Mage in the Undercity (Stars and Bones: Book Two), by B. B. Morgan
Hi everyone, how have you been keeping lately?
Today, I’m excited to review Mage in the Undercity, Book Two of the Stars and Bones series, by author B. B. Morgan.
Notorious thief Juniper Thimble is to remain at Bradburn Castle until the spell tying her life to Prince Adrian’s can be severed. As Juniper learns how to control the magic that allowed for the death of the core demon, squire Reid finds himself torn between his feelings for her, his childhood born hatred for mages, and his solemn duty to the king.
Meanwhile, mage apprentice Ison struggles with the knowledge that he was largely responsible for the demon summonings and related deaths that recently plagued the castle, a knowledge that is worsened as the unknown mage behind it all makes their presence known once more.
The three main players of book two were Juniper, Ison, and Reid.
Juniper, a notorious thief, retained her sneaky ways as she once again found herself on the run from the royal guard. Her journey mainly revolved around her emotional conflict regarding Reid: how she lost his affections after he discovered she had magic. There was an increased sense of vulnerability in this second instalment, which made me feel more deeply for her character’s plight. Her journey also revolved around her learning to control the unusual magic that lay within her.
Ison, Bradburn Castle’s mage apprentice, was similarly as timid as he was in book one, however, he has since changed into a simultaneously more troubled and more daring individual. He seemed more willing to take risks, even when he felt uncomfortable about the potential outcomes. As much as I liked some aspects of his character, I also found myself conflicted at times, due to some of his particular actions.
Reid, a squire in training, possessed his same stubborn and loyal to a fault persona. However, book two also showed him in a new light. Here, I saw his deeper emotional conflicts, between his feelings for the girl he loves and a traumatic past which forever shaped his view of mages in general, and his wider duty as a squire.
As usual, B. B. Morgan’s work possessed many positive elements, which I’ve bulleted below.
- A close third person narration style, switching mainly between Juniper and Reid, kept me in the loop about their personal conflicts.
- The tension between Juniper and Reid was well built up and helped hooked me from the start.
- The characters were realistic, with deep emotional conflicts that made me feel for them on a deeper level.
- I like that we got to see more of the Undercity in book two, with a stark contrast provided between it and Rusdasin above ground. It was interesting how the Undercity wasn’t everything that the people from above ground expected it to be: we see this through Ison’s eyes as he acclimatises to his new surroundings half way through the story, how his prior perceptions of the place were shaped by mere rumour and hearsay.
Overall, Mage in the Undercity, by B. B. Morgan was a gripping, dark, evocative, and deeply personal journey of love, magic, and betrayal.
My Rating: 5 stars.
Recommended to: lovers of exciting fantasy series.
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