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4.1 out of 5 stars55
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 17 October 2007
The concluding book 2 of the Kingmaker Kingbreaker series picks up from where Innocent Mage finishes.

I found it lacked the character depth of the first book and I did not connect with the characters as well as I expected, rather thin and predictable in content with an anticlimatic ending.
I was left wishing that the author had taken a little longer in delivering this book and on reflection I do think this story would have been better written as a trilogy so more time and effort could have been spent on developing Book Two, leaving the final battle and aftermath for Book Three.
Never the less it is enjoyable and ties up the story albeit rather quickly in most areas.

It is not a recommended stand alone read; you do have to read the first book which is a shame as I use the 'stand alone read' benchmark for most of my library and recommendations.

I shall however read more of Karen Millers future works with an open mind as her debut book Innocent Mage was superb.
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on 2 February 2012
I hadn't read a book in 2 years when I picked up the Innocent Mage. It was a big undertaking, and it was a fairly slow story with few actions beats. But that's IMO, the brilliance of this two book series.

Karen Miller really takes her time to build up the world and the characters. So much so, that when the inevitable conclusions start happening, it's an enormous adrenaline rush because of how much you CARE. It becomes very tangible and I found myself incredibly attatched to Asher (one of the greatest protagonists i've ever encountered :)). And his friendship with Gar is one that will break your heart.

I found the books wonderfully written, and enjoyed how neatly events from the first book tied in at the end. Yes, the very final conclusion was a simple one. The solution perhaps a bit too cliched and rushed. But the build up to that conclusion was honestly the most riveted i've been whilst reading a book. I absolutely could not put it down. I was crying for most of the last 200-300 pages because of everything Asher was going through; just really felt such a rush of emotions. And some of the events during the final battle had me devestated!

I'd recommend the series to anyone :)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 May 2014
The thing about a story that is as slowly told as this, is that it serves to build a lot of tension. The glacial pace of this book and it's predecessor just managed to ratchet that tension up to impossible highs and whilst that's a good thing in some ways, it also means that there needs to be a climax that is worthy enough of that ratcheting tension in order to let it all out.

Sadly that isn't what happened here.

After reading the Innocent Mage I was very aware of how slowly the story was progressing but at the same time was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story. Karen Miller is certainly a talented writer and her characters, the relationships she creates with them and as well as her sense of humour is enough to keep a smile on your face through most of the book.

This was enough to make me overlook a lack of pace and story progression in the first book but it isn't enough to carry this book as well.

In this book Asher and the kingdom of Lur are struggling to deal with the immediate events following the cliffhanger ending of the previous novel. The kingdom is in a state of delicate balance and imminent turmoil which leaves Asher and Gar in the thick of it. As the story slowly progresses they find themselves in deeper and deeper water until finally Asher begins to stumble upon the promises about his destiny that we had been reading about for so long.

You might think that this would lead to finally getting some answers but unfortunately there is still a lot of time to spend with yet more building tension, more falsely pointed fingers and what frankly felt like more time wasting to prolong the ending.

In the final ten percent of the book we finally get the answers we have been promised so long ago and after reading them all and finishing the book I am left with one thought.

"Meh!"

There's only one word for the end of this novel, anticlimax. I am not saying that there wasn't an element of it that was enjoyable or that it didn't at all work; what I am saying is that it simply didn't live up to the promises of the book.

All of the broken relationships, all of the rising tension that had been created, all of the problems that had been raised throughout the preceding stories simply ended. There was no sense of puzzle pieces falling into place, story arcs reaching their eventual end or anything else, there was simply an ending that lasted a few brief pages and a fairly unimaginative epilogue.

By far my biggest problem with this book though was once again the prophecy. It is a trope of fantasy to include a group of people blindly following a prophecy and have the subject of that prophecy being kept in the dark until the last moment when against his will he is forced into a situation that he is not prepared for and only just manages to come out on top.

If an author is going to use prophecy then I hope that at least there would be more of a reason for following it than blind faith. I see no reason in this novel why Asher had to remain in the dark (forewarned is forearmed and that would have been true here as well) nor did I understand the motivations behind a lot of other actions that were taken throughout this story. The truth is that the author wasn't ready to tell the reader what was happening until the end and hiding it away in the form of a prophecy that required the protagonist to remain ignorant was the easiest way to do this.

This always leads to the awkward situation of the protagonist finally learning that he has been kept in the dark as well as manipulated and he is rightfully angry at being treated in such a way. This leaves the new problem of how to repair this broken trust and relationships and in most cases, as was the case here, the author doesn't even bother to try. Asher seems to simply just stop caring about his (what I think is fully justified) anger and at some point he just returns to how things were before as though nothing has happened.

Quite simply put, it's all a big disappointment and not at all what I had hoped from two books that I have enjoyed reading so much. Karen Miller is a talented writer when it comes to creating loveable characters that you generally care about. Characters are the most important part of a novel, in my opinion anyway, as it is through these characters that a story is told. But it must be remembered that they are there to tell a story and not just for the sake of being there.

Overall these books were quite enjoyable to read and only in the last half of this book did the lack of progression really push me to distraction. With a quicker pace and more attention spent to moving the story forward these books could have been five star material.

