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The people of Perizzi have survived the battlemage war, but their future is looking darker than ever.BYRNE is a Guardian of the Peace, investigating a series of murders in which the corpse was drained entirely of life.FRAY's expertise with magic is needed to catch the killer, but working with the Guardians destroyed his father, years before.CHOSS is a champion fighter, tryThe people of Perizzi have survived the battlemage war, but their future is looking darker than ever.BYRNE is a Guardian of the Peace, investigating a series of murders in which the corpse was drained entirely of life.FRAY's expertise with magic is needed to catch the killer, but working with the Guardians destroyed his father, years before.CHOSS is a champion fighter, trying to diffuse a war in the underworld that threatens to turn the streets red with rivers of blood.KATJA is a spy from a foreign land, attempting to prevent a massacre that will topple two dynasties and destroy the fragile peace in the city for ever.Guardians and spies, assassins and criminals will clash on the streets in this magic-fuelled adventure from the author of Battlemage....

Title : Bloodmage
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316298315
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 528 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bloodmage Reviews

  • Katie Nielsen
    2019-05-28 02:03

    Bloodmage introduces us to new characters but also reunite us with a couple of old ones. Fray was the character I liked the most. He is easy to connect with; he's been through a lot but he still managed to survive. He isn't complaining about the past but is simply taking what life is giving him. I liked his story - it showed how magic had a huge impact on individual lifes. His story also showed how the view on magic hugely changed after Balfruss (who didn't make a return which made me sad. I miss Balfruss.)Byrne is a friend, almost a father figure, to Fray and that's mostly how I saw him; I don't feel like I got to know him very well and I was a bit indifferent to him. However he meant a lot to Fray and he made his impact that way.Choss was a character I had trouble connecting to in the beginning; I thought he was a good character but he seemed almost invincible and very narrow minded. However in the second half of the book I really started to like him and cheer him on. Turned out he is just as human as the rest of us - he isn't a perfect robot without feelings. After Fray he was the character I liked the most. I really liked Gorrax too!Katja ended up being the character I felt indifferent about - I see why she was important for the story and I did like her character too. However her story just didn't interest me as much as the other characters' did.I was really glad to see Talandra again - she really developed into her role as queen. (view spoiler)[OMG, Eloise! I litteraly had goosebumps then she showed up! (hide spoiler)]The storyline itself was slower than Battlemage which isn't necessarily a bad thing - I liked that we actually got to see how much the war changed the world. It left a huge scar that has yet to fade. It saddened me to read (view spoiler)[how little trust people had in magic - however it made sense. (hide spoiler)] We're clearly dealing with a country and it's people that are still healing.Overall I really, really enjoyed Bloodmage. I really missed the universe and even though we're mostly following new characters, it was characters that were interesting and easy to like.

  • Roy
    2019-06-02 05:53

    A different book and style compared to the 1st. Has more of a murder mystery than larger battle scenes like the 1st. Enjoyed singular characters however just didnt event the wheel. Still enjoyed it.

  • Matthew
    2019-06-23 02:48

    Aryan continues to impress with this follow up to Battlemage. A very different book to his debut, but still well worth a read. Full review to come.

  • Etienne
    2019-06-08 06:44

    Excellent. Une première partie qui ressemble presque à un roman policier avec une enquête suite à la découverte d'un cadavre et tout, mais dans la deuxième moitiée et particulièrement le dernier tiers, on se retrouve à fond dans le fantastique/fantasy avec un combat de mage assez épique. Relativement original, divertissant et une histoire qui tient la route, j'ai beaucoup aimé. Certains personnages du premier tome reviennent, mais il y a quand même une coupure assez marquée, une suite oui et non, il y a des liens, mais j'espère que le trosième et dernier tome unifiera le tout pour combler l'histoire, faire les liens manquants et répondre à certains mystères qui plannent toujours.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-05-31 04:56

