David Hair is the award-winning writer of two young adult fiction series, The Aotearo and The Return of Ravana (based on the Vedic epic The Ramayana). Mage’s Blood, the first volume of a series called The Moontide Quartet, is Hair’s first work of adult fantasy. In a starred review of Mage’s Blood, Publisher’s Weekly said, "This multilayered beginning to the Moontide Quartet plunges listeners 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."
Most of the time 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 new world, and for the last two Moontides they have led armies across the bridge on "crusades of conquest". Now, the third Moontide is almost here, and this time the people of the East are ready for a fight... but it is three seemingly ordinary people that will decide the fate of the world.
©2012 David Hair (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Published by arrangement with Quercus Editions Ltd (UK).
Vaguely like the Game of Thrones novels in that it is an epic story across multiple continents with separate story lines that are all on a collision course together.
The story and performance were top notch. I often listen to books during my commutes and more than once I found myself in my driveway just sitting in the car because the book was too good to turn off.
I'll be honest: I had never heard of this book or this author. I purchased this book solely on the criteria that it was a fantasy novel that was read by Nick Podehl; and I was not disappointed in the least. These days, I consume almost all of my literature through audio books so I have experienced my fair share of audio book narrators (both good and terrible) and without hesitation I put Nick Podehl at the top with the best of them. His range of voices is without compare - I instantly know which characters are speaking and it really allows the reader to fully immerse into the story.
One of the best audio books I've had the pleasure of listening to since the King Killer Chronicles.
"Simplistic and overly complex at the same time"
Another epic fantasy book I haven't been able to finish, I'm on a bad role at the moment.
First off, Nick Podehl does a fantastic job at narrating this book, but unfortunately a great narration can't raise an average book to the level of good or great.
There are two main problems with this book:
A huge amount of world building information is dumped on us early on. Oddly enough, the world seems to be a close reflection of our own, complete with countries, cultures,
religions and histories which are not too dissimilar to those of our own world.
Given this, the information overload that we are exposed to in the first half of the book seems even more unnecessary.
The second problem is that most of the characters are shallow and one-dimentional.
Its difficult to care about any of them.
Coupled with this is cartoonish dialogue and convenient coincidences to get our heroes out of tight spots.
Save your time and move on to something more worthwhile.
"Best Fantasy Series of the Year"
Engaging, Engaging, Engaging
I don't want to make any spoilers, this book has a ton of memorable moments.
I really emphasized with the characters and the situations they were put into.
Aleron is my favorite. At the very beginning I was put off by the different Character Story lines. Then they were all brought together and it just gelled. The book starts a little slow but just keeps getting better and better.
Also the 2nd book is out and amazingly enough it is just as good as the first. So many times an authors 2nd book just isn't as good. But David Hair knows how to keep it going.
My pet peeve is Game of Thrones Series. 3 good books and then the guy decided to keep the series going forever and write 1000s of pages and nothing happens!
A complex story like this just won't make it to the theaters.
Great Narration, Great Story. Takes a little while to get into it but then you'll be hooked.!
This is less simple then many of the Epic Fantasy Series and I enjoyed the change.
"A Wonderfully Realized Story"
This is truly a story worth the credit. It is written by someone who has obviously mastered his craft. The characters are complex, the east and west cultures are richly envisioned. (I really enjoyed imagining what these peoples lives are like, especially the eastern culture, because it is so different from my own. )
The jihad/crusade idea is thought provoking. The ebb and flow of the plot development is very engaging.
This author simply doesn't make a bad move in this story. I never felt disengaged from the story due to implausibility, not even once.
If you like epic fantasy you should read this marvelous story.
The narration is masterfully done by Nick Podell. His voices are just so well realized. Though I am no linguist, I felt that his accents were wonderful.
"A Worthwhile Fantasy"
In a fantasy world, three people find themselves struggling for their lives; a body guard, a teenager who is having trouble in school and a young woman that has married a really old man. Their difficulties begin when a group of mages, with money troubles, start a war for world domination and hire unscrupulous mercenaries to do their bidding. Our three protagonists are unexpectedly in the way of the evil, nefarious plans. Swords are slashed, magic is cast and chaos erupts as the story rushes to the shocking conclusion. Well, until the next book.
