The Reborn Prince by Julianne Munich is an exciting historical fantasy novel and the first in the Mages in the Mundane series. It follows young Luc Bisset, formerly Prince Renaud d’Orleans, a bastard of a royal family who has had his memory magically wiped by his mother, attempting to protect and punish him for the attempted murder of his brother. Unfortunately, using magic to wipe one’s memory, more so on a human with no magical ability, is illegal, and the two end up hiding. His mother keeps them safe while he has no idea what is happening around him and continues to live as daily as possible.
One of the first things that struck me about this book was the beautiful world-building. Sure, the mundane aspects of this story take place in historical France, but the magical elements built into the fabric of the story are creative and well done. Munich’s color magical world is woven into the Parisian lifestyle, and the way the magically inclined hide their abilities from the average person is interesting to read about. The idea of mages having to conceal their magical powers from mundane people is certainly not new in the world of literature, but seeing new ways that authors come up with is always a fantastic thing to read.
Moving on from world-building, we have interesting characters. To start with the main character of Luc, for much of the book, I hated this man. I was quietly hoping something dreadful would happen to him, and when it finally did, I felt vindicated in my hopes. However, as the story progressed, I was satisfied with his character development. Another exciting aspect of this drastic character development came from the romance. Fitting for the setting, these fanciful courtships are sweet and quaint. Cute kisses and forest walks. Munich gives us an exciting affair that remains clean and sweet while still allowing you to feel the character’s passion for one another. While the aspects of the romance are easy to see coming from the introduction of the romantic partner, it is still satisfying to see it happen.
My only complaint about this book is the drastic cliffhanger it leaves us on. This is a good thing, as it means I will have to pick up the second novel in this series as soon as possible. I am looking forward to it. You should pick up this first book in the series and enjoy a new magical world.