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/04/21/...After the great time I had with Battlemage, and given my fondness for epic fantasy audiobooks, I decided to switch formats for the second book of the Age of Darkness series and give Bloodmage a try in audio. I was pleased to find that it worked very well, even though the sequel is a very different kind of story from its predecessor.Bloodmage takes place in the aftermath of the first book, and some months have passed since the great battlemage war. However, the world still lives under dark times, and they’re about to get even darker. A string of disturbing murders have put the city on high alert and the Guardians of the Peace tasked to investigate are baffled by the strange way the victims were killed. At one of the crime scenes, Guardian Byrne finds a corpse entirely drained of life. Soon after, he takes on a protégé named Fray, who is also the son of his former mentor and a powerful magician still learning to master his talents. Together they search for clues to find the killer, and discover that pieces of the puzzle may actually lie in the past.Meanwhile, Choss, a champion fighter, is involved at an arena where one of the gruesome incidents took place. The incident has not helped the tensions in the underworld, where a secret war has been brewing between the bosses, and soon the violence will spill into the streets unless someone steps up to do something about it. In the shadows, powerful forces are playing a different game, and an undercover agent named Katja in town spying for her foreign queen. A group of dissidents have been plotting against the monarch, and Katja must infiltrate their ranks and disrupt their bloodthirsty plans before they can come to fruition.Like I said, compared to the first book, Bloodmage takes the story in a very different direction, and with the exception of a few returning faces from Battlemage who play very minor roles in this one, this sequel also stars a whole new cast of characters. If you’re wondering if this makes it possible to read Bloodmage on its own as a standalone, the answer is yes. In fact, this is the second epic fantasy sequel I’ve read this year that follows this trend and I am hoping it will continue; this makes the books so much more accessible and removes the barrier for new readers who might want to jump right in, if the description of Bloodmage piques your interest.In essence, this book reads and feels much like a murder mystery, so that the tone and style is pretty far removed from Battlemage. The scope of the story is not as vast and there are far less sweeping battles. Instead, almost all of the clashes in this book are carried out on a more local scale—and they’re more personal. Depending on the type of story you were expecting, this can either be a positive or negative thing. I feel we get to know the characters on a deeper level in this book, but we do lose the some of the “epicness” of the setting and conflicts that I love so much in Battlemage. Since it takes time for a mystery to unravel and other conspiracies to play out, the pacing of Bloodmage also feels more gradual and controlled, so that if you liked the powerful momentum of Battlemage you might find the sequel slower and more subdued in comparison.Personally, I might have preferred the energy of the first book more because I can’t help but be drawn to fast-paced action. On the other hand, I also love a good mystery on occasion, so Bloodmage also appealed to me in this sense. Ultimately, which book works better for you will come down to a matter of taste, but I must also add that this is worth reading if you enjoyed the first book, since here you will get to experience the fallout from its ending. Characters in Bloodmage still speak of the final showdown between Balfruss and the warlock in hushed whispers of awe, transforming the events of the first book into something like legend. And even though the returning characters from Battlemage appear or are mentioned only briefly, it was still interesting to catch up with some of them and see what they’re up to now, especially Talandra and Vargus.I’m also happy with my experience with the audiobook. I’ve heard good things about narrator Matt Addis from his performance for the audio edition of Battlemage, and he has taken up the role again for the sequel. He does a great job with his tones and inflections, helping distinguish different speakers which is very helpful in a story with a relatively big cast.Now I’m extremely curious to see what the final installment of the trilogy will bring. Will book three, Chaosmage, be another standalone-type story? Will it tie everything together, drawing from both Battlemage and Bloodmage? What tone will it take and what kind of surprises will it have in store? I’m definitely looking forward to finding out.

  • Marc Morris
    2019-06-16 04:03

    I loved the first on this series and was my choice for David Gemmell Morningstar award this year . This instalment is different than the first in that because the wars over and the warlock defeated there is no big battle scenes and less magic . We focus more on a new group of characters with equal flaws but and that's a big but I feel it's better we become more hooked on the lives of the cast and for me I loved choss most and fray a close second . At the end you can see it links well in to the series and the final book looks to be a true epic !!

