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Mage's Blood

The Moontide Quartet, Book 1
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Length: 26 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)
Non-member price: $41.78
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Publisher's Summary

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).

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Worth enduring the first half of the book

What starts off as a cringe-worthy depictions of archetypal characters and unsubtle references to various contemporary social ills - misogyny, religious extremism, capitalism’s greed, warmongering, etc., becomes a gripping plot with characters that gain nuance. These traits do not endear it to me personally nearly as much as other things if I’ve read - Robin Hobb, George R. Martin, etc - but it was very enjoyable and I’ll be reading the next one.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Not your usual fantasy setting

I like that it's not your usual castles and dragons fantasy setting. All the characters are interesting and at the end of each chapter I was compelled to know what they would do next. The character development was nice and there were a few surprises along the way. I'm excited to start the next book in the series.

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exceptional

loved the story! only distraction was the thick sterotypical indian accents of some of the characters... but still a great performance.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Chance
  • 24-07-2017

Nick Podehl is great as usual, but only read this if you've read everything else in the genre...

If you are looking for something along the lines of ASoIaF, WoT, Malazan Book of the Fallen, anything Sanderson has touched, or King Killer you are looking at the wrong book. This is woefully sub-par compared to series and authors of that caliber.

The main characters in this series are boring and honestly don't have many redeeming qualities. Plenty of awkward situations in the book as well as unbearably pointless and slow parts. This could have been shortened by 5 hours and still been enough to get the actual story across.

All of that being said, I'm probably going to try to slog through this series because I don't have anything else to read right now until someone good releases a new book. If it gets better I'll take this post down.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 15-02-2017

Irritating Storytelling

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.

41 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Logan
  • 05-01-2015

Nick Podehl

What other book might you compare Mage's Blood to and why?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

106 of 118 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Captain Obvious
  • 04-02-2015

Slow start, great book. Narration was fantastic.

It's always hard getting into a new series of this stature, but this was well done. I enjoyed the character development, and by the end I was already adding the second book to my cart.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Darrell A Roberts
  • 14-02-2018

A lecture with a thin veneer of fantasy

The characters are cliches, and the set up is just an anti white crusade. It listened like antifa got together and tried to write a fantasy epic.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Shark Likes
  • 02-09-2017

Cardboard characters in a mediocre story

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not the sequel to this book.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He is a god amoung ants and the reason why I took chance on this book. Sadly, not even he could redeem it.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No, not really. Also annoying was the deus ex machina approach to magic.

Any additional comments?

By the end of this book I found I still didn't care for any of the main characters. I didn't like the good guys nor hated the bad ones; their development throughout the mediocre plot was bland and unfulfilling. I finished the book hoping it would leave me wanting, but it did not. The only thing it left me wanting was to find a new story to read. I will not continue with this series.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-01-2016

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).

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Grant
  • 19-01-2015

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.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholas Winn
  • 12-02-2015

Best Fantasy Series of the Year

If you could sum up Mage's Blood in three words, what would they be?

Engaging, Engaging, Engaging

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mage's Blood?

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.

Which character – as performed by Nick Podehl – was your favorite?

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!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A complex story like this just won't make it to the theaters.

Any additional comments?

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.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Brian Young
  • 24-01-2015

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.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle
  • 21-07-2015

Awesome!!!!

Would you listen to Mage's Blood again? Why?

Yes, there are so many amazing characters, a brilliant story with so many twists, I just couldn't drag myself away.

What other book might you compare Mage's Blood to, and why?

I think Mage's Blood is too original a story with its multi cultural characters to compare to any other book.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The snake people's short lives.

Any additional comments?

Please hurry up with the final part of the trilogy! these are amongst the best books I have ever read/listened to.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Nm Hill
  • 07-04-2018

Listen to the reviews

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the writing wasn’t so disjointed & the storyline didn’t jump around so much & if the character actually got on & did things it might have been ok.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

No idea, was like the first film in a series where they try to set the scene for the following films just without letting you know what the story is actually going to be eventually, I found myself wishing that they’d just get on with it & do something interesting

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Can’t answer this question

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Real disappointment, Nick Podehl is a brilliant narrater but even his skill couldn’t do much with this book.

Any additional comments?

If there was ever a rewrite of this book it would really help if the timeline didn’t keep jumping forward & backward in time by weeks or months, it’s too confusing to try to work out where, when & who your listening about & limit the amount of storylines being disjointedly expanded at one time. I persevered to the very end of the book hoping that something would happen to pull all the storylines together & some clear explanation of what Moontide is, which is repeatedly referred to all through the book & where the story was heading but sadly all I came away with were lots of questions that will never be answered.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lambert
  • 11-03-2018

Boring and not engaging

What would have made Mage's Blood better?

I found most this book boring and not engaging. I force myself to finish it and it got a little better as we got near the final parts of the book, however couldn’t get interested in any of the characters.

I can’t understand why so many have given this book 5 stars, I have no plan to get the other books in the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs Varry Madgin
  • 08-11-2017

A really enjoyable listen

I loved this book. A great storyline and I'm lookimg forward to the sequels.
Podehl is always a great narrator.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 15-03-2015

Terrible

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

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.

What didn’t you like about Nick Podehl’s performance?

His poor accents

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • nitro bri
  • 29-04-2015

????

struggle to keep up with the story !!!! !! ! ! ! ! ! !

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. A. Stoner
  • 09-04-2015

Not engaging

Would you try another book written by David Hair or narrated by Nick Podehl?

The Narration was not bad but the story was lacking even though I wanted to like it as the premise sounded so interesting.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Bordom

1 of 4 people found this review helpful