Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Rogue Mage #1


Rate this book
In a novel filled with exhilarating action and lush imagery, Faith Hunter portrays a near-future world, caught in the throes of an ambiguous apocalypse, where a woman with everything to hide finds her destiny revealed....

No one thought the apocalypse would be like this. The world didn't end. And the appearance of seraphs heralded three plagues and a devastating war between the forces of good and evil. More than a hundred years later, the earth has plunged into an ice age, and seraphs and demons fight a never-ending battle while religious strife rages among the surviving humans.

Thorn St. Croix is no ordinary neomage. All the others of her kind, mages who can twist leftover creation energy to their will, were gathered together into Enclaves long ago. There, they live in luxurious confinement, isolated from humans and exploited for their magic. When Thorn's powers nearly drive her insane, she escapes - and lives as a fugitive, disguised as a human, channeling her gifts for war into stone-magery and the pacific tasks of jewelry making. But when Thaddeus Bartholomew, a dangerously attractive policeman, shows up on her doorstep and accuses her of kidnapping her ex-husband, she retrieves her weapons and risks revealing her identity to find him. And for Thorn, the punishment for revelation is death....

336 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published November 7, 2006

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Faith Hunter

87 books5,389 followers
Faith Hunter's Junkyard Cats novella series is available in Audible and eBook at this time.

Faith's Jane Yellowrock series is a dark urban fantasy. Jane is a full blooded Cherokee skinwalker and hunter of rogue-vampires in a world of weres, witches, vampires, and other supernats.

The Soulwood series is a dark-urban fantasy / paranormal police procedural /para-thriller series featuring Nell Nicholson Ingram, an earth magic user and Special gent of PsyLED.

Her Rogue Mage novels—Bloodring, Seraphs, Host, and the RPG Rogue Mage—feature Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage in a post-apocalyptic alternate reality.

Faith writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic. She gave up cooking for lent one year and the oven hasn’t been turned on since. Okay – that’s a joke. She does still make cold cereal and sandwiches. Occasionally, she remembers to turn on Roomba (that she named Duma$$ because it fell down the stairs once.)

Faith researches in great detail, and tries most everything her characters do. Research led to her life’s passions – jewelry making, orchids, Japanese maples, bones, travel, white-water kayaking, and writing.

Jewelry-making was the occupation of two of her characters: Thorn St. Croix, the Rogue Mage, and the main character of BloodStone, written by her pen name, Gwen Hunter. She fell in love with the art form. Though she doesn't have time for jewelry as much as she used to, Faith makes, wears, and sometimes gives away her jewelry as promo items to fans and as prizes in contests. See her FaceBook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/official.fait... for pics.

Faith loves orchids. Her favorite time of year is when several are blooming. Pictures can be seen at her FaceBook page. And yes, she collects bones and skulls. Many of her orchid pics are juxtaposed with bones and skulls —a fox, cat, dog, cow skull, goat, and deer skull, (that is, unfortunately, falling apart) and the jawbone of an ass. She just received a boar skull, and the skull of a mountain lion (legally purchased from a US tannery) hit by a car in the wild.

Her latest love is Japanese maples, and she has managed to collect over thirty in one year.

She and her husband RV, traveling to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

And that leads Faith to kayaking – her very favorite sport. Faith discovered whitewater paddling when she was researching her (Gwen Hunter) mystery book, Rapid Descent. She took a lesson and—after a bout of panic attacks from fear of drowning—discovered she loved the sport.

Faith is one of the founders and a participant at the now defunct and archived www.MagicalWords.net, an online writing forum geared to helping writers. And she is a voracious reader.

Under other pen names, notably, Gwen Hunter, she writes action adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Gwen, she is a winner of the WH Smith Literary Award for Fresh Talent in 1995 in the UK, and won a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award in 2008. As Faith, her books have been on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists, been nominated for various awards and won an Audie Award with Khristine Hvam, among other awards. Under all her pen names, she has more than 40 books, anthologies, and complications in print in 30 countries.

For more, including a list of her books, see www.faithhunter.net , www.gwenhunter.com , and www.magicalwords.net. To keep up with her daily, join her fan pages at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/official.fait...

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,430 (26%)
4 stars
1,844 (34%)
3 stars
1,439 (27%)
2 stars
424 (7%)
1 star
176 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 380 reviews
Profile Image for Mimi.
691 reviews188 followers
January 23, 2019
3.5 stars but rounding up for the apocalyptic ice age setting... which sounds pretty nice right about now, what with the last election we're ever gonna have coming up and the world ending shortly thereafter. Just kidding?


