By David Hair
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book to review. As is my policy with books that I receive for review, if I don’t like it, I don’t review it.
In my review of the first Moontide Quartet book, Mage’s Blood, I closed with some pretty hefty praise:
When completed, the Moontide Quartet, of which Mage’s Blood is the first book, will likely be thought of as one of the best examples, in recent memory, of epic fantasy.
Fortunately, the second book in the series didn’t disappoint. Hair maintained the same level of excellent storytelling that was throughout the first book while escaping some of the heavy world building that was necessary in Mage’s Blood. Where some authors might be content to leave the same amount of story in a book, and just write a shorter book without as much world building, Hair didn’t do that. Scarlet Tides is still a heavy tome with lots of excellent story inside of it. The magic system becomes even more fleshed out as things are revealed, the world grows with new locations and characters, and there were a minimum of 3 or 4 double-cross plot twists that brought a fun level of “what next” to the story.
The copy I read was an ARC, so I won’t say too much about the writing. There were some obvious grammatical and spelling issues, but that’s to be expected when it isn’t a final draft. I’m sure the finished version has all of that nailed down. Those typical ARC issues aside, Hair’s style is one that still screams epic fantasist to me. The books are long and full of really deep character development.
If you’re a fan of epic fantasy, you’ll want to pick up Mage’s Blood and Scarlet Tides and give them a read through. Mage’s Blood has a 3.82 star rating at Goodreads, and Scarlet Tides is currently holding on to a 4.32 star rating.