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The Blacksmith's Son (Mageborn #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  8,439 Ratings  ·  285 Reviews
Mordecai's simple life as the son of a blacksmith is transformed by the discovery of his magical birthright. As he journeys to understand the power within him he is drawn into a dangerous plot to destroy the Duke of Lancaster and undermine the Kingdom of Lothion. Love and treachery combine to embroil him in events he was never prepared to face. What he uncovers will change ...more
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published (first published July 3rd 2011)
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Best Independent Novels
25th out of 2,472 books — 3,423 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Carolyn C
Sep 14, 2011 Carolyn C rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This story had so much potential; but the immature writing style completely ruined the read. This book was written in a confusing 1st person point of view, but without any real insight into who the characters are. There are bizarre narrative details that would have been much better demonstrated through action; the sentence structure is simplistic and repetetive. The simple and immature writing style, and predictable storyline, make this seem to be a YA/tween novel, but there is a surprising ...more
Oct 23, 2011 Zeke rated it did not like it
The magic bits were intriguing. I liked the protagonist's self-deprecating manner (though sometimes it felt like a bit much). But, the way the author chose to describe the world took me out of the book completely. Here's one example why: at no point in a medieval setting would a boy raised as a blacksmith's son characterize a wizard's diary as a "lab notebook" this is because A) high school chemistry labs, and indeed, that kind of note taking, hadn't been invented yet and B) a blacksmith's son ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 19, 2013 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ahh, at last another good read. This is another I plan to follow up. It doesn't get onto my favorites list but it's an excellent read.

What we have here is (another) story of a young man who is thrown into events beyond anything he ever expected and finds he's not who he always thought he was.

Yes it's been done often before, but so what? As I've said before, I doubt there is a single plot anyone can come up with that hasn't been used somewhere before and can be found in an existing story from the
Mar 23, 2013 Leela rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I haven't finished this book yet and I honestly don't know if I will.
It's terrible. The language is so out of place, it keeps jarring me back to reality. He calls his parents mom and dad, and describes his girlfriend as sexy.
Not only is the language bizarrely modern, so are the attitudes of the characters.
The kid learns magic within about a week. From a book. By himself. The book was magically protected, but a kid who literally just discovered he has powers a day or two ago is able to get to it
Apr 07, 2016 Kathleen rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi, audio
Excellent narration but very weak writing style. The premise is good, and I want to go easy on a debut novel, but Gah!! The POV changes from 3rd-person to 1st-person (nearly a writing taboo) and back again, within just a few pages. This occurs throughout the novel. Disorienting! See one excerpt below:

(This is 3rd person Penny) Asking for help would only ruin her friends, but the other option was to take the opportunity to make what remained of her life count for more. If she had to choo
Denae Christine
Jun 04, 2016 Denae Christine rated it did not like it
Shelves: epic-fantasy, dnf
First, I barely read 100 pages or so of my edition before giving up. A book has to be pretty bad for me to put it down.
I could not stand the vulgar humour and lewd bends in conversation. These alone would have been enough to make me never recommend the author or pick up the rest of the series.
Then came the graphic rape scene. No more.
Sure, the idea of an abandoned boy brought up by foster parents suddenly displaying magical powers is a neat idea, but a lot of books use that idea. To make a good
Brent Dyer
Mar 04, 2013 Brent Dyer rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
A horrible, horrible book. It somehow manages to take every cliche from the last 50 years of fantasy writing and cram into into one volume. And not in a fun, ironic way. In a "gosh, aren't I clever and awesome for coming up with this derived crap" way.

Even that might be diverting, if it weren't for some of the worst dialogue that I've ever read. To cap it all off, though, the author has no concept of narrative point of view, freely switching back and forth between first-person and omnicient narr
May 21, 2012 Rick rated it did not like it
Cliched, and replete with characters whose only reason for existence seems to be driving the (anemic from overuse) plot. Dialog is stilted and tends to contain too much exposition.

I only made it through a couple of chapters before I gave up on it. Which is a shame, because the author's voice can be rather entertaining when he's not manipulating his characters to drive his plot. But ultimately, the inauthenticity of the characters just irritated me too much to continue reading. Real humans don't
Sean Randall
Jan 14, 2013 Sean Randall rated it really liked it
It's been done to death, you know. It was old in Earthsea, and positively exhumed for Rowling. Yet this book was, quite honestly, one of the most enjoyable "teen gets magic" reads to ever have crossed my bookshelf. There's something about Mort, his personality is infectious, his style and whit both quick and memorable and the surrounds were very nicely done too.

