Hand of Mars (Starship’s Mage).
By Glynn Stewart.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.
Three years ago, as Ship’s Mage of the starship Blue Jay, Damien Montgomery was pursued to the edge of human space by both the agents and enemies of the Mage-King of Mars — before being brought in from the cold.
Now, trained in new skills by the Mage-King himself, Damien has been sent to the planet Ardennes alongside Alaura Stealey, Hand of the King. A rebel movement there has destroyed cities fighting a Governor seemingly lost to corruption.
But not all on Ardennes is as it seems. As allies becomes enemies and an entire world comes apart in chaos around him, Damien will find both his skills and integrity tested to the utter limit.
I am quite happy that I finally started to read this series despite being hesitant about it as I wrote in my review of the first book in the series.
Damien’s career as a mage has indeed been spectacular and from humble beginnings as a somewhat rejected mage, then becoming a rogue mage he is now one of the most powerful mages around and an ambassador of the Mage-King of Mars sent to investigate foul play on the planet of Ardennes.
This book goes down a different path compared to the previous one. Where the previous one was more being on the run trying to escape both criminal thugs and the Mage-Kings agents chasing him this one throws him into an investigation of foul play threatening the stability of the Ardennes region. This time, he is the envoy of the King any chasing to be done is done by Montgomery.
I quite liked the book. Even though there is lot of duplicity, politics and treachery, things which I generally do not like, it is made up for by the main protagonist whom I really like. Montgomery has gone from an insecure new Mage to a real ass kicker. The action is cool and Montgomery taking down the unsuspecting bad guys is a joy to read.
Overall the book is well written with a solid story. Of course the entire fantasy/magic aspect of the story stretches the science fiction credibility but I still liked it. The blend of magic and science is, I will obviously not say scientifically credible, but well done in a way that it really becomes a cool story.
This series stays on my to-read shelf for sure.
2 thoughts on “Hand of Mars – Another good sci-fi/fantasy book in the series.”
On a completely off topic thread here, how’s that Conan omnibus read going? I saw in your sidebar you were reading it….
LikeLiked by 1 person
It’s going but slowly. Even though most of Howard’s Conan stories are rather short putting them all together makes for a rather large book.
I tend to read s chapter (story) or two when I feel like a change of pace and then I switch back to some other book.
So far I like it. Although this was (is) probably considered “bad” literature to be read by the uneducated masses by the culture snobs these stories are still from a time when the authors generally had a much firmer grasp of English than todays authors so it is quite rewarding to read from that perspective as well.
LikeLiked by 1 person