Author: Kate Elliot
Released: January 18, 2022
There are certain authors where I will read whatever they write: no need to read the description or previews. That was the case for Servant Mage. I knew it was written by Kate Elliot, whom I love. I also knew that S.A. Chakraborty highly praised it, and really, those two facts were more than enough to sell me on reading it!
Fellian is what is known as a Lamplighter. It means she has the gift to create light magically. However, she lives in a society that turns people like her into little more than servants. Worse, if we’re being brutally honest here.
Somehow, Fellian is about to get wrapped up in a political scheme, one that doesn’t much care how she feels about either side of the rising war. Her skills are in need, and that means she is needed. But if she plays her cards right, she might just be free by the end of it. Assuming she doesn’t end up dead.
“Honor never dies, even when traitors stab it in the back.”
In case it wasn’t obvious, I went into Servant Mage with extremely high hopes. However, while I did enjoy the read, I didn’t love it as much as I was hoping. Perhaps that is partially my fault, since I set such high standards for this book.
The other part of the problem is that much of Servant Mage felt rushed to me. I didn’t get much of a chance to become attached to Fellian. By the time the novella ended I understood her and her motivations okay, but I would have loved a chance to get to know her (and her world) better before that point.
What I did see of the magical abilities in this novella fascinated me. I wish I could have seen more. Fellian is a lamplighter, which is actually a pretty cool name for an already cool ability. This specific gift is needed by a group of rebel Monarchists, and that was all she wrote.
On that note – I wanted to like the political side of things here. It had SO much potential. But again, much of that was grayed out where I was desperately hoping for more details. Still, it was enough for me to get a mostly solid impression of both sides. I was able to appreciate some of the ironic twists that followed too, so I really can’t complain.
Long story short, Servant Mage is a fun and quick read. It didn’t go as deep as I had expected or hoped, but otherwise I do appreciate what Kate Elliot did here. I’m looking forward to seeing what she writes next.
Thanks to Tor.com and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.