Starpilot’s Grave ★★★✬☆

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Title: Starpilot’s Grave
Series: Mageworlds #2
Authors: Debra Doyle & James Macdonald
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 357
Words: 124.5K


From & Me

Beka Rosselin-Metadi and her crew get involved in the beginning of the Second Magewar. privateer and a planetary ruler must join forces to defeat the Mages.

From the back cover of the Tor Books first edition) Blockaded, restricted, and forgotten – the Mageworlds would never threaten the Republic again.

A broken and drifting ship, its long-dead captain still strapped in the command seat: that’s what free-spacers call a starpilot’s grave. When one of these derelict craft appears in the Net, the artificial barrier zone separating the Republic from the Mageworlds, the discovery is no accident. It’s a sign, a warning that the Mageworlds have not forgotten the Republic – and the Mageworlds make long plans.

But the Mageworlds weren’t planning on Beka Rosselin-Metadi.

Beka has unfinished business to take care of, and his name is Ebenra D’Caer: the man who arranged her mother’s murder. D’Caer is safe, – he thinks – hidden among the Mages on the far side of the Net. Flying under a false name and false colors, Beka penetrates the Magezone and finds more than anyone expected: the Magelords have discovered a fatal weakness in the Republic’s defenses, and are poised to wreak their vengeance on the hated enemy. The Mages are too strong. They must prevail. Unless one woman in one ship can do the impossible.

In the end, Beka accepts the crown of Entibor-in-Exile to rally the republic forces, which are divided by a traitor admiral, who brokered a deal with the magelords.

My Thoughts:

Beka remains the Main main character but this time her other brother Owen gets the majority of the main main character time whereas it was her brother Ari who got the spotlight last time. Considering this novel is about the mageworlds breaking the blockade and taking over the republic, and Owen is the main Adept, it’s only right we should get a good chunk from his view.

One thing about Owen, it’s obvious he has a lot of growing to do and we’ll see that in these stories. He’s spent so much time completely dedicated to the Adepts that he’s pretty much forgone growth as a human being. Thank goodness he hooked up with a whore who has magical potential. That should educate him quite quickly. The biggest issue with Owen was that he didn’t trust the head of his Order because that guy (who is the equivalent of Luke in Star Wars) didn’t do things how Owen thought he should when the Mage’s attacked. Goes to show his trust was pretty thin and brittle.

As for Beka, holy smokes, that girl continues to kick some serious butt! She’s racing around killing people who were involved in her mother’s death, dealing with the mageworlds, dealing with corrupt Republic forces and then has to deal with her father disappearing and no one listening to her because she supposedly died in the previous book. Her taking the crown of Entibor-in-Exile shows that she’s willing to do whatever it takes even though she knows that action will most likely kill her as it did her mother.

Since this series revolves around the Adepts and the Mages, Llannat Hyfid is necessary, almost more so than Owen. She’s learning from both sides and it wouldn’t surprise me if by the end of the series either the Adepts and Mages become one, or, more likely in my opinion, there starts up a third branch of magic users. What is really interesting to me is how Doyle and MacDonald have reversed how the two sides operate. The Adepts have a Master/Apprentice setup and then each apprentic goes off on his own and the cycle repeats. The Mages use groups to form circles, almost exactly like what Jordan uses for the Aes Sedai in the Wheel of Time series. The Leader of the Adepts is actually known as Circle Breaker, for his habit of destroying entire circles of Mages during the first Mage War.

Anyway, the main reason this was downgraded a halfstar from the previous book was the slight increase in points of view. I am NOT a fan of a huge cast of characters and unless handled with absolutely perfect writing, it gets more confusing than is worth it. I am hoping the next book cuts back on the cast of characters or at least brings several together.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

26 thoughts on “Starpilot’s Grave ★★★✬☆

        1. This series is definitely trying to get on the Star Wars nostalgia train. Which considering when it was written, it had a real chance. Then of course the Star Wars EU came into existence, so that was that.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I see you’re continuing to enjoy this series! Looks like that SW itch needs scratching now and then 😉 Ah, good old days of Zahn’s SW writing are not coming back, but at least he had a decent new Thrawn trilogy not long ago (which reminds me that I need to read that last book from it!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I still have a deep need for Star Wars, that I am finding alternate ways to fulfill.
      I am not a real fan of Zahn’s more recent books. THe last time I read anything by him was in ’18 and it wasn’t a fun time. So I’ve let him go…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The new Thrawn trilogy is actually pretty okay. I was burned badly by SWEU later books so I stopped reading them altogether, but Thrawn/Vader relationship he explored in the new novels was nicely done.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It might be decent, but after Disney killed off Mara and Zahn came back to star wars without a fuss, I stopped respecting him as a star wars author.
          It sounds silly, I know, but he didn’t put up even a token resistance.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I wasn’t a fan of Mara, tbh. Never really warmed up to her, what with her being Palpatine’s flunky 😉 I guess Zahn always treasured Thrawn more (me too, so I have no problems with him writing more about Thrawn ;))

            Liked by 1 person

                  1. Yeah, his trilogy and the short stories by various authors, Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, are imo the best and actually worth reading 😁 Thrawn will be coming to the main universe, so it’s
                    a good opportunity to acquaint yourself with him (and the Rebels TV series 😉)

                    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s Princess Leia Jr and seeing as how her mother was bumped off right at the beginning of the first book, I expect Beka’s lifespan to be much longer 😀

      Yeah, I know. Where’s entropy when you really need it? Thermodynamics, letting me down once again!

      Liked by 1 person

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