  • Luana
    2019-06-24 07:05

    Decisamente meglio rispetto a "Battlemage": meno ripetitivo e prevedibile, con una trama più sfaccettata e costruita con più cura.Gli eventi si svolgono circa un anno dopo la fine della guerra e dell'assedio narrati nel volume precedente. E da Charas, ci spostiamo a Perizzi, la capitale del regno di Yerskania che avevamo già visto in "Battlemage", una città ancora segnata dalle violenze provocate dai fanatici religiosi fedeli al re di Zecorria. Sono tre i filoni narrativi che finiranno poi per intrecciarsi: il macabro ritrovamento di alcuni cadaveri completamente prosciugati del loro sangue e di tutti i fluidi corporei – non una novità a Perizzi, visto che era già successo cinque anni prima –; le crescenti tensioni tra le diverse Famiglie a capo della criminalità locale, quando una versione letale della droga messa in commercio comincia a mietere vittime; i primi sussurri di un piano per eliminare Morganse e Talandra, rispettivamente le regine di Yerskania e Seveldrom – la prima accusata di aver ceduto alle pressioni di Taikon e aver svenduto il suo regno ai pazzi religiosi, mentre la seconda viene ritenuta responsabile di un sacco di altre cose (voler regnare incontrastata su tutte le nazioni sconfitte nella guerra, ma soprattutto di aver scelto di difendere il proprio regno senza arrendersi). In tutto questo, l'autore ci fa notare come si stia aprendo una nuova era di terrore nei confronti della magia: fregandosene bellamente del sacrificio dei battlemage che nel volume precedente avevano abbattuto le forze nemiche, la gente vede con sospetto chiunque sia dotato di un qualsivoglia talento magico. I bambini col dono vengono eliminati dai genitori, mettendo i bastoni tra le ruote ai Cercatori mandati dalla Torre Rossa, luogo dove tutti i futuri maghi vengono istruiti e che ha riaperto i battenti proprio dopo la fine della guerra.Oltre ad alcuni personaggi già visti nel volume precedente, facciamo la conoscenza anche di diversi nuovi volti: Fray vive nei bassifondi della città per nascondere il suo talento magico (è una sorta di ghost whisperer, in grado di parlare con le anime dei morti che non sono ancora passati oltre), ma viene coinvolto dai Guardiani della Pace (le forze dell'ordine di Perizzi per intenderci, per cui lavorava suo padre) per investigare sui ritrovamenti dei cadaveri. E' evidente che ci sia della magia all'opera, magia non molto piacevole e molto pericolosa, magia che ha già ucciso suo padre. Di umili origini, Choss ha costruito la sua fama lottando nell'arena e finirà per diventare una pedina nella lotta tra i capetti del crimine locale, lanciato proprio nel mezzo della mischia. Katja invece fa parte della rete di agenti infiltrata da Perizzi per volere della regina Talandra e la poverina sarà costretta ad avere a che fare con pazzi furiosi che vogliono la morte di due regine e plasmare nuovi scenari politici. Alla fine le tre storyline sono strettamente intrecciate tra loro, sopratutto quando si scopre chi tirava le file di tutto.Ho visto che nel terzo torna il buon Balfruss, quindi sono proprio curiosa di sapere cosa succederà.

