By: Karen Miller
Synopsis: 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 int he 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.
Format: The Innocent Mage is the first book in the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series. This book follows the journey of Asher as he attempts to make enough money to fund his dream life. Throughout this story that goal disappears as he gets caught up in event after event that slowly change whom he is. My copy is 640 pages, printed in 2007 by Orbit.
My Thoughts: This is not a fantasy book as some of the other books are on this list. In this book you are taking a character from the country, and learning of his adventures in the capital of the kingdom. While that description may seem bland, this is an amazing book. Like, go get the next book in the series before you have finished this one good.
The overall kingdom is smaller than some of the previous books I have reviewed, and this lends a specificity to the creation of the world that can sometimes lack otherwise. For example, in the capital city of Dorana some of the streets are individually described, as are some of the journeys through the countryside. You can’t beat the descriptive style of the prose, nor the imagery evoked for the reader. You will truly feel as if you are there.
The characters feel real, each of them having ideas about where their lives will take them, and honest reactions when those ideas get smashed. However, one of my favourite parts of the book is the 2 different peoples in the book. There are the Doranen and the Olken. The Doranen are the mages that feel entitled to rule. The Olken are the peasant class that are forbidden to use magic, and run the basic industries to allow the kingdom to function. While both peoples in this book are happy with the arrangement, you run into characters who despise the other people, and it definitely adds flavour to an already excellent plot.
The history of the world is also a major factor in the plot, and it is so well developed that it feels like it could have happened in real life. Not only is there an origin story for the kingdom, things that happened a generation or two ago are having direct impacts on the current plot and goings on of the kingdom. Add to that peoples rivalries and ambitions, and this book is truly enjoyable.
So please, read this book, and let me know what you think about it!