The Scarlet Tides by David Hair – Book 2 of The Moontide Quartet

The Moontide has begun and the Leviathan Bridge has been raised from the depths of the sea. The Rondian legions are crossing into Antiopia with reckless abandonment hunting for goods, riches, and blood. David Hair sure knows how to right a sequel that builds in everyway on the success of Mage’s Blood. The epic scope and world-building of this series I consider to be in the top echelon of fantasy authors writing today. This will be a spoiler free review, but I will be touching on certain events in book 1.

The Emperor has declared a holy war against the continent on Antiopia led by the Inquistion’s windships flying the banner of the Sacred Heart, the bright banner of the Church’s darkest sons. The Emperors greatest treasure, the Scytale of Corineus, has gone missing and with it the source of the greatest magical power in all of Urte and the inquisition will stop at nothing to recover the artefact. We follow the same cast of character from Mage’s Blood with a couple of fun new ones as well.

Alaron, a failed mage has found the Scytale of Corineus and he is being viscously hunted by the empire. He eventually comes across wild creatures with magical abilities who were secretly created by the empire in times of war. Elena Mercer is now a prisoner in her own body as everything is being controlled by a magical scarab. Betrayed by the very people she has sworn to protect she must be cunning and swift to escape these tragic events. Ramita, having witnessed the death of her husband by the underground militia of Antiopia, has found herself kidnapped by her childhood friend Kazim. Kazim along with her sister have discover that they are souldrinkers and they can become powerful by killing mages and drinking in their lifeforces once they die. All the while, Ramita is pregnant with twins and she seems to have the whole world on her shoulders.

To say that Scarlet Tides was a nonstop page turn would be the understatement of the century. The pacing was excellent and it just kept me coming back to the story time and time again into the late hours of the morning. You will not be able to guess half the shocking moments that David Hair has up his sleeve in this triumph of a doorstopper. The magic in this world continues to build upon the already deeply thought and well constructed system brought to us in Mage’s Blood. Whether you are a reader who loves: worldbuilding, characters, or magic systems the Moontide Quartet is the series for you! Being in the mild of a Malazan Book of the Fallen reread, Steven Erikson fans will find plenty to enjoy in this world.

This series I can safely put in my top five most under rated fantasy series available for purchase today. I can not conceivably find any logical explanation for this but to each there own and it will make you feel that much better when you dig into this hidden gem. David Hair has done it again and you should join in the holy Crusade!


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