This book is a unusual blend of almost everything I like to see in urban fantasy with the exception of angels and biblical tie-ins. Am not a fan of angels and even less a fan of angels + biblical things. Though, here, they aren't too heavy-handed.

The writing is decent, albeit slow in the beginning, but you get used to it as you read on. The characters are okay, as are the plot and mythology. There's a good amount of government conspiracy theories to give the story a futuristic, sci-fi feel, and everything else is decent and interesting enough that I'll most likely finish the trilogy. It'll take some time getting there, but as I've learned, this book, and most likely this whole trilogy, is meant to be taken slowly, with frequent breaks in between.

The one thing that made this book stand out among the hundreds (or hundreds of thousands?) of urban fantasies of its kind--many of which I passed on simply because they looked too much like something I'd seen or read before--is the setting. It's an endless, bitterly cold winter. A refreshing break from the usual dark and dank magical urban settings.

This is a world buried under a ton of snow and hasn't seen any seasonal changes since the apocalyptic ice age hit. No one alive remembers the seasons changing. They speak of warm weather as though it's a myth because all they know is winter. I find that most intriguing because the way things are going, we might one day speak of cold weather the way these people speak of the myth that was summer.

Overall, a good story with a slow burn, though not one I'd recommend unless you're looking for something fairly different (but still somewhat the same) on the urban fantasy shelf.

Full(er) review at https://covers2covers.wordpress.com/2...
Profile Image for Rhianon.
153 reviews19 followers
September 28, 2011
A 4'10" female riding a Fresian? A stallion, no less? Granted, they aren't hot-blooded but I'm still struggling with the practicality of that combination. And likewise, someone else riding a Clydesdale. *snorts* Don't get me wrong, it's done. But it is far from practical, far from comfortable, especially traveling long distances. It's like straddling an oil drum.

This is one of those instances where it really does pay to stay within the bounds of realism for the sake of your readership. Because though every other aspect of the story seems well written and authentically portrayed, this issue with the horseflesh arose in the very first scene. Eighty pages later, I haven't been able to let it drop. Worrying at it like a dog with a bone.
Profile Image for Dharma Kurlind.
31 reviews17 followers
April 20, 2011
Let me just say how shocked I am that I didn't like this book. I love Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series. But I really, really didn't like Bloodring. I listened through the whole audiobook, convinced that eventually I'd care for the heroine, care for the plot, but I didn't. It's just too much - too post-apocalyptic/new ice-age, too high fantasy, too foreign, too alien. We have new mages, and half-breeds, and Sarephs, and demon spawn, and none of them are human, but somehow the combination between some of these creatures causes our heroine to go into heat much like a dog - I'm not being cruel, that's actually how it's described in the book. And I really just can't gel with a chick going into heat for humanoid winged alien creatures. It's just a bit over my head. Doesn't work for me. Also, the general feel of the book, the story line, I found down-right depressing. I like it when a heroine has very serious obstacles to overcome, sure, but when there's really nothing to look forward to except to survive alone and in hiding, it just becomes a hard read.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,907 followers
May 9, 2020
There's a lot of potential in this book but there isn't enough actual to keep me going. I mean, the whole angels and UF feel with magical crystals and mystical overwhelming sex energies that tie into the magic system IS fairly interesting, at least on paper.

It's also a fairly average post-apocalypse tale set in the deep cold.

I don't know. I never really connected with the main character and only mildly cared about where the story was going. A potential world-building is only as good as the characters who live in it, and the Mage-Heat stuff was... weird. Not good weird. Just... weird.

Maybe this could have been the next hottest thing but it's been years and it just isn't.

I had a lot more fun reading her Jane Yellowrock UF.
Profile Image for Becca C.
240 reviews8 followers
March 13, 2011
Rogue Mage series (Book 1) | So if the Mercy Thompson/Rachel Morgan books are your fair-to-middling examples of a well-written urban fantasy series, these Rogue Mage books have to be the ugly red-headed stepchildren. Because they're not well-written. At all. But, you know, it's pretty much my own fault. With an authorial pseudonym like 'Faith Hunter' I should have realized what I was getting myself into. Anyway, Blood Ring takes place in a post-apocalyptic small-town of what's left of America, after somewhere in the distant past angels came down from the heavens and smashed everything to bits with fire and brimstone and then took over as upper-management. Thorn St. Croix (yeah, I know, I know) is the story's narrator, a stone mage on the lam who casts all her spells via—you guessed it—crystals. And then there's something about demons rising up from the deeps but to be honest my braincells stopped functioning around the part where Thorn started to go into an uncontrollable 'mage-heat' (read: lustful frenzy) when within a twenty-foot radius of a male descendant of ze Angels. The only reason this gets even one star is for the author suggesting (satirically) via a secondary character that the angels might actually be aliens. That was the one interesting part of the whole book.
Profile Image for Loriidae.
69 reviews18 followers
May 20, 2018
4.5 stars Too much telling but a credible debut novel.

