The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker #1) – Karen Miller

“In the Final Days shall come the Innocent Mage, born to save the world from blood and death.
He shall enter the House of the Usurper
He shall learn their ways
He shall earn their love
He shall lay down his life
And Jervale’s Heir shall know him, and guide him, and enlighten him not.”

Woooooo where to start with this. I have had Karen Miller’s Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series on my radar for a few years now, and this last year my best friend found both books at one of her amazing thrift stores, (not that I couldn’t find them at my thrift stores, her’s where just in better shape then mine). So this year I made another “pact” with myself to read through the books I own, so I grabbed The Innocent Mage and set fourth on my journey.

General Views

I’m not going to lie, I thought I picked the wrong book to start this journey with because by the gods was this so slow in the beginning. It comes in at a whopping 640 pages and is split into 3 parts. For me this didn’t actually start to pick up its pace and become interesting until 350 pages in, which puts you half way through part 2 of the book. Now when it started out I was enjoying the introduction to Asher, our MC, he is everything I love in a character, he can be snarky, hilarious and understanding. Then we meet Gar, and from there the story starts in on the political aspects. Now I have nothing against political story lines, but when its just non stop politics and nothing else for pages on end, it gets tiresome and starts to fell dragged out. Which is exactly what happened in The Innocent Mage, it was just politics, and kings complaining and administrative stuff and just became so boring, so much could have been cut out, because it felt like so many moments where being dragged out. I contemplated DNF it at this point since nothing exciting was going on. I had to pick up the audiobook to help get through this.

Now once I hit that 350 page mark the story finally started to pick up and we started getting some action. Yes, the action piqued my interest, but I hate that I had to get half way into the book for it to appear. But the action was in spurts, and a lot of what happened was overshadowed earlier in the story so the surprise of it happening didn’t really “surprise” me but they where at least entertaining. This was also around the time that the weird “Love” story portion came into play and it just felt so out of place and unnecessary. Up until this point I felt like there had been zero build up to there being any kind of love story being included and then boom its in your face, and it just felt forced.

And when the Villain finally showed up, it was kind of predictable, but we also didn’t have a lot of time with the villain so it felt very incomplete and at times they felt very cartoony in their villainy. The last few chapters of this book was where all the actual interest was and Karen Miller decided to leave it on the biggest cliffhanger I feel I have ever come across in a book before. IT just ENDS, like BAM that last scene happened and my audiobook went “To Be Continued in Book 2 The Awakened Mage” and I was left honestly shocked and confused. In my head I was like “Who just ends their book like that?”

Characters

As for the Characters I really only liked 2, which where Asher and Mat, and Mat was only in some of the book as he is just a side character. I absolutely didn’t care for Danthe at all, and felt her character was only included to give us the prophecy and do some magic stuff a few times. Other than that she didn’t feel like an important character to me. Gar was the character where sometimes I liked him sometimes I didn’t, but he did get annoying sometimes with his “poor little me” bit about not being born with Magic. His sister was a bitch and I hated her guts from the first time she was introduced and I wouldn’t mind if she was a character who died because holy moly was she absolutely terrible. The Villain like I stated before was very cartoony at times. Everyone else doesnt really stand out much or isnt around long, so its small cast of characters so its easy to follow along.

Worldbuilding/Magic

Not much going on this department as you pretty much only stay in one kingdom and learn the back story of how that kingdom came to be. I will say when I learned how the Dorean’s came to rule over the Olken people and why the Olken where banned from using their own magic it severely ticked me off. Classic take on the whole “oh you helped us so now we will rule over you and ruin your lives and take away your customs”

The Magic system really doesn’t have much of a focus point in this aside from knowing Olken’s aren’t allowed to practice it and Dorean’s can, but the only one you really see use it is the King, and Gar’s Sister and of course the villain when he shows up. There is a weathermaking magic which is pretty neat but ultimately falls flat since it was really only used once to showcase what they could actually do with it, other than that it was just a bunch of telling and not enough showing. There are few moments of secret hidden use of magic but it was just used as a form of communication so that was boring. Hopefully book two will use more magic since I really was expecting more with Mage in the title.

Conclusion

Karen Miller’s The Innocent Mage was a story that could have really benefited from having been cut down from its 640 pages to being around 400 instead. The idea was there but something was just missing in the execution overall. I will say I will continue because that cliff hanger was unnecessary and I do have a need to know what happens next, so Miller gets credit for that.

I am giving this a 3 out of 5 stars

2 thoughts on “The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker #1) – Karen Miller

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