I’ve recently read a couple of fantasy novels that I have neglected until now to review, so I’m just going to throw out a quick review for each.
The Innocent Mage
by Karen Miller
Asher is a simple fisherman from the coast who decides to leave his home for the capital city of Dorana hoping to make enough money to give his widowed father a comfortable life. What he doesn’t know is that he is at the center of a prophecy that will either see his world destroyed or him the savior of it.
The Innocent Mage is the first in a two book series. It is a pretty traditional fantasy novel with nothing that most people who have read fantasy haven’t seen before. This first book focuses a lot on introducing the reader to the main players in the story and takes some time to build up. It also ends with the biggest cliffhanger I think I’ve ever read in a novel. So you might want to have the second book handy if you read this one, I don’t but I will get to it soon enough. It’s a decent debut novel for Karen Miller, good enough for me to have added the second to my list.
The Subtle Knife
by Philip Pullman
This is the second book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. I neglected to review the first novel on my blog, but so you know I gave it a 3.5. This book picks up a couple of days after The Golden Compass ends. And it ends just as much in the middle of the story as the first book did.
Overall I thought it a much more engrossing book. There was more action and had a little more going for it, but it was also maybe a little too busy which is certainly different than the more patient feel of the previous novel. Also, whereas I did not find The Golden Compass to be very anti-religious like many people have complained, I did feel like The Subtle Knife really turned it up, almost annoying at times. If this is offensive to you, you would do well to avoid the book. I also found in this book the most murderous mob of children I have ever read about. Some interesting themes for a children’s book.
I struggled with what rating to give this book, a 3.0 or a 3.5. I have not been nearly as impressed with His Dark Materials as many people seem to be. It just isn’t as good as I had expected, though I am committed to finishing the series. For me it is like Harry Potter, I don’t quite understand the appeal and can think of a lot better fantasy that people will never read.
Rating: 3.5 (hmm, or a 3.0 :))