  • L'ours inculte
    2019-06-24 03:49

    Mage de guerre de Stephen Aryan est un roman de fantasy guerrière classique mais rudement bien mené que j’ai beaucoup apprécié et que j’avais pu vous faire gagner il y a quelques temps sur le blog. Bien sûr, quand sa suite Mage de Sang est sortie, je me suis précipité pour l’acheter ! Enfin, l’effort était pas bien violent, ne vous inquiétez pas, je suis allé sur le net prendre l’e-book.Comme toute suite qui se respecte, je m’attendais à trouver le même type d’aventure, du plus ou moins la même soupe qui continuerait dans la lignée du très bon premier tome. Erreur système. Pour ce deuxième roman dans la série de L’âge des ténèbres, l’auteur se permet un triple salto arrière en changeant son fusil d’épaule (ne tentez pas un triple salto arrière avec un fusil sur l’épaule chez vous, c’est pas très prudent). Mage de sang oublie complètement le côté guerrier pour aller vers de l’histoire de gangsters, de tueur en série et de machination. On bascule vers une aventure urbaine dans les ruelles sombres de Perizzi qui se remet doucement de la guerre, mais ses habitants gardent en eux une peur profonde de tout ce qui touche à la magie.Dans ce contexte nous suivons les histoires croisées de plusieurs personnages qui évoluent à différents niveaux de la société. Fray est un mage inexpérimenté qui va aider les Protecteurs de la Paix à résoudre une série de meurtres bien glauques. Choss est un colosse, un ancien lutteur qui navigue entre les grandes familles de la pègre pour survivre et faire rouvrir les arènes qui lui sont chères. Katja, espionne de la couronne, essaye de démêler les fils d’un complot visant à tuer la reine. C’est rigolo parce qu’avec cette manière d’alterner plusieurs points de vue pour dépeindre une histoire de pègre dans une cité au background fantasy, j’ai d’abord eu l’impression de relire Havrefer… Mais en pas pourri… Comme dans ce dernier, les trois pans d’histoire évoluent en alternant les points de vue de chacun, et apparaissent pendant un bon moment comme indépendants mais donnent une image globale de cette cité pleine de crapules en tous genres.Au rang des petits défauts, j’ai mis énormément de temps à rentrer dans Mage de Sang. Les changements de personnages constants ont été un obstacle pour vraiment m’y attacher dans la première partie du roman, mais une fois qu’on a appris à bien les cerner on arrive à vraiment prendre du plaisir à les suivre. On met également beaucoup de temps à faire le lien entre les trois histoires qui semblent indépendantes, jusqu’à la moitié du roman on lit trois novellas entremêlées qui n’ont en commun que le lieu où elles se déroulent.Mais une fois qu’on a bien les personnages en tête et que l’intrigue commence à faire sens, on se prend volontiers à l’univers. La bonne idée principale du roman est de ne pas continuer sur un autre conflit directement mais de traiter les conséquences de la guerre sur les populations et les héros. Les cités se reconstruisent, les opportunités se présentent, les gens du commun reprennent le cours de leur vie en se méfiant de tout le monde, surtout des étrangers… Et dans les coins sombres, la pègre complote toujours tandis qu’un mystérieux tueur semble préparer un petit bain de sang, au sens propre. Parce que Mage de Sang n’usurpe pas son titre, du sang il y en a pas mal, c’est bien gore. Pourtant ce n’est pas à un mage de sang qu’on a affaire, mais à ce qu’on nous désigne comme un mage de chair, ça vous donne une idée des talents du bonhomme. Oui, y’a de la grosse boucherie dans l’air, d’la tripaille sur les murs et de la charcuterie fraiche dans la cave.Ce sont encore une fois les personnages qui font de ce livre une belle réussite, j’ai beaucoup apprécié Choss, l’auteur est toujours très Gemmellien dans son style et c’est sur le lutteur que cette influence transparait encore. Le colosse au grand cœur et à la tête dure est un archétype connu mais ici bien tourné. Katja commence assez doucement mais on s’attache à elle sur la durée, sa mission sous couverture lui fait voir des trucs pas super mais elle s’accroche et devient convaincante au fur et à mesure. C’est peut-être avec Fray que j’ai eu un peu plus de mal, son caractère est un peu moins marquant que les autres mais il a un rôle central dans tout ce qui se joue ici. On a également des personnages un peu plus secondaires comme Byrne, Gorrax et Munroe, ils ont pourtant un rôle quasiment aussi important que les autres mais ne sont pas le centre des intrigues. Du tome précédent, nous ne retrouverons que quelques clins d’œil et passages éclair qu’il serait dommage de dévoiler ici, mais l’auteur s’amuse subtilement à recroiser les trames d’un peu tout le monde pour créer un univers cohérent sur l’ensemble de sa saga. Cette narration en puzzle arrive donc finalement à se recentrer et à trouver une unité, quand on parvient à se faire une image globale du tableau. Lorsque tout converge vers un scénario catastrophe apocalyptique, les pièces s’assemblent à la perfection et on comprend où l’auteur va avec tout ça. Le dernier tiers du roman fonce sans temps mort vers un final épique où tout se rejoint dans un gros badaboum narratif maitrisé au poil. C’est franchement impressionnant parce qu’il arrive à faire un livre à la fois très différent du précédent, mais qui s’inclut parfaitement dans son univers global et prolonge les grandes problématiques posées comme la place de la magie, le rôle de la tour rouge, et les divinités toutes zarbis qui trainent dans les coins. Comme pour Mage de guerre, ce second tome propose une fin satisfaisante qui ne laisse pas le lecteur en plan jusqu’à la parution de sa suite.Malgré un démarrage un peu longuet, on retrouve dans Mage de sang l’univers de Stephen Aryan dans un tout autre style d’histoire tout en gardant ses qualités. Moins direct et guerrier que Mage de guerre, plus sournois, plus sanglant, il propose une fantasy faite de ruelles sombres, de complots et de meurtres horribles, toujours avec une galerie de personnages très marquants.http://ours-inculte.fr/mage-de-sang/

