A Blight of Mages by Karen Miller
|Book Name:||A Blight of Mages|
|Publisher(s):||Orbit / Voyager|
|Formatt:||Hardcover / Paperback / Audio Book / eBook|
|Release Date:||August 4, 2011|
First and foremost, I must say this: While this book may technically be a prequel to the series Kingmaker / Kingbreaker, for the love of all that is holy, at least read The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage before reading A Blight of Mages. I’ve noticed an alarming number of reviews that give the book a low amount of stars, because they weren’t prepared for the violence and changes in one of the main characters, which easily would have been remedied if the original series had been read before the prequel. Additionally, there’s also a second series in the same world, called The Fisherman’s Children, with two books called The Prodigal Mage and The Reluctant Mage, both of which are fantastic and continue the story of Lur and its people magnificently. Personally, I suggest reading all of the other books before reading A Blight of Mages.
So, let’s get down to it. A Blight of Mages, as I’ve said, is a prequel to the story set out in Kingmaker / Kingbreaker, which was continued in The Prodigal Mage and The Awakened Mage. It tells the story of how Morgan, a great Doranan mage, became Morg, and how Barl, his lover, lead their people over the mountains to the county of Lur to escape Morg’s evil magic.
In the beginning, however, Barl was just a woman. A young woman with magnificent power and potential, chafing beneath the yoke of the rules imposed upon low-born mages by the councils of Dorana. The highest injustice lies in the fact that mages who are not of the First Families cannot attend the mage college in Elvado, the capital city of Dorana. Barl wants in, and she’s not about to take “no” for an answer. To prove it, after already being denied entry once, she writes to the Mages Council, asking to be allowed to study at the college. Denied twice, Barl goes about her days as a clock-mage, creating beautiful clocks for mages of higher rank who can afford such creations. Eventually, she can’t take it anymore; Barl goes to the college to speak with the mage who deals with the applicants to the college. While there, an altercation ensues that changes Barl’s life forever and, within the span of hours, she goes from being a fantastic mage of almost unending power to a woman who cannot even cast the most basic of spells without succumbing to crippling pain.
In the beginning, Morgan was just a man. A mage with incredible power, a member of the First Families of Dorana, a member of the Council of Mages, and the heir to the Danfey fortune and the title of “Lord Danfey.” Needless to say, Morgan is privileged. Privileged, but broken. His first love is dead, his father is dying, Morgan can barely hold it all together. His father berates him constantly, belittling him because he has no wife and no son to pass on the Danfey name to. To please his ailing father, Morgan agrees to marry a younger woman of a family ranked higher than his.
But then, he meets Barl. And it is love at first sight.
Love isn’t what brings them together. Barl’s punishment does that. Love, however, is what keeps them together…Love, and mageworking. But when the mageworking begins to get too intense and too dangerous, can love fill the gap?
This book was like a train wreck for me. I knew what was going to happen, but I didn’t expect it to happen the way that it did, and I couldn’t look away. A Blight of Mages made me sigh like a giddy schoolgirl, and sob as though my heart were fit to break. A few reviews I’ve read mention the “explicit” sex scenes, but I’ll be darned if I could find one that was actually incredibly detailed. Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit; it was good, and tugged at my heartstrings, and made me angry, and…I’m glad that I read it. It gave me insight into the characters who came after, and deepened my love for this fictional universe.