The Awakened Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker #2) – Karen Miller

“He will come and I must face him. Defeat him. No other magician lives who might stand in his way.”

Well this sequel did not go as I thought it was going to. As my previous review stated I was looking forward to where this book would pick up based on the whirlwind of a cliffhanger The Innocent Mage left us on. To be quiet honest and fair, I was let down. I was expecting the same high energy to start us out but was not given that. It took a few pages before the book caught back up to where book one ended. After that it was just a whirlwind of pacing, and not the good kind either, it was fast, then slow, then fast, then it felt like it dragged on, it was so all over the place. This should have been cut down and both books could have been smashed together to create one book, a stretched out mostly mind numbing duology just wasn’t the route it should have gone.

The Good(ish)

You spend a majority of the first small percent of the book dealing with the aftermath of the end of book one and it puts a lot of strain on Gar and pretty much sets into motion his behavior for the rest of the book. One of the few parts of this book that I really did like was the erratic behavior Gar had through it. This guy has been through a lot and it was written so well in showing how he was just not handling it well at all. One minute he was kind the next he was a raging beast, then the next a grieving mess, and this is something the was used through the whole story, which gave him a very realistic behavior and one that I feel not a lot of writers touch upon when dealing with a character who has been through more than any person should ever have to go through, and the things he goes through only continue to pile on as the story continues. I really did end up liking Gar’s portion of this story.

Now Asher, Asher I have mixed feelings about, one on hand I love the guy on the other not so much. But given the state of everything he is going through and that he is constantly being coerced into agreeing to and essentially tricked, blackmailed or manipulated into, his rage and anger are completely understandable. To be quiet fair both Gar and Asher spent a lot of time in this book being angry and yelling, and fighting with every person possible.

The Bad

Mid way through this book that dreaded romance rears its big ugly head again and by the gods was it so awful and just lasted FOREVER. Look, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about me, I do not hate romance, what I hate is UNNECESSARY romance. And for me the romance brought nothing to the actual story besides being a means to create drama between the two characters involved. When the romance appeared in the first book it felt so out of place and for a good majority of this book it became a heavy focus and just felt like it did not belong. What made me even more annoyed by it was how it was being initiated from our female character, she manipulated the male character and used his feelings for her to “keep control of his destiny” yet Miller also wanted me to believe that said female character was actually in love with him as well. Sorry but up til that point she only ever referred to him in regards to the Prophecy and how important he was. And all this did was bring about drama between two male characters and later drama between the two “lovers” which resulted in the classic “I hate you but guess what we are still end game and i’ll totally forgive all the lies, deceit and manipulation because we might die and oh we are having baby now” Sorry but I guess I’m different and don’t find love built on manipulation, lies and deceit romantic.

Now with that being said, the romance was my biggest issue with this book, but my next big issue was the lack of villain actually being present. He makes a few small appearances in the start but then pretty much does not come back into full play until the last 20% again. Actually all the “good stuff” didn’t start until the last 20% just like with book one. All the build up to the major battle was stretched out for so long with having all the characters constantly bickering and arguing, so the final battle ended up only being a few pages, and was just not satisfying. There was no big magic battle, there was some monsters “demons” that killed people and weather magic making havoc. But as for watching Morg and Asher have a battle of the mages like I thought was going to happen it wasn’t anything like that, a few spells and bam we are done. Plus some characters died and I felt nothing, because it felt like their deaths didn’t matter to anyone in the story. My favorite character was ripped to PIECES and it felt like no one cared which made it hard for me to care, even in the epilogue, he was just mentioned as a passing death, yet was prominent in both books as being a good friend to Asher (not that Asher wasn’t a total dick to him in this book though which ticked me off)

Conclusion

The Awakened Mage was a total mess and a complete miss for me. From the unnecessary romance and constant bickering among all the characters and the long dragged out feeling that the book gives you, it just didn’t make this journey worth it. I honestly really wanted to DNF this book and only made it through with the help of the audiobook. I really wish I had liked this more but unfortunately not all books can be a winner.

I’m giving this 2 out of 5 Stars

3 thoughts on “The Awakened Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker #2) – Karen Miller

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