  • Mark
    2019-06-26 04:05

    Bloodmage (Age of Darkness #2) is Stephen Aryan’s second novel, following on from events in Battlemage, though not necessarily a direct sequel in the strictest terms. I mentioned in my review of Battlemage that I was drawn to it primarily because of my friendship with Steve – fantasy not being my go-to genre – but I approached Bloodmage in an entirely different way. I was eager to read it to see where the story would go, what twists and turns were in store, and just how the world is progressing after the epic climax in the first novel. What I found not only met my expectations, but blew past them, delivering a second novel that is perhaps even more enjoyable than Battlemage.From the publisher:The people of Perizzi have survived the battlemage war, but their future is looking darker than ever…BYRNE is a member of the Watch, investigating a series of murders in which the corpse was drained entirely of life.FRAY’s expertise with magic is needed to catch the killer, but working with the Watch destroyed his father, years before.CHOSS is a champion fighter, trying to diffuse a war in the underworld that threatens to turn the streets red with rivers of blood.KATJA is a spy from a foreign land, attempting to prevent a massacre that will topple two dynasties and destroy the fragile peace in the city for ever.Watchmen and spies, assassins and criminals will clash on the streets in this magic-fuelled adventure from the author of Battlemage.With murders of a magical nature taking place in the city, Byrne enlists the help of his former partner’s son, Fray, in order to assist in tracking down the assailant. With frightening similarities between the current murders and those of Fray’s father’s final case, Fray is eager to learn more of what happened back then in the hopes it will help him stop the building magical tension on the streets. Choss is a former fighter, well respected on the streets, and present when the so-called fleshmage initiates a frenzy at the fighting arena. From here he works with one of the families to discover just what is going on. We also follow Katja, a spy investigating the rumoured plot to assassinate the queens of two lands when they come together in the city. With leads taking her to dark and murky areas, she finally makes progress, but the questions that are raised show that there is more at stake than she initially thought.Now, Bloodmage is a different beast to Battlemage, let me say that straight away. Where Battlemage was about the war, frontline fighting, and epic magic battles between skilled users, Bloodmage has a much narrower focus, reading more along the lines of a thriller. With magical murders, assassination plots, and gang-family disagreements all taking place in one city, Aryan has managed to fine-tune his approach to storytelling.Following on from events in Battlemage, magic is no longer a skill to be proud of, instead one to hide given the fear surrounding it after the conclusion of the war. This makes Fray, our magically gifted protagonist, a very good viewpoint to have. We see first-hand how scared the people are of magic, with one example showing a young boy beaten in the streets by a crowd that includes his mother. But it is still a skill that is in dire need, and without Fray’s input Byrne may have run out of leads in his hunt for the killer. Their relationship is a strange one given that Byrne used to partner Fray’s father before he died in the service of the Guardians. There is both respect, friendship, and mistrust present, and Aryan delves into this confidently, examining the impact of past events on the current situation.Katja’s storyline is also fascinating, and done in a completely different way. A loyal spy desperately searching for answers before she runs out of time, we see her infiltrate the disgruntled citizens that want the city returned to its better days, not bowing to another nation. The way she questions events leads to some interesting situation and revelations, and it was always a pleasure to follow her quest throughout the story. However, Choss’ progress was my favourite. A former champion fighter that has risen to co-ownership of the arena, and a man that is much deeper than initial impressions may show. His exploits throughout the novel were a highlight, and also one of the centre pieces of the story.I had very few issues with Bloodmage, finding the story, characters, and pacing excellent. I was immersed from the first page, enjoying the change of scenery while also appreciating the underlying threads that had been carried forward from Battlemage. Being a hard-to-please reader when it comes to the fantasy genre, Stephen Aryan’s Age of Darkness novels have measured up exceedingly well. Great stuff.

