Twenty of them finally poured out into the open street. They quickly split up, coming in at a full run that slowed about ten feet away from us. I watched with a cynical eye, as they spread out in a semi-circle, blocking our path. One of them, judging from the red piping in the dusky brown uniform he wore, was the Squad Captain. He advanced a step in front of his men. “We have detected someone with magical abilities. Hand them over immediately, and your lives will be spared.”
Oh please. Spare me the lies. Without any encouragement on my part, Night took a step forward, drawing the captain’s eyes to me. I straightened to my full height, looking down at him coldly. “I am Rhebengarthen, Earth Mage and child of the Jaunten. Who are you to stand in my way?”
Jaunten by Honor Raconteur has some of the nicest characters. It’s really refreshing to read about people who try to be polite and help each other. This is why every book in this series, Advent Mage, goes firmly in the noblebright category.
Quick summary: Garth discovers he has magic and has to run for his life. Every mage in his home kingdom is killed on discovery. When Garth gets to the neighboring kingdom, he meets a Jaunten and gets pulled into more trouble with enemies of both kingdoms chasing him before he even gets to the mage school or learns how unique his abilities are. And that’s just chapter one. While it may seem a contradiction, this book is a mix between some very different stories.
First, it’s like The Name of the Wind by making the MC so powerful and legendary. Garth the Main Character, can move a mountain, knows dozens of cultures and languages, and has a prophesied horse. He’s so full of specialness. Plus, there’s a magical training school.
Second, it’s a little like The Dusk Gate Chronicles in that children aren’t ignored and kindness and decency are emphasized. Almost everyone is genuinely friendly.
Third, the MC has to raise a magical creature in addition to keeping up with classwork and other duties. This is either like Kel from Protector of the Small or like Menolly from The Harper Hall of Pern.
Fourth, the MC runs around the kingdom solving disasters and mediating like rangers in Rangers Apprentice. The chain of command feels a bit like that, too, with the politics between the king and head magicians. Yet, the writing was first person with random third person chapters (like Maximum Ride, I suppose). The MC had some funny inner dialogue, particularly idle threats about people who woke him up too early, but he wasn’t overly witty or clever. He worked hard and put both of his home kingdoms above himself. I could compare him to Kemen from The King’s Sword, but he wasn’t as reserved.
However, things were too easy. I wanted more complications and try-fail cycles. When he stops the flood or saves the city, Garth makes a plan, and it happens just that way. The ground doesn’t give an unexpected earthquake, and bandits don’t suddenly show up when he’s drained of magic. Garth gets tired, but he can do anything the first time he tries, anything magical anyway. So, while it was a refreshing read, sometimes I want more struggle with my plot and characters.
This guest post was written by Denae Christine. She is a Bible-believing Christian who lives in Colorado and teaches math at an alternative high school. She has a brown belt in karate and listens to audiobooks at double speed. She spends her energy volunteering with her local church’s children’s ministry. Denae has written the Royal Deception trilogy, which is an epic fantasy retelling of the Lion King featuring a world with blade shifters and animal shifters. She also published a companion novella that follows the adventures of the trilogy main character, who is a prince who can shift his arms into swords. Denae is an avid reader and reviewer. Find her on Goodreads here.