I love holidays!
Though I finished Karen Miller’s Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series a week or so ago, it’s only today, because it’s a holiday, that I’ve the time to write up my mini-reviews.
I began writing personal mini-reviews on August 6, 2006, after reading J. Mark Copeland’s After This Manner, Pray, which I gave 5 stars out of 5. Since then I’ve only given four other books 5 stars: Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy (non-fiction), David Farland’s Lair of Bones (fantasy), Maggie Furey’s Aurian (fantasy), and Elizabeth Haydon’s Destiny (fantasy). All of my mini-reviews are in an Excel file, where I also record other details like when I bought a book, when I finished reading it, how much I bought it for, and much the book’s discount was. 🙂
Kingmaker, Kingbreaker 1: The Innocent Mage
Asher, the youngest son of a poor Olken fisherman, leaves his family secretly to quest for fortune for his father’s sake. At the capital, he meets Prince Gar who, being magicless, was looked down upon by his people, the Doranen. When Asher saves Prince Gar from a humiliating situation, Gar hires Asher and they became fast friends. Unknown to both, Dathne and the underground Circle (of mages of the Olken people, who are treated second-class citizens) watches Asher, who is prophesied to save the world in the great battle to come. Unknown to everyone, Morg, the ancient and evil mage, gets out of centuries of confinement, possesses the kingdom’s High Mage, surreptitiously gives Gar a time-limited magic, and kills Gars family.
I give this book 4 stars out of 5. Miller develops Asher and Gar’s contrasting characters well. Asher is unsophisticated but confident in his strength and cares nothing for positions, while Gar is compassionate especially toward the Olken, and compensates for his being a magicless cripple by developing political astuteness.
Kingmaker, Kingbreaker 2: The Awakened Mage
Gar becomes king. Gar, however, loses his new-found (and time-limited) magic, while Asher discovers his. Gar therefore asks Asher to perform for Gar the great weather magic that the king is supposed to do regularly for his kingdom. This has to be done in secret, however, because the Olken people are forbidden to practice magic. Unfortunately, Morg, who is now in possession of the body of the greatest mage of the kingdom after Gar’s father, discerns Asher’s power, seizes Asher and sentences him to death, and wrests the kingship from Gar. Asher is saved by the Circle. In the final battle, Gar is killed, Asher destroys Morg, and Asher becomes king.
I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. This time the book focuses less on character development and more on the apparent defeat of the protagonists, Asher and Gar, by the antagonist, Morg, and on explaining the ancient histories of the Doranen and Olken, and of the magical wall built by the deified mage Barl to protect her people (the Doranen) and the natives (the Olken) of her newfound land from the her ancient nemesis, Morg.