Title: Angel Mage
Author: Garth Nix
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.
A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.
Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.
But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. They are the key to her quest.
The four feel a strange kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their importance. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else
As a child who grew up reading Harry Potter, I was really into magical worlds, which I carried on until now. One of the books I’ve read was Sabriel by Garth Nix and I remember thoroughly enjoying the first 3 books in the Old Kingdom series, so when the opportunity came to be able to join a Garth Nix blog tour, I signed up right away and I have no regrets!
Garth Nix is so well-versed with world building in fantasy novels and he did not disappoint in Angel Mage. The book had a medieval vibe to it that went perfectly with the theme of the book, mages and angels. And even with the medieval setting, Nix’s world was very gender-equal, you mostly see women in the seat of power, a very racially diverse and colorful cast, which I absolutely loved. Props to Garth Nix for such a great setting and a vivid world setting that I could see scenes playing out in my head due to the details in his writing.
Another aspect of Angel Mage that I absolutely loved is the unique magic system. Selected people – also known as Mages – have affinity towards Angels and can make icons to call on to them. But there are also people who can be trained in the art and can call on to these angels for whatever they need, but at a cost for the summoner. Aside from the magic, the religion also heavily relies on this system. One would think that the Angel theme for this book would be somewhat like the famous Angel books a couple of years back, but the Angels here were used in such a unique aspect and very original.
My favorite part about this book is the characters. Lilath’s character was so rich and interesting. I love a good villain, and Lilath’s determination, craftiness and will-power had such a good progression, I was so captivated with her journey. At the same time, I absolutely fell in love with the four main characters – Simeon, Henri, Agnez, and Dorotea. The moment they all met, the fun started. I enjoyed all the funny interactions and conversation, and their journey was also very exhilarating to see. I also loved seeing their individuality, their personal ambitions and wants and motivations. They were very much like the Three Musketeers!
Although this a very information heavy book, I can understand how it’s not for everyone. There were times when the pace was very slow but if you’re willing to overlook this, then I highly suggest that you pick up Angel Mage. Personally, it reminds me of Mistborn or The Gilded Wolves, where there’s a crew or a group of friends out on a quest. If you enjoy these kinds of books, then you will enjoy this.
Special thanks to Jana of The Fantastic Flying Book Club, Katherine Tegen Books, and Garth Nix for a chance to be a part of the blog tour. Check out the full schedule on this blog post!
Personally, I love listening to music while reading hence, here’s a playlist I made while I was reading Angel Mage!
“He had found his place in the world, he felt, and the slant of his progress through life would now surely be ever upward.”Angel Mage, Garth Nix
“You are my sister, my brothers. And always Musketeers, whether you will or not.”Angel Mage, Garth Nix
“You know the old saying ‘What you don’t see doesn’t exist’?”Angel Mage, Garth Nix
“No,” said the others.
“That doesn’t even make sense”
“You are my strange siblings, who I never thought to have, and value most highly.”Angel Mage, Garth Nix
“The Maid of Ellanda had returned to Ystara, and soon all would be well.”Angel Mage, Garth Nix
Garth Nix has been a full-time writer since 2001, but has also worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve.
Garth’s books include the Old Kingdom fantasy series, comprising Sabriel, Lirael; Abhorsen; Clariel and Goldenhand; SF novels Shade’s Children and A Confusion of Princes; and a Regency romance with magic, Newt’s Emerald. His novels for children include The Ragwitch; the six books of The Seventh Tower sequence; The Keys to the Kingdom series and others. He has co-written several books with Sean Williams, including the Troubletwisters series; Spirit Animals Book Three: Blood Ties; Have Sword, Will Travel; and the forthcoming sequel Let Sleeping Dragons Lie. A contributor to many anthologies and magazines, Garth’s selected short fiction has been collected in Across the Wall and To Hold the Bridge.
More than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world, they have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today and his work has been translated into 42 languages. His most recent book is Frogkisser! now being developed as a film by Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky Animation.