Book Review: The Sentinel Mage by Emily Gee

the sentinel mage front coverThe Sentinel Mage is the first book in the Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy by Emily Gee.

An ancient and terrible curse has awoken in a corner of the Seven Kingdoms.  As it sweeps across the land, thousands will die.

However, the man who put the curse upon the Seven Kingdoms also built into it a very specific way to bring it to an end, a way so specific that it was thought to be impossible.  Only it isn’t.  The mages have been working on this for a long time, and they know that the fate of the Seven Kingdoms can be changed, but it rests solely on one man.  Harkeld, a prince of Osgaard, within whom royal blood mixes powerfully with the blood of a mage.

But mages and witches are distrusted across the land.  How will Harkeld react when he finds out that he is one of them?  And will he be able to stop the curse?

At his side, a band of experienced mages and shapeshifters, including the young but extremely talented, Innis, will do what they can to protect the prince and ensure he does what is needed to stop the curse.  But their journey is anything but easy.  Pursued by assassins, through a land where dormant curses have come to life, this quest is dangerous.  If something should befall Harkeld, the Seven Kingdoms are doomed.

This book was a rich and captivating fantasy read.  It stood out from other fantasy books I have read because of the focus on shapeshifting.

One thing that struck me as I enthusiastically read The Sentinel Mage was the level and consistency of the world building.  This story is certainly well-crafted.  I would wholeheartedly recommend this to those who would like to write convincing fantasy fiction.

Also, alongside the main plot, the subplots are just as gripping.  The story flows easily between one thread of the story and the next, and there is plenty of action to keep the tale moving forward.  The characters are interesting and well-formed and I found that I easily became invested in their stories.

An action-packed fantasy read, The Sentinel Mage caught my attention from the first page and I struggled to put it down until I had finished reading it.  I have added the second book in the Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy, The Fire Prince, to my “must buy” book list.

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16 thoughts on “Book Review: The Sentinel Mage by Emily Gee

  1. I’m a sucker for good world building, but hesitant on this one because I just feel so very sick of the “chosen one who saves the world” theme. But then, I guess I’m sick of it because there are so many other good books out there that utilize this theme. I’m also hesitant to get into any more book series these days. I can’t find time to finish the ones I’ve started! I don’t know how you do it, Sammi. You must be the faster reader — and reviewer — I know. Hey, maybe it’s because YOU have special “chosen one” powers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The “chosen one” theme is certainly overplayed, but I will say, this one felt a little different, just because he was so reluctant. The fantasy genre does really need to start broadening itself; many of the books which get published do tend to fall into the same plot-styles. But I suppose that is the same with any genre. As soon as someone finds something that works, they saturate the market with it until everyone gets fed up. That’s why I like your Tales from Eneana – they are just so fresh.

      Ha ha! I wish I had special “chosen one” powers, but alas, no. Although I am a fast reader, I’m a slow reviewer, so the books which I have read and were awaiting reviewing were accumulating in a pile of terrifying proportions. So last week I decided that I was going to get them all written and posted by the end of the month…only three more to go! Woohoo!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t remember a Chosen One who *wasn’t* reluctant. Apparently you can’t have a hero who thinks he or she could succeed, after all, much less one who actually wants the fame and glory, because then they wouldn’t be as sympathetic of characters. To me, this only sounds like a challenge: can I take this trope and turn it on its head, and still make a successful book? Although maybe I should see if I can do the last part first — make a successful book, period. I’m glad you find my Eneana stories different, although I do think it’s easier with short stories.

        I’m relieved to hear you didn’t actually read all these books this week! Although I’m still impressed. I finally finished reading one book (yes, ONE) and it’s been sitting next to my computer for two weeks waiting for me to write a review on Goodreads. (sigh)

        Liked by 1 person

      • 900 words on a book review?! That’s more like an essay! Oh my! I think the longest one I have ever written was around the 650 mark, but the ones I post are usually 300-400 words long. You put me to shame, Joy! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • To me, it’s a bad sign: that I can’t narrow down what’s important and go straight there. Here’s me, just saying everything about the book all willy nilly whatever. Who wants to read a review that long anyway?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh goodness, it never occurred to me that someone would review a book they hadn’t read. Even after I got those online critiques from people who admitted they hadn’t even finished reading my story, and that was less than 5K!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anyway, you can see the review over at Goodreads… Although I just zipped over there and it looks like you haven’t been updating your page because I *know* you’ve read more than 8 books so far this year!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just read the review. I thought it was very good and thorough, and not as long as you might think.
        I especially liked the phrase “hand-wavy-science-y bits” – that had me chuckling 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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