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Summary

A dark and addictive fantasy listen for fans of Graceling and Sarah J. Maas. The life of an orphan soldier becomes entwined with that of the mysterious heir to the throne, whose very presence draws out the secret magic living inside her: a magic that breaks every law she is duty-bound to uphold....

The room is small and dark. Row upon row of jars line the shelves, each one sealed with blood-red wax. The seal’s mark is a twisted circle of briar with gleaming, gold-tipped thorns. And in each jar a flicker of forbidden magic dances...beautiful, but deadly. 

Sold to the Crown in the aftermath of the Last Great War, Grace Marchant has never known her parents. Now, she trains as an elite soldier tracking down mageborn - those born with an ancient and long-outlawed magic - and destroying them if they don’t surrender their power to the Crown. 

The mageborn who submit are collared, then handed over to the King’s cousin and heir: the elusive Bastien Larelwynn, Lord of Thorns, locked away in his shadowy workshop deep inside the castle. What becomes of them is hard to say - the Lord of Thorns keeps his secrets close. 

Grace has always fought the voice inside her that questions whether the law is truly just - but when her closest friend is next on Bastien’s list, Grace’s loyalties are tested to the limit. Confronting Bastien - searching his strangely compelling obsidian-black eyes for answers - Grace is shocked to feel herself begin to change, to show the first signs of the wild magic she so fears. 

Only the Lord of Thorns has the power to save her and the rest of the mageborn - if he doesn’t destroy them all first....

©2020 Jessica Thorne (P)2020 Bookouture

What listeners say about Mageborn

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An enjoyable start to the series

I listened to the audible version of this book and although I am not a huge fantasy lover I wanted to try something a bit different. I did really enjoy this tale of Grace and Bastien, the two main characters who are from different classes: one a soldier who seeks out the mageborn who haven't surrendered their power to the Crown, the other the kings cousin and the most powerful mageborn, to whom the rest pay homage. They find themselves thrown together not sure if they even like, let alone trust each other. This tale sees them in dangerous situations; fighting themselves, their enemies and sometimes their friends; and it isn't always clear who the good guys are and who is to be trusted. We also meet a host of subsidiary characters, goodies and baddies, some better developed than others, most of whom I am looking forward to seeing more of in the following books. I did feel there could have been a bit more editing. The lead characters, Bastien in particular, were inconsistently portrayed leading to a bit of a muddle at times. The romance aspect of the story was also a bit laboured and I felt slowed the story a bit. This is the first part of a longer story and there are several threads that are not resolved in this book and will presumably be picked up in the ones that follow. In respect of the audio- I really liked the narrator Heather Costa, and felt she gave a very good performance, with pretty good characterisation and consistency in her narration. I will be reading the rest of the series to find out what happens next

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awful

so disappointing and I can't return it! just stupid, all over the place and swearing for no reason!! let me give it back audible. it is TERRIBLE

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Great storyline

I Enjoyed this audio book very much from start to finish great story line too

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great

A thoroughly enjoyed this book. great story and narration. sorry this review is short but I'm not one for me reviewing usually

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  • DabOfDarkness
  • 01-04-20

Lots of good stuff & a little silly romance

I was hooked right away. I got into Grace Marchant’s head and was rooting for her the entire book. She’s a Captain in the Crown’s guard, an elite group of soldiers she was sold into as a child. Her memories of her childhood are few and fragmented. Right away, there’s the mystery of her past which really added to my interest in this character. Then there’s the Prince of Thorns, Bastien Larelwynn. He’s powerful, deadly, part of the royal family, and has his own mysteries. His own childhood memories are fragmented. There are things he wished he remembered clearly. Barring that, he has his job to do: serve the Crown. Bastien is Mageborn, and as with all Mageborn no matter their station, they are collared and serve the Kingdom. If they can’t or won’t do that, well, there’s some harsh ways of dealing with them. And the Prince of Thorns is sometimes the one to carry out those consequences. The world building is pretty good and these two main characters have a lot going for them. Then the romance steps in and things got a little boring for me. Individually, these two are full-fledged adults: they have jobs, station, a quest of sorts, murky pasts, etc. But then the romance enters the fray and it’s like these two become bumbling teenagers. Sigh… They aren’t teenagers. This isn’t their first rodeo. So, I felt there was a bit of disconnect between getting-stuff-done Grace and broody-haunted-arrogant Bastien and their romantic, teen angst versions. It didn’t work for me. The rest of the story is cold and hot for me. There’s some great action, more intrigue, bodies, betrayal, and defiance! Yes! But this is interspersed with the immature romantic interludes of our two main characters. I felt the story would have been excellent without the romance, or the romance needed to be aged up a bit to match the other character traits of Bastien and Grace. Anyhoo, it was pretty good. The tale ends with the main story arc complete but leaving room for more exploration and adventure in a sequel. 4/5 stars. The Narration: Heather Costa was the perfect fit for Grace. She’s got a strong, no-nonsense voice and captures Grace’s range of emotions perfectly. Her voices for the male characters could use a touch more masculinity. I often had trouble hearing any difference between Asher and Bastien. I loved Costa’s voice for the mentally unstable power-mad female character. She really captured that scary little laugh perfectly. The pacing was good and there were no tech issues with the recording. 4/5 stars. I received a free copy of this book. My opinions are 100% my own.

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  • Michele Thompson
  • 22-11-20

Good

I have to be honest, when I first started to listen I just could not get into the story. I almost stopped listening. I decided to push on and give it a chance..I am glad I did. I fell in l love with the main characters and their story. I can not wait to see what happens next.

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  • CuteAsADaisy
  • 26-06-20

Fantasy Romance

A new fun fantasy series, definitely a romance and meant for teens and up, if it was a movie I would say PG13 due to violence, language and that level of romance. Though not my favorite (I think mainly due to the style of romance), it was still lots of fun. Those who like action, romance, fantasy and magic will love it. The narrator did a great job and was very entertaining. —I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Jaclyn679
  • 21-02-20

LOVED IT

This was an incredible story of magic, passion, and inner conflict. I truly enjoyed the narration, and felt like Heather Costa really added to the listener experience! Her portrayal of the different characters and scenes made the story really come to life. I enjoyed the setting, the ups and downs as the story progressed, and the creativity of the storyline.