  • Lianne Pheno
    2019-06-06 04:46

    Chronique tirée de mon blog : Un gros changement comparé au précédent dont la lecture avait été mitigée, j'ai trouvé ce tome vraiment très intéressant et donc bien meilleur. J'ai hésite à le lire en fait, vu l'échec du premier, mais une chronique m'a décidé à lui donner sa chance, et j'ai très bien fait.Mage de Guerre, le tome précédent, était un livre de ce qu'on ne peut qu’appeler Fantasy Épique. De grosses batailles, des personnages guerriers dans une terrible guerre contre un tyran, des héros malgré eux.Mais la guerre est maintenant finie et il faut vivre avec les conséquences. Et la conséquence principale c'est que les gens ont maintenant peur de la magie. Une peur viscérale, au point de lyncher leurs propres enfants si ils s'aperçoivent qu'ils ont le don. Et personne n'est plus la pour les éduquer car la tour d'argent a été détruite. C'est dans cette atmosphère de constante suspicion que nous commençons notre histoire. De mystérieux cadavres sont retrouvés comme vidés de leur substance. Fray jeune mage qui se cache va devoir enquêter sur eux car on découvre bien vite qu'ils ont été tués avec de la magie, de quoi déclencher une panique énorme. Il doit donc se dépêcher de trouver de coupable ou sinon c'est une véritable croisade contre toute magie qui va finir par arriver.Nous suivons aussi Choss un ancien champion d’arène, qui est lié à la mafia et qui est engagé dans une guerre contre une drogue qui rend fou ses addicts, ainsi que Katja, une jeune espionne qui aide Talandra dans sa lute contre une conspiration qui provoque une situation très instable qui pourrait finir en seconde guerre.C'est en quelque sorte un microcosme de ce qui se passe dans le monde, et arriver à dénouer la situation critique ne sera pas de tout repos. On est plus dans l'intimité ici, dans les bas fond d'une ville.Et donc on est vraiment dans une atmosphère différente du précédent, dans une ambiance qui a tout du policier historique, le tout mélangé à une histoire de mafia et de lutte entre grands boss, une conspiration politique et à de l’espionnage. Vraiment très sympa.J'ai trouvé que du coup on avait vraiment un focus plus sur les personnages et le dessous de l'affaire ce qui rendait mieux.Les dieux sont aussi présent mais bien moins que dans le premier tome, ici on les voit au début et à la fin mais pas pendant l'histoire elle même.Le rythme est vraiment bon, les points de vue se succèdent et les différentes intrigues et ambiances font que je suis vraiment rentré dans le livre très rapidement. Au début bien sur on ne voit pas le lien entre les trois affaires mais petit à petit des liens apparaissent et ça fini dans un grand final, a l'apogée de la tension accumulée. Je n'ai eu aucun souci avec cette histoire, je n'ai pas vu de facilités ou de deus ex machina, un bon point.J'ai trouvé les personnage très sympathiques en général, bien plus que dans le premier ou j'avais vraiment du mal à m’intéresser à eux.Résultat je peux dire que sur ces plans, le livre est vraiment bon.Je lirais donc le suivant avec plaisir.17/20

  • Jennifer Melzer
    2019-06-17 23:04

    Unlike the first book in this series, Battle Mage, I came into Blood Mage by Stephen Aryan with a few expectations. The war that took place in Battle Mage was wrapped up with a smoldering black bow, a world ravaged left in its smoking ruins, and while it was the combined efforts and sacrifice of the land’s battle mages that ended the war, the people now fear magic and all its implications. This makes life difficult for a magic user like Fray. Before the war, he could openly practice his art without much derision, but now he must hide in the shadowy cracks for fear of persecution. He barely earns enough in trade goods to survive, so when his father’s old partner, Byrne, arrives to ask for Fray’s assistance in catching a strange, magic-wielding serial murderer, Fray knows he can’t refuse. Despite is stubborn refusal to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Guardian of the Peace, his father’s death left Fray feeling detached, and perhaps the similarities between the case Byrne needs his help with and the case that took his father’s life will bring the young man some closure.For me, that was the core plot of the book. The story of the “Flesh Mage” serial killer. However, much like Battle Mage, the story was separated by character perspectives exploring several aspects of life in the city, including a crime syndicate preparing to collapse in upon itself on account of the “Flesh Mage’s” careful ministrations. Aryan also returned to the underground spy network, combining the overall plot with an assassination attempt on the queens of two nations. The politics tend to overshadow the actual magic in these books, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for me I wanted far more magic and fantasy than I got with this book. A little balance and more emphasis on the actual magic would have been nice. Maybe I’ve spent too much time in Thedas over the years, and my expectations of blood magic is way too specific; I don’t know.This is not to say it isn’t well-written. Stephen Aryan develops his characters really well. He takes a lot of time to get inside their heads and hearts, and works hard to make them believable people–something a lot of other authors skimp on, regrettably–but at times the characters feel like they overshadow the story itself. After the time spent developing the magic of the world in Battle Mage, I expected a little more about the actual “Flesh Mage,” perhaps more time in his head might have provided the balance I was personally looking for. There was mention of an end goal, motivation for these “Flesh Mages,” but it wasn’t explored as deeply as I would have liked. Instead the story kept returning to the crime families and the assassination plot, so the actual magic didn’t feel like it was done nearly as much justice as it was in the first book.Which leaves me torn about whether or not I want to finish out the series in October when Chaos Mage releases. As I said above, Aryan is a decent writer. One of my favorite things about his work so far is the attention to character building he pays. This is only his second book, and on that account it is very well done, I’m just not sure the series is meeting my personal fantasy and magic needs at this time. I think I’m going to sit with it for a couple of months and make my decision about finishing out the series closer to release date for the final book.I give Blood Mage three out of five stars, and recommend it to fantasy readers who find themselves slightly more intrigued by politics and intrigue than magic when it comes to their fantasy.Original review posted on JenniferMelzer.com http://jennifermelzer.com/2016/04/26/...

