[PDF / Epub] ⚣ The Scarlet Tides ✈ David Hair – Alwaysonltd.co.uk

The Scarlet Tides The best climax I have read since Words of Radiance So goodso good 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum up The Scarlet Tides and the first things you ll see are several gorgeously illustrated maps depicting the world of the Moontide Quartet Needless to say, the maps became indispensable to me while I was reading I ve never come across a fantasy series with such a comprehensive and detailed approach to world building David Hair goes well beyond simply describing the different peoples and places what he s created h 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum up The Scarlet Tides and the first things you ll see are several gorgeously illustrated maps depicting the world of the Moontide Quartet Needless to say, the maps became indispensable to me while I was reading I ve never come across a fantasy series with such a comprehensive and detailed approach to world building David Hair goes well beyond simply describing the different peoples and places what he s created here actually feels like a living, breathing system These books take place across two huge continents following about half a dozen characters of different creeds and cultures, with the alliances and conflicts that arise between nations forming the basis for multiple threads of the story and driving the plot forward.Middle books of a series can also be mighty tricky I ve had enough disappointing experiences with sequels myself, which makes me understand why some readers would be nervous when approaching them However, I jumped into The Scarlet Tides with no reservations whatsoever This series has grown on me, as I stated in my review of the preceding volume, Mage s Blood The first book may have been slightly encumbered by a lengthy introduction and a slow build up as Hair established the players and set the stage, but it all culminated into one explosive climax and conclusion And I knew we were going to be heading right into the action with book two.In this sequel, the Moontide is at hand and the mighty Leviathan Bridge now stands open, creating a corridor between the two continents Yuros and Antiopia, which are normally separated by a vast ocean The last two Moontides have involved lofty ambitions and crusades of conquest, and this one is no different Rondion legions and the Inquisition s windships waste no time storming their way across Antiopia, but very few know of a troubling secret eating at the heart of their empire A very powerful and valuable artifact called the Scytale of Corineus has slipped through Emperor Constant s fingers, and he has tasked his inquisitors to scour the world searching for the ones who have absconded with it.Enter Alaron Mercer, a failed mage who had the Scytale in his hands, then lost it to the girl of his dreams who stole the artifact along with his heart Cymbellea, who believes she knows the best use for the Scytale, has taken it with the intention of delivering it to Antonin Meiros, the most powerful mage in the world Little does she know, Meiros is dead, leaving his pregnant widow Ramita on the run from his killers Severalstory arcs run in tandem, including the one which follows Ramita s former lover Kazim, who ends up with the mercenary Elena Anborn after a botched attack on Emperor Constant s pureblood mages Polar opposites in political sides and backgrounds, both nevertheless come to realize they may have a common enemy in Gurvon Gyle, the empire s spymaster Some comic relief is also provided by Alaron s former classmate Ramon, whose storyline involves him running a pyramid scheme, all while his legion marches towards battle Amusing as this is, Ramon s point of view also gives readers a boots on the ground view of looming war.Everything and everyone is connected, the vast distances between the some of the characters and the spheres of conflict notwithstanding And yet, despite of the sheer scale of it, David Hair manages to make his characters and their stories feel deeply intimate and personal It s another reason why this world feels so alive, with all its elements working in tune with one another Nations and their diverse populations are woven into an intricate web of magic and religion, which are two sides of the same coin Both play a huge part in nearly all the societies, and asfactions emerge from the shadows we see how muchcomplex the situation can get.As things heat up, the net tightens and gradually we are starting to see events converge, bringing the various players closer together We have betrayals, shifting loyalties, unlikely friendships, and even love With a dramatis personae so large, it s inevitable some characters will emerge as my favorites In Mage s Blood, the top spot went to Ramita, whose touching yet complicated relationship with Antonin Meiros made me enjoy reading her perspective the most In this book, however, I came to relish the chapters that follow Kazim and Elena It s probably not a coincidence that my favorite storyline yet again involves two people from disparate backgrounds who begin at odds with each other, with the hostility turning to understanding, understanding turning to respect, and the respect eventually turning into love David Hair has an incredible