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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Books: The Sentinel Mage 
21st-Apr-2012 08:35 pm
Today to Read
The Sentinel Mage, by Emily Gee. 509 pages, paperback. Fantasy, first in the trilogy.

The Sentinel Mage is the story of a young adult prince who has mage blood defying his father to journey with a group of the hated witches to break a curse that was three hundred years in the making. It is also the story of a young witch (a mage, but that's not how the prince sees it) trying her best to be someone who is older, more mature, and more competent than she is as herself. A secondary plot follows the prince's half-sister and her servants through treachery at home. A third plot follows a young boy who is trying to outrun the curse as it slowly covers the lands.

This is a nicely complicated story that is weaving those three separate plot lines across five hundred pages. Knowing that this was only the first book, I was not disappointed when none of the three lines actually crossed. I could see where they were going (though the third one took 478 pages to come clear) and how they were adding to the main plot even while not touching it.

I picked it up as a recommendation from Quixotic_Goat. (He also recommended MageBorn. Is there a trend?)
I recommend it to people who like the running/fighting/running again types of stories, and who can appreciate the multiple points of view as the story unfolds. I do have to warn the action-only people that there are a lot of emotional asides in this story, though, and some of them were irritating.

And for anyone keeping score on stupid female poses, this one scores a zero-point-five out of ten for stupid. She is fully clothed and armed appropriately for the story, and is shown striding confidently out of the sands towards the viewer. The point five is because her mouth is open in that model not-smile. But maybe she's just hot from wearing a cloak and full clothes in the desert.

New-to-me Books for 2012

January
House of the Star by Caitlin Brennan, YA fantasy. 282 pages; hardback; stand-alone. 3/5 stars on Goodreads (3 = "liked it"), 4/5 stars on Amazon (4 = "liked it"); straight into the giveawaybox (eta: gone)
Gwenhwyfar by Mercedes Lackey, Fantasy. 404 pages; hardback; stand-alone. 2/5 stars on Goodreads (2 = "it was OK"), 3/5 stars on Amazon (3 = "it was OK"); straight into the giveawaybox (eta: gone)
Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt, Urban fantasy. 336 pages; paperback; first in the series. 3/5 stars on Goodreads (3 = "liked it"), 4/5 stars on Amazon (4 = "liked it"); going to keep it around and loan it to friends
Hexed edited by uncredited, listed under the first author, Ilona Andrews. Urban Fantasy, 326 pages. Paperback; anthology of four novellas. 3/5 stars on Goodreads, 4/5 stars on Amazon; going to loan it to friends who like Kate Daniels, then likely give it away.
Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White. YA Fantasy, 335 pages. Hardback; first in the series. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox. (eta: gone)
Stormwalker, by Allyson James. Urban Fantasy, 330 pages. Paperback; first in the series. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox. (eta: gone)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson. YA Fantasy, 423 pages. Hardback, stand-alone. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox. (eta: gone)
Shadow Ops: Control Point, by Myke Cole. Urban Fantasy... sort of... 382 pages. Paperback, first in the series. [4/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox.

February
Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, fantasy. 672 pages. Paperback; first in the series.[4/5 on Goodreads] Borrowed.
Westward Weird edited by Martin Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes. Hell-if-I-know, 302 pages. Paperback, anthology. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox.
Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy, 360 pages. Paperback; first in the series. Keeping it for now.

March
Fair Game, by Patricia Briggs, Urban fantasy. 293 pages; hardback; third in the series. Keeping it.
The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity, edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, Urban fantasy. 308 pages; paperback; anthology. Giveawaybox.
Tempting Danger, by Eileen Wilks. Paranormal romance, 301 pages. Paperback, first in the series. Giveawaybox.
Too Much Information, by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes. Comic book, 127 pages. Paperback. 9th in the series. Keeping it.
Touch of Power, by Maria V. Snyder. Fantasy romance. 390 pages, paperback. First in the series. Giveawaybox.
Out Whom Shall We Gross?, by Brooke McEldowney. Comic book. 87 pages, paperback. First in the series. Keeping it.
Sonata for Piano and Armpit, by Brooke McEldowney. Comic book. 87 pages, paperback. Second in the series. Keeping it.
Sphinx's Princess, by Esther Friesner. YA Fantasy. 365 pages, paperback. First in the duology. It was a loan.
Sphinx's Queen, by Esther Friesner. YA Fantasy. 347 pages, paperback. Second in the duology. It was a loan.

April
Bone Shop, by T. A. Pratt. Urban Fantasy. Online. Prequel to the Marla Mason series.
Kitemaster and Other Stories, by Jim C. Hines. Fantasy. e-book anthology.
How is that Underling Thing Working out for You?, by Scott Adams. 128 pages, paperback. Comic. Keeping it.
Teamwork Means You Can't Pick the Side That's Right by Scott Adams. 128 pages, paperback. Comic. Keeping it.
The Sentinel Mage, by Emily Gee. Fantasy. 509 pages, paperback. First in the trilogy. It was a loan.



In case you want back references, here is the Books for 2011 round-up post
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