With that said, Mage’s blood clearly has strong connection with our world: it is basically a fantasy retelling of the crusades. I knew that when I bought it and that’s a reason why I’ve waited so long before reading it. Another reason why I was put off by it is that this book has many mixed reviews: it seems you can only hate it or love it, no middle ground. In the end I decided to trust the people who enjoyed it and so here I am today.
Mage’s blood for me was really “MEH”. I didn’t like it or hate it, I was just very bored by ¾ of it. The major problem about this book is not that it’s heavily based on our world (the author, with no imagination whatsoever, has simply decided to use some of our cultures, cities and religions as world building, instead of create something new), the blame lays in the characters.
We follow 4 main characters throughout the story: Alaron (a young mage who’s finishing school), Elena (Alaron’s aunt and a great mage that is working as a bodyguard in the East continent), Ramita (a young eastern girl who’s waiting to marry the boy she loves) and Kazim (said boy).
I can say without any doubt that I passionately hated Kazim with everything I’ve got: he’s sexist, arrogant, stupid and not at all important, at least for 95% of the plot. Every time one of his chapter started I had to brace myself and force myself not to give up on this book; Ramita was boring to read, Elena at first was my fave POV because her chapters were eventful, but then I lost interest in her story. Alaron was the only one I was really interested in, even though I didn’t connect with him at all and I thought he was just pathetic.
In addition, all of them (and the secondary characters too) felt tropey and I didn’t really care for any of them.
So why 3 stars? I thought of DNF Mage’s blood countless times, but I’m glad I finished it: the last 15% was amazing, seriously. I always love a good bloodbath and I was not disappointed. The cliff-hangers were well done (even though some of them were kinda predictable) and the ending set the bar high for the next book.
I don’t think I’m going to start reading the sequel anytime soon, but I’m not yet ready to give up on the series.