Mage’s Blood by David Hair (Moontide Quartet book one): Review

I do like a nice intricately woven tome now and again. I had heard a lot about this series from Steph (Aka Mogsy) who is one of the reviewers from the wonderful Bibliosanctum .

So when I finished it, my wife asks me if I had enjoyed it? My reply was full of mumbles until i finally said, “I didnt hate it.”

It was only when I let the contents of the story swim around my mind, thinking more on its finer points, did i decide that actually I had just read something that was pretty bloody special. And I stand by this.

So the basis of the story is the lands of Antiopia and Yuros are separated by what appears to be a rather large ocean. Something pretty cool happens each Moontide when the Leviathan bridge rises from the depths to connect to both of these places for trade etc. But  as with all things there are those that are not very happy and the bridge has been used for conquest. So tensions are slightly at breaking point as another Moontide is around the corner. War is at hand.

Amongst all this the story focuses on several different characters and their own trials and tribulations on the build up to Moontide. Antonin Meiros, who is a very old mage is looking for a wife, so he travels to Lakh in Antiopia where we meet his wife-to-be, Ramita but my dear friends, she is already betrothed to Kazim. And then in the North the reader meets Elena Anborn who is the bodyguard of a royal family but yet much more than just a bodyguard. And then we meet Alaron Mercer who is about to take his final exams to lawfully become a Mage in Noros. Alaron is Elena Anborn’s nephew (its worth mentioning that Alaron’s mother and Elena’s sister has a pretty cool name … Tesla. Just thought I would mention that.) And finally one of the stories main antagonists is Gurvon Gyle who seems to be in control of a lot of things and makes life very difficult for Elena and the Javon  royal family, which in turn effects everything else.

This book has been likened to A Game Of Thrones and even though I can see that link I think this is a book that deserves to be read without any preconceived ideas of GoT. As I have mentioned everything is connected and even with things that dont seem to be integral to the storys’ plot, it turns out they very much are. So In this I really applaud the attention to detail that the author has shown. I felt at times this book had elements of grimdark but it was done in a way of emphasis and not in a gratuitous manner, also, I give this book the award for “Sex-scene-that-will-put-you-off-your-dinner.”

The ending of this novel is a proper “Wow!” moment, and rather unforgettable. It really left things nicely for The Scarlet Tides to carry on with.  A smooth but powerful ending.

So if someone were to ask me if I enjoyed Mages Blood now? I would tell them that I certainly did enjoy it and would recommend it to anyone who loves Fantasy. And thats my truth.

You can find out more about the author here

Mages Blood is available now from Jo Fletcher Books 28118-mage27sblood

Your Servants And Your People (The Walkin Trilogy book 2) by David Towsey: Review

YSAYPjpg I have a lot of love for David’s debut (Your Brothers Blood) and If you have not read that then you simply must.
The basic thing to remember when reading YBB and Your Servants and Your People, is that you take everything you knew and thought you knew about Zombies and throw it out the window.
The re-imagining of the Zombie genre is something that has arisen a lot (no pun intended) some are brilliant and others fall flat on their undead behinds i.e the recent zomromcom anyone? But David Towseys creation of a Zombie-Western is truly sublime and its creation breathes new life to what can sometimes be a very tired sub-genre.

So, in Your Servants and Your People we see the Mcdermott family seven years after the events that took place in Your Brothers Blood. Thomas Mcdermott is obviously still dead and a’Walkin and himself and his family (wife Sarah and daughter Mary) are desperately trying to find and start a new life away from the troubles and prejudices from most places in Towsey’s world that dont really like a’Walkins. Thomas wants to start a farm and has set his heart on a piece of land near Fort Wilson and along the way meets a small group of soldiers who travel the rest of the way with the Mcdermott family. Strangely, it reminded me of an old episode of the old Western series Gunsmoke, except for the whole a’walkin thing.
Mr Towsey has created something very wonderful with Your Servants and Your People in the sense that although the whole tone of the book has this elegiac quality to it I personally never found it overly depressing, it instead moves with a lot of beauty and an insight to both sides of life.
About halfway through the book I wasnt sure where it was going, and I dont mean that in a bad way, I was literally on the edge of my reading spot, worrying about the futures of the characters.
Your Servants and Your People also introduces some new characters being that of the blue coat soldiers and their time at Fort Wilson. All I am going to say is Fort Wilson is not a place one would want to go and has that foreboding feeling of say the house from Amytiville Horror and like the town of Barkley in the first book, it becomes a character that in my mind plays a much bigger part in the story than what Barkley did. Towsey has offered up another helping of lovely undead goodness in his second of the Walkin Trilogy and I shall leave you with this- The third book is going to be all kinds of awesome!

Your Servants and Your People is available now via Jo Fletcher Books (www.jofletcherbooks.com) the author can be found on twitter @D_Towsey