Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Last Mage Guardian by Sabrina Chase

The Last Mage Guardian (Guardian's Compact Book 1)

Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: Sabrina Chase ()
ISBN-13: 978-0985270452
Kindle: 839 KB
Publisher: Worlds Away Press; 1.1 edition (November 23, 2011)
Available on Amazon and as part of the NobleBright collection

Fantasy of Manners and Politics

I actually read this as part of the NobleBright: Light in Darkness set that I posted about and thought it deserved it's own review.

First of all, I thought this was a delightful story! But before I go into why, I have to register my complaint - I think the book cover, the title, and even the blurb are all misleading. The cover is beautiful, but when I look at it and read the title I assume it's either high or epic fantasy. The blurb, below, gives me a few clues that it might not be, but is too short to give a clear picture:

Her great-uncle, the mage Oron, bequeathed to her his oak-shaded chateau and a debt of magical honor. But Miss Ardhuin Andrews must hide her magical talents. How can she repay the debt? Political intrigue, duty, and echoes of an old war not truly ended combine to create a smoldering crisis in a world where magic and science coexist.

The Last Mage guardian is actually more of a fantasy of manners, and is set in a world that seems similar, at a guess, to the late 19th century century. This world has long had magic, and is still recovering from something known as The Mage Wars.

The main characters are a penniless starting writer Dominic and young Miss Ardhuin, who recently inherited her great-uncle's house. In this world women are not known to practice magic, nevertheless her mage great-uncle secretly trained her and made her his magical heir. I liked the characterization - Dominic is a nice young man, while Ardhuin, contrary to what one might expect, is painfully shy and has what we would call social anxiety disorder. She'd like nothing better than to hide in her great-uncle's house and practice magic. But there's two problems with that - one is that someone may be trying to kill her, and the other is that she has been called upon to fulfill her new duties.

Included in this set
There's a great deal of political intrigue that happens and a sweet romance as well. This is a wonderful clean YA fantasy. Readers who enjoy regency type stories or steampunk will probably like it a lot too. The story is the first in the Guardian's Compact Series and the sequel's title is Dragonhunters.

If you want to read it I recommend you get it as part of the Light in Darkness book set, rather than on it's own (half the price and you get a bunch of other books).

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