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A Blight of Mages

(Kingmaker, Kingbreaker 0)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,610 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Hundreds of years before the great Mage War, a land lies, unknowing, on the edge of catastrophe...

Barl is young and impulsive, but she has a power within that calls to her. In her city, however, only those of noble blood and with the right connections learn the ways of the arcane. Barl is desperate to learn-but her eagerness to use her power leads her astray and she is ban
Paperback, 767 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Orbit (first published August 4th 2011)
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Bruce I believe in Blight of Mages, they say those summoning incants came from the archives sealed away in the Hall of Knowledge, mostly unknown to mages of…moreI believe in Blight of Mages, they say those summoning incants came from the archives sealed away in the Hall of Knowledge, mostly unknown to mages of Morgan’s time. They were only found during the exodus from Dorana and copied by Barl into her journal.(less)
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,610 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
I read this (the prequel) before any of the other books in the series, and I must say it is by far the best one.

There were a lot of problems with The Innocent Mage and even more so with The Awakened Mage though here Karen Miller gets the tone just right. I would go as far to say that this works perfectly well as a stand-alone novel. You don’t really need to know anything else about the series to enjoy this one. The story is strong and the characters are actually interesting (for a change.) So I
Elizabeth Giosia
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First and foremost, I must say this: While this book may technically be a prequel to the series Kingmaker / Kingbreaker, for the love of all that is holy, at least read The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage before reading A Blight of Mages. I’ve noticed an alarming number of reviews that give the book a low amount of stars, because they weren’t prepared for the violence and changes in one of the main characters, which easily would have been remedied if the original series had been read before ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Erika by: nobody
It took me almost three months to finish the "Lur Saga" as I'm calling A Blight of Mages, The Innocent Mage, The Awaken Mage, The Prodigal Mage, and the Reluctant Mage. I read them backwards, starting with the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker books and ending it with A Blight of Mages. I recommend for anyone interested in reading the Lur Saga, that you do it that way, because the ending of A Blight of Mages is much more satisfying that way than if you read them in chronological order.

I honestly enjoyed A
Shira Karp
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book started off lulling me into a false sense of comfort- I thought I'd picked up a pulp fantasy novel, an easy read where I know the cookie cutter plot and the joy is really in getting to know the new characters and how this world works. About halfway through this book I realized that they would accomplish everything I was expecting no further than 60% through at that rate and I began to get worried that they would just drag that part out through the rest of the book. Then I got slapped u ...more
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Karen Miller - but I do understand some of the complaints about her work. She does have a tendency to replay the same conversation between 2 characters again and again like Morgan and his Father and Barl & her brother - I think she was trying to show us the character development ie. how Morgan could do nothing right by his Father but it could have been handled much more succinctly. What I did enjoy was that there were no heroes in this book - all the characters were unlikeable in one ...more
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another book I picked up as a possible 2012 Australian Women Writers Challenge book, but which, due to my extra criteria, did not make it to my list of 10 books I read specifically for the challenge.

I loved this book. I have read the original two Kingmaker/Kingbreaker books (The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage, the latter of which is published as Innocence Lost in Australia) and enjoyed them, but I think I enjoyed this one a little more. It took me a while to get into, as I found it
Apr 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how to rate this book, because I liked the first half or so, and yet really didn't care for the second half (which I basically skimmed). I picked it up at the library because it sounded interesting, and I liked the first few pages.

For the first half, I found the characters likeable, although quite flawed. I liked the setting, and found the world fascinating. The magic is interesting, and I enjoyed the idea of magicians as artisans, who not only create standard spells of warding and
Britny Brooks
This is the back story on Barl and Morgan that sets up the whole conflict for Asher in the Kingmaker Kingbreaker series(book:Kingmaker, Kingbreaker: The Omnibus Edition|13074864)and then again later in the Fisherman's Children The Prodigal MageThe Reluctant Mage This book was one of the best out of all five books combined. Why? Because of Morgan Delfrey, that's why. I don't think I have ever loved and hated a character so much that I think I made myself kind of sick about it (I also can assume t ...more
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seems I should have read The Fisherman's Children first, but as far as I can make out, this is the same world but unconnected. I enjoyed the Godspeaker series, I laughed my way throught the Rogue Agent series, but this book is a bit special - almost two books' worth and very powerful. I don't think I'm giving too much away to say I felt a premonition of tears to come through most of the book, but I kept hoping for a happy end and we nearly made it.