There's a rather marvelous shift from third to first person narration in chapter 18, one of the most deftly executed and intricately wri
Oct 20, 2011 Lance rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! Absolutely devoured it. It just goes to show you that certain books just resonate more than others depending on what you like as a reader. I guess I'm one of those "simple" readers who just loves your good ol' fashioned fantasy where the hero gets the girl and vanquishes the villain. I think some would argue that as his debut novel, Manning didn't have the most elevated prose, things happened all too conveniently and fast (in both the world of love and magic), and the villain ...more
Oct 15, 2011 Scott rated it really liked it
When I added this book to my "To Read" shelf, I did happen to glance at a few reader comments that mentioned some of the "modern language" the writer used. So I mentally prepared myself for a literary version of the Heath Ledger movie "A Knight's Tale," which was set in medieval times but featured modern wittiness, a rock and roll soundtrack, and even had the jousting audience singing along with Queen's "We Will Rock You." Something enjoyable but not to be taken too seriously.

Turns out, the majo
Lady Jaye
Mr. Manning is a first-time author for me, and one of the few male fantasy authors I've chanced upon. My problem with male authors is this: they're either very bad, or very good. no in-betweens.
Mr. Manning, unfortunately, is of the rather bad variety.

He starts out with an interesting prologue and then undoes all of that in the telling of the main story. Usually it is the female protagonists who are TSTL, but this time around, the male lead was one of the most Too Stupid to Live characters I've
Oct 21, 2011 LazerWraith rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Although poorly edited, and with language that felt out-of-place (the main character even thought about how something wasn't "plain English"...this is a different world, with no mention of English people), I still liked this book enough to give 4 stars.

Mainly because it satisfied some of the main things I like in fantasy books: the main character has powerful magic powers, and the POV says with him most of the time.

Of course, having a powerful main character isn't my only criteria, and this book
Jun 13, 2012 James rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any fantasy/sci-fi lover.
I'll be honest, it was 99 cents on my Kindle. But after being glued to the page while I read the book, I quickly purchased the second and third book of this series. The concepts of magic in this book still retained the same familiar feel of common fantasy magic, but added in a few new twists and insights.

I think perhaps the thing that got me most about this entire series was how raw the emotions seemed to be. I felt everything that happened within the story whether it was joy, anger, or even sad
Mar 03, 2013 Steve rated it it was ok
A short read that comes across as fan fiction rather than a polished work. The writer needed to spend a bit more time eliminating anachronistic language and action and create more internal consistency. For example, why have the concept of vassals, nobility and commoners if the conventions are thrown to the wind for plot convenience? I enjoyed some of the concepts and dialog, but this needed some more thought and work.
Jul 17, 2011 Isis rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a good book from a new author. I liked the main character's personality and self-deprecating sense of humor. Very witty writing. I will definitely read more books by this author.
Dec 24, 2012 Jen rated it liked it
The Blacksmith's Son (Mageborn #1) was recommended to me by Goodreads {dot com} based on the type of books that I had listed as completed. I did not know, going in to it, that it would be a young adult novel, nor that it would be so short, but I found that I "liked it" {tool text for a three star rating on Goodreads} anyway.

This novel follows the life of a young man named Mordecai who happens to be the heir to some-sort-of-nobility-that-is-three -degrees-removed-from-the-king. The fact that I ca
Sep 07, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
There are mild spoilers contained within this review.

Firstly, the good: I liked the story. It was a solid plot line with suitably likeable and hate-able characters. The imagery didn't leave me wondering what the surroundings were like, but at the same time didn't go into too much boring detail leaving nothing to the imagination. The main character had enough flaws to make him believable, but not so many that he was annoying; his self deprecating sense of humor was just goofy enough to make him l
Alan Denham
Feb 22, 2013 Alan Denham rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-sf-on-kindle
I got this on Kindle some months ago, started it, decided it was OK but run-of-the-mill as Fantasy goes, intended to finish it, got distracted . . .
Came back to it last week, started again, got past the rather conventional start and realised it was something rather better than first impressions had led me to believe.

Many things in here are conventional, and have been done before - the orphan becoming a wizard, self-training, discovery of skills, then challenges and dangers, and the final battle
Alex Paul
Oct 25, 2011 Alex Paul rated it liked it
Interesting story, some good characters, and an intriguing magic system. I actually wanted to read the intro blurbs at the beginning of each chapter, which I usually find extraneous.