Although a little confusing at times, the world building in Faith Hunter’s debut novel is superb. There is a lot of telling, but for all that, it is filled with the flashes of the brilliance we see in her Jane Yellowrock and Soulwood series. It is easy to see that this is her early work.

A very different dystopian with seraphs (angels) and demons. The church is in ascendance and there are many biblical references and quotes of scripture. It is illegal to blaspheme with harsh consequences if reported to the clerics. Thorn St Croix is an unregistered stone mage in Mineral City. Her ex-husband the brother of her best friend is kidnapped. Thorn is drawn in against her will and comes to the attention of the authorities, local townspeople and the seraphs who rule with iron cruelty.
Profile Image for Amy.
354 reviews6 followers
January 8, 2009
Faith Hunter imagines a post-Apocalyptic world filled with seraphs, Dark beings, and mages (as well as ordinary humans). Thorn St. Croix is an unlicensed mage living amongst the humans in secret in the town of Mineral City in what used to be North or South Carolin. Her ex-husband, Lucas Stanhope, is kidnapped in the middle of the night, and this event sets off a series of events that leads Thorn to believe that something Dark and dangerous is massing an army in the mountain behind the town. As Thorn attempts to find out what happened to Lucas, she comes closer and closer to disclosing her own abilities and putting herself in danger.

I had seen this book in the bookstore and was mildly intrigued, so I checked it out from the library. It's really quite good. Hunter fully realizes this post-Apocalyptic world, and one is able to really see how this could come about. The pacing might have been a little bit better in the beginning, but towards the end, I didn't want to put the book down.
Profile Image for Patrícia.
964 reviews97 followers
February 18, 2011
RATING: I don't know... I don't like to give it one star, due to the actually good concept, but this book was a mess, overall, so I suppose one star it is...

"Mess" is a great way to describe this book, indeed. Story and pacing were a mess, character development was a mess and world building was... you guessed right, a mess. I struggled to get through this book, and I found that a pity since the core idea was really good. Fantastic even.

The book takes place in the near future, in a post-apocalyptic world where an Ice Age has descended and humans live under the thumb of Seraphs and under the threat of demonic forces. Also, a new race has arised, the Neomages. We're not told exactly where they came from or the origins of their DNA (which is a one of the many flaws of this book, IMHO). Neomages can tap into the remains of the "forces of Creation" left on Earth (in rocks, sand, sea, etc) and use that energy in their "workings". Basically they can do magic. But Neomages can only draw power from a specific element and seem (from what I gathered) to be weakened by the power in other elements not their own. Also, they seem to be more animalistic than human since they "go into heat" (a very Laurell K. Hamilton-esque concept that, I confess, turned me off).

To protect these Neomages from jealous and overzealous humans, the Seraphs decreed that all of them had to be locked up in Enclaves, living in seclusion and only coming out to perform jobs required by the humans.

Thorn St Croix, the protagonist has escaped the Enclave and lives under the gise of a human. She is a "stone mage" so she opened a store and provides jewelry to people all over. She's doing all right until her ex-husband goes missing.

Seems interesting right? Yeah, I thought so too. But while the author had a great idea for a story, she couldn't really piece it together in a coherent and interesting way.

The pacing is too slow and very little happens relating to the actual solving of the mystery. Most of the book is just a boring and descriptive account of Thorn's days in Mineral City (where she lives). Sometimes, she tries to find stuff about her missing ex, but mostly she just tries to hide her identity from everyone, makes jewels (we're given a lot of detail on semi-precious stones and it's "properties") and rejoices at the early spring days. Sometimes a villain attacks, but the action is very tame right until the end. Oh and let's not forget she has to fight her "mage-heat" since a Seraph hybrid has appeared on her doorstep and she now has a lot of lustful thoughts and dreams and feelings. I thought the "mage-heat" part was annoying but I'm guessing it was there so Thorn could gain immunity to it, later in the book. Still, it was annoying.

Nothing much happens until the final chapters of the book, where there is a good fight between good and bad guys. Unfortunately by then I was already skimming since I just wanted to be done with the book.

