#Bookreview Mageborn – The Hollow King book 1 by Jessica Thorne @JessThorneBooks #Fantasy

An excellent fantasy. Mageborn is one of those books you start and know you are going to love from the first page. And look at this gorgeous cover…


A dark and addictive fantasy read 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…

My Review

I actually read this book a few months ago and didn’t realise I hadn’t shared a review until I was looking through my Goodreads list for 2021.

Mageborn is so good that I can’t let it slip by without sharing a quick recommendation to all fantasy readers. It has a compelling storyline with plenty of mystery and the magic is excellently described. The whole world building is a great strength of the book (no wonder the author is teaching classes on it for the RNA!). I haven’t read anything by Jessica Thorne before so I was very happy to discover a new author to follow.

I loved the main characters, Grace and Bastien, and the turbulent relationship between them. The fact the story was told from their alternating viewpoints really strengthened my connection to them and I was desperate for them to join forces in more ways than one!

There are many twists and turns in the plot and I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. It was an absorbing read and the ending didn’t disappoint. I’ve already bought the second book and hope to read it asap in 2022. I really hope Jessica Thorne writes book 3 soon.

Check out Mageborn for yourself on Goodreads


Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

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