Innocence Lost, by Karen Miller

Reviewed by Davina MacLeod

In Innocence LostKaren Miller has laid a feast before us once again.

If you have had the pleasure of reading Book 1 of the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology, The Innocent Mage, you may recall how palate cleansing that entree was. You may also remember that just as you were cosily tucking into the main course it was whipped from the table, so to speak.

Never fear, the craving will now be assuaged. The table is set, the main course has returned. We meet old friends like Asher, straight as ever, and Gar ever the royal, who does what he must to save the kingdom. Matt is still the gentle yet stolid Horsemaster, and Dathne starts letting go of some secrets at last, while keeping Asher flummoxed, but in love. You will enjoy a visit to Conroyd’s home where you join the lavish dinner , and you may cheer when you witness his hopes crumble.

Can Asher and Darran make peace, and keep it, when Gar begs them to? They do try. But what are Conroyd and Willer, the little weasel, hatching together? Will they manage to bring Asher down?

Don’t expect the expected when dessert is served. Although Miller has brought most of the same tantalizing ingredients to book 2, she adds a few more spicy tidbits to the mix in the same inviting manner as she did in book 1.

Get ready to tuck in. Innocence Lost is already in the shops.

Innocence Lost, by Karen Miller
Voyager, 2005

© Davina MacLeod 2005

About the Reviewer:
Davina writes Children’s Historical Fiction based in Melbourne. She has been editing fiction for eight years, and is a member of the Australian Society of Editors. Although she edits anything that can be put into print, Speculative Fiction is, for her, the most enjoyable.

The Innocent Mage, by Karen Miller

Reviewed by Davina MacLeod

Enter the kingdom of Lur, where magic is wielded by few and others are imprisoned if they dare try.

The Doranen have ruled Lur with magic since their arrival as refugees centuries ago when they fled from their homeland and the war started by Morg, the mage who was determined to be the ultimate ruler.

To keep Lur safe, the Olken inhabitants agreed to abandon their own magic. Magic is therefore forbidded them, and anyone who breaks this law will be executed.

Asher has left his coastal village to fulfil his dream of being able to make enough money to buy a boat for himself and his father, to escape from being under the heels of his elder brothers. He is at first employed in the royal stables, but is soon befriended by young Prince Gar, who appreciates Asher’s honesty and forthright manner. Asher soon finds himself with more money and power than he would ever have believed possible.

The Olken have a secret, a prophecy that makes the claim that The Innocent Mage will save Lur from destruction. Unknown to Asher, members of The Circle have dedicated their lives to preserving Olken magic until the saviour arrives. Asher has been closely watched by these preservers of magic. As the Final Days draw near Asher’s life takes a new and dangerous turn.

The back cover blurb tell us about the story and the magic that is a part of it – what it doesn’t tell us about is the magic of the writer of this top-notch fantasy. With excellent use of language in a well-told story that has a quiet raunchiness, and a piquancy that tickles the palate, Karen Miller keeps you wanting more. When an author who has made you laugh, writes that one character tells another that he is “My compass. My anchor. My candle in the dark.”, you know you have come across a master class writer.

The Innocent Mage is Karen Miller’s debut novel, the first of the duology Kingmaker, Kingbreaker published by Harper Collins Australia.

The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller
Harper Collins, 2005
ISBN 0 – 7322 – 8079 – 6