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The Innocent Mage (2007)

The Innocent Mage (2007)

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3.64 of 5 Votes: 3
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1841496049 (ISBN13: 9781841496047)

About book The Innocent Mage (2007)

The first book of a two-book series, Canadian-Australian author Miller is a refreshing new voice in the genre. Set in the kingdom of Lur, the two races, Doranen and Olken, live alongside each other with a precarious balance: the Doranen, who came down through the mountains fleeing the evil mage Morg over six centuries ago, are born with magic and use it to control the weather and give smaller benefits to society, while the Olken, the original inhabitants of the land, occupy lower-class positions of farmers and merchants and servants, protected by the Doranen but at the same time repressed by them. Even so, they all revere Barl, the powerful magician who saved her people when she constructed the Wall that seals Lur off from Morg's poisoned, demonic reach.Amongst a select group of Olken who still, surreptitiously, practice the Olken earth magic, Jervale's Heir, Dathne, sees the coming of the Innocent Mage, the one spoken of in the prophecy that the group has lived long centuries by. With his coming to the capital city of Dorana, she knows the Final Days are upon them, but not when they will start or how the Innocent Mage, an uncouth fisherman's son called Asher, will save them.Asher has come to Dorana for a year, to earn enough money to buy his father a fishing boat. A chance meeting with the magickless prince, Gar, leads to monetary success and friendship. Asher is a great character, filling the generic fantasy role of "the ignorant peasant upon whose shoulders rests the fate of the world", but refreshingly different. It's not that he doesn't have a strong accent, that he doesn't want responsibility etc., but he's strong-willed, opinionated, unfawning (if that's a word), forthright, frank, honest, scathing and funny.That's something else I really enjoyed about this book: the cheeky sense of humour. I also appreciated that Miller, who has worked with horses, knows the correct way to ride one - there's none of that annoying "guiding with the thighs" nonesense that I come across in so many books, especially fantasy. You don't use your thighs at all, you use your calves. It's just that when you get an inaccuracy like that it can be very distracting. If you're in the need of some new fantasy, and you're getting tired of typical quest journeys, I recommend this one. It's not big on female characters, but the ones that are here are strong-willed and independent. It also has a good power balance, in that it's not an inherently patriarchal society. It deals with relations between ethnic groups, invaders and their conquered, and prejudice. The dialogue is fresh, the characters relatively original or at least drawn in a diverting way (such as the uptight, beureaucratic Darran), and the plot driven at a steady pace. Not bogged down in unnecessary detail or description, or following the usual path of fantasy (the constant travelling, for one), Miller has managed to do new things with an old formula, and leave it at a slight cliff-hanger. Thankfully, the second and final book, The Awakened Mage, is already out.

I read a lot of hum-drum reviews of The Innocent Mage, a book I borrowed off of my sister's bookshelf, and honestly, I don't know what everyone is complaining about. Miller wrote a good (if typical) fantasy story complete with two races, royalty, an Evil Person, magic, commoners, and what amounts to a secret guild. What she didn't do is exhaustively report on the history of this land and these peoples; you learn the background slowly, by paying attention and creating the full picture in your head with every little tidbit she weaves into the current tale.Our main characters meet early on -- a rough commoner/fisherman, Asher, and a lonely Prince, Gar -- and much of the book (the first 400 pages or so) is basically the first year of their acquaintance. After that, Miller introduces some real controversy as Asher wants to return to his family (as promised) and Gar has what can only be described as a hissy fit. Here is where the book both picks up steam (action! foreboding! travel!) and falters (the character's personalities are so abruptly altered that you almost have to wonder about the strength of their friendship (and understanding of one another) as it built up over the preceding year). It's not BAD; it's just seems a little bit forced, that's all. Asher and Gar are both likeable characters, as are basically the rest of the cast. I like Matt, and think I'll like Dathne more if Miller spends a little bit more time in her head. (I don't, however, understand the lovesick puppy thing that Asher has for Dathne.) The royal parents don't seem to have a perfect understanding of their children's very different personalities, or how to handle situations that would send their children to opposite corners. (They're kind of oblivious to certain things, and royally demanding that the kids relent and see things their way later, after the pot's already been stirred.) When Master Magician Durm does something stupid, you wonder why more of the characters don't notice what must have been a change in personality, despite Morg's carefulness. The play of having a "wolf in sheep's clothing" is well done, even if we don't *quite* understand the details of how the wolf was able to cross the wall and play amongst the sheep in the first place. Yet, seeing how Miller enjoys a slow reveal, perhaps the details will be forthcoming in Book 2. Miller isn't completely inventing something new here -- her story is very comfortably anchored in classic fantasy -- but her way of advancing the characters through the story is wholly her own, and her writing is amusing and easy to read. I just hope that when the time comes, she will succeed in creating a sense of danger or that sense that everything hangs in the balance of a moment, or on a person's actions. I do look forward to reading the second book, and seeing for myself what kind of characters Asher and Gar evolve into by the end of another 600 pages.

