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INTERVIEWS

Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded

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Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
My BlogCatalog BlogRank Wikio - Top Blogs - Literature

REVIEW | The Prodigal Mage by Karen Miller (Orbit)

Karen Miller is truly one of today's most under appreciated Fantasy authors. She has shown to be more than able to pull off books large in scope while keeping the reader connected to every character and never making the actions appear trite. Miller is also capable of keeping amazing pacing mostly through dialogue, which few authors seem able to do. I was surprisingly impressed with the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology upon first reading, which consists of The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage, so it is a tall order to continue on in this world but her fans have been calling for it. All of Miller’s strengths have made The Prodigal Mage another of my most anticipated reads for the year and her hardcover debut to boot. If you haven't read Kingmaker, Kingbreaker do so before reading The Prodigal Mage as you cannot appreciate the characters or the world much without the knowledge. Also, you may want to skip the rest of this review as it does make references to major events the happened in earlier books. The Prodigal Mage opens 10 years after the invader Morg was defeated by Asher. Life for the Olken and Doranen alike has been good, but trying as racial prejudice still very much exists between the two. Although they have reached a very uneasy understanding for the most part and have been put on more even ground as Asher is still a prominent and respected political figure. Dathne and Asher are back to their same argumentative ways although they now have two children in tow with son Rafel and daughter Deenie. It was wonderful getting to revisit the quaint language used by Asher, which makes him all the more endearing. However, at times Asher and Dathne and Asher and some of the other characters kept having the same arguments again and again, which grated on me a tad. Yet what Miller does better than most every Fantasy author today is make you care for the characters at every turn. She wants you to understand and empathize with why her characters do and say what they do even if they aren't doing or saying what they necessarily should. Asher still has a tendency to speak his mind, yet now it affects not only himself, but also his family and how they are perceived. Much of the book centers on Rafel and Asher's relationship and how people expect so much out of Rafel because of his lineage. Rafel and Deenie are showing signs of being able to wield Doranen magic like their father. Rafel especially has the potential to be as strong as Asher, yet Deenie's power is more like an affliction since she is hypersensitive to the land and magic. Asher and some other Olken describe a wrongness in the land of Lur with a great change underway. Asher is able to help with the problem with what power he has left and Lur gets a respite for another 10 years, which leads into the other 3/4's of the book. The majority of which is Rafel's coming of age story as he drives to understand and grow his power in ways his father never dared or allowed. Miller clearly has big plans for Deenie, but she comes off feeling like an innocent bystander and needs to come out a lot in the second volume. What most readers of Kingmaker have been waiting for is a journey beyond the mountains that once held Barl’s Wall into lost Dorana. Our prayers are answered as an expedition is sent over the mountains, but just when Miller makes the reveal she pulls her hand back. She gives you just enough to whet your appetite for what is to come. Some readers may not be pleased that there is not a huge amount of action, but this is more of a drama in an Epic Fantasy setting than bloody battles. However, there are a couple action sequences that will keep those readers moving forward. Everything that made Kingmaker great is present in The Prodigal Mage, but unlike the former we'll have to wait a year for the conclusion to all of the build-up, which feels all too far away at present. The cliffhanger ending will have you salivating for the next volume and screaming to know what happens next, which is why some may want to wait until book 2 is published. I give The Prodigal Mage 8 out of 10 Hats. I may be inclined to improve that if the 2nd half of the story can deliver on the action missing from this volume. This is one of those books that are difficult to fully appreciate until the whole story has been told. We’ll have to wait until summer of 2010 for the second Fisherman's Children novel to find out if Miller can deliver a conclusion as good or better than Kingmaker did. EDIT Aug 10, 2009: Orbit US said a July publication is likely for The Reluctant Mage and see my interview with Karen here. Book Link: US Canada Europe

If you're not up for a full fledged re-read check out Grasping for the Wind's reviews of Kingmaker, Kingbreaker book 1 here and book 2 here for a refresher on the prior events.

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