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Mage's Blood (The Moontide Quartet) Hardcover – September 3, 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

British author Hair, previously recognized for his young-adult books, has now produced his first adult novel, the first of a planned tetralogy. The lands of Yuros and Antiopa are divided by an impassible strait. Once every 12 years, however, the tides sink to the point that the mage-built Moontide Bridge emerges, and trade is possible between the two lands. Still, armies can also cross the bridge, and the ruling Magi of the Yuros are preparing for another try at conquering Antiopa. And that is just to start. Hair has done a competent—if in places derivative—job of world building, and his characters are of a high order. The dubious point is his pacing. His stage is so large and his characters so many that the pacing is outright bouncy. --Frieda Murray

Review

"Hair's first foray into adult fantasy is similar in scope to George R.R. Martin's Ice and Fire and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time novels and is sure to please those authors' many fans."―Jane Henriksen Baird, Library Journal (starred review)

"I quickly became immersed in the world Hair created and devoured it in the course of a few days. As soon as it's available, I plan to read the second book in the same way--the story is that good."―Spencer Green, Online Fantasy Network

"MAGE'S BLOOD is action-packed and memorable. The book was such a page-turner that I couldn't put it down...it was a well written, unique and enjoyable read."―Miss Literati

"[Mage's Blood] often recalls Frank Herbert's Dune novels.... Among the payoffs are plenty of cliffhangers, including one that nicely ushers in the next volume--which fans will await eagerly."―Kirkus Reviews

"This is an exotic story of dangerous magic and intrigue that kept me turning the pages until late into the night."―Lesley Livingston, award-winning author of the Wondrous Strange trilogy

"This multilayered beginning to the Moontide Quartet plunges readers into a taut network of intrigue and mystery that tightens with each chapter. Hair portrays a stark and beautiful world breaking apart, with both good and evil characters desperate to reshape it through magic, war, and treachery. This strong debut should draw in fantasy readers of all stripes."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Moontide quartet is David Hair's explosive debut as an epic fantasy writer and should be read by all with an interest in gritty fantasy and alternate histories."―Fantasy Online

"Pretty bloody special."―Sleepless Musings Of A Well Groomed Moustached Man
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Product Details

  • Series: The Moontide Quartet
  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623650143
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623650148
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Wanchoo VINE VOICE on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
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 certain areas and historical aspects of our own.

The story focuses on various nations on the continents of Yuros and Antiopia/Ahmedhassa. Yuros is the western landmass hosting various nations that have a magical aspect to their theology and chief among the nations are the Rondians who form the empire to rule over the entire continent. Antiopia or Ahemedhassa is the eastern continent that's connected to its western half by means of a geographical bridge that was constructed by a mage.

The eastern continent has many nations which bear a striking similarity to certain middle Eastern cultures as well a region that is culturally, theologically and geographically very very similar to the Indian subcontinent. The story focuses on various characters strewn across these dual continents and many nations. Ranging from long lived mages/witches (Antonin Meiros) to young girls (Ramita Ankesharan) to aspiring mages (Alaron Mercer) and many more, the POV characters come from varied cultures and backgrounds to give the reader a panoramic view into the world developed by the author.

Justin from Staffer's Musing's blog had compared it to the Prince of Nothing trilogy but one that was more accessible to readers.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Well, as the title suggests, I found this book quite disappointing, but not for the reasons you might expect. Generally speaking, I found the author's prose to be quite well-constructed, his characters to be interesting, and the pacing of the book to be good. Here's what bothered me about it: the countries and the cultures of the book bear a striking similarity to real-world cultures, primarily those of the Indian subcontinent and Middle East. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but it's the WAY he does it that really irks me. It doesn't come across as an homage or even artistic inspiration...it comes across more like historical plagiarism. You can really see it in the names of places, such as Hebusalim, which you can really read as Jerusalem, and is also evident in words and phrases, such as Ramita's "bindu" mark on her forehead, which is clearly a traditional Indian bindi, just with one letter changed. It reeks of lazy-author syndrome. If you're going to write a compelling story, with interesting characters and a good plot, why, why on God's green earth, would you cut corners on things like that?! Maybe I'm being too harsh, but this is something that really sticks in my teeth, not just with this book, but with a lot of generic fantasy authors out there who go to all the trouble of formulating a story and creating characters and building a solid plot...and then do something incredibly lame like "in an alternate Earth, yadda yadda yadda". Lazy. Trite. Overdone. The plot and strong characters were enough to make me (want to) forget about the oversights at times, but at other times it just made them even more glaringly obvious. The saddest thing is that, having constructed the first book this way, he won't be able to reverse those decisions going forward, they are hardwired into the story world now.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had high hopes for this fantasy novel, but the more I read, the more frustrated I got with the book's shortcomings. I read a lot of fantasy, and enjoy it, so my issues are not with the genre, but with this particular novel.

Two nations are separated by a raging sea, except for a two-year period every decade when the tides lower enough to cross by a magical bridge. The nations are at war, with one being a magic-oriented society, and the other, a non-magical, less advanced society. There are political maneuverings, and some unexpected twists as the time for the crossing to come.

The main problem is that everything takes just TOO LONG to develop. It is about 500 pages before anything exciting or interesting happens, and at that point, I was already resenting the amount of time invested. Things are moving along at a good pace by the end, but by then, it's just too late.

I wasn't particularly entranced by the characters. While there was detail to them, I didn't find them that likeable, with only a couple of exceptions. For the most part, they seemed stock characters, without the endearing qualities other authors use.

Finally, while the overall concept seems interesting as a setup, it's like the author exhausted his creativity on the original premise, and the rest of his world suffered a distinct sense of repackaging. I'm not simply talking about the fact that the two societies (with the addition of magic) feel like the Roman empire vs. the Persians, but even the shapes of the map suggest Istanbul, with the sides separated by a *really* long bridge. Finally, if you're writing a fantasy novel, you just can't steal names from established geographical regions in someone else's work.
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