Title: My Lady Mage
Author: Alexis Morgan
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Warriors of the Mist (Book 1)
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback, 316 Pages
ISBN-10: 0451237447 (Signet/Penguin)
ISBN-13: 978-0451237446 (Signet/Penguin)
Reviewed by: Kristie
A cursed destiny. A band of warriors. And one troubled kingdom.
It is whispered in Agathia that the legendary warriors of the mist—cursed by the gods—can be summoned only when a champion is needed and the cause is just. Gideon, their captain, knows this to be the one path that will lead his men to redemption—lest they face an eternity of damnation.
Years have passed since anyone has journeyed to the river’s edge, but times are desperate. Oppressed by a cruel guardian whose dark magic threatens to destroy her people, the beautiful and courageous Merewen calls upon the bespelled warriors. In Gideon she finds more than a champion, and in his arms, more than protection. However, their enemies are fighting with a power darker than anything than they imagined, and should Gideon fail, she will lose everything she holds dear—including her heart.
Quick & Dirty: A unique and fun fantasy read set in a magical world.
Opening Sentence: Merewen tripped over a twisted knot of tree root jutting up in the narrow game trail and pitched headfirst to the ground.
My Lady Mage is the first fantasy romance that I had read in quite some time. While there were some ups and downs, this book really didn’t disappoint. Merewen is in trouble. Her uncle is slowly destroying her dead father’s town with his suppressive rule. As a female, Merewen cannot take over unless she is married and her evil uncle forbids her from any relationships. The only action she sees is resurrecting the Warriors of the Mist from the waters that they sleep in. (She read about them in her father’s library and isn’t entirely sure it will work but she is that desperate.)
Gideon and his group of warriors awaken to this woman wanting their help. At first, they don’t know if she is good or evil, just that the gods summoned them to help her. They follow the will of the gods but they don’t trust magic and they sense magic flowing from Merewen. Gideon is ready to protect her from the very beginning while the rest of the group is a little wary of her but it doesn’t take long for them to hear her tragic story and to know her kindness.
The Warriors of the Mist just want to be released from their immortal duties to the gods. They really hope to one day be able to have a family and grow old. They are only able to help Merewen for about three months before they are sent back to the water, so they have to take action quickly to help her and her village. Merewen has a type of magic that isn’t evil but it isn’t entirely helpful either. Her magic is what has helped her village prosper but as the last in a line of “caretakers” she has to remain alive to pass on her heritage.
Merewen is truly a good lady at heart. She holds no ill towards anyone except her evil uncle and the second hand man that obviously wants to beat and rape her. She just wants the best for her village and wants her people to live in happiness not fear. She does make a few rash decisions that are kind of head-slapping annoying that make you think: why did she do that? why didn’t she tell anyone? Gideon is a man on a mission. He wants to break the curse and he knows he has to help Merewen but what he never expected was to fall in love with her. He is great in battle decisions, strong and quite baffled with Merewen when she doesn’t listen to him.
Magic and mystery are what binds this fantasy novel into an interesting romance. The romance is slow to build but once they both feel an attraction the novel heats up. Gideon and Merewen know they don’t have much time left together but they are going to spend it happily. They know they will be left broken-hearted but they see it as a chance to pass on Merewen’s gift to another generation. The magic is a little different but I loved how each of the warriors had an animal to call.
My Lady Mage is told in the third person and it does jump around to many of the different characters including Merewen’s horrible uncle, Fagan. There is a feeling of helplessness in this novel because even though Merewen has called upon help, it is unclear as to how she will be able to escape this mess alive.
The Warriors of the Mists’ story is not over and there is an open ending to My Lady Mage. Merewen’s uncle is just the beginning. There is an even greater evil threat and there are many mysteries left unanswered that may have you wishing you had the next book, Her Knight’s Quest, nearby.
“Lady Merewen, it’s young Edric. He was inside the stable, helping with the horses. Too much smoke, I’m guessing, because he’s . . .he’s not—“
It was hard to say whether the man ran out of breath or whether he couldn’t bring himself to say the rest. He staggered toward her, the limp body of the young boy in his arms. Merewen immediately straightened up, her own struggles to draw a full breath obviously forgotten. She met the stable hand halfway.
“Lay him down,” she ordered as she knelt on the ground beside the too-still body.
Everyone else stopped what they were doing, their faces painted with soot and stark grief.
“Edric, stay with us,” Merewen pleaded as she looked around. “I need a knife.”
Gideon immediately offered his. She used the blade to split the fabric of the boy’s shirt. After setting the knife aside, she laid her hands on Edric’s thin body and started chanting. The words tripped off her tongue in a rough whisper, her throat obviously still fighting the effects of breathing in so much smoke herself.
He recognized the flow of her magic, although this time desperation swirled in and around the chant. The longer it went on, the less likely her gift would work this time. He moved closer, wanting to help but not sure how. Finally, he simply dropped to one knee beside her, unsure what to do. If the boy didn’t respond soon, Gideon would have to drag Merewen away before she burned herself out completely.
“My lady,” he started to say, but she shook her head and kept chanting, her voice growing fainter.
He risked a hand on her shoulder. The connection between them surged hot as his own life force lent its strength to hers. Immediately, her words grew stronger, ringing out clearly in the night air. Her efforts were rewarded when Edric’s chest moved like a bellows as he drew a gasp of air.
Warriors of the Mist Series:
1. My Lady Mage
3. Honor’s Price (TBA 2014)
FTC Advisory: I purchased my own copy of My Lady Mage. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.