Mage's Blood

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Overview

David Hair is the award-winning writer of two young adult fiction series, The Aotearoa  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 readers into a taut network of intrigue and mystery that tightens with each chapter. Hair portrays a stark and beautiful world...
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Mage's Blood

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Overview

David Hair is the award-winning writer of two young adult fiction series, The Aotearoa  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 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.”
 
Most of the time the Moontide Bridge lies deep below the sea, but every twelve 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.
 

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

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Two civilizations, separated by a 300-mile-long bridge that only appears every twelve or thirteen years at the Moontide; would-be conquerors and scheming assassins; swords and sorcery; mages and mage students pitted against far more powerful foes: The subtly layered first movement of David Hair's Moontide Quartet deepens its themes with each stormy chapter. (P.S. Mage's Blood marks the pleasing entry of popular New Zealand teen book author Hair into adult fiction.)

Publishers Weekly
After the mage Antonin Meiros created the 300-mile-long Leviathan Bridge, which appears every 13 years at the Moontide, the formerly isolated continents of wealthy Yuros (modeled on Europe) and impoverished Antipoia (modeled on India and the Middle East) have interacted through both trade and two bloody crusades, led by Yuros magi who want to conquer Antipoia. As the next Moontide and crusade approach, turmoil abounds. A famous artifact used to create new mages is missing, and it falls on shunned mage student Alaron Mercer to find it. When the Ankesharan ruling family faces extermination, the mage Elena Anborn, once the family’s enemy, becomes their strongest defender. And Meiros has bought an Antipoian wife, Ramita, hoping their children will bring peace—but her lover, Kazim, wants Meiros dead. 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. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
Sprawling first installment of a promised quartet involving the usual elements of swords and sorcery but with surprising and pleasing twists. New Zealand–based YA author Hair spends a great deal of time here worldbuilding, and the fantastic geography that he conjures is both captivating and improbable. Not least of its disbelief-suspending features is a bridge that rises from the depths of the sea every dozen years, allowing the power- and wealth-seeking Magi to mount crusades in the land across the water. Naturally, the residents of that land don't cotton to the incursions. Neither does every resident of the invading power, whose political complexities are both Byzantine and Mandarin. The Moontide Bridge that adjoins Yuros and Antiopia, some reckon, is the chief cause of their world's miseries. In its sometimes-pedantic explorations of the racial, class and religious differences that separate the two continents, Hair's novel swerves into J. K. Rowling territory, while in its mystical geography and anthropology, it often recalls Frank Herbert's Dune novels. By comparison with these two models, Hair often lays on the fantasy-speak a little thickly: "Most of us have greater aptitude at one or more of the four Classes of the gnosis....My element is fire and I am strongest in Thaumaturgy and hermetic-gnosis." Yet, as the novel unfolds and Hair charts both its physical features and its actors, bearing such resonant names as Antonin Meiros, Belonius Vult, Gurvon Gyle, Ramita Ankesharan and Cymbellea di Regia, it gathers both speed and force. Hair is adept at building characters as well as worlds, and his attention to his female players is welcome in a genre that too often excludes them. The tangles of place names and walk-ons require concentration on the reader's part, but in the end, the story is satisfying enough to make the effort worthwhile. Among the payoffs are plenty of cliffhangers, including one that nicely ushers in the next volume--which fans will await eagerly.
From the Publisher
“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)

“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)

“[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

"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

"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

From the Hardcover edition.

Library Journal
Twice before, the Magi of the West, descendants of the 300 followers of Corineus, the first magician, have waged war on the resource-rich lands of the East with limited success. Now, once again, as they have every 12 years, the tides are falling enough to reveal the Leviathan Bridge, originally built to encourage trade and commerce between the peoples of the East and West, and the mages are preparing for a third crusade. Reminiscent of both the Crusades of the Middle Ages and the current tension between Europe and the Middle East, this first volume in a debut four-book series portrays a world remarkably similar to our own with the addition of an elite ruling class comprised of magic-wielding power brokers. This is a world that is writ larger than life with full-scale battle scenes, fierce magical duels, and memorable characters. There is Cera, the 18-year-old regent who pledges herself in marriage to an Eastern potentate to preserve the throne for her underage brother; Ramita, daughter of the East, who is sold to an elderly mage who is desperate for children; Kazim, the boy who loves Ramita enough to renounce his faith and declare shihad against the infidels of the West; and disgraced mage Alaran, who is on everyone's most-wanted list. VERDICT YA author 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, Anchorage P.L, AK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623650148
  • Publisher: Quercus
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Series: Moontide Quartet Series , #1
  • Pages: 704
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

David Hair is the award-winning writer of two YA fiction series, the Aotearoa (set in New Zealand), and The Return of Ravana (based on the Vedic epic The Ramayana). Mage’s Blood is his first work of adult fantasy and the first in his brand-new Moontide Quartet. Hair was raised in New Zealand, and after briefly settling down in Britain and India and travelling the world, he now lives in Wellington, New Zealand.
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Read an Excerpt

Lucia tapped a stack of papers. "You have all seen the papers and each of you has participated in discrete discussions concerning Magister Vult's plan for the Crusade, but this the first time we have been able to father together. Let me emphasize, gentlemen, that we here will decide the fate of millions of people—the fate of nations. The course of the Third Crusade will be determined by us, not on the battlefield but here, in this room, by those gathered here at my request." She looked at her son, the emperor, and added, "At our request."

