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Blood of the Four

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  424 ratings  ·  79 reviews
In the great kingdom of Quandis, everyone is a slave. Some are slaves to the gods. Most are slaves to everyone else.

Blessed by the gods with lives of comfort and splendor, the royal elite routinely perform their duties, yet some chafe at their role. A young woman of stunning ambition, Princess Phela refuses to allow a few obstacles—including her mother the queen and her br
ebook, 480 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Harper Voyager
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Average rating 3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  424 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
DNF for this new stand-alone fantasy; it's a matter of taste. Final review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Magic is an elusive and dangerous thing in the kingdom of Quandis, forbidden to all except a few select priests who spend their lives preparing to handle the ancient magic, and even then inhale only a few smoky tendrils of the powerful magic. Princess Phela thrives on sneaking through hidden passages of the castle, seeking to overhear others’ information and secrets. When Phela hears her
J.K. Grice
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
BLOOD OF THE FOUR was a team effort from two of my favorite authors, Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon. It's written as a stand alone fantasy set in the fictional island country of Quandis, the city of Lartha, and the surrounding smaller islands. This book had both a medieval feel to it, as well as kind of a mythology vibe too. While I thought that there were some fascinating and clever elements to the story, I really thought it bogged down a bit in certain sections. BLOOD OF THE FOUR probably c ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

As much as I enjoy standalone fantasy epics, a part of me feels Blood of the Four would have been better served had the authors not tried to cram everything in this ambitious endeavor into one single volume. I had very mixed feelings about this one, due in part to the wild swings between the highs and the lows. At times, the story would have me gripped in moments of frenzied action and intensity, while at others I would fi
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
A solid read that perhaps does too much in order to fulfil it's desire to be an epic fantasy contained in a single volume
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss-arcs
Full spoiler-free review now on my blog

I'm always curious when it comes to stand-alone epic fantasy novels, be it adult or YA. Therefore, I was very excited to get an ARC of Blood of the Four. I've never read a book by either of these authors before, but I will definitely check out their other individual books now.

In the island kingdom of Quandis, the royal bloodline has the blood of the Four, who were the most powerful magicians and are long dead. To wield their old magic is forbidden and only
Cassie James
Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review, This doesn't in any way influence my opinion on it.

Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon is one of the best epic fantasy books I've read. This is the first book I'm reading from both authors though they're apparently prolific. Princess Phela is a fascinating character that grew up with the benefits of a princess but the sneakiness of a street kid. She has learned a lot about people in the castle t
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was FANTASTIC. Full review to come.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

If you have ever searched for a single-volume epic fantasy that had everything you want in an epic fantasy, look no more. Instead, settle in for a trip to Quandis, amidst the utterly absorbing pages of Blood of the Four.

It has always seemed as if, in order for epic fantasy to be truly epic in scope, the author (or in this case, authors) needed to at least commit trilogy, if not tetralogy or even more. That is not the case with Blood of the Four, which may w
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The kingdom of Quandis is built on tradition. A single religion, worshipping a group of deities known as the Four, is all that is tolerated. Atheists are viewed with suspicion and other religions are considered out and out blasphemy. The other tradition in Quandis is slavery. The Bajuman are all but invisible. They are treated like beasts of burden and expected to blindly obey every command. There is change in the air however. While the royal family squabble over the crown, slaves dream of freed ...more
Mridula Gupta
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
|3 stars|

Full Review @https://ecstaticyetchaotic.wordpress....

This book announces the creation of a new fantasy world, where magic is forbidden. When I got my hands on this e-ARC, I was excited beyond belief. This book has its own share of pros and cons.

Princess Phela is an ambitious young princess, she loves to collect information and is sneaky. She knows most of the palace secrets and she only uses them and people to raise herself to the ultimate position of power- the ruler of Quandis. Howeve
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss for providing this arc.

I really liked how this started out. It was brutal, dark, and with lots of ruthless female characters but then we get to the end. It just lagged and I was very unsatisfied with the ending for most of the main characters. I didn't quite get it which is too bad because from the beginning I thought I would rate this a 5 star read. If this had been spread out into more books, with more character development, maybe the ending would have made more sense to
James Murphy
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Blood of the Four" is not your father's fantasy novel. This tale of a land and a monarch under the sway of four gods and their magic is one to savor. There are heroes and villains, those who strive to do what's right, and those who seek to master the magic. However, magic in the kingdom of Quandis can corrupt, and the results ain't pretty. I found "Blood of the Four" to be an entertaining read, and I recommend it to those looking for something a little different in the fantasy section.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This book started with a lot of promise and grabbed my attention immediately. However, it trying to bring the story to its conclusion within this one book, the narrative lost depth. I felt unsatisfied with the ending, which left a lot unexplained about the characters.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book.
The first few chapters are full of detailed sexual scenes, the horrible way slaves are treated and murder/execution scenes. I felt very uncomfortable reading these scenes.
We are given a lot of characters all at once and it was hard for me to remember who was who and which character went with which plot line (there were at least 4). At first, I liked Phela the best. She didn’t like how her mother (the queen) was ruling and wanted to change things for
Megan Lyons
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
2 1/2 stars

I need to preface this by saying that I'm currently in a really bad reading slump and struggling to get into anything. This may have impacted my enjoyment of this book, but I don't think it made a huge difference in the rating. It took me like 3+ weeks to read, and I'm usually reading 2-3 books a week, so it was pretty rough.

