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The Blacksmith's Son

(Mageborn #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  12,609 ratings  ·  417 reviews
Alternate cover edition of ASIN B005A1JBB8

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 prep
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published July 3rd 2011
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  12,609 ratings  ·  417 reviews

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Carolyn C
Sep 09, 2011 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 amou ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
A boy with a magical gift: an ability to see wards. Literally, like a bonfire.
A Duke line intent on staying in power (aren't they always?) Some blood-drenched scenes.
Lots of serendipity and books. Mordecai reading up on Vestrius's journals (aka lab books).
There's quite a lot of scenes where editing could've done wonders (and didn't, maybe due to the lack of said editing?)
Quite a lot of text towards the end of it is written in a stilted way, which could've been improved. But that's probably a ge
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Mordecai was adopted. He has known it his entire life and he loves his adpoted parents dearly. He knows nothing of his birth parents, but that won't stop the things he inherited from his birth father from completely changing his life. Mordecai has magical powers and nothing will ever be the same for him.

The Blacksmith's Son first and foremost feels like a young adult novel. It's jam packed with standard young adult tropes. He's an adopted boy who learns he's special and from a noble family. His
Oct 23, 2011 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 w ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio, fantasy
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
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 30, 2013 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 17, 2013 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
Denae Christine
Dec 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 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
Jay Collins
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
3 stars but the Series is a easy 4 Stars
I don't give out 4 stars lightly and this series is great (I loved it)
A little slow start (in this book) and I stopped reading it the first time but I am so glad I went back and got to the 2nd book as the series has provided me with some great entertainment over the past couple of weeks.

I hope this helps in your decision in to read or not to read this book/series
May 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Terrible immature writing, modern speech in a fantasy setting inspired by the middle ages, atrocious world building and pacing, the most annoying main character ever, 1st person POV of Mordecai that switches mid page to 3rd person POV of Penny (and it happens pretty often) and what made me finally dnf -a detailed attempted rape scene that had no other purpose but for Mordecai to dramatically save the damsel in distress Penny. NO THANKS BOOK. I refuse to waste my time any further.
Brent Dyer
Mar 04, 2013 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 19, 2012 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 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 07, 2011 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
Jul 06, 2011 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. ...more
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
Sep 09, 2011 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 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 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.
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Despite quite a few gruesome scenes, I would still call this book light fantasy. A young boy discovers he has magic power, the problem is - there are no more mages left in the world to teach him.

The only reason this book did not get 4 stars: the author switches between first and third point of view between paragraphs in the later parts of the book which is too disorienting for me.
Steve Naylor
Rating 3 stars

This book was just okay. This had more of a fantasy young adult book feel than just straight fantasy. The main reason I say that is that despite adults being around, the story follows a group of people around 16-18 years old. Whenever they come across a problem, they always have to keep it to themselves and while the characters don't specifically state they can't trust the adults. Nobody ever goes to the adults for advice or help.

The story starts with the slaughter of a family o
Jan 14, 2022 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oof. This was rough.
It’s just… bad writing. It’s entirely elementary.
Manning switches back and forth between first and third-person narration and is overly heavy-handed in exposition. He doesn’t allow for a single assumption to be made. He tells it to you. Every. Single Time. And reminds you of conversations or occurrences that happened a page before.

Manning utilizes every single classic fantasy trope out there. Adopted coming of age boy who comes from humble beginnings only to discover that his
Aug 10, 2015 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
Dec 24, 2012 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 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 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 24, 2011 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 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.
Dec 23, 2014 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!!!
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. book about a wizard boy that can see wards [s] 7 44 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

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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