Review: The Order by A.C. Donaubauer (@mlsimmons, @AC_Donaubauer)

Posted May 1, 2016 by Melanie in Fantasy, Melanie, Reviews / 36 Comments

Review: The Order by A.C. Donaubauer (@mlsimmons, @AC_Donaubauer)
The Order by A.C. Donaubauer
Series: The Order
Published by Self-Published
Published on: August 2, 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 913
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
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A clumsy step, the wrong branch to hold on to and a bump on the head to leave her unconscious – no more than that causes Eryn’s life to turn upside down and to suddenly find herself in the capital city as a prisoner to the king.

She is determined to keep her magical abilities a secret in a kingdom where magicians have only ever been male as long as anyone knows. That doesn’t work out that well, though. The Order, the governing body for magicians, and the king seem to have their own plans with her, none of them caring in the least that she just wants to leave that blasted city behind and return to the peace and quite of her profession as a healer.

And then there is Enric, a high ranking magician in the Order thanks to his considerable strength, who seems to find watching her struggles an amusing diversion.

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This book came highly recommended by Dolly from Just Talking Books. When she told it was available on NetGalley again, I jumped at the chance to review it. There are a few things I will mention. I went into this book not noticing the page count. It has been a long time since I read a 900+ page book. I’ve listened to a few, but it has been a while since I read a book that long. It isn’t that I don’t like reading long books, it is just that the PNR/UF books that I normally read are closer to 300-500 pages long. All that being said, the page count in this book wasn’t a problem. It did take me longer to read than most, but I was fully engrossed in the story the entire time.

This is the story of Eryn who is a bit different from everyone else. She lives in a village where she hides her hair color magically as she is the only non-blonde person there besides her father. She also has magic which is not known to the town. That is until she is knocked out and her mind quits applying the magic to her hair color. She is then turned over to the king and the Order of Magicians where she is bound in gold to suppress her magic.

The Order and the kingdom have not seen a female magician in over 300 years. They also haven’t seen anyone with a hair color other than blonde in that amount of time. They are amazed at her lack of training, but also at her sheer power. She is the third strongest magician in the land, but knows nothing about it outside of healing, which they know nothing of. Her father is from a different kingdom and taught her different uses for her magic, but he also taught her to be very wary of the the Order and using magic for defense and battle. The one time she did, it went really bad for her, so when the Order forces her to use her to learn to fight, she is very reluctant.

It was fun to watch what can happen when you take a reluctant captive with a lot of brains and ingenuity and see what they can teach themselves. Eryn gets herself in quite the amount of trouble as she tries to escape and outsmart the elder members of the order. But it is also great as she becomes friends with them as they learn to work together. Eryn is a very fiery person. She is also very loyal to her trade as a healer and to the people she believes she needs to help. She has little respect for authority and doesn’t have a problem proving that fact to anyone.

The romance in this book is very much a slow build. Enric is intrigued with Eryn from the beginning. Eryn, not so much. Which, Eryn didn’t like the Order from the prejudice her father left her with about it and about fighting with magic. Add that to the fact that Enric had to knock her out at their first meeting because she was panicking and fighting back. Needless to say, their first meeting wasn’t a great one. Then they imprisoned her and forced her to learn to fight against her will. With Enric being the second in command of the Order, she saw all of this as a slight on him. It took him a long while to build the trust to romance her.

This story has great characters. There is her original combat trainer, Orrin, and his son Vern. I really loved them. I loved that as much as Orrin was a warrior, he loved his son, even though his son was so not a warrior. There is also Junar, a seamstress in town that befriends Eryn. The character I disliked the most was the king. He was a manipulative bastard. There was another character that I really disliked, but I’ll keep him to myself for now. There are many other great characters, but I won’t list them all. Just know that this story is full of wonderful characters.

The thing that is very different for me with this story, there is no epic battle, no epic mystery to solve. That didn’t mean I was glued to the pages. I’m very much used to stories like Kate Daniels or Gin Blanco running from one catastrophe to another without a chance to breathe. The stories are very fast paced. That was not the case here. I wouldn’t say that the story was slow, nor was it fast. It was just a pleasant stroll through the life of Eryn and Enric. There is the question about why haven’t there been any women magicians in 300+ years and why all the same hair color. These questions are answered in this story. I’m very interested in seeing where the story goes from here.

“Yes, Orrin,” she hiss. “I do understand you. I am neither deaf nor stupid.”
He straightened again. “Good. And it is customary to address a high ranking magician using the title of Lord.”
She smiled acidly. “Is it now? Thank you so much for enlightening me as to this charming little custom, Orrin.”

The Order Series


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I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.

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36 responses to “Review: The Order by A.C. Donaubauer (@mlsimmons, @AC_Donaubauer)

  1. So glad you enjoyed it! Fantastic review. Just enough said to entice but not giving too much away.

    The second book is just as long and while I loved it also, it was slow in many places….just to let you know. BUT, the Commitment answers so many questions and gives you a marvelous person to hate.

  2. I guess the question would be can I read this and walk away satisfied or am I signing myself up for a 3000ish page series? My review backlog is already horrible, it doesn’t need any help to get worse 🙂

  3. This really sounds fantastic!!! Witty dialogue is one of my favorite parts of a good book. And that Eryn is incredibly smart and cunning. I love it. But committing to a tome? I sometimes have a hard time with the length of some UF books. I’m truly sad, right???

  4. Whew 990+ pages, that’s a lot. The cover wouldn’t have made me give it a second look, but from your review it sounds like a good one. That’s interesting she has a different hair colour and hides that. Eryn sounds like a great main character with her magic and how she gets into trouble. It sounds like it has a nice pace and that’s interesting it’s so different from most urban fantasies where they run from one problem to another. Great review!
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  5. Dolly  

    Wow, sorry guys. Melanie is blaming me for reading The Order….just kidding. It is an extremely long book but it really kept me engaged the whole time. There is not a cliffhanger ending but you can tell there is more to come for the characters.

    I also read the second in the series, Commitment and it’s just as long. A few places were slow but again, the characters were the hook.


    PS Melanie’s review is outstanding. I’m jealous!

  6. LOL I said, out loud, “Holy cow!” when I saw the page count! 🙂 I love a strong character-driven story and this one sounds like it’s just that. It also sounds fun! A fiery personality with disdain for authority – seems like Eryn could just stay in trouble. *ha* I’m happy the story was so engaging despite its length and the fact that there were no epic battles, etc. I look forward to seeing what you think of the next installment. Great review, Melanie!

  7. Yea, I haven’t read too many UFs that are more character in nature rather than all action. I know what you mean about the page count. Sometimes it does matter… but I love it when you are reading away and are amazed at how many pages you were absorbed into. Those are the books I don’t mind being very large. 😀 When I don’t like it is when you think it should have been edited down a lot for flow.
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