The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller
When I first stumbled across this book I was only killing time in the bookshop, and was intrigued by the title and the cover. I wasn’t expecting much. I wasn’t even planning to buy it. I certainly wasn’t expecting that I would be unable to put it down or get it off my mind until I had read both book one and two.
The story follows the life of a prophecy, and a fisherman named Asher. His mother has died and his father is growing old fast without her, so he plans to make his fortune and buy a boat for him and his Da thus escaping his older brothers. Heading for the richest city in the kingdom of Lur, he reaches Dorana, as far from the coast as he has ever been.
There, he gets a job with the prince, Gar, thinking he has come across a spot of luck, but what he doesn’t know is that prophecy is already pulling his strings, and prophecy is a cruel and unforgiving master.
It was the characters that really drew me in. Asher, Matt and Gar made you part of the world that they were in, they made you sympathetic and completely biased to whatever they thought because they came across so much like real people. Although they were not perfect or clichéd; Asher comes with a brightness that can be quite amusing with his bluntness and a strength of character.
In terms of language the book excels. Karen Miller has extraordinary attention to detail, and the point of view for each character is consistent but different for each one. She portrays Asher and his rustic fisherman roots incredibly well, using fishing based similes and a fair amount of ‘aye’s. In fact, the whole atmosphere of the book is warm and rich due to the language. There is something almost poetic about Miller’s use of words, so much so that I can still remember some parts off by heart. I can still remember much of the history and general ethos of Lur because she has a depth to her writing that goes further that just the plot and characters.
It’s difficult to sum up the flow of the story. It almost seems to be a collection of many events in Asher’s life; focusing in parts and just gliding over the surface of others. The closest I can get is a quote from the book where they discover a library that has been made of books rescued from a war in the past and preserved with magic. They are unable to understand why someone would chose to save such a random collection of books until Gar says “‘don’t you see? They were trying to preserve an entire civilization. To encapsulate untold centuries of lore and learning in a single haphazard collection of books. It’s an extraordinary ambition.” This is the best I can describe how the author shows the culture of the kingdom.
If anything could be improved I would say that perhaps the evil guy not be so stereotypically evil, though it is used to contrast with the man who wants to usurp the throne, and suddenly looks much less bad in comparison. The author also has a way of showing both opinions with conflicting characters, either in council meetings or arguments. There are parts that are reversed in the second book, such as when Asher and Gar watch a man face charges for breaking the law. Gar would like to speak to him and be kind and basically not hang him but Asher is not so lenient. But when it happens to Asher, no one will listen or be kind and he sees how it must have felt.
When I opened this book and saw that the characters were 20 years old and that one was called Gar, I laughed. I couldn’t see how I could relate to a character so much older that me or with a name that lacked all the grace of the usual fantasy style. Now, however, I could happily say that Gar is my favourite character, possibly ever.
Note also, that although it says book 1 and 2, they are two halves of the same story and do not attempt to read just one. It is not a satisfactory ending otherwise.
This The Innocent Mage book review was written by Flossie Brown
All reviews for: Kingmaker, Kingbreaker
The Innocent Mage
Kingmaker, Kingbreaker: Book 1
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 Do...
The Awakened Mage
Kingmaker, Kingbreaker: Book 2
Prince Gar now has the magic for weatherworking and is able to keep his enemies at bay, while Asher has become the most powerful Olken in the history of Lur. Peace and pros...
The Prodigal Mage
Kingmaker, Kingbreaker: Book 3
Life has been peaceful since the tragic events of The Awakened Mage. Asher of Resthaven, the Innocent Mage, has settled down and most remains of Morg’s magic have bee...
Have you read The Innocent Mage?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Innocent Mage reader reviews
Daniel from England
Well, the story is interesting, and I really wanted to know how it plays out, but this is at best a young adults book, and if your used to anything more complex than say the writing style of the Hobbit or even the Redwall books you might (I did) find it lacking. I am a quarter of the way through the second book so some might call this review unfair, but I've been wanting to put it down for a while and I don't think I'm going to pick it up again.
Shell from Winchester
Superb - characters are credible - plot is spellbinding - and not being a trilogy works well - recommend highly.
8.3/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Ursula Le Guin
As a young dragonlord, Ged, whose use-name is Sparrowhawk, is sent to the island of Roke to learn the true way of magic. A natural magician, Ged becomes an Archmage and hel...
The Kingkiller Chronicle
"I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my l...
Harry Potter is an ordinary boy who lives in a cupboard under the stairs at his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon's house, which he thinks is normal for someone like him wh...
Year of the Unicorn
Far from the besieged home of Simon and Jaelithe, in peaceful Norsdale, we meet Gillan, who longs to leave her dull life in a secluded country abbey. But when her wish come...
Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her...
The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off...
The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School
When her mother finds her sleeping on the ceiling, Amy Thomsett is sent to Drearcliff Grange School in Somerset. Although it looks like a regular 1920s boarding school, Amy...
The Lightbringer Trilogy
Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. His strength, wit and charm are all that preserve a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exac...
The Saga of Recluce
LE Modesitt Jr
Young Lerris is dissatisfied with his life and trade, and yearns to find a place in the world better suited to his skills and temperament. But in Recluce a change in circum...
Raymond E Feist
Crydee, a frontier outpost in the Kingdom of the Isles. An orphaned young boy named Pug becomes a master magician’s apprentice and two world’s destinies are for...
Memory Sorrow and Thorn
A war fueled by the dark powers of sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard--for Prester John, the High King, slayer of the dread dragon Shurakai, lies dyi...
The Night Circus
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterl...
The Chaoswar Saga
Raymond E Feist
The Darkness is coming… The Kingdom is plagued by rumour and instability. Kingdom spies in Kesh have been disappearing - either murdered, or turned to the enemy side...
The Toy Sorcerer
Trapped as a mortal in a dimension where human dreams become reality, Alice Towers endures a journey of unmerciful persecution and excruciating self-discovery. Guided by an...
The Black Magician Trilogy
Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
Stranger of Tempest
Lynx is a mercenary with a sense of honour; a dying breed in the Riven Kingdom. Failed by the nation he served and weary of the skirmishes that plague the continent's prin...
A warrior prince, a talented spy. A quest to free an enslaved people begins.Crown Prince Aven Lanuken wants something more than a trophy for a future wife. He wants a woman wh...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...