I've given it 5 stars, but I do have a few reser
Jen Kayna (Habitat for Happiness)
I am officially a huge fan of villain backstories!!! A Blight of Mages is the story of how the villain Morg and the ancient saviour Barl from the Innocent Mage series came to be. This story is set 500 years before The Innocent Mage and is a fascinating story of how Morg and Barl went from lovers to enemies. What I loved most about this story was how so many questions that I had left over from the original series were answered. It all wrapped up so nicely and made the world Karen Miller created s ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
Dit boek heeft voor- en nadelen. Het verhaal is spannend en vreemd, maar de personages zijn soms onuitstaanbaar in hun arrogantie. Zo vind Barl zichzelf de grootste magiër ooit en dat is ze ook wel, maar ze zegt het wel erg vaak. Morgan heeft precies het zelfde probleem. En dat maakt dit boek voor mij een 7 en geen 8, maar halve punten geven kan hier niet.
Adela Bezemer-Cleverley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Originally posted here.

Despite its length, I got through the book in four days, even though I've been busy with other things as well. The writing, characters and world-building all caught my imagination and would not let me go. Before I was even done reading the book (a couple hundred pages in), I went onto Goodreads and marked her other books to read, because I loved reading this so much.

Miller's writing is fantastic. I love the way she strings words together. Her diction and syntax both resona
Apr 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember when I found out there was a prequel to the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker books. The moment was full of that giddy "oooooooh" tingly feeling. Yes, I knew the ending before reading it, but that did nothing to detract from this book. If anything, it made me even more excited to dive in. Legends have always been a point of particular fascination for me, and all the bits and pieces about Barl and Morgan in the Kingmaker/breaker books engrossed me, left me wanting more.

And I got more!

I found it a
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book up until about 90%. I think having read the rest of the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series and knowing the end result made it very 'eehhhh' for me. I pretty much skimmed through the last 10% and caught bits and pieces. I loved the character development throughout the rest of it. Reading the other two books you know what Morgan Danfey is like. Then trying to reconcile that with the one you see it's really sad actually but it enthralls you into it even more as you watch his relationsh ...more
Christoffer Lernö
Aug 15, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

The story of two greatly flawed and arrogant persons growing more arrogant and flawed, and finally destroying everything. It might be an accurate prequel to the Innocent Mage, but there is nothing of the sympathetic characters of that book contained in this book. Maybe others enjoy their protagonists mean and self-destructive, but for me there was no joy in reading this story.

I put off reading this book many times, and eventually had to force myself to finish it, just so I could put it
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting simply an interesting read. The author was more interested in an epic. Endless conversations & political machinations. Might as well read Ludlum. Intriguing concept, and very well written, but so much was simply boring, and it took almost 200 pages to start to get anywhere. Also, it would be nice if the publisher would say somewhere that this is one of a series, with no real ending. All-in-all, a very frustrating book.
Jun 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Really just not very good. Page after page, chapter after chapter of several very unpleasant characters doing very little, and when they do, it's as unpleasant as you might expect. 400 pages in and it was clear it wasn't going to get any better. I liked the Innocent and the Awakened Mage books a great deal, but the author's readers would have been better served by a 10 page prologue than this 600 page unpleasant and uninteresting prequel.
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book! Over 600 pages and I read the whole thing in a day because I didnt want to put it down. You could really identify and sympathise with the characters. Well most of them, two I just wanted to slap lol Made me want to read the rest of her books which didnt appeal at first glance.
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another case of being thwarted by Goodreads's integer-only star system. I'd like to give this a 3.5 or 3.75.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: entertainment
Barl is whiney and superficial, which made a story from her POV very tedious to read. Definitely not a read again candidate.
Ben Babcock
I’ve never really considered what the collective noun would be for a group of mages (coven might work, but it has more specific connotations than just a gathering). Blight is probably as good as any. The mages of Dorana certainly seem to fit the description. Never have I met such a pack of whiny and entitled people. I was happy to see their country destroyed.

