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The book starts out introducing the two main characters, Miara and Aven. Miara is a mage slave, bound to her masters through a magical wound in her shoulder that’s tied to her masters orders. If she starts to deviate from her assignment the wound will burn and torture her until she relents and does what she’s been ordered to do.
Aven is a Prince, and he’s looking for someone suitable to marry. He’s introduced to a very frank and direct Princess to see if they would be a good match. Horrible match. He’s a hidden mage, because mages and magic are frowned upon by most societies – and in some societies, they are turned into slaves. The Princess he was being introduced to has made it her lifes work to hunt down and imprison mages.
Miara is sent by her masters to capture Prince Aven and bring him back to them, for what specifically she doesn’t know, but it can’t be good. It’s likely to be execution, torture, or slavery.
Most of the book takes place with those two on their way from the Prince’s homeland to her masters.
Final Score: 7.5/10
- Miara – she’s pretty rough with Aven when they first meet, not very hospitable, not very friendly. Over time she loosens up a bit and reveals a little more about herself and her background. But, she gives a false name to Aven because she’s never learned how to trust, even those she has power over. She’s a creature mage which means she can encourage animals to do things on her behalf – or become animals herself. When she takes Prince Aven she was a mouse and then a hawk, and turns the Prince into a mouse as well.
- Aven – extremely good natured and understanding, even while being kidnapped he still had a decent demeanor and attitude. He doesn’t really seem to fear much of anything either. Since being a mage is considered taboo, his family was trying to suppress his abilities not allowing him to practice. He’s a wind mage and can create storms and gusts of wind
Final Score: 6.5/10
- Creature mages use the life forces of those around them to fuel their magic, they can turn themselves and others into different animals, but different ‘spells’ cost different amounts of life energy. Creating a python from scratch would take a lot of energy, but binding someone’s hands together with plant vines could be done easily. Creature mages can also heal, and can heal even better if someone else uses their power to assist.
- Air mages as the name implies can conjure up winds and things like that – but can also strike down an enemy via lightning from far away – making them extremely dangerous if trained.
- Certain magics are forbidden, like star magic, because they are extremely powerful and have been used in the past to wreak havoc. Star magic is a subset of air magic, and was thought to be long forgotten, but a mysterious map shows up that glows under starlight.
- The Masters of Kavanar are building an army of enslaved mages, and have been for years
- The Devoted are a group of Knights that hunt down mages
Final Score: 7.5/10
There was a decent amount of travelling and talking in the book, so if you need a lot of action in your books, maybe this one isn’t for you. But, it was decently paced, I got through it quickly. There weren’t any info dumps, dialogue and interactions between two characters took up most of the page time, so if you’re into character driven books and romance maybe this would be for you.
Pacing Final Score: 7.5/10
Writing Final Score: 8/10
I’ve seen a lot of shape shifting stuff, I’ve seen a lot of mages being enslaved – but it did have enough originality to keep me interested.
Final Score: 6/10
- For people who like “mages” being hunted/lower class
- For people who like romance
- For people who like shape shifters
- For people who like a good amount of magic in their books
- For people who prefer character-driven stories
- For people who like reading about slavery/pov’s of slaves
- For people who like world building without info dumps
Total Final Score: 42/60 or 7/10 or 4 stars on goodreads