Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Reluctant Mage-Karen Miller

The Reluctant Mage
Karen Miller
Orbit, Jul 28 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9780316029216

The last Mage War ended with Morg the sorcerer defeated and the Barl's Wall destroyed. Asher of Restharven and his wife Dathne settle in Dorana hoping to raise a family in peace and domestic tranquility. However, he realized his people still needed his skills and out of protection for his son Rafel blocked some of the child’s magical abilities.

Seventeen years since the great war to end all wars, Rafel and Asher argue over the former’s magic at a time when Weather Magic is failing. Rafel insists he cross the Barl Mountains to find a legendary magical library in order to research what is needed to save their people. Unaware of what exists on the other side, Asher refuses to allow his offspring to go on such a precarious journey. Ignoring his sire, Rafel leaves, but he and his party also vanishes. Magically depleted Asher follows as his daughter Leenie and her companion Charis journey to the south; as she insists her sibling lives and is tormented and Morg’s legacy and rebirth flourishes unchecked.

This is a powerful return to Asher the Mage and his family is a terrific entry in a strong quest fantasy saga. The story line is fast-paced except for a bit of generational squabbling that enhances the characterization. However, as with some of the previous Mage tales, the cast makes the plot entertaining as Asher’s offspring take control somewhat of the story line. Although newcomers will find it difficult to jump into The Reluctant Mage as there is so much referenceto Morg and the last great Mage War, fans of Karen Miller’s fabulous saga will relish the escapades of Asher and his brood.

Harriet Klausner

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