Review of Mage of Legend, by Jennifer Amriss

I received a copy of Jennifer AmrissMage of Legend for review.

Description from Goodreads:
Dimensional Rifters Were Nothing But Legends.
Until now…

Ages ago, one of the old gods threw Minuvel, the last Ivari, into a dimensional prison. She was too powerful to kill, and too dangerous to let roam free. But her vault was lost.

A Spoiled King and A Skilled Hunter.

After a beautiful stranger saves his life, Xastrian, the new Dragon King, owes Velithor a life-debt. But as the two join forces to battle the crazed Ivari who shares their prison, he discovers he wants so much more. Soul-bonding with the shy, resourceful hunter would be worth anything. Even facing death a second time.

Trapped and Hunted.

Xastrian must rely on Velithor’s knowledge of the forest. Velithor must help Xastrian regain his power. And one of them must tap into the magic of legend to become a dimensional rifter before the Ivari drives Xastrian mad and ruins their chances of ever finding their way home.

Spoiler warning for the first couple pages of the book

Oh man, I hate giving a book a poor review when it doesn’t have very many others to balance it out, but this book and I had some serious difference. It starts out well. We meet Xastrian, the new king. He shows himself to be a strong-willed guy you can respect. You meet his fiancé of a thousand or so years. There’s an assassination attempt. It’s all very exciting. I was hooked, wanted to see how this all played out.

Cut to the next day, Xastrian decides to go off on his own, as one does just after an assassination attempt. Who needs guards, right? Then the WHOLE rest of the book is Xastrian playing house in the woods with Velithor. THE. WHOLE. BOOK. The reader never gets back to court, never finds out what happened to the fiancé (after an extended courtship I think that deserved a little closure), never finds out who attempted the assassination. Xastrian and Velithor never even tell the rest of court (or Xastrian’s family) the king is still alive once they make it back. In fact, they never bother going back to the palace at all. That whole very important part of the story is just glossed over and ignored COMPLETELY.

Then there is the deus ex machina magic. I won’t add a spoiler, but it pops up out of nowhere and the person can use it instinctively, doing on without thought or knowhow what others have to train hundreds of years to do. Sure, that’s believable and satisfying….no.

And what of Minuvel you ask. Oh well, she pops up being vaguely threatening on occasion, is evil for no reason except that she is crazy and evil and is vanquished with such ease I barely considered her a subplot. Seriously, the pets get more play than she does.

The romance is basically two men being repeatedly awed at each other. It got repetitive early on, so 300+ pages of it was painful. The two men take turns devolving in to children. (We never again see that strong confident king after the first scene.) The dialogue is stilted and there are a few writing quirks that drove me nuts. Like the constant use of ‘he perked an eyebrow.’ It was overused in general, but as far as I know people tend to quirk an eyebrow. Might not actually be wrong, but it sure grated on my nerves.

The book isn’t a total failure. It is sweet, after all, and outside of a few rough editing patches, the dialogue, and some anachronistic language the writing isn’t bad. But that exciting sounding blurb…no, that must be some other book. It just isn’t this one.

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