The characters weren't exactly captivating either, and some of them were pretty incoherent (Thorn mostly). I didn't particularly liked any of them.

What I did like was the hint that maybe the Seraphs and all weren't what they appeared.

Overall, this book was weak. The author had great ideas but failed in putting them to paper, getting side-tracked by things that probably didn't need to be included. The characters didn't get much development, though as this is a series, that isn't very serious. I felt like the story was confusing and the world-building needed... well, more building.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ian.
1,341 reviews188 followers
February 9, 2016
As a general rule I won't rate a book that I DNF and read less than 50%. So no rating.

Bloodring, well the 40% I read before I walked away, is a bit of a disaster. It's monotonous, the characters are remote, the story...well you would think by 40% I would have a vague idea of what's going on but honestly I had no idea.

Faith Hunter is a talented writer. Her Skinwalker series is a personal favorite. This book is going into the bowels of hell and hopefully it is never mentioned again.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,654 reviews702 followers
February 17, 2017
First in the Rogue Mage apocalyptic paranormal alternative history science fiction series (a.k.a., Thorn St. Croix) and revolving around, well, Thorn St. Croix, a mage on the run, currently living in Mineral City, Carolina, in the Appalachian Mountains.

My Take
This is a fascinating world Hunter has created. It's so detailed, and despite it being so dang cold, it's a cozy world that still has too many terrors everywhere. Swearing and blasphemy is punishable with branding. Rock-and-roll has only recently come off the banned list. Religious worship in different faiths is allowed only as long as there is no violence. The overall arc is the challenge of a mage living illegally, in hiding, outside an Enclave and keeping out of the sight of seraphs and humans.

Bloodring is primarily from a first-person point-of-view, Thorn's, with the occasional touch of simple third-person subjective. As for the conflict…holy cats! I'm not sure if Hunter left any out, actually, there are two that didn't slide in, lol. For the rest, it's character vs character, character vs fate, character vs God, character vs nature, and character vs society with all those subplots going on: the mage-heat Thorn battles, the fate the seraphs dangle before her, the threats to Thorn for who she is from the seraphs and the town, saving the town (or not), the threats to the Stanhope brothers, Ciana's danger, and what the daywalker wants. Phew…

Hunter folds in the backstory nicely, although she does confuse me quite frequently. There's plenty of foreshadowing for upcoming events in this story — and in the next two stories in the series! As for the eucatastrophe at the end, it was a pip. That sudden switch in the attitude of the townspeople toward Thorn still confuses the heck out of me. I don't know if it was intended as a purposeful negative turnabout or what, but it did not make any sense. I'd've thought that being blessed by a seraph would convey a holy aura around someone…?

I love reading about the work Thorn, Jacey, and Rupert create for their shop. The support they give each other, the love.

Thorn does annoy me in that she never bothered to learn to deal with her abilities. It also took me awhile to figure out what was going on with the Mistress and the daywalker.

Hunter keeps the action going and the tension up throughout. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's horrifying, but it's never boring.

The Story
It's been eighty-seven years since the last great battle, since the last plague set loose by the seraphs. As a result the world is suffering a mini-ice age where demons roam and seraphs rule — where government gave way to strict rule by kirk elders. To eliminate violence.

Now Lucas has been attacked. His latest wife is begging for seraph help, and when a cop shows up, accusing Thorn St. Croix of kidnapping her ex-husband, the threat to Thorn intensifies.

For a seraph will know that Thorn is a mage. She'll be tortured cruelly. To death. A slow death.

The Characters
Thorn St. Croix, a stone neomage, is in hiding. To earn a living she works with gems, creating jewelry that is in demand through the business, Thorn's Gems, she shares with two friends. Homer is her horse. Rose had been Thorn's twin sister, a licensed mage. Lemuel Hastings, a rock hound, had been Thorn's foster father. The gay Rupert Stanhope with his thespian style is the second partner in the shop and is in love with Audric, a salvage miner and a mule, a crossbreed, who came from the Seattle Enclave. Jacey, the third partner, is married to Zedikiah "Big Zed", Sr., and they have nine children total. Zeddy is the oldest stepson; Sissy is nine.

