Angel Mage by Garth Nix
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: So it’s been a while since I’ve written a post on my laptop so we’ll see how this goes. Usually autocorrect is my humod, but i think spelling errors will be my style in this one. I’ve at at least a bottle of wine. It’s super tuesday and my candidate is not doing well. So.
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. . .
Drunk Overview: Alright, so Imma try. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, one of the patron angels dies and everyone who was previously protected by them ends up basically dying of this terrible plague whereby their blood turns to literal ash. Fast foward, you can tell how the power dynamics will fall if there’s one group o folks that cannot access the angel magic (any angel magic) without dying. They’re basically slaves. There are 4 folks who are destined to help? i guess? and Liliath (god damn I’m tired of villians named Liliath) needs them to bring back patron angel. So. Thats that I think…
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I WANTED to love this book, Garth is one of my fave authors who I have incredible attachment to based off his first series Abhorsen, but this one had some serious issues. Idk if it’s because I listened on audio or what but I was on the struggle bus.
Characters: There are 4. (Sober Editor’s Note: I count 6 here…)
- The art one: she can make icons without a…. subject? i guess? basically pictures of the angels that allows folk to access the magic without having a reference which is unheard of. She’s… fine. I liked her most of the 4.
- The queen’s guard one: she’s my second fave. in this world, the queen is the leader but there’s also the church or “the cardinal” who also has power. they both have a miliraty. At some point, they sort of have a dick measuring contest and I love it.
- The architect one: he’s…. my soft boy. He’s super bland.
- The Cardinal one: I FORGET WHY HE MATTERS.
- Liliath: she’s…. creepy af… and not in a good way
- Her supporters: I really have no idea why they follow her.
Plot: I…. honestly don’t care. It was so slow that I truly don’t know why we went through this whole book, It was basically to build the world, but I haven’t seen when/if there’s going to be another one and since I don’t care.. why would i reach out.
Writing Style: It’s Garth. It’s great. FOr a story that is as slow as it is, the writing is stunning. Which is REALLY hard to set aside.
World Building: THis wouid have been such a fucking cool world. I want to kniw more, I need ot know why the patron angel died/left. But unfortunately, I struggled so much that I think it threw me into a slump and I am still struggling to get out.
What to pair it with: A rail scotch. It’s scotch so it’s a sipping drink, but it burns.
Rating: 1.5/5 shots
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,