  • Francesjanelawrence
    2019-06-18 02:48

    4.5 starsI'm loving, LOVING the kind of fantasy which leaves behind the focus on epic journeys, wildly complex magical systems and years and years of time passing in one story, to focus instead on five characters, or one incident, or one mystery, or one month in time......and that's exactly what Bloodmage does. The story, to me, was more of a crime mystery (with a bit of mafia-style organisation thrown in) which just happens to be set in a fantasy world with some folks who can do weird magical stuff - it kept me up more than a few nights with the kind of hunger I get with crime novels where I continually think 'one more chapter'. It felt like reading an episode of 24! Politics, plots, crime, conspiracies, spies - the lot. It felt really different from lots of other fantasy and couldn't be more different from Battlemage. Like the good little orderly reader that I am, I read Battlemage first although Bloodmage was definitely my favourite. This novel addresses some of the things it left me wanting more of at the end of the first book like 'who are the Vorga 'cos they're interesting!' and 'Did Eloise die?!' and 'I want to know more about The Red Tower!' but better than that, it just took me off to explore a different part of the world. The dialogue is excellent and the characterization is varied, giving you different perspectives and motivations. There are enough characters to make it a bit of a 'web' that keeps you wondering how everyone is going to come together (because you know that's what is going to happen) but not so many that you don't have a chance to get to know each of them. I also loved seeing the recovery of the city Perizzi after the war depicted in the first book; not often do we see the rebuild after the battle. Very much looking forward to Chaosmage, especially since I can't even imagine what the story will focus on and where we'll go next :)

  • David
    2019-05-30 06:54

    Only the second book I have read - and, indeed, only the second book released by - this author (Stephen Aryan), and I'm beginning to think I may have found my replacement fix for the relatively recently-deceased David Gemmell ...Set not long (roughly a year or so, if memory serves) after the events of Battlemage, this takes a closer, more intimate look at the effects that war has had: rather than the grand battles/magics of the previous, we're into one city, where a plot is afoot to murder the Queen and visiting royalty. Much like Gemmell did before, Aryan focuses on a series of flawed characters, all of whom are looking for redemption in their own way. I think I saw a little of Druss in Choss ...Based on the last 2 entries, I also think I'll be picking up Chaosmage whne it comes out.

  • Nick Brett
    2019-06-15 04:41

    The first book in this trilogy dealt with a war betwen nations, with the focus being on the Battlemages using their tools of magical destruction and defence. Plenty of other characters to get interested in and some interesting aspects of "other beings" taking an interest. I was surprised with this second volume to see new characters and some of the old ones surprisingly absent. But this still remains an excellent story. We have the aftermath and the resentment of the war and in Perizzi, when things should be getting better - they aren't. Magic is being used to drain all life from people and to change behavior. Wrapped into this we also have gang warfare, political plots and assassination bids, and the human side of people standing up for what they believe in.This is turning out to be a great trilogy, I ordered volume three about two minutes after I put this down.

  • Scott
    2019-05-27 04:54

    It was good, but I enjoyed the first novel much, much more.Again, a really good read. And it was extremely enjoyable. But the first one just blew me away. I do like the style and the build up is excellent. I like how the author keeps building you into the storyline and taking you deeper into the psyche and lives of the characters.It also helps that these are new characters, yet there enough references to the previous novel that you know where you are and why the characters are where they are. The world building and character growth are really well done as well.Read it, you will enjoy it. And whatever happened to the Battlemage, I am sure there will be more to come........

  • Mark
    2019-06-12 23:42

    Very good sequel to the first book. New characters, and some old ones are still in the mix. I like how the author transitioned to the new issue. However I was not a big fan of how things left off with the Balfruss from the last book. (view spoiler)[I mean how can they just leave it of like he was killed by another mage....In the last book he seemed all powerful. I'm kind of hoping the author details this a bit more in the 3rd book (hide spoiler)] I will absolutely be on the lookout for the 3rd in this series, and as per usual I enjoyed all of the detailed fight scenes.

