Firstly, a huge thank you to Stevie and Gollancz for asking me to be a part of this blog tour.
Secondly, can you believe this is the first Garth Nix book I've ever read? No neither can I. Especially as I own all the Sabriel novels and some of his standalones. Ah, the curse of a book collector...destined to buy books and then read them only years later...
Well, I say years, after reading Angel Mage*, I'm definitely going to be starting more of Garth's books before the end of THIS year (Uni work permitting). I was captivated by the world he created in Angel Mage*, it was so rich and fully formed. It felt like it was a real place with how much work had gone into layering the lore, the superstitions and the stereotypes of each region to name but a few aspects. It is an undoubtedly very heavy fantasy book with a lot of new terminology, most of which I'm 99% sure I'm pronouncing wrong but I never felt confused by it. It's very easy to grasp once you've got a way into the book and at the start, there's plenty of maps and even a list of the Angel hierarchy which I really loved.
The fact that we got the POV of the 'villain' was so unique. It's something I've noticed happens rarely as it often tends to then remove some of the tension within the book. You end up getting reveals much earlier, motivations are displayed more clearly and that feeling of being as lost or on edge as the other protagonists is usually lost. Not here. Reading about Liliath and then seeing her in action was akin to seeing two characters. The lore of the Maid of Ellanda was so interesting to learn about at the same time as the other characters but to then also read her POV was truly an experience. I did feel for her character, she was nineteen, powerful beyond measure and in love with someone virtually unattainable. I'm not surprised her path took the route it did.
In fact, I enjoyed all of the characters' perspectives, Henri, Agnez, Simeon and Dortea. All four were so different both in their upbringings and in their aspirations. Despite this, they got on so well, as if they were family. In particular, I adored Dortea, she reminded me of Luna Lovegood a bit. A little away with the fairies but incredibly intelligent.
The way all four fit into the overall narrative I had not anticipated, it was a welcome surprise. The entire story kept me on my toes, I never knew what Liliath was going to do next despite having some of her plans laid out. There was always an ace she kept hidden even from those closest to her.
I'd love to see more stories set in this world. I really do hope that's something we get one day.
Name: Angel Mage*
Author: Garth Nix
Have you read Angel Mage*?
What did you think?
Thank you for reading,