talent for writing these types of dynamic relationships, making them engaging to read without resorting to clich s and cloying platitudes.He also does a good job giving each perspective character the attention they deserve Every one of them has an important role to play, and nobody feels left behind or parked while somethingexciting happens elsewhere I learnedabout the world from each person, whether it be through meeting Ramon s new friends from faraway lands, or from Alaron s encounter with a new race of sentient beings with an astounding origin And before I could fret myself over how everything will come together, the climax converges most of these storylines, serving up a conclusion and epilogue that tie things up quite nicely.Overall, an excellent follow up to the first novel, continuing the tradition of vivid, dynamic characters and terrific world building The intriguing storylines kept me glued to the pages I honestly found it hard to put down, which was how I ended up reading all 700 pages of this in a littlethan three days Readers of epic fantasy should definitely check out this series The Moontide Has Come And The Leviathan Bridge Stands Open Now Thrones Will Shake And Hearts Will Be Torn Apart In A World At WarA Scarlet Tide Of Rondian Legions Is Flooding Into The East, Led By The Inquisition S Windships Flying The Sacred Heart, Bright Banner Of The Church S Darkest Sons They Are Slaughtering And Pillaging Their Way Across Antiopia In The Name Of Emperor Constant But The Emperor S Greatest Treasure, The Scytale Of Corineus, Has Slipped Through His Fingers And His Ruthless Inquisitors Must Scour Two Continents For The Artefact, The Source Of All Magical PowerAgainst Them Are The Unlikeliest Of Heroes Alaron, A Failed Mage, The Gypsy Cymbellea And Ramita, Once Just A Lowly Market Girl, Have Pledged To End The Cycle Of War And Restore Peace To UrteEast And West Have Clashed Before, But This Time, As Secret Factions And Cabals Emerge From The Shadows, The World Is About To Discover That Love, Loyalty And Truth Can Be Forged Into Weapons As Strong As Swords And Magic I loved this and there are so many reasons why A full review will be coming super soon but suffice to say it s in my top 10 of the year, very near to the top Marvellous Okay, so here is my actual review now that I have had some time overnight to process my thoughts on this pretty incredible series I don t understand why it s nottalked about or loved because it s truly a rival to the hype of Game of Thrones in my eyes and I think this is better because David Hair has clearly I loved this and there are so many reasons why A full review will be coming super soon but suffice to say it s in my top 10 of the year, very near to the top Marvellous Okay, so here is my actual review now that I have had some time overnight to process my thoughts on this pretty incredible series I don t understand why it s nottalked about or loved because it s truly a rival to the hype of Game of Thrones in my eyes and I think this is better because David Hair has clearly seen what s worked for Game of Thrones and done things his way within this series that has such a comprehensive world and wonderful set of characters.My main thing about this book and the reason it s going to be one of the top I ve read this year is that I really can t fault it At no point was I bored or annoyed with anything, I was always loving all of the characters even the ones you love to hate and the pacing of the plot is great The story itself is also really engaging and there s a lot that happens in this book which I wasn t necessarily anticipating happening because it was original, modern and marvellous The main few characters from the previous book are expanded upon within this book withandof the secondary characters taking up a major important role themselves I liked this a lot as it meant that we got to see a lot of different areas and scenarios around the world through various pov s This storyline takes place right after the ending of book 1 which finishes with the start of the Moontide, an event which happens for 2 years in every 12 and allows the crossing from the continent of Antiopia to Yuros vice versa These two continents are separated at all other times by a tumultuous sea so rough it s uncrossable, and so the years leading up to Moontide are spent planning raids and campaigns and seeing political shifts and maneuvering focus of book 1 During this book we get to see this intensified even further as new races are introduced and new people with power We see friendships and relationships form and being destroyed, threats and blackmail and horrors along the way There is a lot of sexual content within this and some moments scenes which are not exactly pleasant but the story works wonderfully and the scenes which are included are handled really well It s just pretty much everything I want in a book rolled into one I managed to speed my way through this despite not wanting it to end and I loved it all The female characters are some of my all time favourite female characters who are written in fantasy storylines by men often women seem to write female characters better, naturally and they are all excellent in their own UNIQUE way, not just carbon copies of one another or