Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Series by Karen Miller




Book info:

  • Title: Kingmaker, Kingbreaker: The Innocent Mage
  • Author: Karen Miller
  • Publisher: Voyager (Original) Orbit (Current)
  • Country published: Australia
  • Release Date: 2005 (Australia) 
  • Price (Ringgit Malaysia): RM 35.90
  • Pages: 642
  • Format: Paperback
  • Genre: Fantasy


Synopsis:
Enter the kingdom of Lur, where to use magic unlawfully means death. The Doranen have ruled Lur with magic since arriving as refugees centuries ago. Theirs was a desperate flight to escape the wrath of a powerful mage who started a bitter war in their homeland. To keep Lur safe, the native Olken inhabitants agreed to abandon their own magic. Magic is now forbidden them, and any who break this law are executed.

At 20 years old, Asher of Restharven sets out upon a quest that is to last one year exactly. He wishes to earn enough money to buy a boat for himself and his father to share so they can cast aside his abusive older brother's and make sure they're both properly cared for. Through seeming chance he is thrown into the path of a magickless and unusual prince, who values his lack of awe greeting a reveared personage such as he and gains employ in the prince's household. He quickly becomes the prince's right hand man. But there are dark prophecies paralleling Asher and Gar's joined journeys, and only a select secret organization hold the secrets heavily in their hearts. Unbeknownst to Asher, he has been watched closely. Thus Asher and Gar are cautiously shepherded toward a prophetic doom they must not be informed of. And an ancient darkness has slipped through the wall to secret itself away inside a man held in high regard and trust.

Characters:
Asher and Gar are two different personalities from head to toe; a rivalry match made in heaven. But this takes a twist when their differences were cast aside and they bonded very quickly despite having difficulties in their relationship. Asher is the stubborn, couldn't-care-less, but determined fisherman while Gar is the all respected, seem-to-be powerful and responsible prince of Lur. Kind of like the town mouse and the country mouse. Their discoveries of each other and themselves seals their destiny together (not trying to make this sound ship-worthy but it's a damn good ship and I'm sailing it on a cruise). Comes Dathne and Matt, two minor characters (or so I thought) who creates a few outbursts at first, but their side of the story makes a huge difference by the end of the first book. Other characters, such as Gar's family as well as the ancient Morg and Barl serves as a few sad and down-to-earth scenes most of the time, some only used just for the first book. Karen did a good job in maintaining the balance of Magick and normal every day qualities in her characters.

Language and literacy:
Fancy, sort of gentleman-ish way of talking is used in most of the dialogues. There are words and sentences of Magick that makes the dialogues different (in a good way). And of course old slangs and words makes the story the more enjoyable. I especially love Asher's country-like slang, example: You were goin' to tell me somethin', This ain't my fault!, Did y'hear that, Gar?, and Don't blame me, you bloody ole man!

Mature content:
Violence, sexual content and cursing. Definitely 18+. Me? I just happened to find the book when I was 14.




Book info:

  • Title: Kingmaker, Kingbreaker: The Awakened Mage
  • Author: Karen Miller
  • Publisher: Voyager (Original) Orbit (Current)
  • Country published: Australia
  • Release Date: 2006 (Australia) 
  • Price (Ringgit Malaysia): RM 35.90
  • Pages: 712
  • Format: Paperback
  • Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis:
Starting immediately after the first book, Asher and Gar are in for worse than they can imagine. The royal family dead sparing only untried barely trained Gar, who came into his magic so miraculously. A little too miraculously as at turns out, and the taint Morg placed in him withers away and his magic vanishes. Asher is asked for two major sacrifices. He must break Barl's first law and do the Weathermagic, which will cost him in blood and strength. But for the good of the kingdom, he will step up and take his best friend's place, knowing that they will both die of they ever get caught. Dathne, confused of her feelings towards Asher and her responsibility as Jervale's Heir tries to mend things and help the people who she was destined to help. Meanwhile Morg continues trying to destroy the wall, leading up to the final confrontation; where Asher and Gar's life will be gambled to save their beloved city and the people in it.

Characters:
Some characters are lost, and some minor ones rise up to take their rightful places in making a difference in the story. The bonds between them are tested, showing interesting traits that weren't shown in the first book of the series.

Language and literacy:
Same as the first book, no changes.

Mature content:
Same as above, beware~



My Story and Overall rating:
When I found both these books in my dad's old library years ago, I didn't expected much from it considering the cover. I guess this is why they say "Don't judge a book by it's cover". The Kingmaker Kingbreaker series left me hanging, broke me, pieced me back together and left me crying on the floor when I finished reading. The amount of emotions packed in these two books can really build you up and break you down as if the scenes are happening to you. The brotherly love between Asher and Gar proved strong until the heartcrushing end. I suggest you prepare your tissues. The magick and it's purpose in the kingdom of Lur is the main point of the story, and it slightly reminds me of Shingeki No Kyojin with the holy Wall and the land beyond it being unexplored and dangerous with weird creatures..Welp. I wished there were more fighting scenes though. It's more feelings and talking, nothing like stabbing someone 50 times to death up until the end of the story where the real War starts.

This series earned: 3.5/5 

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