But what an up and down book this was. The very beginning felt a little cliche, but the bulk of the middle was very, very good, and then the author just completely lost me toward the end. One female character in particular made one of those major "huh?" decisions that seemed totally out of character and unnecessary.
While I like this book, there were a few things in it that were jarring. I didn't like the modern speech mixed with the old world. They used expressions like 'jerk' and 'gonna' just didn't sit well in the world, IMO.

I also felt that the characterization was a bit juvenile in places. This is going to sound harsh, but this book really could have used a good editor. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it, but with a little polishing this could have gone from a C to a solid B.
Jefferson Smith
Jul 07, 2012 Jefferson Smith rated it it was ok
A decent premise, but a number of issues kept popping me out of the experience, such as the frequent shifts between first and third person and the liberal use of modern speech idioms.

Story-wise, Mort overcame his problems far too easily. In fact, so many characters were willing to set the period social conventions aside on his behalf that Mort never faced any serious cultural obstacles, which is the dramatic kernel that gives the "stable boy to wizard" story its soul.
Jan 26, 2015 Ketu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was looking for a book like this so desperately! It contains such a great argument and you just fall for the characters, they just find a place in your heart, and you can't help it but feel exactly as they do, and of course root for them!
And the jokes. Oh lord, the jokes! It was amazing, I just couldn't help myself, i was laughing all the way.
Loved it!!!
Jun 26, 2016 AnnaWeasley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein sehr tolles Buch! Und eine interessante Sicht der Magie :) freue mich auf den nächsten Band!
Aug 10, 2015 Dianna rated it did not like it
I don't think I've read a book I so instantly disliked in a very long time, but within a couple chapters of this book, I already had a bad feeling about it. I only kept with it since it was a short book and I wanted to see if it got any better (the answer to that is no btw).

I don't think there's anything good I can say about this book. The characters weren't very interesting and there was little to no character development. The story was generic and bland. I almost thought it was YA until one of
Zurlo Enrico
Feb 06, 2013 Zurlo Enrico rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 14, 2012 Autumn rated it really liked it

I received this novel for .99 on amazon. Money well spent!

The greatest wizard line and the people that protect them are assassinated--all except the infant son of the greatest wizard of all time. The infant is raised by a blacksmith and his wife, who are "the salt of the earth" type folks. At sixteen some supernatural type powers appear and he is let in on the secret of his heritage, just in time too, because there is a dark wizard set to take over the kingdom.

There were some laugh out loud mom
Scout Sinclair Brody
Aug 13, 2016 Scout Sinclair Brody rated it did not like it
I wish I could get into these books, but I find the frequent grammatical errors to be downright distracting. I may be more of a stickler for punctuation than most people, but the rampant lack of commas alone makes me want to pull my hair out and scream--- in part because the universe and fantastical elements could otherwise make the story quite entertaining. (It wouldn't be a great work of literature, but could stand on its own as light fantasy.)

An example from the second in the series: " 'At le
Elizabeth Fantham
Jul 17, 2016 Elizabeth Fantham rated it really liked it
Rating this 3 1/2 stars. Some day good reads will listen to its users and give us half stars!

The concept of this book was very good/interesting. I just found the writing to be a bit "new" or beginner. I actually read a book further in the story not realizing there was an entire series prior to it.

I still really enjoyed the book. I also loved the 5th or 6th book a lot. So I do know it gets much better in terms of the authors experience in writing. He develops quite nicely later on.

The sarcasm t
Leif Anderson
Apr 27, 2013 Leif Anderson rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, terrible
I won't lie, I didn't really like this book very much. I found much of it overly simplistic, and I mostly just kept reading because of some relatively cliched plot hooks. I justified it by saying that my wife was the one that bought it. However, to my utter embarrassment, I found myself buying the sequel, and the sequel of the sequel. This book is still bad, make no mistake, but I am a little glad that I read it, because the next books pick up in quality.

As one of my friends said, often series d
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. book about a wizard boy that can see wards [s] 7 37 Mar 19, 2014 05:53PM  
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Michael Manning was born in Cleveland, Texas and spent his formative years there, reading fantasy and science fiction, concocting home grown experiments in his backyard, and generally avoiding schoolwork.

Eventually he went to college, starting at Sam Houston State University, where his love of beer blossomed and his obsession with playing role-playing games led him to what he calls 'his best year
More about Michael G. Manning...

Other Books in the Series

Mageborn (5 books)
  • The Line of Illeniel (Mageborn, #2)
  • The Archmage Unbound (Mageborn, #3)
  • The God-Stone War (Mageborn, #4)
  • The Final Redemption (Mageborn, #5)

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