stereotypes I loved seeing the progression of Elena, our battered and put upon mage, Cera, the young ruler who is alone and struggling, Cym, the hard eyed gypsy girl who is on a mission, and Ramita, the lady who has the potential to become one of my all time favourite characters at the rate her storyline is going Each of them is feisty yet sensitive when they need to be and shows really strong backbone and resolve for any and all the situations they are put into I can t help but to worry over or admire one or all of them at different times of their stories.I will just say that this is brilliant, and I think everyone should try this series if you like big, epic fantasy because this is a masterwork within the genre Go now and pick it up and read the first one and then come back and tell me how right I am about the magic and wonder of it I promise you, it sthan good The magic and the races and the various forms and potential that we see in this book is astonishing too There s so many types of magic and so many manifestations and forms that there s an awful lot you can do, if you know how I absolutely loved some of the surprises in this and seeing our character interact with the magic was magnificent I am so excited to see what will happen next.The world within this is a kind of blend of Western Eastern cultures We see places and people who seem similar to what we know in our own reality, and yet this makes it easy to accept the magic and unrealistic elements of this world so muchbecause we already have thosefamiliar hand holds I think that seeing the two continents as a kind of parallel version of us, with magic, makes this evenexciting to read and consider and that really worked well for me On the whole, this book is pretty exceptional and is probably around the same level as Robin Hobb for me because it s just so wonderful I am very, very excited to read book 3 4 super soon Yay It s already a completed series too, another perk and I am sure I will equally love them D 5 s of course Wonderful I expected to really enjoy The Scarlet Tides as Mage s Blood grew on me quite a lot as time passed, but I did not expect the awesome novel it was, so much so that at least temporarily it jumped to my 1 sff spot of the year and 2 overall of course time will tell if it will stay there, but The Scarlet Tides has really everything you want in fantasy excellent world building, superb adventures, hair rising escapes, great characters, very intriguing storylines, narrative momentum, an almost perf I expected to really enjoy The Scarlet Tides as Mage s Blood grew on me quite a lot as time passed, but I did not expect the awesome novel it was, so much so that at least temporarily it jumped to my 1 sff spot of the year and 2 overall of course time will tell if it will stay there, but The Scarlet Tides has really everything you want in fantasy excellent world building, superb adventures, hair rising escapes, great characters, very intriguing storylines, narrative momentum, an almost perfect place to end all the 4 main arcs and there were some pages that were so funny that i couldn t stop laughing out loud for a few minutes overall the book is darkish butadventure style than new gritty All the main characters shine here though I would say that Ramon s war mage persona so the view of the crusade from the ground up arc, as of course he is assigned as supporting mage to the worst legion of the army and there to the lowest of the low company, namely the supply one where of course he corrupts the commanding tribune and they start running a perfect Ponzi scheme with all the army s gold and much, while he gets as fellow mages, the incompetent, the stupid, the vain and the ones that annoyed powerful people soCan we count on them in a fight Ramon asked.Prenton snorted amiably A fight Dear Kore, this is a Crusade, lad, not a war There ll be no fighting, only endless days of marching around from ruin to empty ruin There may be a bit of looting and pillaging thrown in, if we re lucky The Keshi don t fight back They run and hide He pulled a face The biggest risk is their God awful foodwhile we readers know that this time, well you know what and Gurvon Gyle s Javon story where his cynicism and you gotta be realistic persona are staple new gritty done pitch perfect, were the most directly compelling arcs, but Alaron s saga with quite a few surprises not least having Malevorn part of the Inquisition posse after him and meeting some strange people in his flight had its great moments as had the storylines of Ramita, Kazim or Elena as of course one knew beforehand that she wouldn t remain chained for long Here is one quote that illustrates the action partIf we can find Gyle, we will kill him before they march, Gatoz put in How will we find him Jamil asked I will find him, Magister Sindon put in, his usually mild voice vehement I know Gyle, believe me I have used his services before, and he trusts me Sindon turned and made a sign, and the door from which he d emerged opened again, allowinghooded figures to enter the courtyard, fanning out as they came Magister Gyle, we re so grateful, Sindon said, offering his hand.Sordell saw Gyle go to take the offered hand, when he abruptly froze Sindon s pupils went wider The game is up, those eyes said.It