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The Reluctant Mage (2010)

by Karen Miller

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Fisherman's Children (2), Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Universe (4)

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346674,684 (3.87)5
"It's been many months since Rafel ventured over Barl's Mountains into the unknown, in a desperate bid to seek help for their ravaged land. With his father's Weather Magic exhausted, there seemed no other hope. Now this too has died. Only Deenie believes Rafel still lives, sensing her brother in tortured dreams. She also knows she must try to find him, as only Rafel's talents can heal their land. The prospect terrifies Deenie, yet she sees no other choice. Deenie soon learns of a dangerous power. She comes to suspect that not only is her brother involved, but that the evil their father destroyed is somehow reborn."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)
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English (5)  Dutch (1)  All languages (6)
Showing 5 of 5
much better than the first book in this series. This is karen miller back to her best again. A very enjoyable story that kept you wanting to read more. ( )
  Nergal | Jan 24, 2016 |
Spring-Summer 2010
  lencicki | Aug 28, 2013 |
Spring-Summer 2010
  orbitbooks | May 9, 2013 |
Another gripping conclusion to this series of duologies.

With Rafe and Arin disappeared, and Asher comatose, Deenie and Charis decide their only hope is to find Rafe, who will be able to save them and Lur from the violence that troubles their land. And so they go on a long voyage of discovery, through foreign lands and hardships - as any true fantasy novel must contain - until they reach some unexpected allies, and confront the ultimate evil. It all sounds trite, but it is excellently achieved. The world building is realistic, with thought given to the peasants lives, and the situations the girls find themselves in. The allies are equally belivable - even if the role of the king becomes blinding obvious within the first few chapters.

As ever the characters shine, Deenie and Charis are superb, perfect bantering touches, but also lots of struggling to cope, despair and elation. In contrast to Karen Miller's Godspeaker series she's also managed to preserve some feminine dignity, and have Deenie remain as a strong character throughout, instead of wilting at the first sight of a strong male arm. This is essential for the storyline, and makes the plot far better than the ending of the Godspeaker series. I wasn't quite convinced the Morg/Barl storyline was explored as flly as it could have been, but then I wasn't doing the writing!

I'm sure some readers will find the jounrye portions fo the story too dragged out, but I thought the balance was about right. Likewise I still get annoyed by the switching between characters, but the balance and introduction to Ewen, Arlin and Deenie did work quite well. The descriptions occasionally needed some work, it's never really clear what the various beasts look like, but the prose was very readable without being dragged into long trails of adjectives. The action scenese were equally curt in places, but again this hardly detracted fromt he tension or the rest of the plot.

Overal another sterling work from Karen Miller who's characters continue to shine. ( )
  reading_fox | Oct 5, 2011 |
I'd heard good things of Karen Miller, and her Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series. In fact, I don't remember anyone ever saying something negative about it. I hadn't read the previous books in the sequence, but I asked my Brother to summarise it, before starting on this book. It sounded captivating, and I launched myself into the book with interest.

Ten minutes later I decided I should make tea, maybe tidy up a bit. Do some studying. Unfortunately, after the three weeks it took me to struggle through the last book I reviewed, I found myself stuck again. That was a dissapointment.

I found that not a lot happened. There was a lot of travelling, but not a lot of plot-building. Or for that matter, much character building. The (main) characters were slilghtly rounder towards the end, but given that they had spent so much time doing nothing but travelling, it's hard not to be disappointed by that.

The writing style itself was generally quite nice, and easy to follow, and I find myself thinking that I may just try to read some of her other books (I know she wrote some Star Wars ones - which followers of my blog will know I read quite a few of). But I think it was the sparse plot that let Miller down here.

I can't help but think that it could have been squashed down and appended to the previous book, which wasn't overly long (at least, by page count. I don't know if that dragged or not.)

To be fair, I think I skipped bits while reading this. In the same way I skip the songs from the Lord of the Rings. If it doesn't interest me I skip a page ahead. See if it's more exciting there. Now I wouldn't normally do this when reviewing a book, but I was getting bored, and especially after already forced myself to read through a difficult book, I wanted a good read.

So in some ways I feel that I haven't given it the fairest of chances. I didn't like it that much, but the writing style was good, and my brother assures me that it was a good book (although he too took longer to read it than I would have expected him too).

So Overall, I'm going to say this book is average. I'm not going to recommend it. But I'm not going to tell you not to read it. If you know you like Miller's stories, you're probably in a better position to decide than I am. Otherwise, perhaps a library copy would be best. ( )
  AdamBourke | Mar 9, 2011 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Millerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cotton, PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Opgedragen aan Robert B. Parker, die misdaadfictie heeft veerheven tot het bedwelmende rijk van aangename, sobere elegantie.
Kage Baker, een van de meest begaafde schrijvers op het gebied van speculatieve fictie, en consequent ondergewaardeerd, en
Dick Francis. Ik heb Hot Money zo vaak gelezen dat het boek in mijn handen uit elkaar viel. Als dat niet van genealiteit getuigt, weet ik het ook niet meer.
Het is ongelofelijk dat drie van mijn favoriete schrijvers ons binnen een tijdspanne van een paar weken zijn ontvallen. Dank jullie, dank jullie, en mogen jullie alle drie in vrede rusten.
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Omdat hij een Doraan was, en een Garrick, weigerde Arlin zijn blik af te wenden.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"It's been many months since Rafel ventured over Barl's Mountains into the unknown, in a desperate bid to seek help for their ravaged land. With his father's Weather Magic exhausted, there seemed no other hope. Now this too has died. Only Deenie believes Rafel still lives, sensing her brother in tortured dreams. She also knows she must try to find him, as only Rafel's talents can heal their land. The prospect terrifies Deenie, yet she sees no other choice. Deenie soon learns of a dangerous power. She comes to suspect that not only is her brother involved, but that the evil their father destroyed is somehow reborn."--P. [4] of cover.

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