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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.
32 of 34 people found this review helpful
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.
90 of 101 people found this review helpful
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.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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 5 people found this review helpful