I have hope however, for future novels so I will keep reading Karen Miller's work with cautious optimism.
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on 25 September 2009
I'll start off by saying that you shouldn't read this book if you haven't read Innocent Mage, although it is possible, a lot of the concepts will only make sense if you've read the first book.

I love this book thoroughly! As I said in my review of the first book, it was wonderful from start to end and it's a long time since I have read a book that I enjoyed as much as this one! And the same goes for Awakened Mage.

After reading a few fantasy books that I wasn't too impressed with, it was great to come across this series!

I will say that this book seems to move rather slowly at times, but for me, that didn't matter. I found the characters so engaging, and the storyline to exciting that there wasn't a single moment I thought 'i'll just put this down for a bit and go back later'. Instead, I was working, and almost telling people to leave me alone so I could read more!

It is not quite as brilliant as Innocent Mage, but the is a minor detail. It is a thrilling conclusion, with, in my opinion, a heartbreaking ending. Wonderfully written, character-driven and perfect! This is an example of fantasy at it's best! I thoroughly recommend it to all fantasy fans.

I didn't actually want this book to end, I was enjoying it so much, and rarely do find a book or series that draws me in so much and captures my attention.

Thank you Karen Miller, you have truly created a masterpiece in my mind!
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on 4 October 2007
After having read The Innocent Mage I was particularly looking forward to the concluding part of the story. I have to admit however that I was rather disappointed. Of the 680 pages about 650 are spent building up to the mediocre conclusion. After all of the build up I was hoping for something spectacular but the closer it got without anything actually happening the more I suspected that I would be disappointed. Although I found the book enjoyable to read I felt that Kate Miller could has given us a more satisfactory conclusion. I personally feel the books would work better as a trilogy with more devoted to the final battle. The story had a lot of potential but this is never fully explored. I would still recommend this book to those who have read The Innocent Mage but sadly it receives only 3 stars to the 5 stars I gave the first installment.
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on 20 June 2011
I found this one slightly better than 'The Innocent Mage', still a bit slow in places and I really would have liked more on the final battle and again the ending wasn't brilliant (but at least it ended :) ). There isn't any real depth to the plot or characters so you don't have to work hard to remember who's who and who's done what, it makes it a very easy read which in itself can be enjoyable sometimes.

If you enjoyed the Innocent Mage then you will probably like to read this too
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on 8 May 2008
I read the first book thinking it would be a story in itself. This was not the case. The first book finishes on a cliff hanger to hand over to the second book. Perhaps I was expecting too much?

I found myself getting frustrated by the story line as there was too much space between the major events and not enough to keep me ticking over. I found myself slogging through the book in order to get to the major events which really should be the case.

I was also disappointed by the ending as throughout the book Karen Miller had taken the time to go into great detail and then within the last 50 pages it was all over with lots of questions about the ending - it all seemed a bit rushed to me and a bit neat...

I would be reluctant to pick up another book by this author for fear of wasting my hard earned reading time.
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on 17 August 2012
Having really enjoyed the Innocent Mage, I began The Awakened Mage with high hopes. The well created characters aid the story telling in a way that not many writers manage to achieve. The first book of the King Maker, King breaker series had many humorous parts as well as some very shocking and sad moments, if you haven't read it I don't want to spoil the ending but it had me in tears. In the same way the ending of this book had me crying real tears with unexpected tragedy. The world that Miller creates is so well visualised and described that as a reader you are transported into this place where the characters personalities all take on a life of their own, making them both believable and creating an empathy for the reader. Everyone who reads this will be able to connect with at least one character. I particularly enjoyed the fact that Miller launches straight into the story without spending five chapters recapping what happened in the last book. Some parts are admittedly slower than others but this only aids in creating a realistic fantasy world and realistic characters. If you have the time, read it. It is an emotional roller-coaster that will leave you with a smile on your face in the end.
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on 1 November 2013
i it took me a lot less time to read the book than the first expecting it to be quicker paced and would say it gripped me in parts wanting to know where it was going to next.

i am sure fans of the author are used to the long winded approach to writing that she has, and while i don't mind character building i was faced with thinking a lot of the time "just get on with it".

i won't be continuing with other books in the series which may be my loss but, I think this book could have been a lot shorter and not to spoil the end but it seemed rushed compared the rest of the book. Maybe that was just to stop it turning into a 1000 page snore fest.

This book could have been a bit better with should i say it more "magic" less waffle, and shorter.
Also i felt certain characters were pointless and could have been removed.

if your expecting fast paced/book you can't put don't look elsewhere, this was more about trying to find out how it ended for me and so was so glad it wasn't extended to a trilogy.
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on 22 November 2008
Having been captivated by the first book ('The Innocent Mage'), I was really looking forward to reading the conclusion - I was eager to learn how the relationships between Asher, Gar, Dathne and Matt progressed, and what was going to happen to Barls Wall. The biggest let down of the whole book was the conclusion which could have been earth shattering but instead was almost a non-event! Whilst I am not a big fan of long and drawn out conclusions to books, the conclusion to the Awakened Mage was so short that if you blinked then you could almost have missed it! The 'battle' between Asher and Morg (the quotation marks around the word battle are used advisedly simply because it wasnt really a battle, not even a fight, more just like 'handbags at dawn') was a complete anticlimax to what had been a rivetting story. The conclusion spoiled the book for me - if it had been a more thorough and detailed climax to the story, then it would have deserved a full 5*.
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