Where did you get the book: Publisher
Release date: Out now
A cursed destiny. A band of warriors. And one troubled kingdom.
It is whispered in Agathia that the legendary warriors of the mist—cursed by the gods—can be summoned only when a champion is needed and the cause is just. Gideon, their captain, knows this to be the one path that will lead his men to redemption—lest they face an eternity of damnation.
Years have passed since anyone has journeyed to the river’s edge, but times are desperate. Oppressed by a cruel guardian whose dark magic threatens to destroy her people, the beautiful and courageous Merewen calls upon the bespelled warriors. In Gideon she finds more than a champion, and in his arms, more than protection. However, their enemies are fighting with a power darker than anything than they imagined, and should Gideon fail, she will lose everything she holds dear—including her heart
*blurb taken from Goodreads*
Lou: When we received this request for review, E, Has and I all jumped at the chance. The premise sounded so intriguing with a fantasy vibe with a band of warriors rising from a lake to take up arms from whoever calls them and if the Gods desire them to. Unfortunately, the actual execution of My Lady Mage leaves much to be desired with hardly any world building, weak characters, and no exciting plot to drive the story through. The heroine Merewen ends up being one of those heroines that I can’t stand. One that is perfect, has no flaws, and is universally loved by those around her.
E: Like Lou I was really excited about reading this and ended up feeling let down. The world had a very interesting premise with this group of fearsome warriors who are stuck in limbo in a river waiting to be called upon to fight. They are serving their punishment for displeasing the Gods and really don’t have much hope left that they will ever see an end to their punishment. I liked the heroine in the beginning but then she was absolutely perfect! I ended up liking her uncle’s wife, Aline, a lot more because she showed character growth. I will admit that I also liked the other warriors better then the hero. They exhibited more personality which is a shame because they had less page time.
Has: I totally agree with you about being really disappointed about the premise of the book. I definitely agree that the heroine, who I found to be pretty bland and boring, was also too perfect, and I was much more drawn to the side character of Aline because she dealt with more darker issues that added to her personality. Whilst I like the idea of the use of magic such as the Avatar shields of the warrior brothers and even Merewen’s power over the horses, it didn’t add much to the world-building which I felt was very weak and bland. In a lot of ways this felt like a PNR disguised as a fantasy and I think this is why I was so let down by the story.
Lou: I don’t know if I would even call it Paranormal. It was just magical, but of the weakest kind. There wasn’t any history of where the magic came from, or how the magic is used and where it’s called upon. I also found the setting to be non-existent. All I know is that it took place in a forest and a big Keep and that’s it. Merewen had no personality to her. In essence, she felt like a Mary Sue character that everyone loved bar the baddies. Even animals loved her and Aline and I thought that was just a little too overbearing in the niceness factor. I also didn’t understand or feel the attraction between Gideon and Merewen. Why was he drawn to her because at first sight of summoning these warriors, Merewen faints in front of them. Oh my eyes rolled so hard at this. A heroine who faints because the warriors she summoned actually appear. And then she doesn’t listen to what they say?!
E: I can completely understand the fear of the dreaded infodump especially in the first book of a series but the pendulum can swing too far in the opposite direction. In this case I think that it did because I am extremely puzzled about what else is out there. Apparently there is an Abbey that should feature prominently in book two I think, three days away is where the real bad guy resides and um that is about it. I also wondered about the attraction that Gideon had from the first moment with Merewen. She certainly had several TSTL moments. I know if I risked my life to get some fearsome warriors to fight for my people I would certainly do what they said because they are the experts. Especially after they explained that if something happened to her they would lose their opportunity. I did really like the shields and avatars and I wished I knew more about them.
Has: Yes, it was all too vague and nothing was really detailed to establish the series. It also didn’t help with the Mary Sue heroine and Gideon was a bit too bland too. I totally agree that their romance was very lackluster and there wasn’t much of a connection between them. I have to admit that it was a bit of a chore to finish the book because everything from the characters to the world-building just felt one big cliche and nothing really stood out for me. I also felt there was no real danger threatening the characters and the villianish Uncle was a bit of a mustache twirling two dimensional bad guy. And because of this, the plot didn’t live up to the premise.
Lou: I agree that everything felt that it had been done many times before, but on a much weaker scale. The only character that intrigued me was Kane with his strange avatar beast, but not enough to pick up another book in this series. Nothing happened in this book that excited me or made me want to carry on reading this series. One aspect that annoyed me was that the big manly men had to rescue and make everything OK for the delicate and precious heroines. Give me a heroine who owns her own life and determines her own HEA anytime over a heroine who is oh so delicate and needs the warrior men to make everything OK. All in all I was very disappointed with My Lady Mage and I won’t be picking up any other book in the series. I give it a D+
E: While I liked the other warriors and Aline I have to agree that the lack of connection between the hero and heroine along with her combination of perfectness yet TSTL moments really annoyed me. I loved the premise of the book but think the execution fell short. I know that the first book in a series can be somewhat rough because a lot has to be done in it so I will give the benefit of the doubt and read review on book two before I decide to give this series another go or not. Growing up a fantasy reader I need my characters and world-building to have complexity especially if it is going to be an epic. Both were too simplistic and choppy to give me that satisfaction. I give My Lady Mage a C-/D+
Has: I feel exactly the same way. Aline, Kane and the Avatar shields were the highlight for me but they were not enough to draw me into the next book because the setting was so weak and I am disappointed because I did enjoy Alexis Morgan’s PNR series but I was very much underwhelmed by the story and most especially with the Mary Sue heroine and bland romance. I also give My Lady Mage D+