The Bookminder by M.K. Wiseman #Fantasy #HistoricalFantasy #BlogTour #BookReview #20booksofsummer21

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on this blog tour.

Book 1

The Bookminder (book 1 of the Bookminder series)-Istria, 1679 A.D.- Sired by magick and violence, sixteen-year-old Liara is found guilty of witchcraft and banished from her tiny village by the very priest who raised, then betrayed her. However, a mysterious mage steps forward to assume custody of her: Nagarath, the Wizard of Parentino, whose secret spellwork has long protected both Liara and Dvigrad from the ravages of war. Despite Liara’s best hopes, Nagarath refuses to apprentice her to his craft but tasks her instead with the restoration of his neglected library. Liara gleans magickal knowledge on the sly, but her stolen spells renew an evil wizard’s interest in the people of the Limska Draga valley. Only by tapping Liara’s inherent magick and joining it with his own can Nagarath protect Parentino from suffering a horrible fate. However, her discovery of his secrets destroys their fragile trust and ignites the darker tendencies of her gift. Now, he must rescue her from the influence of his mortal enemy before their powerful new alliance destroys them all.

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Book 2

The Kithseeker (book 2 of the Bookminder series) – France, 1680 A.D. – Liara’s defense of the Wizard Nagarath has rendered Anisthe incantate—bereft of all magick—but even this has failed to guarantee Liara’s safety. The death of the war mage would seal Liara’s own fate, and so the wizard and his bookminder must keep him in their sites and yet as far away from themselves as possible. With nothing but a storybook and a hunch, Anisthe has set off on a journey across Europe, aided by his half-fey manservant, in search of a legendary mirror that contains the most powerful magick ever known. Although the stuff of fairytales, the merest possibility of its truth embarks Nagarath and Liara on a race to discover the mirror before it falls into the hands of Nagarath’s lifelong foe. Both know should he lay claim to that power, Liara would be at the mercy of her father-in-magick and his lust for power, and not even Nagarath could save her. Thus, the pair find themselves at the court of the Sun King, a world hostile to magick users, hopelessly surrounded by agents whose sole purpose is destroy them. Uncertain whom is friend or foe, with Anisthe nipping at their heels, they must unearth the mirror before its evil is released, or worse, lays claim to Liara’s magick as well and brings doom upon them all.

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Book 3 – recently released (June8, 2021)

The Fatewreaker (book 3 of the Bookminder series) England, 1680 A. D. Liara and Nagarath’s enemy has unexpectedly come to their aid, surrendering to the magick-suppressing forces of the king of France so as to buy time for their escape. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Anisthe is on their side. Vrsar’s war mage, Liara’s father-in-magick, has never been a man do to things for others. And he has always has plans within plans. In fleeing to England with his apprentice, the Wizard Nagarath realizes that Liara’s power is no longer her own to command. With the shattering of Khariton’s magick mirror in the Palace of Versailles, the young woman has become trapped in an alliance with the ancient and evil mage. What is more, at eighteen-years-old, her life remains tied to Anisthe’s for another two years per the Laws of Magick. Anisthe, who is now imprisoned for having helped them evade the king’s spellpiercers. Forced to revisit his own past, Nagarath is finally learning that there are some histories you cannot outrun. As for Liara, the darkness within her heart is greater than she ever could have imagined. This after Dvigrad’s orphaned magpie having finally learned to love. For, in the words of Khariton himself, “In magick you can never have friends. Only rivals.”

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On Book #1 in the series – The Bookminder

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Bookminder (Book #1 in the series) by M.K. Wiseman is an immersive historical fantasy that whisked me off to 17th century Italy with all its magic and wonder.

What I Liked

I found the characters to be fascinating, especially Liara and Nagarath.  The mix of magic and secrets never fails to captivate me, and these characters are full of both.  Their scars shape them and dictate their actions good, bad, and mysterious until my heart bled for them as they both found themselves on courses where they were their own worst enemy, but they must get past that to take on a true enemy before it is too late.

I also love the relationship between Liara and Nagarath and the mystery of what kind of relationship it is growing to be.  Mysteries are a mainstay in this tale and I enjoyed each and every one as my need to discover the solutions worked together to pull me quickly to the satisfying soft conclusion.  My favorite mystery has to be discovering who Liara really is and how she came about into existing.  This is a very original plotline that is clever and inspires the imagination.

The setting – medieval Italy – is one of my favorite historical settings.  It is a time that still believed in the mysticism of the ancients while trying to bridge into the religion of Christianity that was rapidly taking over the continent.  The conflict inherent in the transition is overly complex and that complexity is shown in the story of Liara’s upbringing, the troubles she faces, and the scars that define her.

The world-building is simply superb with every attention to detail given the time and space it needed to bloom and grow into a place I could easily experience with all my senses.  My favorite is Nagarath’s home that looks like a crumbling tower on the outside but is a fully functioning home on the inside all with the help of magic.  It is a fun, yet sometimes dangerous, place to explore as Liara gets to know and learn about it.

To Read or Not to Read

If you love fantasy, like I do, you will enjoy the marvels of 17th century Italy and Liara’s magical tale within it.

M. K. Wiseman has degrees in Interarts & Technology and Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her office, therefore, is a curious mix of storyboards and reference materials. Both help immensely in the writing of historical novels. She currently resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

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12 Replies to “The Bookminder by M.K. Wiseman #Fantasy #HistoricalFantasy #BlogTour #BookReview #20booksofsummer21”

  1. Excellent review, Tessa. I hope the other two are a good as the first. They all sound excellent! 🧡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t really read a lot of fantasy, but I adore all things Italy. I’m on the fence on this one, having just read a fantasy and feeling like I’ve filled my quotient for the year. Hmm. I’ll have to think about this.

    Either way, wishing the author all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you adore all things Italy then this is definitely one to keep in mind. Wiseman did an excellent job capturing the feel of medieval Italy from the rural villages to the coastal towns/cities ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, the setting is wonderful ❤️. I don’t know why I love a medieval setting so much but it’s always been one that completely enthralls me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a good one, Tessa. And I agree with Teri – the setting sounds wonderful. Who can resist that? I hope the next two are just as good. Happy Reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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