Detective Thaddeus Bartholomew is with the Carolina State Law Enforcement and is a Hand of the Law. He is also, unknowingly, a child of the seraph Baraqyal, a kylen, as well as cousin to the Stanhope brothers. Lucas Stanhope is Thorn's ex-husband, a woman-chasing cheat. Ciana is his eight-year-old daughter by a previous marriage. Marla is Lucas' nasty first wife. Jane Hilton is Lucas' third wife. Rupert and Jason are Lucas' brothers. Their great-grandfather, Benaiah Stanhope, was also known as the Mole Man, a revered warrior who went underground with the seraphs. Gramma is the Stanhope paternal grandmother.

Law Enforcement Center (LEC)
Thorn and Audric report the attacks to Officer Litton. Captain Durbarge is an Administration of the ArchSeraph Investigator (AASI, assey). Richards is Durbarge's toady.

Mineral City, Carolina, is…
…in the Appalachian Mountains. Polly is wife to Elder Jasper, the youngest elder. Sennabel Schwartz, the librarian, is Jasper's mother. Derek Culpepper's family is powerful, wealthy, and influential; the patriarch is an Elder. Shamus and Do'rise Waldroup are bakers, and his family has been part of Mineral City for over a hundred and seventy years. Esmeralda Boyles; Fergus Yardley, a geologist; Randall Prentice, the moneyman behind the plans; and, Eli Walker, who has a feldspar mine and does some tracking for the kirk and cops, are at the town meeting. Doc Hampford is the town veterinarian.

Fazelle and Nova Henderson own the Henderson Shielded Mine. Hoop Marks is one of the guides; Hoop, Jr., is his second-in-command. Malcolm Stone is a customer.

Oliver Winston is an SNN reporter-at-large. Tom Snead is an SNN anchor. Emmanuelle Beasley is the newest female action star.

Enclaves are…
…reservations, both prison and safe zone to which neomages are restricted, allowed out only with seraph permission. Lolo is the head priestess of the New Orleans Enclave and had been a friend of Thorn's mother. Stone, earth, metal, and sea mages can twist leftover creation energy to their will and can only breed if they are in heat. Second-unforeseen children are half-breeds, half-seraph and half-human.

Earth Invasion Heretics (EIH) is…
…an organization that believes seraphs are aliens who came to invade our world.

Seraphs are…
…terrifying angels, winged warriors, who live in the Realms of Light; Manhattan is one of them. The Seraphic High Host is the seraph ruling council, which declared mages are soulless, and therefore lesser. Michael is the ArchSeraph. Chamuel is a seraph who bought a piece of Thorn's jewelry. Other seraphs include Uriel; Zaldkiel, the seraph of solace and gentleness; Raziel, the revealer of the rock and a ruling prince, chief of the supreme mysteries; and, Adonal, the angel of punishment. Azrael is a death seraph who brought plague to Paris; 1,000 lived. Twin seraphs, Mordad and Murdad, destroyed Jerusalem and Mecca. Metatron destroyed Washington D.C. They were only a few of the many cities destroyed in the first plague.

The Mistress Amethyst, Holy Amethyst, is a Being of Light, a Power of Light, a member of the High Host, and similar to a seraph. The navcone is the navigation nosecone of her ship, using the energy of creation.

Mages and kylen have an almost instant, undeniable sexual attraction — think "going into heat"! Such a mating is forbidden.

The Dark is…
…evil, demons and spawn that roam the dark, hunting people. Dragons are Major Powers who battled the seraphs. Daywalkers are spawn who claim humans for sex or food. Malashe-el is the spawn who kidnapped Lucas. A rogue mage is one who has gone over to the Dark. A blood-demon is a Dark spirit who uses human bodies, moving through bloodlines.

The Cover and Title
The cover is vivid in its green battle of a background with a vibrant Thorn in profile, wearing black leather, carrying a gun with a sword sheathed on her back, and a swirl of red around her. The title is in white and spans the center of the cover with the author's name, also in white, at the bottom.

The title is a recurrence, a thick ring of bloody red encircling the moon, a Bloodring, an omen.
Profile Image for Kati.
1,708 reviews64 followers
August 7, 2008
This book turned out to be better than I thought. At first, I just couldn't get into it - too much exposition for my liking. But even though there was something off about the story telling, I really liked the characters, especially the seraphs fascinated me.
Profile Image for Fangs for the Fantasy.
1,449 reviews184 followers
August 20, 2017
This book is huge. Not so much because of the length of the book but the sheer amount packed in here - especially this really original world.

Honestly, if someone has sold this book to me as a post-rapture word, a world after the book of Revelations, a world where the angels came down and massacred huge chunks of humanity, I would be leery.

But what about that world where the angels never confirmed any one religion? What about when the Most High never actually appeared (but pointing that out is a quick way to get dead)? What about a world where actually fighting each other over a religion is the quickest way to get you dead by angel?