is Gyle swore softly And I have too few pieces on the board There are a lot of twists and turns too including double crosses, strange allies, unexpected connections and I really do not want to spoil the book, so I will just emphasize again that while Mage s Blood takes a while to get going and understand what s what, The Scarlet Tides is how modern epic fantasy should be from the first page and raises the series to the top level of the genre.Onequote from one of Alaron s close encounters with the InquistionThere was nowhere to hide and nowhere to run He d landed near a narrow channel that wound from the waterfall above towards the ocean miles to the east, but it was only a few feet deep He d dropped his sword as he fell and couldn t see it anywhere Brilliant Fatalism filled him There was no way a lowly quarter blood like him could get out of this He tried to summon mental images of the people he loved his parents, Cym, Ramon Anise thank Kore I didn t tell her to wait and that was about it, really Not so many to farewellThe venator topped the cliffs and spiralled towards him He watched it land heavily above Prancer s body Its beak dipped and ripped, tearing still warm flesh from the corpse The Inquisitor unstrapped his harness, left his lance in its cup and slid to ground Alaron Mercer, I presume, he said ironically He looked like he might be in his mid twenties a half blood, Alaron guessed, on the basis that he d not already been overwhelmed He d not last much longer though He had nothing left now, not even a weapon.He backed away, and the Inquisitor followed him at a leisurely pace The Crozier wants a word with you, he said conversationally, drawing his sword Kore s blood, you ve been a nuisance, the Inquisitor said, but I ve got you now Mage fire blossomed from his left hand and blasted into Alaron s midriff His shields failed and his wet clothing sizzled as the energy jolted through him He curled up, stricken, trying to breathe The Inquisitor put the sword point to his throat Alaron looked along the straight steel blade and wished only to die I, Acolyte Seldon of the Eighteenth Fist, arrest you in the name of the InquisitionSeldon s call resounded through the aether and Malevorn rolled his eyes as he followed the call back to the east Damn Muttered curses echoed dimly through the aether as the Fist s mental links conveyed the mix of relief at the finding of their quarry and annoyance at losing the wager As Alaron stared along Seldon s blade, watching gnosis energy crackle along the steel, a dark shape rose behind the Inquisitor 3.75 s which is what I gave book one I do love the historical fiction side of this story building in elements of the crusades along with politics, religious zeal and intrigue with the magic which in itself has a historical fiction origin. This book was incredibly powerful It is action packed, which never hurts It had character development finally characters I did not care too much for are important to me it has plenty of twists The story is extremely well written and explained It is powerful really it kept my attention locked in It is also worth noticing that the audiobook is incredibly good I should have started this series a long time ago Long but rarely boring, a 200 page climax, and improving on everything that made Mage s Blood so good s no secret to anyone that follows me that I really enjoyed David Hair s first adult fantasy novel, Mage s Blood In fact, I m pretty sure I read the entire 700 page doorstopper in about 2 days Hair began what is now one of my favorite and one of theunderrated current fantasy series by completely immersing us in a world so similar yet so new t Long but rarely boring, a 200 page climax, and improving on everything that made Mage s Blood so good s no secret to anyone that follows me that I really enjoyed David Hair s first adult fantasy novel, Mage s Blood In fact, I m pretty sure I read the entire 700 page doorstopper in about 2 days Hair began what is now one of my favorite and one of theunderrated current fantasy series by completely immersing us in a world so similar yet so new that I can t help but be impressed with The Scarlet Tides The world of Urte is strikingly similar to our Earth in the Middle Ages specifically the crusading era.The western continent of Yuros meets the eastern Antiopia at the Leviathan Bridge, erected by the supremely powerful Ordo Costruo mage Antonin Meiros The Bridge rises every dozen years during the Moontide, and continuing in the traditions of its last two Moontides, the Rondians of the west amass their legions and embark on a great crusade to the east in the hopes that, like the previous two crusades, they ll return to Yuros rich if they return at all only this time, the Antiopians are gathering an army to oppose the Rondians in a shihad East and west clash as our heroes are naturally caught in the middle of it all.If you ve read Mage s Blood, you know where our heroes left off Ramon is a battlemage in the Thirteenth legion and marching to war in the crusading army, Alaron is on the run and chasing Cymbella, Gurvon s up to his old politicking tricks, Ramita finds herself in way deeper than she had originally thought, and manynew and recurring characters Hair continues to excel in worldbuilding, and