Monday, August 3, 2009

Review: The Mage by Jean Johnson

If you haven't read any of the Sons of Destiny series there may be some spoilers, so be warned! As always I have tried to keep the spoilers to a minimum so that I do not distract from your enjoyment of the book.

Published: April 2009 by Berkeley Sensation

Number of Pages: 374

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Book 8 and end of the Sons of Destiny Series *yay*
Book 1: The Sword
Book 2: The Wolf
Book 3: The Master
Book 4: The Song
Book 5: The Cat
Book 6: The Storm
Book 7: The Flame

Why This Book: It's the last book in the Sons of Destiny series and since I read the ones before that dang book OCD made to read this one too!

From the Author Site: Hope, Morganen's foretold bride, has finally arrived on the island. She hasn't been telling the full truth about herself, and the consequences will stretch further than even she anticipates. Just as Morg gets used to Hope's revelation, new enemies arrive on the Isle, seeking to steal away the brothers' chances at creating a new nation. During the attack, an old foe resurfaces and strikes amid the confusion, kidnapping the final bride-to-be.

Either Morg will rescue Hope and help his family complete the Prophecies of the Seer Draganna and the last Duchess of Nightfall, carving a new kingdom in the process...or their enemies will be free to slaughter them all....

Hero: Morganen is the Mage and the youngest of the Brothers Corvis who were exiled to Nightfall Island by Empire of Katan in hopes of diverting an unfavorable prophecy. Now that the lines of prophecy regarding his older brothers have been fulfilled and after having played matchmaker for the rest of his brothers, its finally his turn to fulfill his part of the prophecy and for his happily ever after. But there is a hitch to his plans. The woman, Hope O'Neill, he had been courting as his bride to be isn't exactly who he thought she was.

Heroine: Hope O'Neill was the Duchess Haupanea of Nightfall and Seer of Nightfall who foresaw the Shattering of Aiar and the destabilization of the Portals. While trying to save all those around her when the energy caused by Aiar Shattering poured through the Nightfall Portal, she was transported to Earth in the current time, about 200 years after the Shattering, and had to resume the identity of Hope O'Neill since the real Hope O'Neill was missing and most likely dead due to a tornado. Once she returned to Nightfall she had to tell everyone one the truth and try to win Morganen trust once more.

Review: Jean Johnson did a lovely job of wrapping up her series. All the loose plot lines were connected and brought to their happy or justly ends. Each book pushed the expectation of the next book little higher until you reached this climactic end.

Morg was tasked to be the matchmaker for his brothers in the prophecy and always seemed to know more than he let the others know. In fact he kept much of his skill and power hidden, even from his brothers. Here we were able to see the full range and scope of his power as well as his feelings of responsibility to bring the prophecy into reality. Hope was nicely matched with him in power.

Hope aka Haupanea has no desire to rule although she was and still rightly the Duchess of Nightfall. But all she wants to do is to become the first chocolatier in world. She purposely brought cocoa plants and took chocolate making classes while on Earth to help in making her dream a reality. In addition she wishes to once more connect with her Goddess, Nauvea the Goddess of Dreaming.

Although with the prophecy and the aid of many help and quite useful, at times just to dang convenient, characters everything comes off without a hitch. A twist in the plot or greater difficulty in fulfilling the prophecy would have made the book and series more interesting. As it is, the story and series flow along without much impediments making for the light and enjoyable read. Nothing very exciting and then again nothing that asks too much of the reader is suspending their belief.

The series as a whole was quite enjoyable. Very nice fluffy reading. Nothing too deep or too difficult to accept. Ms Johnson kept the storylines moving forward in each book and brought everything to this climactic end. Nothing was left open so there was the nice feel of closure at the end of this book and the series. Although I didn't care much for the middle of the series (The Song and The Cat), they did move certain portions of the storyline forward and each brought a required piece needed to complete the final task and free Nightfall from the Empire of Katan.

What I liked best: That its the end! Finally a series that has a clear cut beginning and ending. How each book built on the previous and moved the storyline along at a nice pace until it reached this end. Nothing too difficult to swallow and everything fitting in nice and smoothly

What I least liked: The Hope is Haupenea thing. Sure it worked for the story and did help tie up some of the loose ends but it would have been a much more interesting story with Hope staying as Hope.

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: This series is best read in order. Each book follows one of the brothers in their quest to win a bride and to the fulfillment of a prophecy.

Grade: B-
Series Grade: B-


Tracy said...

Well I gave up after book 5 in this series. I just couldn't force myself to read another story - I did really like the first few though. I'm glad you enjoyed the ending. The Hope/Haupanea thing is a little crazy especially since no clues were given through the first 5 books.

Aymless said...

Books 4 and 5 were the ones I liked least. Things picked up after that. But mostly I blame it on the series OCD.

orannia said...

Finally a series that has a clear cut beginning and ending.

It is frustrating when they just keep going and going, isn't it? Probably why I've never picked up a Sherrilyn Kenyon book (except for Night Play, because I was just so excited to read about a non-traditional [in other words a heroine that doesn't confirm to current 'fashion' standards] heroine).

Thank you for the review Aymless :)

Aymless said...

Yeah that endless series is not good! *sigh* And having a serious case of series OCD only makes it worse. ^_^

Catherine Anderson also does some nice non-standard heroines. She's contemporary. Annie's Song (blind heroine) and Phantom Waltz (heroine confined to a wheelchair).

Aymless said...

ugh... Not blind. I meant deaf! *sigh*

LeeAnn said...

I got stuck on The Storm. I think I need to pick it up again and give it another try. I was loving her books right up till that one. I think it bugged me some because so much of it was a repeat.

Aymless said...

LeeAnn: Yeah the constant repeating go pretty old. I just like that fact the series is over best. Now I can move on. *g*

Kristie (J) said...

I started out loving this series but the further I read - the less they grabbed me. I was quite disappointed in The Storm and haven't even got this one - though I should to at least complete the set of them - they are very pretty on the shelf. Is that a good enough reason to get this one I wonder?

Aymless said...

Kristie: dunno if it's worth it. But I needed the closure of it all. Damn series OCD will do me in one of these days. *g* And really it was all your fault for getting me started, you evil woman you. ((Kristie))


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