The Gathering Flame ★☆☆☆☆

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Title: The Gathering Flame
Series: Mageworlds #4
Authors: Debra Doyle & James Macdonald
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 371
Words: 136K


From the Publisher

The Mageworlds are plundering the civilized galaxy. One planet at a time. First, their scoutships appeared above the outplanets. Raiding parties followed, then whole armadas bent on loot and conquest. The Mages break the warfleets that oppose them. They take entire planets. Who can stop them?

Not Perada Rosselin, Domina of Entibor. She’s the absolute ruler of a rich world and all its colonies, but Entibor’s space fleet is too small to mount a defense. And Perada herself, just back from school on distant Galcen, is almost an outworlder in her own court.

Not Jod Metadi, the most famous – or notorious – of the privateers of Innish-Kyl. Jos can fight the Mages and he can best them one on one, but his preferred targets are cargo vessels, not the dangerous and unprofitable ships of war. Metadi stays clear of the Mageworlds’ battle fleet – when he can.

Not Errec Ransome. He understands the Magelords better than anyone. But there are some things he’ll never tell – and some things he’s sworn to himself that he’ll never do again.

Now, the Mages have attacked Entibor. That was their first mistake…

My Thoughts:

Overall, I enjoyed this prequel about the parents of the characters in the previous three books. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much and in some ways I was very disappointed.

Perada’s two sons aren’t Joss Metadi’s. They were conceived for political reasons. In fact, one of them is Eric Ransome’s and Metadi just shrugs it off. I REAAAAALLLLY disliked both parts of that.

By the end of the book Entibor is a slag heap and the mages did it by using hundreds of mage circles on Entibor to move the tectonic plates and thus destroy the surface of the planet. It was pretty cool if you think about it.

Then there were the 2 women who I thought were just friends. So that line got crossed and put the authors on my to avoid list. Honestly, I’m almost glad that happened so I didn’t have to muster up some fake enthusiasm to continue on with the rest of the series.

While this series started really strong for me, it has gone downhill with each successive book and with this one stepped right off the cliff face. Well, time to go find another series to try.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

19 thoughts on “The Gathering Flame ★☆☆☆☆

  1. Hm. “Overall I enjoyed this” turns into “this one stepped right off the cliff face” and a one-star review.

    Do you mean the two women who you thought were just friends actually turned out to be . . . worst enemies?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reading and reviewing books is complex dance of likes/dislikes, balancing your worldview against entertainment and plain old fashioned rules of writing and grammar. So I can enjoy something overall even as I’m stepping off the cliff 🙂

      They were lesbians. When it comes to entertainment, there are a few moral lines that I will not cross. Abortion is one of them. If a book presents abortion in a positive light, I am done with that author. The same for homosexuality. It’s a serious issue that I don’t treat lightly and as such, when it is presented in entertainment as “just another choice”, I can’t accept that. The same goes for graphic violence. While I have a high tolerance for violence in books, I also do not want to become jaded to it. It’s why I stopped reading the Jack Reacher novels.
      Hopefully those examples helped explain it. If not, shoot me an email.


  2. Perada’s children not being her husband’s, even though this is the social norm on her planet, rubbed me the wrong way, too. There was a lot of good stuff in the “totally not Star Wars sequels” sequence / the first three books….especially to people who were still smarting from The Last Jedi exposure….but honestly: the entire series should have had at least another draft, or an editor willing to force the authors into making hard decisions. Like: spend more time on the exciting adventuring-the-galaxy portions that set up your characters’ backstories. Don’t automatically kill of your wise mentor character first book, third act just because that’s the Done Thing (in the source material). And spend a little more time coming up with an acceptable Sith/Jedi analogue vis-a-vis fight scenes, because staffs? Really?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The issue for me about the kids was that that societal aspect was not told us in the original trilogy. I don’t recall it even being hinted at. It felt like a load of bricks being dumped on me.

      Yeah, I would have liked to see more of Metadi being all space pirate’y and scary. Oh well, them’s the breaks I guess….

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The end of this month really has piled on the bad books. I feel like that kind of thing is on some sort of bell curve average that I have to live with.
      Doesn’t mean I have to like it though!

      Liked by 1 person

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