Yes, it is this fury that Karen Miller has inspired in me with A Blight of Mages. Barl Lindin is an unranked mage (she’s not good enough to
If you've read Miller's "Kingmaker, Kingbreaker" duology, then you'll have heard of Barl and how the Doranen left their homeland. This book delves deeper into that story, giving us a fully fleshed-out version of what happened and why.

It is easy to sympathise with Barl, a talented mage who is not allowed to access any further education due to not being from a "ranked" family. Then she meets Morgan, a powerful mage who seems to be the answer to everything...

Except that, as we all know, power corr
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole Fuschetti
I really wanted to like this book. Barl and Morgan were interesting at first, but also two of the most annoying characters of all time. They both were full of themselves, and that led to everything else that happened. I do understand this is a prequel to Karen Miller's other books, which I haven't read yet but plan to. I have read her novel, Empress and I loved that, but this just left me disappointed. The first half of the book was better than the second. I felt the book became dry and slow at ...more
Timothy Martin
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, audiobook
A pretty solid book. It was cool to see the setup of the kingbreaker series. At first, the novel starts of feeling very different than the kingbreaker series and it never quite captures the same feeling, but it builds it's own charm. The characters are well built and grow in surprising (but logical) ways. The real strength of the novel is in a small handful of side characters that make the story feel more grounded when the two main characters are built up larger than life.

The plot is pretty stro
Apr 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to Dorana. A country or wonderful magic that runs entirely on...

...the incredible arrogance and egomania of its inhabitants.

Basically every single character of Dorana is a hateful, self-centered person convinced that they are being treated badly by those above them. Meanwhile they seem to have no problem kicking those below them. You might find one character thinking:"This is so unfair! I am being denied access to what should belong to everyone just because I belong to a lower class! I h
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay. So I'd like to say I liked this book, the slow descent from love and power into madness and regret.

However, it's clear Karen Miller got the idea for this backstory AFTER she wrote Kingmaker, Kingbreaker. There are small inconsistencies with the names of places, such as Morg calling the capital of Dorana something other than Elvado (can't remember exactly but I remember noting that).

Also... didn't Asher learn spells to summon warbeasts and stuff from Barl's notebook? That means the old Dor
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's short but I enjoyed this one. It's a good peak behind the scenes of the events that happen in the Kingbreaker series and answers a lot of questions. Thematically it's enjoyable, if a little overt, dealing with issues of ego, intent, love, and zeal. Only real complaint is it comes to a head awfully fast. The line between sanity/insanity get's crossed in an instant and it doesn't quite ring true. It's almost as if there are a few chapters missing where the pro/ant/agonist descends into madnes ...more
Katharine Lancaster
And if no way of doing a thing can be seen, still let the thing be attempted, that the way might be found. For many things done easily now were counted a challenge in their time. And many things done commonplace were once new and despised.

You may run to your destination, or you may walk. Running is faster, but in walking one has time to see the journey’s pitfalls. To notice those traps laid for the unwary.

“... But for those of us who are earthbound and gasping, the air is all we think of.”
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Goodreads Librari...: Duplicate edition in two separate books - fixed 3 20 Nov 30, 2013 09:16AM  
  • Wizard Undercover (Rogue Agent, #4)
  • Song of the Shiver Barrens (Mirage Makers, #3)
  • The Sworn (Fallen Kings Cycle, #1)
  • The Usurper (King Rolen's Kin, #3)
  • The Rogue (Traitor Spy Trilogy, #2)
  • Royal Exile (Valisar, #1)
  • The Second Draeken War (Combined Edition)
  • The Tower Broken (Tower and Knife Trilogy, #3)
  • The Widow and the King
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. Please see this thread for more details.

Also writes as "K.E. Mills"

Lord, do you really want to know?

Oh, all right.

I was born in Vancouver, Canada, and came to Australia with my parents when I was 2. I think. Dad’s an Aussie, Mum’s English, go figure. Talk about Fate and Destiny. But three passports come in hand

Other books in the series

Kingmaker, Kingbreaker (2 books)
  • The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker, #1)
  • The Awakened Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker, #2)