the gnosis continues to dazzle with its depth and particularly stars in the battles between gnosis wielders.An issue that some readers had with Mage s Blood the fact that the two continents are so similar in many ways despite having been separated prior to the Leviathan Bridge s construction is explained very aptly, and if I remember correctly someone asks the exact question Not only does Hair explore cultural diversities and similarities, but he also explores the harsh realities of war and the crusades in particular A quote that I found rather poignant was spoken by Kazim MakaniHow can you find paradise by killing innocent peopleThe original thought or purpose of the crusades was to fight the infidel for God in order to be accepted into paradise, regardless of which side you were on In reality, the crusades ended up being opportunities for nobles to gain land, money, and power, often heedless of what got in their way Innocents were killed, villages burned, and lives ruined all in the name of God Hair delves into this issue with Kazim, who is an assassin fighting for the shihad that begins to question his morals and those of the other shihadists and crusaders who are lost to zeal and greed or some combination of both Is killing really the way into paradise Hair s The Scarlet Tides continues a fantastic epic fantasy series with a great cast, immersive world, and fascinating system of magic that builds to a stunning several hundred page conclusion in the vein of Steven Erikson, where everything possible happens to everyone He improved on everything that made Mage s Blood so good and added evenoomph to it I cannot wait to start Unholy War.Read This Series It is only a question of what we achieve in life, and how we meet our end If you want to know why this series is worth your time, just read my review of the previous instalment The only thing I can add here without going into the details is that Mr Hair manages to avoid all the second book syndromes, maladies, and shortcomings and that he takes the story to an altogether new level.With going into the details, I can offer you ameaningful review The Scarlet Tides broadens and deepens tIt is only a question of what we achieve in life, and how we meet our end If you want to know why this series is worth your time, just read my review of the previous instalment The only thing I can add here without going into the details is that Mr Hair manages to avoid all the second book syndromes, maladies, and shortcomings and that he takes the story to an altogether new level.With going into the details, I can offer you ameaningful review The Scarlet Tides broadens and deepens the story that started so promisingly in Mage s Blood We have both, new protagonists, and new undercurrents of the existing plots Already in the prologue, the author is able to flip several things upside down with one masterful stroke oh, how I liked that Among the old friends you will see Alaron Mercer, a failed mage banned from practicing the gnosis that is magic pursues a girl who had broken his heart and then stolen the greatest magical artefact in the world Cymbellea also has a couple of appearances but I do not count her voice as a meaningful one, at least not in this book He needs to confront his own limitations and fears, he becomes a Milkson to some seriously dangerous creatures, he matures a bit, and becomes stronger but not an overstated hero Mr Hair achieved great character development here Ramita Meiros, young widow of the world s greatest mage, pregnant and overwhelmed both by her new enemies and her new powers view spoiler was I the only person who thought her a stupid cow for sparing Hamid even though knows she has the gnosis which only means trouble in the books to come hide spoiler Ramita is my absolute, unquestionable favourite of the whole series with Elena Anborn also a separate POV, you ll be relieved to know coming second in this competition and with each entry, she only grows as a very promising heroine She is unprepossessing and steadfast at the same time And despite being only 16, Ramita is anything but young adult female lead you d normally expect How very refreshing Kazim Makani, a hadishah soldier sworn into the holy war of shihad against the incoming crusade, also gains in The Scarlet Tides You will remember that I hated his guts Now, as a Souldrinker feeding his magic by devouring other people s souls he gains unexpected dramatism that his love stricken ventures sorely lacked Inner tensions bring darker shades to Kazim and as he facesanddifficult choices his conveniently black and white world gainshues than he would like It surprised me how much I have actually enjoyed this journey There are also some new perspectives enriching the tale And while we know these protagonists, it is nice to hear their voices Among the main ones, Ramon Sensini assigned as a battle mage to a non combat unit of the Third Crusade is the most fun Think a Sicilian mafia representative in the logistic hub of the army, the lucky thirteenth lol What can possibly go wrong with that, eh Ramon is the character that gains the most depth because he is a stark contrast to the nearly caricatural stereotype from the previous book With his mystery lineage and family drama hidden behind the devil