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The Mageborn Traitor (Exiles, #2)
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The Mageborn Traitor (Exiles #2)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  5,150 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Fantasy set on a world where women hold all economic and social power and following the lives of three magically gifted sisters.
Unknown Binding, 755 pages
Published March 1st 1997 by Pan Books
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Matriarchal Societies in fiction
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Community Reviews

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This is really one and a half stars. Glenin, Sarra and Cailet are all grown at the start of this book, and they stop being pawns and start actually moving pieces themselves. Some more successfully than others.

Okay, here's where Rawn lost me: for some unknown, incomprehensible reason, Sarra and Cailet come over all stupid for plotting purposes. And not just for brief moments - for entire stretches of the second half of the book, I was muttering "you're supposed to be smarter than that". And the w
As much as I love this series I would almost suggest not picking it up at all. This book was written around 15 years and the author apparently has no intention of finishing the series. Her husband died sometime after she wrote this book and she fell into a great depression and stopped writing for a while. Though she has started to write other series, I've read that she can't bring herself to work on these books because her late husband played such a huge part in their development of them. Sad fo ...more
Although I LOVED this book and the firstone in the series, I do NOT recommend that anyone read either of them, YET. The third book has never been written and it has been over 12 years since the last one was published. If and when the final book comes out I will change this rating, but so many unanswered questions/cliff hangers really spoil the first two books.
Now if only she'd pretty please finish the series!
Martin L. Cahn
An excellent followup to the first book, but very plainly the middle of a trilogy. I continue to enjoy Rawn's creation of a matriarchal society in a fantasy setting. It's unfortunate Rawn's never written the third book. The characters are so rich and the overarching plot unresolved that readers deservedly have begged for completion. On the good side, both books are still complete stories unto themselves, with satisfactory if not fully happy endings in both cases.


The only two quibbles ar
Rudi Bracaglia
I read this series when Rawn first started it 12 years ago (OMG it's been that long?? Right in the childhood and dear Christ I'm getting old :( )

I was in tears when Collan died and Cailet lost so many loved ones - pretty much devoured the book and eagerly anticipated the next book. And I waited. And waited. And waited some more. I had no idea what had happened but assumed things would eventually be resolved. It took Tolkien 12 yrs to finish his masterpiece after all.

Imagine my fury when 10 yrs
I enjoyed the book but was disappointed by some of the plot twists. Makes me wonder if those plot twists are the reason she can't get the last book written. 12 years and counting between books is a bit ridiculous.
Follow up to the brilliant Ruins of Ambrai. I could've lived with the life and times of the children, though she pushes hard to make them the characters you care about. It was ...In my mind I remember thinking, "I go to school, Idon't want to read about it." The war was over, le sigh. And I was...shall we say unhappy with the ending, and more, the nature of it that leaves things unfinished. Still this is a marvelous series. One of my favorites, I think. And Collan, the hero/not-hero(?) is my fav ...more
Daniel McGill
Just really wish she'd write the third one already.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan G
After I had reviewed the first book in the series, Ruins of Ambrai, I had pretty much thought that I had discovered my Achilles Heel of blogging. After trying to review this second book in the series, I'm positive that reviewing epic fantasy is not my strong suit. With epic fantasy there are so many story lines all vying for your attention and such a large (though brilliant) cast of characters, that it's hard for me to separate out what I should tell you and what is safe to leave out of a review ...more
For once, the second in a series is better than the first! The plot is more definite and intertwined, the characters more memorable, and a much clearer goal is outlined. True, it is slow in starting - the entire first section, though interesting and developing for the remaining characters in the previous novel, contributes little to the general plot. In the main body of the book, the Captal knows one of the Prentice Mages is a Malerrisi and traitor - as well as her own nephew - but she cannot fi ...more
Would have been 5, but I need closure!!! I've been waiting for years, and so has my husband. Please, for all your fans, give us closure and write the end of this saga we so desperately crave.
Jen Christopherson
I have been told the author never finished this series. I am very saddened by this as this book ended on a much different note than I had hoped. However, there is little I can do about it. Therefore, I would not recommend this book, or series, to anyone. Though the first two books are great and worth reading, it broke my heart to find out the series was unfinished with no plan by the author to finish. This is one of the reasons I don't read series until their finished.

With that said, I fell in l
Devin Cary
I liked this one. I felt it was a good follow up to The Ruins of Ambrai. I like the growth of Cailet and her life as captal. the end the book where Colan gets killed. I'm still waiting for a third novel.
Debby Allen
Reread this too, changed rating from 3 to 5. Story holds, don't know what bothered me about it before, maybe just that Captal's Tower wasn't likely to be written. Started rereading not knowing that it's due - eventually.

