Book Reviews

Book Review : Mageborn: The Archmage Unbound

The Archmage UnboundTL;DR:

Mageborn: The Archmage Unbound is another fun fantasy read delivered by Michael G. Manning. I feel like the story and characters are a definite step up from the previous two books; however, the book is still definitely plot driven. Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend the book if you haven’t read the two previous books. But if you have, I would very much recommend it, as I personally found it to be much more enjoyable than the previous two books. (I  felt like the second book acted as more of a primer for book three.)

The Bad: 

1. The author continues to blur lines between the modern and the medieval in this book; however, the issues were no where near as serious as they were in the previous books. But they were still enough to bother me.

2. The writing style remains very, very casual.

3. Editing, editing, editing. The editing in the first two books was left wanting and it continues on into this book to a lesser degree.

The Good:

1. The characters finally seem to be growing. The growth isn’t exactly what I’d call masterful or artistic, but it is definitely there. I remember several moments that I really enjoyed and I could empathize with, which is a great deal more than I could say for the previous books.

2. Editing, editing, editing. I know I brought this up in the bad, but the editing in this book was significantly better than in the previous books. This point just may be due to the fact that I mostly read this book later at night while I was trying to go to sleep, but I didn’t have the same kind of violent reaction to the poor editing in this book that I had in the others, and thats a positive note for me. (Call me a sap, but as an indie author, I just really like seeing other indie authors improving) (subnote, I could not completely confirm or deny that Manning is an indie author. The books are published be Gwalchmai Press, and as far as a very cursory Google search would suggest, this is Manning’s own publishing company.).

3. The overall story of this book felt much more like fantasy to me. There is kingly coercion, incredibly powerful wizards, potential world-wide destruction, fights with gods, and then at the very end, just desserts.

4. I’ve really enjoyed Manning’s world building. The world itself doesn’t see much geographical development; however, the magic of the world sees a great deal of development, and we also learn a bit more about the history of the world, both big pluses in my book. I particularly enjoyed the part regarding the enchanting, and the differences between an Archmage and a Mage.

5. Like the books before it, this is a very simple, fun, and easy read.

The Meh:

I don’t have much meh about this story, I’m pretty polarized on it. That is to say that I either really did not like an element of it, or I really did like an element of it.


Mordecai has defeated the armies of Gododdin and now the king has found himself set in a very precarious situation. A game of politics akin to a game of chess paired with dark gods, and a pile of constantly mounting problems faces Mordecai. Secrets from the past slowly unfold before him, and newfound powers emerge. With the lives of his family and his friends hanging in the balance, Mordecai has to wonder if the stakes have gotten too high for him, even with his new abilities as an archmage.


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