may care facade, Ramon becomes a man with a plan While a big fat promise of a misfit band of wonders, failed to deliver, this POV was farinteresting than I thought it would be Malevorn Andevarion, a newly drafted acolyte of the Inquisition, an ugly rotten soul in a handsome packing is hunting Alaron his hated former classmate He knows what is at stake and sees his mission as a springboard from greatness All his POVs are disgusting and repulsive, and if you yearn for formidable antagonists, from his very first entrance, you will love to hate Malevorn In general, you should brace yourself for a quite emotional read Mr Hair is very skilled at viewing in anger, fear, disgust, love, and laughter You will be clutching your pearls and grinding your teeth, and biting your nails being anxious, exasperated and in love with what is happening in this book Story lines are progressing rapidly, but the connections are not where we would have anticipated them to go view spoiler like the Kazim and Elena team up hide spoiler with the protagonists meeting together only to be split again in edge of a cliff sequences and scenes I had serious fun in addition to constant heartache, exasperation, and fear that something bad will happen any moment despite a couple of issues with, not pacing precisely, but the timing of individual arcs view spoiler While I understand the need to sequester Ramita safely due to her pregnancy, Elena being hidden for 4 months as if she had all the time in the world to kill Gyle, was just too bizarre to be plausible And then, she is surprised imagine the shock, lol that things have progressed in the meantime I understand the need for her getting all lovey dovey but honestly, this was clumsily done hide spoiler In this regard, Cera Nesti is the weakest point of the book Already in the previous instalment, she morphed form a promising mind into a total idiot already Now this mutation continues as the girl discovers her own carnality which basically reduces her arc to moping around and lusting around While previously, she was ruling Brochena like a king, shown dedication and intelligence, it all vanished overnight and we ended up with an insecure, silly chit so gullible that everything what happens to her is well deserved I expect this has been done on purpose, so that we may have a spectacular YA failure who will rise in shine in the books to come Nonetheless, the comparison with what she used to be, questions plausibility of this scheme For me Cera is unbearably jarring, especially when compared with Alaron who is arguably her male counterpart of a loser turned hero we should hope as the hero part is not exactly here yet To the contrary, I relished Guvron Gyle s POV and although it is overbloated with pathos in the end I must say that the wildest theories flown through the Fantasy Buddy Reads discussions of the book view spoiler including the one that Gyle and Guile are not that far apart and maybe the antagonist will prove to be a double agent in the end hide spoiler His last minute rescue made me snort because all this talk about not being used to non transactional relationships belied everything that was between him and Elena and a large portion of the book was build on this premise and exploited precisely this dynamic including his infatuation with Cera so the sudden omg people do care about me and are my friends revelation rang false Still, Guvron Gyle and his machinations are fun to read provided that you do not mind dirty tricks like bringing to life things that should be dead view spoiler Is that not so, Yvette hide spoiler Despite it being a huge brick of a book, The Scarlett Tides only whetted my appetites I am dying to continue the adventure I want to knowabout the princess Natia and I hope she will make an appearance soon I want to see the Scytale in action Simultaneously, I cannot help but notice that in the moment of writing this, the most popular review of this novel has 30 likes If that is not an underrated gem then I will eat my hardback copy Also in the series 1 Mage s Blood 3 Unholy War 4 Ascendant s Rite The story is intense This is a very much of a transitional book, so I think it would be almost impossible for me to judge it on its own merit The majority of the characters are going through hell, giving them plenty of opportunities to make mistakes and either learned and grew from them, or stubbornly dug their heels in and stayed stagnantly the same, something that in this author s world seems to mostly happen to the bad guys They tend to be a bit simplistic in their evilness, but this is my The story is intense This is a very much of a transitional book, so I think it would be almost impossible for me to judge it on its own merit The majority of the characters are going through hell, giving them plenty of opportunities to make mistakes and either learned and grew from them, or stubbornly dug their heels in and stayed stagnantly the same, something that in this author s world seems to mostly happen to the bad guys They tend to be a bit simplistic in their evilness, but this is my primary problem with the books and in the context of the story, it really doesn t bother me that much Can t wait to see where we go from here

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