Even with a cast of hundreds, Melanie keeps them real and interesting. She doesn't get lost in her story, or lose her characters to the plot. Which was set up from the very beginning of Ruins. She thinks the /very/ long game better than any I recall.

Is being older what changed my
Amanda R
So good. So, so good. There are many valid criticisms to make - for example, this review cracks me up because she is not wrong! But there is so much else to love that I'm willing to forgive the bits that don't make sense as well as the scads of little inconsistencies, some of which can be chalked up to as-yet-unsolved mystery but some of which are just sloppy writing.

Overall, though, these books still own a huge piece of my heart and I will never stop loving them.
Too bad there won't be a third book... :'(
Melanie Rawn is an incredible storyteller, with her intriguing characters and exquisite world-building. While the "Mageborn Exiles" series is not as compelling as her "Dragon" series, this is one that fantasy fan should miss. Granted, I didn't like this book as much as the first "Exiles" book, but it's still a worthwhile read. Everything that one loves about Rawn's work is present here. And though it's true that we've all been waiting for a final book that may never come, I don't think anyone sh ...more
Read the first book in this series as a young teenager, read this book on the verge of my early twenties. I want the 3rd book, which will more than likely never be written (it's been over a decade!) if only so that I can finish the series before I turn 30. I enjoyed the first book in this series far more than the second but, given that I'm the sort of person who hates starting and not finishing a book, I hate starting and not finishing a series. Seriously, even an epilogue...?
Love this book and its predecessor. Still waiting for the release of the third book. I check Rawn's forum for news probably twice every year. Upon checking this afternoon, I happened upon some welcome news regarding Captal's Tower.

Jennifer Simonton
No idea if Rawn is going to write the third book of this trilogy but I hope she does someday. Such a great world she has created.
I read the first one years ago so picked this up when I saw it in the library. Admittedly my reading wasn't enhanced by the fact that I had only the shakiest memory of the first one but I just couldn't get into this. Maybe if we'd seen more of the motivations of the rival/evil Maherissi faction rather than them metaphorically stroking their cats and chortling evil laughs I would have enjoyed it more. Fantasy has moved on a bit since this.
How does that woman have me weeping my heart out one moment and then laughing in sheer delight the next? Such a beloved book. And I'm okay, I am, to end it here. There doesn't need to be a Captal's Tower... not that I wouldn't have loved it as well if it had been what it should, but time passes and chances are lost, and I'm more than grateful for what I did get from the first two books.
Q Turner
Melanie is my favorite author, despite her penchant for killing off my favorite characters. She's a subtle author, great sense of timing and rarely if ever do you sense the puppet master pulling threads. The characters are rich and deep, the stories convoluted enough to feel real, the details fantastic enough to transport you to another world. Beautiful work.
I forget how I picked up the Exiles series. I recall enjoying them and then being disappointed that book 3 hadn't come out yet, then watching it for a couple of YEARS before finally giving up. I saw book 3 is listed here on Goodreads and though "oh, maybe it finally came out!" but... nope! Decent series but when the author herself gives up on it... ehhh...
Andreea Pausan
I liked the previous book better, as this one is meant to have a sequel. I have read that it may not have one. Too bad, Exiles is a great series.
Jessica Carmody
I want to give this five stars, but since this is currently the last book, and it ends unresolved, and the third book will likely never come out, I'm only handing out 4 stars.

This is actually a great opportunity for some fan fiction, a series with great characters and a great start that just needs an ending.
Michele bookloverforever
I truly enjoyed this book and this series thus far. However, just found out my library does not have the 3rd book in the trilogy. sigh. Found the characters compelling and the plot fascinating. I think the ending of this book with 2 strong women having to reinvent themselves is true to life in many respects.
Kate Reese
Again, breathtaking writing & threads of another world that bind you tightly, but it also leaves you wanting Book Three - which I think will never come. The bane of a 'Rawn' reader I've heard said. Only read them if you don't need to finish what you start nor completely understand them all.
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Melanie Rawn received a BA in history from Scripps College and worked as a teacher and editor before becoming a writer.

She has been nominated for a Locus award on three separate occasions: in 1989 for Dragon Prince (in the first novel category), in 1994 for Skybowl (in the fantasy novel category), and again in 1995 for Ruins of Ambrai (in the fantasy novel category).

More about Melanie Rawn...

Other Books in the Series

Exiles (3 books)
  • The Ruins of Ambrai (Exiles, #1)
  • The Captal's Tower (Exiles, #3)
Dragon Prince (Dragon Prince, #1) Stronghold (Dragon Star, #1) Skybowl (Dragon Star, #3) The Ruins of Ambrai (Exiles, #1) The Star Scroll (Dragon Prince, #2)

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