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Literature / Kingmaker, Kingbreaker

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"Death lies at the end of every journey. What matters is how we travel the road."
Dathne, Awakened Mage

Kingmaker, Kingbreaker is a series of adult Fantasy novels by Karen Miller. As of 2011, there are fivenote  books in the series proper:

  • Kingmaker, Kingbreaker
    • The Innocent Mage (2005)
    • The Awakened Magenote  (2007)
  • Fisherman's Children
    • The Prodigal Mage (2009)
    • The Reluctant Mage (2010)
  • Prequel
    • A Blight of Mages (2011)

The first two books follow Asher of Resthaven, an Olken fisherman looking to make his fortune, and his unlikely friend, the Doranen Prince Gar. The second books follow Asher's children, Rafel and Deenie, as they go to save Lur once again, beyond the mountains, some time after the fall of Barl's Wall.

In this world, the people of Dorana possess the ability to perform magic, believing that it is their right alone. The most important type of magic is known as "WeatherWorking," which controls the weather precisely for the entire kingdom, as well as the magical force supporting Barl's Wall, and keeping it up. It is the right of the Doranen king alone to learn it, and his duty to maintain his kingdom's agriculture with it. With such power at their command, it is a widespread belief that they are fundamentally better than others. Dorana has subjugated the Olken people, who have been relegated to traditionally difficult ways of life such as fishing, farming, and blacksmithy. The Olken people are perceived as simple, brutish, and most damning of all, magicless. Olken are legally forbidden to be taught or use magic in any way on pain of death.


Asher of Resthaven is a simple Olken fisherman looking to escape his seven brothers by buying his own boat, and using it to spend more time with his father. To try and make enough money to buy such a boat, he leaves and goes to Dorana, the capital city of the Doran kingdom. Shortly after arriving, he somehow manages to end up in the service of the young Royal, Prince Gar. The two eventually warm to each other, and become close friends and confidants.



  • Ax-Crazy: Morg, full stop.
  • Barrier Maiden: Barl, in a sense, though her death happens during her wall's creation. The WeatherWorkers would be more of a match to this trope, as they support Barl's Wall with the use of their magic.
  • Body Surf: Morg, via Demonic Possession.
  • Elemental Hair: The Olken have dark hair which kind of fits in with their magic, which is quiet and bound to the natural rhythms of the land.
  • Evil Sorceror: Morg
  • Grand Theft Me: Durm and Conroyd, by Morg.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: All Doranen have blonde hair, but Gar fits this trope particularly well. He's kind to everyone, Doranen or Olken, and probably the only Doranen that respects the Olken as equals. He takes his vow to protect his people seriously, even after he is deposed by Conroyd/Morg.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Rafel, Matt and Gar in "The Awakened Mage". Rafel takes Asher's place during the latter's execution. Matt distracts a demon attacking Dathne in the final confrontation with Morg and is torn apart. Gar changes the Unmaking spell so that he will die in Asher's place (since the spell was designed to kill the caster and the target).
  • Jerkass: Conroyd Jarralt. Most of his speaking lines involve either disparaging Gar and/or the Olken (for being a cripple and for being unsophisticated peasants, respectively) or accusing the King of being an incompetent. He's arrogant, egotistical and ambitious to a fault.
    • Also, Fane. Despite Gar's constant attempts to get along with her, Fane is constantly snide and rude to him. She belittles him as often as possible, rubbing his nose in the fact that he is magickless.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: Darran is initially introduced as a snooty, uptight stickler obssessed with propriety and pomp. He constantly looks down on Asher as a ruffian and a bumpkin. Darran also cares for Gar and the royal family like they were his own family. In fact, he's the only one to stick around to support Gar after Conroyd/Morg reveals to everyone that Gar has lost his magic and Asher was covering up for him by taking over the Weather Working.
  • The Magocracy: The Doranen live in this manner in A Blight of Mages, with two separate councils for ranked and unranked mages.
  • Mordor: The lands that lie north of the Wall.
  • Mundane Utility: The Doranen use magic for everything: manipulating the weather, instantly drying hair, making light, binding books, teleporting coats from the closet when cold...
  • Smug Snake: Willer.
  • Terminally Dependent Society: The country of Lur in general in the first two books, as they need WeatherWorkers to keep Barl's wall in check, as well as allow rainfall on crops. This also applies to the Doranen in general, as their magic is used for even the most mundane of tasks, such as using glimfire for lighting.
  • The Chosen One: Asher is the prophesied Innocent Mage, destined to save the realm from destruction.
  • The Prophecy: Jervale's Prophecy.
  • Witch Species:The Doranen and The Olken are an example of this.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Morg to Willer, before throwing him by a window.


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