MAGEBANE by Stephen Aryan


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Gods, mages, warriors, and sneaky politicians battle for the lives of mortals and the survival of magical knowledge in the final installment in the Age of Dread trilogy.

In previous volumes (Mageborn, 2017; Magefall, 2018), the assassin goddess Akosh stoked prejudice against those born with the ability to do magic, harnessing hatred and fear to gain new worshippers and increase her power. But her work has attracted a dangerous ally–turned–treacherous competitor, the older and far more dangerous Kai, a god who feasts on pestilence. Kai seeks to dominate on two fronts. In Zecorria, the ever suspicious Regent Choilan, who previously banned all magic, now plans to strengthen his political position by creating his own army of mages. Unfortunately, these young magic-wielding guards are ignorant of the full use of their powers, forcing Choilan to rely on the unsavory assistance of the mage Marran, who may have more magical skill but is also a secret devotee of Kai. Kai has also spread a particularly vicious plague in Perizzi, capital of Yerskania. Tammy, leader of the Guardians (an elite Yerskanian law enforcement agency), works to contain the plague even as former magic students Wren and Tianne lead a small group into the isolation zone in an attempt to cure it. Meanwhile, a group of strong mages aided by the warrior god Vargas and Danoph, who previously believed himself to be a human student mage but is actually the most recent incarnation of the Weaver, a god who sees into the past and all possible futures, must defeat Kai and undo the damage he and Akosh have caused. While drawing these storylines to an acceptably satisfactory conclusion, Aryan leaves matters open-ended enough to suggest that he still has tales to tell about these people and their world.

A reasonably, if not spectacularly, interesting exploration of the poisonous consequences of prejudice and the wider effects of small choices.

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-316-55485-5
Page count: 528pp
Publisher: Orbit
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2019


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