“This is the first of a duology by Karen Miller. This book starts the story of Asher, an Olken, who lives in the small fishing village of Westwailing. He has a large family though, and wants to have his own fishing boat for him and his father. So, he decides to set out for the city of Dorana, the city of the Doranen, a magical race. Asher leaves word with a friend, and flees in the middle of the night.
In Dorana, he manages to make his way into the royal household as a friend and assistant to Gar, the non-magical prince of the land. His close friend, Matt, the stable master, and Dathne, a local bookstore owner, are there to guide and help him in his transition. But they're not all that they seem.
All the while, evil lurks on the doorstep of the peaceful country of Lur, since the Doranen made this their home years ago to flee Morg, an evil magic user. Asher and Gar both seem to center in helping fight off this evil, but neither yet knows it. Barl, the ancient Doranen who gave her life to make a wall to protect the people of Lur, left behind a strict set of rules to keep the magic whole. Will these rules stand? Will the evil spread?
This is an interesting book. The author creates a whole new world, where there are two races. The Olken, or non-magical people, and the Doranen, or the magic-users. Dorana is the main city of magic users, and also where the royal family lives. Gar, one of the main characters, was born without magic. So, his father appoints him the Olken Administrator so that there is a go between for the Olken and the Doranen.
Asher is a normal fisherman, who does one small thing, and manages to make his way into the heart of the prince. Throughout the book, they really become more like brothers than friends. Asher is Olken, so, he has no magic, but as the book goes on, there's hints that that might not necessarily be true.
The first three quarters of this book are just life in Dorana for Asher, and getting used to his position in the royal household. But, while it's fairly mundane, it's not boring. Even though there wasn't a lot of action, I still found myself turning page after page.
The last quarter of the book is the buildup for the next book, and really the climax of the overall story. I did not see what was coming with Durm, although I knew that something was going to happen, I never expected that. And what comes from that? Nope. Had no clue. This author really doesn't give much away in foreshadowing.
Ms. Miller leaves this book on a cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to start the second book! If you're into fantasy books at all, this will be right up your alley! Be sure to pick it, and it's sequel, The Awakened Mage, up today!”
Lady D wrote this review Wednesday, May 22, 2013.