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Mage's Blood (Moontide Quartet, #1)
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Mage's Blood (Moontide Quartet #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  611 ratings  ·  96 reviews
The Moontide Bridge lies deep below the sea, but every 12 years the tides sink and the bridge is revealed, its gates open for trade. The Magi are hell-bent on ruling this world and have led armies across the bridge on crusades of conquest. Now the Moontide is almost here and the people of the East are ready to fight.
Hardcover, 671 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Jo Fletcher Books (first published 2012)
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Mpauli
Imagine a world with two continents seperated by a sea so rough that ships can't sail between them. But a powerful mage order was able to build a bridge between them. Every twelve years the waters are shallow enough for the bridge to be crossed for 2 years.
At first the continents of Yuros and Antiopia started trading, but eventually -as humans are- the nations of Yuros under the yoke of the Rondalian empire started crusades against the people of Antiopia.
We enter the story 1 year before the thi...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...

Books like Mage's Blood are extremely hard for me to review, and not least of all because the many comparisons of this to A Song of Ice and Fire are mostly appropriate; this first book of the Moontide Quartet is a sprawling epic indeed! Still, I'm of the mind that George R.R. Martin's epic series stands uniquely on its own...but then so does David Hair's. It would be impossible for me to go into every single thing I liked abo...more
Paul Nelson
Mage's blood starts off a little slowly, however once you get a feel for the cultures, the politics, the magic and the lay of the land it jumps in excitement into an excellent story
Magi are born of Mage’s Blood and the purer the blood the stronger the mage, Elena is a powerful mage and a skilled fighter in the pay of her former lover, Gurvon Gyle, tasked to protect the Javon monarch and his family. She grows close to those she is protecting and starts to believe that she has found a home. When t...more
Liviu
I finished Mage's Blood by David Hair; the book itself - action, characters, portrayal of the cultures (Western, Islamic and Indian in barely veiled disguise) and their clash well done with nuanced characters, good and bad guys and girls on both sides - the Sainted Mater-Empress Lucia takes top prize for pure evilness, though it degenerates into cartoonish stuff on occasion - but I had two structural issues that at least for now stops the series from being a top-top level one:

The world itself or...more
Mihir

Full Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic [plus analysis by Liviu]

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: I hadn’t heard of David Hair before I found out about this one. Since it was a release from Jo Fletcher books, I was interested in it purely based on the blurb details as well as the recent excellent and diverse releases Jo Fletcher books had so far. This book had a blurb that promised a war that occurs every twelve years due to a specific tidal event and featured a world that bears a close resemblance to...more
Nathan
Fantasy Review Barn

When was the last time I read a starting entry of a series that strives so far for that true ‘epic’ feel, let alone one that succeeds? Hey, this is not a commentary on the state of fantasy today, I am loving the trend of shorter books with a tight cast; a fantasy that takes place in a city can show a lot more depth than some of the sprawling messes I have read. But occasionally I feel the need to read a brick of a book, one with a large cast, huge landmasses, and so much going...more
Josh
This book is a bit difficult to get ahold of in the States, but well worth it.

Some of the best new epic fantasy out there at the moment. The world building is fantastic. What sets it apart from other epic fantasy is its avoidance (at least in book 1) of the apocalyptic threat trope that dates all the way back to Tolkein.

Tolkein had Sauron, vying for total control of the world. Jordan has the Dark One, with his own quest for total domination (or destruction?) of the world. Martin has the Others,...more
Patremagne
Loved it. Fastest I've read a 700 pager in a long time.
http://abitterdraft.com/2013/09/mages...

The folks at Jo Fletcher don’t seem to be capable of disappointing. I’ve yet to read a book I wasn’t pleased with from them.

What first drew me to Mage’s Blood was the clash of civilizations. East versus West. Religion versus religion. Crusades. These are all fairly standard ideas/tropes in fantasy. They’re done often. No matter how often I read about them, I still find the aspect of different peoples c...more
Rahul Nath
The first installment of The Moontide Quartet, Mage's Blood by New Zealand author- David Hair was one of the few fantasy books I saw in our local bookstore. I hadn't heard of this series or the author before, but the blurb looked intriguing and I bought it anyway.

