By Cynthia Bujnicki
Lilliath, one of the most powerful angel mages of her time slept for a hundred years while the place she called home fell into disarray. Awake now, she has one single purpose: to reunite with her love, the archangel Palleniel. There is one thing she was missing in her plan that lead to the destruction of her homeland and curse of her people, four people who hold the key and power she desperately needs. Lilliath will do whatever she must, no matter the cost to bring her love back to her.
Garth Nix returns readers to a fantastical realm following various characters that ultimately, do not pull the reader in.
Angel Mage has an incredible and gripping prologue and opening chapter as it launches readers into the premise of the novel. However, once Lilliath awakens from her long slumber, the novel starts to drag as it brings in the other key characters and their importance of the plot. There is a lot of world-building staggered throughout the opening sequence of the novel, but most of it fails to gravitate and pull the reader it. It slows down the pace of the novel drastically.
The novel splits up into four parts, and at a glance, each part is significance. However, it seems like there is so much going on, making it seem as though there are two novels here instead of just one. The way the story splits up into segments donates so much time to introduce the reader into the history of the world and the characters. However, the pacing lacks the energy to keep the reader invested in the story.
It appears the novel would have been better served as a duology so that the story could move faster without being hindered by all the backstory and history.
As for the characters themselves, there is little in the room for character development. The characters are well defined, but they are almost flawless, which denies them the chance to develop as characters. Their dynamics with one another certainly do grow and flourish throughout the novel, but again, if this novel had been a duology, more time could have been spent developing the characters. They balance each other well enough, but their voices lack the energy to captivate the reader. Only Lilliath grabs the reader’s attention because of how the plot is structured, tying her to the history of the land.
Ultimately, while interesting, the pacing of the story lacks the energy to keep the reader invested. (★★★☆☆)