Jo Fletcher Books. h/b. Â£18.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins
Elena is a powerful mage and a skilled fighter. She is in Javon in the pay of her former lover, Gurvon Gyle, tasked to protect the Javon monarch and his family. Elena knows this is just another assignment, knows that a message could come at any moment bringing it to a close, but Javon is beginning to feel like home and she has not seen Gyle for over a year.
Magi are born of Mageâ€™s Blood and the purer the blood the stronger the mage. Alaron is a quarter blood. He has enough power to wield the Gnosis but he can never aspire to be as strong as the pure bloods that bully him through college. Thankfully it is nearly exam time and he will soon be free from college and a true mage in his own right, provided he gets through this first of many trials.
Every twelve years the Leviathan Bridge opens joining east with west. Antonin Meiros and his allies created the bridge in the time of the first crusade and his actions doomed a nation. Now, seventeen years since the revolt, the third crusade is within sight. The months count down at an ever increasing pace, the Moontide approaches and the worldâ€™s fate rests on three unlikely heroes.
For the first in a series Mageâ€™s Blood is quite a tome and the intricacy of the world and its history is reflective of that length. There is need for commitment at the start to understand how the different religions and the politics that go hand in hand with them rule this world. It takes a while for you to get under the skin of all of the main characters but once you do the bonds strengthen and you are drawn farther into a world that is truly magical in every sense.
Hair takes us through events following the three main protagonists and some of the other key characters in a meandering pace that is beautifully crafted and in no way stilted. The story itself is intriguing from the prologue and perhaps its greatest strength is the rich details that bring his world to life. There is simply so much crammed in that each page is a joy to digest.
This is one of those books that is so epic, that gets you so involved and is such an investment in time and emotion, that there is a little sting of regret that the ending had to come at all and you immediately want to go back to the beginning and see how much riper it is second time around. If you like your fantasy with a vast cast and a varied and intricate landscape then this is definitely for you.