Today I am reviewing the wonderful Mageborn by Jessica Thorne. Many thanks to Jessica, and to Bookouture for providing me with a copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.
In the name of the crown I arrest you and charge you with the crime of being an unregistered and unsworn mageborn. You will yield up your magic for the greater good, or face certain death…
Raised on the streets, orphan Grace Marchant has always questioned the harsh laws of the Kingdom of Rathlynn. Confronting Prince Bastien Larelwynn – keeper of a dark, golden and deadly magic – was never her plan, but when her closest friend is the next mageborn taken away to the shadowy dungeons, she has no choice but to act.
Deep in the castle, Grace discovers that the Queen of Rathlynn has a devastating plan to use the mageborn’s stolen powers to cement her rule forever. Begging the coldly handsome Prince Bastien to spare her friend’s life, Grace is surprised to see a flicker of compassion in his obsidian black eyes, and the fire in her blood calls out to him… but if he senses the luminous mageborn power secretly unfurling within her like liquid sunlight, it’s only a matter of time before she too will be imprisoned.
But Grace is shocked when Bastien, with a mysterious smile, keeps any knowledge of her powers to himself. Despite his duties to the realm, Bastien pities the mageborn, and the two hatch a plan that could change everything.
As raging fire melts blackest ice, passion and desire quickly quiet her fear and suspicion. But with her golden mageborn light growing stronger every day, Grace must ask herself if she can really trust her former enemy… and with betrayal at every turn, will they save the mageborn and get out alive?
Regular readers of my blog will know just from reading the blurb that this book couldn’t have been more up my street if it had been written specifically with me in mind. It is full of all my favourite things, and to cap it all, it’s the first book in what promises to be an excellent series.
I know there is a lot of debate about prologues, but I love them, and the one in this book positively drips with sinister images and intrigue. I was hooked from page one and couldn’t put it down!
There are so many wonderful characters in this book who, despite the fantastical setting, remain deeply human and relatable, each flawed in their own way. Jessica Thorne’s skill at creating these characters meant that my heart broke for one character despite only having known them for a few pages. Bastien is a character that led to many conflicting emotions that I obsessed over like a teenage fangirl even when I wasn’t reading. I fell for him at first sight, and desperately wanted to discover that he was not the feared Lord of Thorns, but was in fact misunderstood, but I have been hurt by literary characters before who turned out to not be what they seemed after I fell for them, and I was scared that Bastien was going to turn out the same way. Whether he did or not, I will leave for you to find out for yourself.
I could honestly gush about this book for days. I loved the premise of magic being outlawed for the masses, but stolen and treated as a game by the nobility. I loved all the twists and turns, and non-stop action.
I was so excited to discover as I wrote this review that Nightborn, book two in The Hollow King series has just been released a couple of days ago, and couldn’t resist a quick dash to Amazon to download my copy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jessica Thorne watched far too much sci-fi and read far too much fantasy at an impressionable age. And it was awesome. She writes fantasy and sci-fi romance with a steampunk edge and just refuses to face reality.