Master and Apprentice by Sonya Bateman
March 29, 2011
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Damn, I never thought I’d say this, but it’s good to have your cranky ass is back.”
Luck has never been on Gavyn Donatti’s side. Anyone else with magic abilities inherited from a distant genie relative would have it made, but not Donatti, descendant of a cranky, shape-shifting genie named Ian. The prince of a murdered kingdom, consumed with revenge and driven by an unbreakable curse, Ian is determined to hunt down and destroy every last one of his enemies in the power-hungry snake clan—at any cost, including his life. Or Donatti’s.
Obsessed by his own rage, Ian has never really taught Donatti how to use his abilities. So when a powerful cult of magic-users captures Ian’s wife, the princess Akila, and then Ian himself, Donatti is left alone to take on dozens of half-djinn and their mysterious leader with designs on world domination.
Facing an impossible mission, Donatti is forced to turn to an enemy for help—one who claims to know how to unlock his true potential. Trusting a snake might be the last mistake Donatti ever makes, but if he doesn’t learn to wield the power inside him, everyone will pay the ultimate price.
Master and Apprentice picks up one year after Master of None. Ian and Gavyn are methodically hunting down and destroying each member of the Morai tribe; the tribe responsible for killing off every member of Ian’s clan, the Dehbai. Ian inherited a curse called the ham’tari that requires Ian kill every last Morai before he will be allowed to return to his homeland. This curse not only affects Ian but all his descendants-including Gavyn. When Ian and Gavyn are returning home from killing a Morai, they fall into the clutches of a group of humans who act as if they are Morai. Escape from them leds them to a monastery and a monk named Calvin. Calvin is a Morai who lives at the monastery and was not part of the group that slaughtered Ian’s clan. After meeting Calvin, Gavyn begins to wonder about Ian’s prejudice towards the Morai and if Ian has been completely honest with him.
When Ian, Tory, and his Akila are all kidnapped by the same Morai serving human group, Gavyn will have to place his trust and life in Calvin’s hands and hope that he can unlock the power he needs to save them all.
Sonya Bateman out does herself in Master and Apprentice. An engaging urban fantasy that layers the supernatural with the mortal to create a complex but not confusing world. Smooth writing combined with superb characters and a phenomenal continuing storyline swept me back up in Ian and Gavyn’s adventures as if I had never left. It does start out a little abrupt, tossing you in the middle of the action and for me it took a little to get in to the groove.
Ian is back and cranky as ever. Not a nice Disney Djinn, he drags Gavyn all over the world on his personal vendetta. Still not taking the time to teach Gavyn how to unlock his powers, often resulting in Gavyn being hurt badly at times.
Gavyn is adorable. Simply adorable. I love Gavyn. Sarcastic, snarky, and still touting his bad luck like an extra limb; he is quite witty and usually at inappropriate times. But for all Gavyn’s failings, he maintains his strong moral code. While he may bend the law and break some promises, everything he does is for a good reason. Ian’s war on the Morai makes Gavyn nervous. He questions following anyone blindly and has a problem killing someone because someone tells him to.
Ms. Bateman brings about some interesting changes in Ian and Gavyn both. I enjoyed how she evolves their characters without changing their base personalities. Ian begins to finally “see” Gavyn as a person and not an extension of him while Gavyn learns more about Ian and the pain he has had to live with for hundreds of years. Ian and Gavyn don’t have it easy in here though. Ms. Bateman takes a more serious tone in this book and both Gavyn and Ian are run through the gauntlet. I love a book that can make me experience a wide range of emotions and Ms. Bateman gave me that in here. I laughed, cried, and raged as I followed my two favorite men through their trials and tribulations.
The secondary characters are as dynamic and diverse as our protagonists. Calvin is a wonderful addition to the gang. A monk and a Morai; he is Gavyn’s first clue that not all the Morais’ are evil murders. His wisdom and rather unique way of looking at things balances the storyline quite well. When he attempts to help Gavyn unlock his powers, well, lets just say his patience is a virtue. We see much of Jazz, Akila, Cyrus (oh, Cyrus is wonderful). Tory comes back to lend a helping hand. We also get a very romantic sub story that focuses on the history of Ian and Akila’s romance.
The ending is…everything I wanted it to be and more. Everything is wrapped up nice and tight. I highly recommend this book and the first one- Master Of None– to everyone who enjoys a funny, emotional, romantic, action packed urban fantasy.