Angel Mage | Garth Nix | Review

“Better to lie under stars alive than to be stabbed in your sleep in some stolen bed”





More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.

A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.

Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.

But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. They are the key to her quest.

The four feel a strange kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their importance. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else. . .


I’m struggling to review this book, I liked it but I had high hopes for it and it didn’t live up to this high hopes. It is not a bad book in any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely wasn’t my favourite. Was it over hyped for me? Or was it just an average read?

This was my first Garth Nix book, I know it is promoted as a YA fantasy but I definitely saw some similarities to Adult fantasy, it is definitely a fine line. I enjoyed the concept of this book, and the execution of it was also very good. However it just did not give me the urge to pick up. I would enjoy my time reading Angel Mage when I was reading it, but once I put it down I wouldn’t get that pull to pick it back up and carry on with the story.

I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it was slow burn. I feel like if this was the first book in the series that would be okay and I would have more of an understanding. However this is a stand alone, and I feel like there was very little action compared to what there could have been.

I did like the character and the world in this book.I feel like Garth Nix is very good at world and character building allowing you to absorb yourself in the world and create a connection with the characters. I really did like this element of the book. I liked the “chosen four” and the sarcasm that it involved with this book.

I think that Angel Mage is definitely worth the read, the world and the magic system is really good and unique. Whilst it wasn’t for me in relation to keeping me gripped, I can understand why so many people love it. I am looking forward to diving into Garth Nix’s previous works.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s