I was very pleasantly surprised with what I read. The two continents are very reminiscent of real world Europe and Asia and parallels can be drawn between the various nations and societies in the book to real world nations. There are a...more
Ross Evans
Mage’s Blood by David Hair propelled itself to the top of my TBR pile after hearing several promising reviews from some of my most trusted fantasy bloggers. The story was described as a bloody crusade between two sides set in a dark medieval world with heavy hints of Arabic culture, and even a comparison to R. Scott Bakker’s Prince of Nothing saga was made. “Crusade, dark, bloody, medieval, clash of nations” okay fine, here’s my money. Sounded like it was right up my alley and for the most part...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
A lot of foundation, but that's to be expected with a series opener in epic fantasy. Still, inventive and unique (though the real-life counterparts are a tad obvious), engaging and left me quite anxious for book two, The Scarlet Tides.
Vanessa
The first thing you notice in MAGE'S BLOOD will be the obvious parallels in earth geography and naming conventions (shihad=jihad, Hebusalim=Jerusalem, etc) and similarities in religions, races, and cultures. (I thought to myself, this guy is lazy, can't even be original.) Then you'll notice that there's a couple of simple infodumps, but they're short: the student mage reciting lessons or fathers telling children about history. While the prose flows well, it's nothing particularly fancy, and ther...more
kaśyap
The continents of Yuros and Antiopia have been isolated by the impassable seas, until the Rondians gain their godlike powers and cross the seas for the first time. one group of mages dedicated to learning and peace manage to build a bridge that connects the two continents bringing prosperity to both the lands. The leviathan bridge is deep under the oceans and is revealed and can be crossed only once every 12 years during the low tide. But avarice brings about the crusades of conquests.

The story...more
Beth
The time of the Moontide Bridge's reappearance is fast approaching. What once was used as a trade route now has a much more menacing purpose. The Magi are set on world domination, plotting their heretic conquest and at the heart of their plans is the Moontide Bridge.

Mage's Blood is a highly complex plots. Spanning multiple character's POV and story lines that slowly progress until they intercept. A lengthy book at just a little over 700 pages, this was not an easy read but well worth the effort...more
Nick Turner
The "fantasy" land is a thinly-veiled Europe (called Yuros) vs Asia each a hodgepodge, shallow and superficial mash-up of times. Lacks the detail you would expect in proper historical fiction - an easy read like Game of Thrones but shallower and the characters and setting aren't as vivid as the first GoT novel. Such a shallow take risks perpetuating or pandering to stereotypes about Eastern cultures particularly islamophobia. Some might find posing post-colonial culture, like fantasy-cricket, as...more
Fantasy Literature
Mage’s Blood, by David Hair, is a sprawling epic clash of civilizations that will seem familiar to those who know their history and world cultures, though the addition of magic and some geographic repositioning keeps it from being simply historical fantasy or fully allegorical.

The setting and premise is given to us in an early (and somewhat clumsy) exposition by two of the characters:

"When Kore made this land, he made two great continents [Yuros and Anitopia], separated by vast oceans, and he co...more
Amy
I didn't actually finish Mage's Blood. I read about a 1/3 of the book, and I just wasn't feeling a connection for any of the characters. Although I enjoy fantasy, my favorite books in any genre contain a great deal of character development so I can gradually learn to care about the characters. Feeling no connection, I finally gave up.
Raman
You know how sometimes you watch a movie based on a book and wonder how anyone who hasn't read the book could fully grasp what happening? Like almost all movies based on books? Same thing happened to me here. I'm very familiar with some Muslim cultures and Indian cultures, and I was wondering how someone not as familiar with those cultures was following along. If anyone has an answer, I'd love to hear it. But for me, it felt alot like an inside joke, and sometimes not a very good one. Like let's...more
Stretch's Books
"Mage's Blood" is a book that comes at you slowly. Very slowly. Tortoise slowly. Nearly 200 pages in and I was asking myself "WTF, why am I still reading this?". Then, the next thing I new I was on page 400 and couldn't stop. The character building in "Mage's Blood", while slow, definitely pays of. David Hair's attention to detail is very good, yet not overly detailed, providing the reader with unneeded or unwanted information. A finely woven tale for sure.

"Mage's Blood" contains plenty of mag...more
Luke
Easily the worst fantasy novel I've ever read. There are no redeeming qualities to this book.

