Title: The Innocent Mage
Author: Karen Miller
Page #: 640
Genre: Adult High Fantasy
I would like to start by saying that for the most part this is a really well written book with great character design, world building, dialogue and some beautiful writing in general, but I was extremely disappointed. The first three quarters of this book were great as far as I am concerned. I have always found High Fantasy novels a bit slow to read and it doesn’t keep me actively engaged but it wasn’t bad. I understood that this book was about the journey and for that reason it needed the slow building that was occurring across the novel. That pacing was completely thrown out the window in the last quarter in favor of extremely plot oriented, seemingly author implemented devices.
While the title would imply a journey to becoming a mage there is not a single moment in this novel where our “innocent mage” uses magic, realizes he can use magic, displays any feeling towards magic that aren’t hatred, etc. I noted that this book was solely exposition and rising action, there were minor story arcs that came to fruition but the climax that we were well aware of rather early on, does not come to fruition, in fact the events leading to that climax barely start. The events that due allude to that climax all occur in the terrible last quarter I previously mentioned.
While I had a problem with this inconsistency I have to say there were several characters I loved and even a few I loved to hate. They were extremely rich and dynamic. When some characters were in a scene I was grinning from ear to ear and golly was our main character sassy. There were several tropes of the genre used in this novel (mainly the whole peasant befriends prince by being completely honest no matter what). There were several flat characters thrown in because you can’t have a high fantasy novel without them even though they served little purpose other than to foreshadow events that again I note did not occur in this novel.
All of this considered I think this is an okay novel. It shows a lot of promise for future books (and this being the author’s debut says a lot). I would have said this was a good book if it were not for the ending. The ending made me furious to the point where I do not even think I wish to finish the duology. If you are a fan of great world building and some sassy and hilarious characters then you might enjoy this book and I would recommend it because it isn’t terrible, I just wouldn’t go out of my way to get it this instant.
This was my book club’s second novel and if you want to hear us talk about the book in depth I will insert the video into this post. I am by far the only one who had as big a problem with the end although everyone agreed it was the weakest part of the novel. One person even loved it so much she did run out to get the next one as soon as she finished the first so perhaps my opinion is a bit book snobby.
Check out my fellow book club mate’s review of the novel at My Life is a Notebook: http://adkwriter15.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/bibliomancy-for-beginners-review-and-hangout-video-for-the-innocent-mage-by-karen-miller/
Check out our video discussion here:
I hope you have a great day and I’ll talk to you soon but for now, the pied piper is calling me.