Unlikable, uncompelling characters kept me from ever getting very invested here. Even during the big finale, when everything should have been tense and had me on
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Such a disappointment. Honestly, it wasn't bad, but from the raving reviews I expected something on the level of Lord of the Rings or... something inspiring, good, and beyond just a story. Oh, well. It was definitely just a bland story filled with all the modern cliches and, despite some good grasp of realistic details, was completely annoying to read. I should've given up on page 2 like I was tempted to.

What attracted me, other than the promise of an awesome fantasy story, was that it's a stand
Michael Upstill
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a reader of fantasy novels all my life. As a teen Feist, Eddings, Brooks, Weis and Hickman (to name a few) provided me an escape from reality into the realms of the fantastic. They shaped me as a reader.
Chris Golden and Tim Lebbon, both of which I consider heavyweights in the literary world, have hit a home run with Blood of the Four (Harper Voyager). This is not a light easy read, and is a step away from and above the traditional swords and sorcery fantasy I initially expected. It
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in a Pagehabit subscription box with annotations from the author, and at first I was a bit skeptical. Someone else choosing a book for me? Weird, right?

WELL LET ME TELL YOU HOW AMAZING THIS BOOK WAS. First off, I am a sucker for any fantasy novel with super awesome women. I will take anything with at least one woman who isn't a typical "save me, I'm a princess." This book had so many great characters. I'm literally trying to count them off in my head right now and I can't.
Amanda Reed-Collett
If your are looking for an epic fantasy read whose tale is in one solid book, look no further. Blood of the Four builds a rich world filled with a cast of fascinating characters. Oddly, I found that this novel satiated my need for a good rich fantasy as I wait for the next book in the Ice and Fire series (looking at you George). The two sagas are similar where different sides are fighting for the right of the throne, but this one doesn't include any mythical beasts. Instead, it builds up the use ...more
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The heart of this story is the evolution of an megalomaniacal, magic-using Queen. The story starts with her constant spying, gathering secrets behind hidden nooks and crannies and progresses through an act of fratricide and matricide to become Queen. Once Queen she only gets worst when she demands access to the magic of the gods controlled by the priesthood. Then it's a Henry VIII move to combining crown and faith, mass slaughter of the opposition, civil war and maybe worse.

The story telling is
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Golden and Lebbon meld their talents again in an all new fantasy of madness and war with a battle for the soul of a city brewing, sewn by generations of bigotry and intolerance.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Goes a little too hard on the grim dark but it doesn't really land.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Not bad. Just an OK Fantasy read.
Maria Mejia
Apr 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book was just downright awful. I don't know if it was me or the mood. But I did not enjoy one aspect of the book. I absolutely love fantasy. And stand alone fantasy, if done right, are my favorite. The characters could have been so much better developed. Everything felt rushed. Nothing was making sense because everything was going at warp speed. I think, with all that was happening, that this book had more than enough stuff to be a trilogy. Or at least a duology. I'm really disappointed. I ...more
Julie Ferguson
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I’m a bit surprised that this book only has a 3.3 rating 🤷‍♀️ I enjoyed it! I read a lot of bigger epic fantasy series and I think it was pretty well done for a stand alone. It kept my attention, there was creep factor, social structure, power-hungry royals, executions, priests, pirates, and uncontrollable magic. If there was a sequel, I’d pick it up.
Mar 05, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book from Harper Collins Publishers. Thank you!
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
*I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher at NYCC*

I know some people didn't like that this was a stand alone story rather than a series, but I think that was one of it's greatest strengths. There was maybe enough story for 2 books, but it definitely couldn't have been a trilogy. The only time it dragged was over the last 50 pages or so - in their attempt to wrap up storylines in a dramatic and epic fashion they actually ended up with somewhat slow and boring finales for cha
Apr 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
That this book was a standalone is what drew me in (I think it was highlighted in an article as such) and so it seemed like it would be a fun read and a fantasy to throw into the mix. From the blurb it sounded like a comfortable, familiar read: a princess has ambitions far above her station and will do anything to achieve her goals and the downtrodden poor far below who scrabble by and suffer until we get to the events of the story.

Princess Phela overhears her mother talking about harnessing the
Shelly Hammond
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blood of the Four is an action packed, bloody, harsh, amazing fantasy tale that does all it needs to in one terrific book.
This book is refreshing. It's a full on fantasy novel with a world of it's own. The authors created and wove a tale that managed to lure you right in from the first chapter and kept you glued to the pages with every new situation that arose, and there were many! Not so many as to be confusing. Just the right amount to keep the characters headed to where they needed to be for
Brian Palmer
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy, 2018
The tagline for this book is "blood is thicker than magic," so the reader will know that they're in for some epic fantasy right from the outset. Quandis is a nation founded on a religion worshipping 4 dual-aspected gods ( Water and Beasts, Fire and Secrets, and so on). The reigning queen's oldest daughter discovers secret intrigue and determines that the country needs her on the throne, pursuing the study of magic for the good of all.

Things do not go well.

The oppressed Bajumen people become ev
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Christopher Golden is the award-winning, bestselling author of such novels as The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, Of Saints and Shadows, and (with Tim Lebbon) Mind the Gap. Golden co-wrote the lavishly illustrated novel Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire with Mike Mignola, which they are currently scripting as a feature film ...more

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