First of all - a complete and utter lack of imagination. Most fantasy novels incorporate things like motifs or political structures that exist in real life. Hair has taken that a step further. Basically he's taken already existent places, religions and cultures and given them a slight spelling change (ie Europe is "Yuros", Jesus Christ is " Johan Corin" and so on.) His representation of middle eastern cu...more
Jennifer
Summary:
Every twelve years there is a war between the east and the west. It happens every twelve years because the tide is just right for a land bridge to be revealed and allow for the armies to cross that bridge. It's just about time for the war to begin, so get ready for two years of bloody fights in hopes of political and world control.

My thoughts:
The first 150 pages or so introduces just about everything. There are numerous characters and each one has a particular role and point of view. Als...more
John Margaritsanakis
This was a fun enough read. There were several disjointed points of view, most of them interesting in completely different ways - Alaron who is a student at a school of magic (who originally seemed to be the reader's introduction into this world and often provided exposure on its specifics), Elena - a female mercenary, former assassin turned bodyguard, Ramita who's an unwilling bride given away to an old, rich man and Kazim, her former betrothed obsessed with getting her back.

Mage's Blood works...more
Diane
For a book with characters crammed into every page, plots crammed into every chapter and nearly 700 pages to develop the story, there's an awful lot of derivative debris here. From locations (Hebusalim = Jerusalem) to culture (bindu = bindi) to months (Octen = October), it seems as if everything comes from somewhere else. Many names of people and places are clearly riffs on existing ones; lots of typical Greek and Latin derivations abound. As one reviewer noted, a place was also "borrowed" from...more
Stuart
I was very disappointed in this book. The cover description looked very intersting - a magical bridge that, like Brigadoon, arises periodically to link the two continents of the world known as Urte (read "Earth"), sparking a war between those continents. But it all went downhill from there - the author seems to have simply renamed various religions and cultures and downloaded them wholesale and in stereotype into his book. We have the fanatic folloers of a dead savior whose initials were JC, the...more
Stephen
really enjoyed this the first instalment of the moontide quartet with the clashes of cultures in this fantasy realm of mages which has parallels with our modern world but looking forward to the next stage took awhile to get going but this was character building ready for the battles ahead
Daniel Smedley
Overall I enjoyed this book. The main viewpoint characters seemed varied and well-established.
The world, overall, was well-built. The excerpts that headed each chapter helped to flesh out the world and the concept of the gnosis was one I found interesting, especially the notion of varying levels of blood purity.
That being said, aspects of the world, especially the religious ones, appear to be heavily borrowed from existing religions with a few tweaks of terminology. (Satan -> Shaitan for exam...more
Eric Smith
Great epic fantasy read. Seems to be the start of a deep series and I spent the last fourth of the book in an almost constant shift between excitement and dread. Very difficult to put down and I can't wait for the next book.
Justin
More than a 3, less than 4. Comfort epic fantasy, but very well done.

http://www.staffersbookreview.com/201...
Matt
2.5/5 ROUNDED UP FOR AMBITION

An overly cumbersome book which is too much work to enjoy (for me right now), let alone complete.

Nice maps, but no character glossary.

The first 100 pages: stuffed chock full of side characters, three main characters, floating points of view, a dozen cities on two continents, religion, politics, family bloodline, magic systems, history lessons and made up mash up vocabulary, blending Spanish, Indian, Italian, medieval, and middle eastern notes.

Not for me. Pretty good...more
Chuck
I have a huge appetite when it comes to fiction. I do not want an appetizer, I want my books to be a full meal. David Hair's book Mage's Blood (at 686 pages) satisfied in a big way! This is a story of magic vs. the commonplace, societies and religions colliding, intrigue, and love.

The author grew up in New Zealand and spent a lot of time in India. These flavors come through in the East vs. West battle that is the core of the story. The main characters are full and believable and I could not help...more
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David Hair is the author of The Bone Tiki, winner of Best First Novel (Young Adult Fiction section) at the 2010 NZ Post Children's Book Awards. The Bone Tiki and its sequel The Taniwha's Tear are fantasy novels set in New Zealand. David is a New Zealander, who has worked primarily in financial services. He has a degree in History and Classical Studies. He has lived from 2007 to 2010 in New Delhi,...more
More about David Hair...
The Scarlet Tides (Moontide Quartet #2) The Bone Tiki (Aotearoa, #1) Pyre of Queens (The return of Ravana ,#1) The Taniwha's Tear (Aotearoa, #2) The Lost Tohunga (Aotearoa, #3)

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