We have a world where religion and religious rules have definitely risen to prominence, piety is common and all but mandatory (there’s a lot of pressure even when it’s not mandated) and religious laws dominate. But at the same time everyone is kind of uncertain as to what the laws need to be. One interesting element of this is that they seem to have avoided the very common trope of just defaulting to “sexual” crimes (probably because most authoritarian religion seems to devolve to that level) and we see a lot more fierce punishments for things like swearing. It’s an interesting and unique political situation with religion ascendant and in control but without the certainty or single religious dominance you’d expect from such a world

It’s also been several generations since the end of the world so humanity is doing what we always do - backslide. Thorn notes that things that would never have been tolerated 10 years ago are now creeping back into the human media

It’s also really well done how the balance is set out. Because it would be easy to portray the Seraphs as wonderful saviours of humanity - and that’s clearly the spin and there’s definitely a cult that has grown around them - but Thorn sees it as a cult. Equally the depictions of the Seraphs arrival and the end of the world is depicted as duly horrific. The idea that the Seraphs are all good and pure is strongly challenged despite the spin. At the same time we have the dark powers, the monsters from the depths, demonic forces et al that humanity and the Seraphs allied against - so we do have the seraphs as being humanity’s protectors and destroyers, humanity’s shield, but also the sword which could come down at any time if humanity break the rules they’re STILL not entirely sure they understand. It’s all complex and nuanced and precarious

Add into that is Thorn, a Neo-mage. A woman with magic and, by official doctrine from the Seraphs, soulless. Registered and sequestered, Neo-mages are both an incredible asset to humanity for their skills but also feared and persecuted when unlicensed and not in their official communities. Thorn is surrounded by neighbours who would murder her if they found out about her while at the same time seriously considering hiring mages at exorbitant cost to help them with the town’s problems.

Oh and the world is a dystopia - not just because of the end of the world which means there’s a lot of salvaging and a lot of things mankind just doesn’t have the numbers to produce any more and is now working to produce in numbers what was once taken for granted. There’s no suggestion the technology is lost - it’s just hard to maintain the supply chain and production methods with most of the population dead. But the world is also entering a mini ice-age which doesn’t just mean cold, but also worries like glaciers forming in the mountains above the town

Throw in demons coming out at night and haunting the world and we have a much scarier world - and, obviously, an equal dependence for the decimated population on the Seraphs.

This world is FULL and it is FASCINATING and I understand there’s an actual RPG game that has built up around it because this world is amazing. I could happily just keep reading more world building and more and more and more and more

But in a book? All of the above is huge and complex and fascinating. And then we see different neo-mages with different powers and different sources of power - with the added complexity of elements from other specialties draining them (Thorn, a stone mage, is drained by water and moonlight). Then we throw in the descendents of humans and Seraphs, the descendents of mages and humans and the mixing of these blood lines all creates different complexities - and on top of that the dark side also has it’s own different forces and bloodlines

I love the world, but sometimes I feel like I need a guide to read separate to the story as it can be hard to follow all the ins and outs and complexities. This is sometimes not helped by the writing - especially when Thorn is deep in her magic and bonding with stones, I’m not always entirely sure what has exactly happened. This is especially the case later in the book towards the end with a grand finale where Thorn faces down the big bad hordes and it’s epic and it’s amazing and it’s exciting and powerful and… and I only have the slightest clue about what actually happened.

Read More

Profile Image for Summer.
1,354 reviews248 followers
May 19, 2010
This book started out interesting, then started to confuse the heck out of me, then bored me to the point of wanting to not finish it, but towards the end it redeemed itself enough for me to say it was decent. At times it felt like a high fantasy novel but then they'd mention their phones and televisions and I'd remember it's urban fantasy and post-apocolyptic. However the characters and the world definitely feel and act more towards the high fantasy side. There's not a whole lot of action going on until the end of the book but the characters were interesting enough for me to want to read it's sequel. Just not anytime soon.
7 reviews
December 8, 2012
I liked the sample chapter provided by Amazon. But when I read the book the world didn’t make much sense to me. And I always have a big problem when the world-building doesn’t makes sense to me.
The story takes place 105 years after “the end of the world” only the world hasn’t ended. So far so good. The technology that survived seemed random.
They don’t seem to have central heating, but the heroine often draws herself a bath. How?
They aren’t able to make new computers, but they still have old ones around, and they have internet.
They don’t have household items, but they have helicopters, and fighter aircraft that are supersonic.
And all that despite the fact that they aren’t able to mine anymore, because in the deep there are demons…
OK, technically they have a war on, between the forces of light and dark.
But for most of the time this doesn't feel like a war story. The heroine makes jewelry. As long as people worry about that, things can't be so bad.