  • Ruth
    2019-06-14 22:52

    c2016: FWFTB: Perizzi, Watch, underworld, spy, massacre. Really glad that I gave this series another try. I was not particularly fond of the first book but this book was much much better. Although there a few references to the earlier book; this one can certainly be read as a stand alone. The characters were more developed and I actually liked most of the 'good' characters. I think that, at times, the plotting was a tad loose but overall a great story. Definitely recommended to the normal crew.

  • Rochelle
    2019-05-26 06:51

    After a slow start, Bloodmage grabbed my attention and didn't let go until that stunning climax. I loved that this instalment was a mix of a mystery and magic, with lots of conflict. It was not as bloody as Battlemage but just as satisfying. I simply can't wait for Chaosmage. I have very high expectations.I might do a full review soon.

  • George Lumpkin
    2019-06-03 07:08

    I thought this was well written story which took a select few characters from the 1st book and with just a thread tied the two stories together. This was a great opportunity to get to know some newer characters and to be reintroduced to some old favorites. I look forward to the culmination of Aryan's efforts and the return of some powerful and interesting characters in the next one.

  • Bart
    2019-06-21 07:08

    4 GR* (Great. I loved it.) - 8+Not the epic battles of Battlemage, but a conspiracy/murder mystery this time. Of course mages and gods are back. I liked it even more than the first book. I'm very looking forward to Chaosmage now. Recommended!

  • Aaron Advani
    2019-06-07 03:47

    A really good book 2, continues on from book 1 seamlessly.Stephen Aryan is another new author making his mark in the Fantasy genre, well worth checking out.

  • Sandra
    2019-05-30 02:03

    Rating: 3.5This took me awhile to finish. Book began slowly, afterwards, it really took off. I am looking forward to the final book of the trilogy, Chaosmage.

  • Rudi Opperman
    2019-05-30 00:06

    Different theme to the first book, where war was the main theme. This book almost reads like a spy thriller or a crime thriller set in a fantasy world. Quite refreshing.

  • Christopher
    2019-06-07 06:44

    Where to start with this one. I did not like how this was a sequel but we lost most of the main characters from the last one. Battlemage focused on Balfruss and Vargus and there is hardly any mention of him throughout the whole book. Vargus has a very small role. I find it extremely dissapointing when the sequel doesn't bring back the main characters. I was looking forward to seeing what Balfruss did after the war and how the kingdom rebuilt itself. However, on the other side with this book you can tell that Aryan has grown as an author. His character progression has improved greatly. I felt that you could clearly see how Fray was growing throughout the whole book. Choss was fun to follow but I felt that his story could have been a little more explained. Bryne I could not stand. Then he just dissappeared only to reapper and then end. I understand how his part in the story helped develop the story as a whole but I could not stand his part. Katja was one of the characters that I liked to follow at first, but then she became boring and whiny. I also didn't like how different the stories really were. Battlemage focused on magic and battles whereas Bloodmage focused on the mystery aspect of storytelling. Overall I didn't hate the book or the story but it deffinitely wasn't my favorite either. I am still going to read the third installment and see where this story goes. Hoping for greater improvement in the storytelling from Aryan and hoping they bring back some of my favorite characters.

  • Albert Nicolau
    2019-06-01 00:49

    I chose to read this trilogy because I love magic fantasy related novels. In this novels I find that the autor got a little lost, I think that the magic related part of the book got smaller. The change of the main characters wasn't a good move, because suddenly this novel lost its appeal for me, during this novel all I wanted to hear was about Balfrus (who is becoming!?) and about Vargus (who apparently is a god, and a powerful one at that). I feel like this novel is more about investigation stuff while magic is being used as an accessory.

  • Vexation
    2019-06-11 01:55

    Although the first installment in the Age of Darkness was a very solid book, the second disappointed me a little. While the shift in perspective, location and central heroes was refreshing, the whole story lacked the epic high fantasy elements of the first one. Still, as a Fantasy murder mystery, it was an enjoyable read.

  • Arckhangelos
    2019-06-08 01:09

    Very different from the previous book. I really don't attach to the mains characters expect Choss. It feel classy or poorly but not shiny.Like the trame with Vargus.French review of this book : http://wp.me/p1gH27-gt

  • Will
    2019-06-10 01:52

    Better than the first, though the characters didn't warm on me quite as quickly, their individual stories pieced together quite well. A few guest appearances from returning figures, but mostly the new.4.5 / 5 stars.Full Review to come.

  • Branchsuper
    2019-06-21 23:46

    Need book 3...

  • Tiaan Lubbe
    2019-06-11 23:42

    Amazing! That’s it! Just amazing.