Gyle wondered if she outranked him now, being a living saint. I bet he's wondering that too.

Lucia looked around the table. "I will clearly define the situation so that we are all of one understanding. Then we will agree the way ahead." She got to her feet and began to circle the table. Her voice became clear and emotionless: less saint and more angel of retribution.

"It will not have escaped your notice, gentleman, that the Golden age of Rondelmar has begun to dim." The emperor looked displeased at her words, but didn't interrupt. "Though outwardly it looks like we were never stronger, the purity at the heart of Rondelmar's rightful dominance of the world has beun to tarnish. Impurity has been allowed to enter this realm, by men who care more for gold than for love of Kore. The merchant cabals prosper, while we who love Kore and the emperor must struggle for what was once ours by right. A great evil was done, and it must be undone. The evil I refer to is, of course, the 'Leviatan Bridge' —that cursed creation of Antonin Meiros and his godless cronies." She slapped the table, suddenly angry. "when Kore made this land, he made two great continents, separated by vast oceans, and he commanded his sister Luna to make those waters impassable, so that East should never meet West. Learned, noble, enlightened West and base, depraved, idolatrous East should never meet, under Sun or Moon—so it was written.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The time of the Moontide Bridge's reappearance is fast approachi

    The time of the Moontide Bridge's reappearance is fast approaching. What once was used as a trade route now has a much more menacing purpose. The Magi are set on world domination, plotting their heretic conquest and at the heart of their plans is the Moontide Bridge. 

    Mage's Blood is a highly complex plots. Spanning multiple character's POV and story lines that slowly progress until they intercept. A lengthy book at just a little over 700 pages, this was not an easy read but well worth the effort. The twists and turns will keep you guessing to the end. 

    This is definitely a dark fantasy. The direction of character's choices are difficult and at times bloody and upsetting, making for heart clenching tension.

    I found David Hair's world building superb, he made you visually see the world of his imagination in your head as the story unfolds. Although it is similar to Earth it is definitely not Earth or any of our cultures, but it is still very much relateable. Mage's Blood is a world where magic, love, deceit and politics thrive. I want to point out that even though there is world building, Hair does not bog down the flow of the book with intricate descriptions.

    Mage's Blood is a unique, interesting story that will keep you mentally captivated till the end.

    I received this ARC copy of Mage's Blood from Quercus - Jo Fletcher Books in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication September 3, 2013.

    Written by: David Hair
    Series: The Moontide Quartet
    Hardcover: 704 pages
    Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books 
    Publication Date: September 3, 2013
    ISBN-10: 1623650143
    ISBN-13: 978-1623650148
    Rating: 4
    Genre: Fantasy, Epic, Dark
    Age Recommendation: Adult

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Mage's Blood (Moontide Quartet #1) by David Hair 3 ½ of 5 Stars

    Mage's Blood (Moontide Quartet #1) by David Hair
    3 ½ of 5 Stars

    Gurvon Gyle, former commander of the Grey Foxes, a group of magi that aided in the Noros revolt, was hired by His Royal Majesty the Emperor Constant Sacrecour of the Rodian Empire and his mother Lucia, whom was recently named a Living Saint, but a saint she is not.  The Moontide is a year away.  Once it arrives, the Leviathan Bridge will rise from the sea.  The Rondians will march across the bridge bringing war, Gurvon Gyle infiltrating the enemy prior to the Moontide. 

    Former Grey Fox, Elena Anborn, ex-lover of Guvon Gyle is Charge of King Olfuss' children, Timori and Cera.  Guvon planned to use Elena in his plot to help over-through the Nesti.  However, he did not plan on her to become attached to the family.

    Alaron Mercer (nephew of Elena) is finishing his Mage Exams.  He presents his thesis “The Hidden Causes of the Noros Revolt” which uncovers some startling evidence.  Evidence that others wanted left undiscovered.  With the help of friends Ramon and Cym, they search to uncover the truth.

    Ramita Ankesharan was promised to marry her love, Kazim Makani.  In spite of this, she caught the attention of a wealthy ancient Mage, who needs an heir. Ramita’s line is known for being fertile and bearing twins and triplets.  Her father, Ispal, was made an offer he could not refuse and offers her hand in marriage to, Antonin Meiros, the most feared Mage in history; the mage that created the Leviathan Bridge: Except, Karim is not ready to give her up.

    This wonderfully told novel counts down the year before the Moontide, telling the story of people who are connected even though they live in different areas of the world.  David Hair created an intriguing story with lots of depth.  The characters and story line are very well developed.  I cannot wait to see what happens next in the series.

    ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I found this book to be very hard to put down. David Hair writes

    I found this book to be very hard to put down. David Hair writes in a way that you feel like your taking the journey with each character.   You will find yourself loving some characters and hating others but still hold sympathy and compassion for each one.  The flow of the book is great and keeps you guessing as to how each person becomes relevant in such a vast world where their lives are so different.

    I would recommend this book to any reader who loves fantasy/science fiction.  I have a pretty decent "library" at this point of books, but find this one to be in my top 5 favorites.  Thoroughly look forward to the next book in the series and just how he plans to continue from an ending that leaves you wanting more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    Extremely hard to put the book down!

    Extremely hard to put the book down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    3 1/2 out of 5

    The book was enjoyable but I did find my self skipping sections where I had lost interest in the characters.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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