Sunday, 22 March 2015

Review: Warrior Mage

Warrior Mage
Warrior Mage by Lindsay Buroker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I usually praise Lindsay Buroker for producing consistently entertaining adventure fiction, and this is certainly that. However, if her books have a fault, it's that, occasionally, the plots rely on unlikely but convenient coincidences. There's usually only one per book, which meets the Pixar Test of getting the characters into trouble, rather than out of it. This book, though, has a good half-dozen, mostly more helpful than not, and the protagonist teeters on the edge of being what I call a Spoiled Protagonist: someone that randomly encountered people will help for no really good reason, in order to move him in the direction of his Destiny.

He shouldn't need the help, either. The opening chapter establishes him as someone who's capable of qualifying to enter an elite college for warrior mages, physically and mentally formidable, if a little callow.

There's a lampshade hung on the unlikely coincidences at one point, and the protagonist credits his people's gods. Given that, in the numerous books set in this world so far, we've had no indication that the gods are real and active, I didn't find this an adequate explanation.

The competent, enjoyable adventure scenes and the out-of-their-depth, bickering characters are still there, but for me, they were overshadowed by the author's excessive generosity to the protagonist to get him out of trouble.

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