Mageborn: The Line of Illienial is another fun romp in a fantasy world penned by Michael G. Manning. Again the story’s characters aren’t incredibly full of depth, and I feel this book’s story was weaker than the firsts. However, it was still interesting enough to keep me reading. In this story we follow characters we met in the first book as they face another set of challenges. Manning has some really fun and interesting ideas about wielding magic in this book, however I’ve finished the 3rd book in the series and can’t help but feel this book was written as a set up for the third book and should have been split between books 1 and 3 (or even skip this book all together and retroactively refer to it’s events in the 3rd book). Overall, the book is worth a read.
Many of the complaints I had in the first book carry over to be repeated in the second.
1. Again the author straddles the line between old and new language far too frequently for me. While the book is predominantly written in period appropriate speech, the author will, with agitating regularity, toss in clearly modern phrases and words that simply do not fit in well with the rest of his writing.
2. The author regularly shows and does not tell. Mordecai will frequently say things such as “I could be quite stubborn when I put my mind to it” or “Penny and Rose did not enjoy that joke” as opposed to showing the reader. He does this in an attempt at humor, but to me it really felt like poor writing and a crutch he leaned far too heavily on.
3. Again, this book was not edited well.
4. The characters did not grow much, I feel this relates greatly to point 2. I feel as if he intended the growth to be there but it just fell flat because he told us it was happening rather than showing us it was happening. Additionally, I really feel that he heavily relied on gender stereotypes to “enhance” his characters.
5. This harkens back to points 1 and 4, but the dialogue in the book was just…silly and sexist from time to time.
6. The plot was painfully predictable. Granted I feel a book should be some what predictable, but that predictability should include multiple paths of possibility. This book had one straight road to an obvious ending.
That all being said I have gone on to purchase the third book (an action I thought I might end up regretting, but I did not).
1. Much like the first book, this one was easy to follow and fun to read.
2. The characters, while shallow and immature, were, at the very least, amusing to read about.
3. The story was a cliched, but enjoyable romp spent in a unique fantasy universe.
Mordecai and his fiancee, Penelope Cooper have moved to his inherited lands and taken the burden of leadership upon their shoulders. They live a humble life for the time being, but one spent protecting the people Mordecai is sworn to protect. Near the beginning of the book Mordecai and Penny face off against a group of the undead known as Shiggreth and learn of a neighboring nations plans to wage war. Mordecai is called to the captial, Ablemarl, to stand trial for his actions in book one. As the book moves on Mordecai begins to experience new and deeper powers, however an ancient ritual is forced upon him to prevent him from going mad and summoning dark gods. How will Mordecai deal with the many problems facing him? He only must deal with a stubborn wife, an undead threat, an army numbering in the tens of thousands coming to pillage and burn his lands, as well as a bond forced upon him that neuters his powers.