The heroine is literary in heat for most of the story, and while this makes a better excuse for lusting after guys than in many UF books, it is still hard to get to know her this way.
Profile Image for Jensownzoo.
320 reviews27 followers
January 12, 2009
I liked the characterizations and interactions and the pacing (kept reading to find out what happened next). An interesting take on revelation/end of the world with some suggestions that the human race is being hoodwinked about the whole deal.

However, I think the "mage heat" device could have been lifted out of the story en toro and not made much of a difference in the story...indicating dead weight (and something more suited to a cheesy romance novel anyway). Maybe a minor point, but something that made me recoil in dismay when it first came up.
Profile Image for Leslie - keepsbooks.
32 reviews21 followers
May 7, 2015
I've had this trilogy sitting on my shelves for years but was never in the "right" mood for it, but having just finished a Jane Yellowrock binge, I was looking for a Faith Hunter-fix and stumbled upon The Rogue Mage books in a back corner of Mt. TBR.

Bloodring (Book 1) suffers a bit from first-in-series-itis: characters to introduce, worlds to build, mythology to explain -

- but this can drag the action down to a crawl and that's what happens here. If the early pages had been as engaging as the entire second half of the book, I'd rate it higher than a 3-star. Because, WOW, when the action started I was hooked, staying up 'til the wee hours to Find Out What Happened.

Clearly, the slow start to the series didn't dampen my enthusiasm for it as I'm off to dust off Book 2 Seraphs
Seraphs (Rogue Mage, #2) by Faith Hunter
Profile Image for Lynsey is Reading.
655 reviews228 followers
August 25, 2011
Not Good. My rating for this book deteriorated as the book went on. At first, the concept of Thorne being a neo-mage hiding in plain sight under threat of torture and death if she were caught sounded promising. But the plot was just a hot mess. Where it wasn't dull as dishwater- talking about the day-to-day minutia of working in a jewellery shop- it was confusing to a ridiculous degree. I found myself having to go back and re-read sections constantly because I was totally lost. Normally, I might blame any such confusion on the reader, not the writer, but in this instance I'm pretty sure I was paying attention and it was still a confusing mess.

If you want to read something by this author, go for the UF one: The Jane Yellowrock series. That's a bit of a slow starter too, but once you're into it, it's approximately a bajillion times better than this effort.
Profile Image for Dan.
656 reviews22 followers
June 19, 2011
Angels and devils show up on Earth, and neither group likes humans particularly. Was doing well for a while, but then it got all reciting-scripture-y and interpreting-the-book-of-revelations-literally-y. The main character's secret plan for solving the devil-infestation problem turns out to be to beg the angels for help and hope they don't kill her.

Left big chunks of plot unresolved at the end; it's unclear if this is an "I'll leave that for the sequel" thing or an "I have completely lost control of the plot" thing.
Profile Image for Sapphire.
Author 17 books119 followers
July 29, 2010
I would have given this 3 1/2 stars, but Goodreads doesn't do that. I will try to read the next two books in the series, as sometimes the next one gets better. Mostly there is not enough action and the hook wasn't there in the beginning as should be. But the book has potential, so I will read the others.
Profile Image for Anna (Bobs Her Hair).
909 reviews193 followers
March 30, 2019
Different. Underdeveloped in certain areas but the book started well. Hinder draws a lot from the Bible. For all the small details and elaborate chants/prayers this world still doesn’t feel as solid as it should. I’m curious enough to read book 2.

library ebook
545 reviews
September 4, 2021
A different series

I only read this book because it was written by Faith Hunter, who is the author of the other stories I like. It is difficult to follow at times and it isn't a genre that is one I tend to like. But the protagonist is a good person who is likable, so I decided to give it a chance.
While slightly predictable and full of somewhat confusing scripture it ends well.
645 reviews27 followers
September 10, 2022
This was an interesting story as it merges some themes and genres together, managing to keep the readers on their toes as the various lore and true circumstances are revealed.
Profile Image for Louisa.
6,778 reviews31 followers
April 9, 2017
Fantastic book! I absolutely loved the world and these characters, and I can't wait to read more! Such a great start to this series!
Profile Image for Marsha.
2,936 reviews52 followers
October 5, 2017
First let me say that I'm a huge fan of Faith Hunter. I love her Jane Yellowrock as well as her new Soulwood series. So, reading Rogue Mage was a no brainer for me. Unfortunately, it is a dry, passionless story that literally I could only read a few pages at a time before I had to shut down my Kindle and say, "I've had enough for now." I couldn't believe this was written by the beloved author I had come to value without question.

