The previous book in this series spent a great deal of time build up toward the possibility of exploring beyond the bounds of the land of Lur, but ended just as it was starting to happen, so I entered this book with a lot of expectation.
While Rafel’s journey was cut short by tragedy, I got to experience that exploration as Deenie sets off on her quest. In a lot of ways book 1 was just set-up for book 2. In the Reluctant Mage, the plot really starts moving.
Karen Millar’s great strength seems to be the development of characters and people groups. This continues to show through in this book. She creates a brand new race of people, and again gives them their own turns of phrase. The people of Vharne feel very distinct from the people of Lur.
This book gave Deenie the development she needed, and watching her growth was a lot of fun. I felt that Rafel’s character was lacking in this book, as he was incapacitated due to important plot reasons. It all worked, it’s just that he was so important in the last book that I wanted more of him.
I enjoyed the dynamic that built between Arlin and both Rafel and Deenie. It’s always fulfilling to see former foes forced to develop a begrudging respect for one another.
The book brings the series to a satisfying conclusion. I now look forward to going back and reading some of the earlier books set in this world.