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Title: By Honor Betray’d
Series: Mageworlds #3
Authors: Debra Doyle & James Macdonald
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
The war is over. The Magelords have won.
Galcen has fallen. The Space Force is broken and scattered. The planets of the former Republic are rushing to make peace with the victorious Mages.
All that remains is mopping up. Minor details. A privateer or two, a few Adepts who remain alive and on the run, and the hereditary ruler of a lifeless planet.
Beka Rosselin-Metadi, the last Domina of Lost Entibor, possesses little more than a famous name and a famous ship. With them she must salvage what she can from the wreckage of the Republic. Her enemies are too many to count, her friends too few to make a difference. She can trust no one except herself, her crew – and the family she ran away from years before.
Beka has resources few suspect: a hidden base, a long-forgotten oath, and a dead man’s legacy. But she has problems as well; for in a universe gone mad neither friends nor enemies are all that they may seem.
A play that began in treachery and blood five hundred years before has reached its final act. A broken galaxy will be sundered forever, or else made whole.
So, while there are 7 books in this series, these first 3 books comprise the whole of the Second Mage Wars. And it’s not really much of a war either. Both sides have highly placed individuals secretly working towards peace with the other side.
This paragraph will contain spoilers. Not that I care about such things, but on the 1000 to 1 chance that somebody who follows me would ever read these, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for them. Because the Grandmaster of the Adepts turns out to be the badguy who had Beka’s mother killed. Only she wasn’t really, but was placed in stasis by a Magelord and it was up to Beka to revive her and up to her Adept brother and Mage sister-in-law to bring her mind back.
It was a whirlwind of revelations and counter-twists and everything gets wrapped up in a bow. I’m usually not one to complain about that but this time it felt kind of deus ex machina than if it had organically happened. Now I’m wondering what the next 4 books will be about?
A good bit of my enthusiasm waned, dramatically, when it was revealed who the badguy all along had been. It was too cliched. Makes me wonder if the final Star Wars trilogy stole their Grumpy Dispeptic Luke idea from this.
There was still a lot of action. Beka almost gets killed on public tv, Ari gets married, Owen takes over the Adept Order and gets his own apprentice and the Mage Worlder General is revealed to be a peacemongerer. Shocking!
I enjoyed this overall but I won’t be beating the drum the same way unless the next books are super fantastic. Good space opera but not excellent space opera.