The Mage-Born Anthology by Kayleigh Nicol

The Mage-Born Anthology by Kayleigh Nicol

Series: Sorcerous Siblings #0.5Rating: 3.8/5
Date of Publishing: March 7th 2019Genre: fantasy
Publisher: Self-PublishedNumber of Pages: 365

 

Quote of the Book

Rasella reached out and took Wix’s hand. “Could you not come live in my village?” she asked, voice soft. “If you wore the veil you once showed me, no one would know you were a fairy.”

“Leave my forest?” Wix cringed, shooting a guilty glance around the clearing and hoping the oak nymphs hadn’t overheard. “I couldn’t. Something like that would risk banishment, or worse, from my glen. And I love my forest, Rasella. To leave would take the wind from my wings.”

Rasella sighed, staring down at her fingers interlocked with Wix’s. “Then is there a way I could stay with you? With your kind?”

“In the glen?” Wix startled. “You’re far too old to become a fairy.”

Rasella huffed. “Too old?”

“Only humans taken before their first words can become fairies,” Wix explained. “After your first words are spoken, your wings can never grow.”

 

Blurb

Before the Mage-Born Bounties:

Before they became known as the dangerous mage-born bastards, Reshi’s brothers and sisters were young mages growing into their powers in a kingdom that forbids the use of magic. This collection of short stories follows Eagan, Kila, Velyn and the rest of Reshi’s magical siblings as they develop their magic and learn to survive during the period known as the Great Mage Hunt. From the political intrigue of noble houses, to the secrets of the Order of the Great Canvas, from the great seaside ports to the mystical lands of the fae, each of the mage-born come up with their own unique solutions to living in a world that will kill them if their secret is discovered.

Six thrilling stories of magic and adventure, featuring Reshi’s siblings, plus two more stories set within the vast kingdom of Zarapheth!

 

Disclaimer/Personal Note

Review Request – Thank you to the author Kayleigh Nicol for the ARC. I apologize for the delay in getting to this review.

 

Song of the Book

Not their best song (or lyrics) but it works. I like Open My Eyes better.

Rival Sons – Good Things

Enjoy it right now
Because you never know
When it’s gonna end


Review 

If you were a fan of Sorcerous Rivalry or Mistress Mage (or just want to know what all the hoopla is about) you will want to get in on this anthology! Full of bite-sized stories about Reshi’s siblings, this gives us a peek at their lives and insight to their characters before the big Mage-Hunt that spurred the events of Sorcerous Rivalry.

Like her other books, Kayleigh Nicol’s tone is light even though some of subject matter can be pretty heavy and dark. It’s a delicate balance that she does very well.

*

The first story is about the oldest, Reina. She’s the bookworm, avoids socializing and is a total introvert.  Her father the Duke, is trying to get her to choose a suitor without much luck.
She is at the Academy when her powers manifest. Unfortunately, they’re uncontrollable to her; surging and hurting people. She goes to the fairies to bargain for help with learning control.

We also get a little bit of Eagan in this story who is home because his family is trying to secure him a bride. It was nice to see some sibling interaction in this story – due to them being separated this is it of until Sorcerous Rivalry.

Eagan is the typical spoiled noble, sleeping around, big chip on his shoulder and bucking the system because he can get away with it (for the most part). He’s a bit of cad and it’s very hard to like him. The best part of his story was everything between him and his manservant, Tresance. As the story goes you do see there is a little more under the surface with Eagan and I had hopes that Tresance would bring those better qualities to the forefront as their friendship deepens.

Kila is next. Twin to Laki she was one of my favourite characters in the series. I enjoyed her interactions with the Reshi and Kestrel so much and I was looking forward to her story the most.

Kila is rather prickly and motivated to learn to fight and doesn’t have a lot of patience for anything else.
Being in the army, fighting and doing what she loves, gives Kila a hard choice to make when an attack on her group is the trigger for her to realize that she is one of the people that she has been fighting against all this time.

Laki – He has an affinity to animals. He can carve figures of them, and bring them to life (it’s really cool). Quiet and contemplative, he is naïve and doesn’t see when people want to use him. He worries about doing things wrong or doing them exactly as he is told to do them.
His position as the king’s bastard has the dedicates from the different factions vying for him to join their sects so they can gain favour with the prestigious people. His kindness has him trying to please everyone. I felt the saddest for him of all the siblings. He was just a good-hearted kid.

Velyn – Was is an orphanage now lives in a transitional home after he aged out of the orphanage. He is trying to earn enough for a boat with his friend Tawni.
Velyn already knows he is a sorcerer when we meet him and has even had some training. Growing up around the fishing villages the people are more lenient towards mages because the wind-mages help with the boats.

His story was my favourite. It was a rather sweet story about first love, and acceptance. His best friend Tawni (who is transgendered) and him, have a lifelong friendship that has moved into love.

Cera – The fortune teller/seer, she travels and lives with an acting troupe. She is kind and cares a lot for her family troupe of actors.  When a fight injures one of the acting troupes’ men, she accidentally outs herself as a mage while helping him.

Cera was another I felt bad for she is kind and caring and unfortunately the world she lives in, is not.

*There was a soldier in this story that I wondered if it was a cameo from Kestrel.

The surprise for me was the two bonus stories that I didn’t know I wanted.

Wix – the fairy (she had a big part in Sorcerous Rivalry). Her friendship and eventual relationship with Rasella a girl from a neighboring village, endangers Wix’s Glen causing all kinds of trouble.
I loved this story it was one of my favourites in the book after Velyn.

Also, a short tale about Ammon (Kestrel’s good friend) when his sister comes for a visit and lands the two of them in a little bit of a hot spot while sightseeing.
This was a lot of fun and a bonus of Kestrel before he turned into the present-day serious hunter we know and have grown to love.

*

I almost wished I could have read this anthology before Sorcerous Rivalry just because there was such a bittersweet feel to the whole book, with getting to see their hopes and dreams and knowing the turn their lives take.

Like all anthologies there were stories I liked more than others – surprisingly Veryn’s was a huge winner for me and Kila, whom I loved in the series, was my least favourite.

All in all, this is nice addition to the series if you are looking to round out the sibling’s characters or just need an excuse to revisit the world.

Available: AmazonAuthor website:
Kayleigh Nicol

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