Imagine a world where neomages are confined or killed because society is so mistreating of them. Yet one small little girl, Thorn St. Croix, is slowly dying in this oppressive environment so; she is whisked away in secrecy where she manages to make a life for herself as quickly jewelry maker in a small remote village. Then one day her ex- husband is filmed being kidnapped and now she is being questioned by a Seraph police officer who seems unaware of his heritage. The possible discovery of her neomage status is not her only fear. She is sexually attracted to him in a powerful way.

Then one day, a shipment arrives containing a powerful amethyst stone that calls to her and possesses power that calls to her. At the urging of her step daughter, Cianna, enlists Thorn help in finding her father and soon it becomes clear, vampires are involved. It is also clear that the gems Thorn in packs as well as the secrets held under the mountain in the village make hold the secrets to a great evil.

This story had an interesting premise but Ms. Hunter was too invested in discussions of minutiae of day to day activities of the characters. The action was virtually non existent for the first 60% of the read and the sexual tension was hard to buy into since we had little contact with Thorn's romantic interest. What could have been a good read turned into a very boring mess. Needless to say. I won't be going on with the series. I will just stick to Jane Yellowrock and the Soulwood series.
Profile Image for Ellese.
80 reviews
September 30, 2012
I added this to my favorites because 1.) I love Faith Hunter no matter what, and 2.) this book has such an interesting story. The reason it only got 3 stars? Despite my fandom of Hunter, this was not one of her best. The story is a great one but I kept thinking, this could have been explained more, or this could have been a bit different. I felt at times I was playing catch up.

The story is a new one though. Hunter hits new territory by making this series a more Biblical one. It has angels, seraphs, mages, and even reference to God (which she doesn't call God but the comparison is there). Thorn St. Croix is a mage in hiding. She can never be discovered for fear of persecution, and we ARE talking the biblical kind ladies and gents. However, many events conspire against her to get her to reveal who she is to her closest friends. That is, until all hell breaks loose and she IS found out.

I think the writing was still good, character development could have been better because all the way through the book I was wondering which guys were which and where they came from. There is very little dialogue in this book, which is something I have never run across. I found myself salivating at the thought of interaction with other characters. Also, I loved the ending sequence. Thorn kicks absolute butt!!

CAUTION! If you have never read Faith Hunter?? Start with her Jane Yellowrock series FIRST! It is much better :)
Profile Image for Lexi Ander.
Author 33 books439 followers
June 21, 2011
This is my second read through this book. I still agree with my initial rating for the book. I loved the post-apocalyptic world with angels, The Powers, the second unforeseen, and neomages. I have to say it has some of the best scenes when it came to casting magic that I have read. The scenes were well thought out and the foreignness was explained in such a way that I was able to follow along and understand the limitations. The use of religion and religious scripture; putting power into and behind the magic had to have taken a lot of time on the authors part which I appreciated and enjoyed. It was interesting to see how old technology like computers were still used, as old and irreplaceable as they were, and then to leave the house and take a horse out of town because there were no cars.

The writing style isn't going to be for everyone because it is purposely abrupt and stilted in places. Once I got used to it, I enjoyed the difference and found that it worked for the most part.

I think the only thing that truly bothers me about this book is it is never really explain why humans are prejudice against mages. It is just how things are and it's not really looked at. I hope that the reason is revealed as the "plot thickens" in the next two books.
Profile Image for Megan .
390 reviews30 followers
March 28, 2011
Wasn't sure what to expect from this book but I really enjoyed it. I wondered if a book about angels (seraphs) would end up being a neo-christian/get ready for the rapture kind of story - but nothing could be further from the truth.

The premise of this story is actually quite fascinating, and I think unique. A true post-apocalytic world, after the seraphs unleashed plagues and destroyed the bulk of humanity, a race of souless (but I doubt that) neomages tha control stone, metal, earth, sea and lots and lots of darkness. Definitely some great world building and I'm a sucker for angels that kick ass (in the bible, it usually wasn't a good thing when an angel showed up). At times things kind of plodded on when it came to describing the conjuring (or her outfits), but all in all, the desire to see more of the world Hunter has created and a likable/sympathetic heroine kept me glued to the pages.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 380 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.