only criticism I have is that she seems to be dancing around a religious allegory and that was a bit distracting. I may be confusing the basic progression of "The Hero's Journey" with religious allegory... something to think about. It may also just be my imagination, and if so, she has touched on an issue in Fantasy I strongly believe in. We have to be able to believe in the character's world before we can believe in them. If it is too alien, we shouldn't just be dropped into the deep end unless we already know how to swim. That doesn't say it very well, but I've read books where I've drowned, and a few brilliant works that I have learned to swim in. I prefer to wade in and swim out to the deep end when I'm comfortable. These are well worth the time to listen to.
I have mixed feelings about this book, because while I liked the characters and felt deeply for them, there wasn't much in the way of originality here. The highlight was Asher, who defies the likable farm boy stereotype by being belligerent, selfish, self-centered...and entirely fascinating to watch crash through his version of life. His friendship with Gar is a great buddy story, but the rest of the plot lines are less defined. Also, this is only half of a book, so beware the blatant cliffhanger.
Kirby Heyborne did an excellent job at narration, and I loved his portrayal of Asher. His narration was a good part of my enjoying this story.
I really enjoyed this book. The writing and the characters make this one of my favorite novels of all times. The narration brings it all to life like no other audio book I have listened to yet. I recommend this book strongly!
Karen could have actually made the "innocent mage" actually do something seemingly relevant to the title or heroic and a villian beyond that of a Simpson's Mr. Burns saying "excellent, excellent" and mocking those that surround him. The set-up was there but the author decided to say hell with it and made the action parts bland and could have just called the book "The Innocent guy who befriends a prince and gets his heart toyed with by a descendant of a prophet" I like the hero, but I expect a hero to do perform the duty assigned. For example, a knight protects the kingdom, a barbarian goes crazy with a sharp weapon, and perhaps a mage at least uses magic in some fashion, even if its the last 5 words of the book. "Awakened Mage" is past tense right so shouldn't he awaken prior to it.
Paper thin characters and plot. The villain was so very thin I thought it was a ruse and that something deeper and more interesting was waiting to be revealed. But alas that was not to be.
It introduces everyone in a way that you want to know everything don't want to ruin it
for anyone but some unexpected grief in the next book. Have fun reading
I absolutely love my audible account, makes its from enjoying a book to loving the stories found in the books. Do forgive my errors in the reviews i do have dyslexia but i will share my love with everyone
I would yes, because this book is full of different human aspects, ranging from hidding secrets to sibling rivalry, desire to learn at great risk to trying to do whats right.
King Borne, even though he does not play a huge role in this book, he is what I invision a fair and just king. he cares for his subjects and does what he can to make sure they continue to be safe. Unlike most of the Doranen he accepts the Olken as a major part of his kingdom and does not look down on them. one part of the book a young man breaks a major law and must be exicuted. Borne showed compassion to the young man and kept the execution to the people who judged him only. He walks the fine line of balance in the kingdom showing justice and love at the same time.
Prince Gar, just how Heyborne portrays Gar's acceptance of Asher, his inward laughing at the pranks but how he cant show it. to me thats well done
I did laugh at some of the things that Asher does and says.
This book is a little slower to get started, but just wait it will be worth it
This is not normally the sort of book I choose. There have been times in my life when it was, but not so much right now. Still, it was a good story, although I will probably not read the sequels, if it's your sort of story at all, I'm sure you will want to read them. Even among the "hard boiled detective" stories I'm reading right now, this was enjoyable.
I love all kinds of fiction (esp. sci-fi/fantasy), but am critical of poor writing and often leave reviews only for things that make me mad.
The main character is horribly unlikable. As far as I can tell, he is supposed to be charming in his bullheaded disregard for authority, but he just insults everyone he meets and, in response, they offer him money and jobs. The supposedly sympathetic prince comes off as soft and not particularly bright. The carefully guarded conspiracy seems incompetent and its members constantly telegraph their involvement. The villain might as well be a cartoon for all the subtlety with which he is written.
This isn't a terrible book, but it seems to have been written for dim children.
I loved this story and couldn't wait to get the sequel. Excellent writing, fantastic narration and a story that will keep you enthralled every word.
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