Many reviewers commented that they found this series due to the narrator, Nick Podehl, after they had listened to the Kingkiller Chronicles. He does not disappoint.
"Hard to get into but then good"
Not sure if it was just too jumpy in the beginning, or because I got interrupted so many times before I could get started, and had to listen to the first several chapters multiple times, but once I identified all the players the story flowed. Even though it heads towards a predictable destination all the twists and turns are unexpected and imaginative. I look forward to having time to listen to the sequel.
"Pretty good, I'll continue the series"
It seemed like a lot of time was wasted in the first half of the book going into useless details. Half way in though, it really picked up.
I love the narrator! The magic system is strange and seems like anything goes, but it was still a great part of the story.
I'm planning on purchasing the next book in the series with hopeful expectations.
"I made myself finish all 25 hours..."
...hoping it would get better (and cuz, you know, I paid for it.) It didn't. Mr. Hair would do well to learn a thing or two about Sanderson's laws of magic and really nail down his world. None of his characters are likeable -- and I honestly enjoy a good, crazy, evil villain. Nope. The story is disjointed, too long, and utterly overly-ambitious. His system of magic is crazy-powerful but so vaguely defined that everything seems like deus ex machina. Every time I turned around someone was whipping out a form of magic I didn't know existed as a way to advance the plot. It quickly lost it's appeal. You also felt you were being cheated, because he used magic to create and then solve these problems in ways that never really got you excited. Also, as I mentioned before, all the characters were pretty awful There was not one I came even halfway close to liking for any reason
The narrator is certainly skilled as far as accents and inflection goes, but in all honestly I think it detracted from the gravity of the story. I had such high hopes based on all the reviews, and I really felt thoroughly let down. I will DEFINITELY not be wasting my time or money on the rest of the quartet. Alas. I really, really; reaaaaalllly wanted to like it, and to support a more unknown fantasy author. I regret my purchase now, though. Do not buy, jt is truly so very unlike any of the reviews (particularly the ones comparing it to A Song of Ice and Fire).
Solid story but I feel like I have seen all these characters in other books.
As a whole, the series is based on a pretty unique and complex kitchen-sink type magic system set in a not too creative landscape that roughly mirrors a stereotype of Earth cultures... basically, Europeans vs near east split by a 300 mile body of water. The stereotypes are not particularly subtle.
I could have been OK with this construct if every single encounter between opposing groups didn't follow the same pattern - the good guys are consistently and repeatedly inept regardless of where they sit in the magic structure and the bad guys are nearly omnipotent in nearly every encounter. This is a world where apparently 90% of the population on both sides of the water are somewhat to completely evil (for no apparent reason) - there are few sympathetic characters.
The books have moments where they're great - those moments are just interrupted by long sections of narrative that drives one insane because of the crazy inconsistencies or stupid behavior of the characters.
Finally, based on the numerous loose ends in Book 4, I assume this "Quartet" is not the end of the story. Book 4 ends in a rushed fashion that certainly leaves a lot of plot lines unfinished.
I saw a few people compare this to George RR martins Game of Thrones series. This simply isnt true. It's not remotely on the same level. From the start i didnt feel any empathy with any of the characters. Again like in so many novels we have the young boy whose is downtrodden and treaten badly by his equals, his peers etc But wait, hes going to overcome his adversity! It felt like it was being written by a child. The story never got going for me and to be honest i think it was compounded by the awful reading. A different reader and maybe i would have finished the book and as it was i managed 6 hours and was thankful when my new credits arrived.
His poor accents
Yes, there are so many amazing characters, a brilliant story with so many twists, I just couldn't drag myself away.
I think Mage's Blood is too original a story with its multi cultural characters to compare to any other book.
Every scene where Elena fights back and wins through despite the odds.
It is very difficult to name one scene in such an epic story.
The snake people's short lives.
Please hurry up with the final part of the trilogy! these are amongst the best books I have ever read/listened to.
struggle to keep up with the story !!!! !! ! ! ! ! ! !
The Narration was not bad but the story was lacking even though I wanted to like it as the premise sounded so interesting.
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