Do You like book The Innocent Mage (2007)?

The story follows Asher a surly, ill-tempered fishermen who in the attempt to escape his cruel overbearing brothers and pull his father from poverty travels to the capital city of Dorana. He is planning on working there for a year and then going home with enough money to set him and his father up comfortably with their own house and boat. But the capital is not what he expected and soon he is faced with situations and people that he could never have imagined. Within his first day of being within the capital he saves the prince’s beloved horse and is offered a job in the royal stables. But something about the fisherman’s disregard for rank and rude attitude sparks the prince Gar’s interest. Gar is the Olken Administrator and the crippled blight on the royal house Torvig. He is a magic less Doranen. Of the two races that inhabit Lur, the Doranen are the only one’s aloud to use magic. Any Olken caught trying to use magic is immediately put to death and any Doranen without magic is a curse upon his family. But the wall that protects the kingdom of Lur is under the care of the royal house and with ought magic Gar is unable to become the weathermage that is needed to supply the wall’s power. But Asher connects to Gar in a way he never has before and finds a true brother in the outcast prince. Seeing the natural strength of justice in the young fishermen Gar promotes him as his assistant with the hope of being able to connect to the other people of Lur, the Olken. And that is only the first quarter of the book! You will have to read the rest!Asher’s journey is incredible as well as riveting. This book is absolutely enchanting and I can’t put it down! I have not read a series this good in a long time. The beginning is a bit slow but as soon as you get into it you will not be able to stop! If you want a good read this is the book to pick up! I’m already halfway through the second book and only wish Miller would write faster.

Lur is a kingdom isolated from the outside world by magic. There are two races; the Olken, who have no magic, and the Doranen, who use magic like it's another limb. Enter Asher, an Olken fisherman who dreams of making enough money for his father to retire. what Asher doesn't know is that he is prophesied to be Lur's savior.I'll be honest, I liked this book. It was enjoyable for me because the characters are so defined and the world feels a bit different that the usual fantasy world. Lur is so isolated that even their weather is artificially created by magic, the king in fact. Miller does a pretty good job with world building without being too generic. I recommend this book on that alone.Now, I gave it three stars because it does have its share of issues. The writing is definitely of the tell more than show variety with a few point of view slips. There are many awkward metaphors and clumsy sentences that can toss the reader out of the moment. There are also some pacing issues. For the most part it moves along briskly, but gets bogged down toward the end. Although, the ending wasn't too special either.I actually thought this book's biggest flaw was it's bad guy. He's really melodramatic. I could practically hear him twirling his mustache. Now don't get me wrong, the colorful cast does have it's share of melodrama, but he felt like he was being evil just to be evil. I was expecting a lot more nuance for a 600 year old big bad. He spends his time belittling everyone and stroking his ego. If he threw back his head and laughed, I wouldn't have been surprised.For the most part, this book is easy to get through with a pretty well thought out world, plot, and enjoyable characters. I recommend it you need a break from heavier fantasy reads.

My problem with Karen Miller in general, and with this book is she could have shorten all her books from being over 600 pages each to around 300 so that all the bs slow pacing of nothing happening could be deleted. Basically almost nothing really happened in this book and series, only about a couple of things happened, and even with that it felt like nothing really happened or changed within the novel. Usually a book would be long just because of it being boring and info dumping, but that is not the case. The only other author I can compare this with are Tad Williams or David Eddings, who also writes books that are too long filled with pages of pages of nothing happening or changing. P.S. These books were the first books I ever saw by Orbit as a publisher. Maybe these were the first books published by the publishing in US. They were trying to get/gain the US market, even though I knew they were big already in England, publisher of Shannara and Wheel of Time. Little did I know most of their books would be in trade paperback only.
—Kevin Xu

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