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The Blacksmith's Son

Mageborn, Book 1
Written by: Michael G. Manning
Narrated by: Todd McLaren
Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Mordecai's simple life as the son of a blacksmith is transformed by the discovery of his magical birthright. As he journeys to understand the power within him he is drawn into a dangerous plot to destroy the Duke of Lancaster and undermine the Kingdom of Lothion. Love and treachery combine to embroil him in events he was never prepared to face. What he uncovers will change his understanding of the past, and alter the future of those around him.

©2011 Michael G. Manning (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An entertaining read." ( Underground Book Reviews)

What listeners say about The Blacksmith's Son

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Ok book.

The storyline it's quite predictable. Performance was good. It's an ordinary book from the author with lot of promise.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Derek
  • 30-04-15

A great tale that can stand on its own.

What did you love best about The Blacksmith's Son?

The author uses modern phrasing and language in the story and it works well for his writing style. He creates characters and is able to use them to a good potential. He has a direction and a purpose for all of his story and is able to fill in parts of the story with earlier incidental preparation.

What about Todd McLaren’s performance did you like?

The narrator gave energy to the story at the right moments and did an excellent job at reading. He just can't do female or children's voices, he makes them sound like old men. Other than that small complain he did an excellent job.

Any additional comments?

I write this review thinking of another author who did not prepare a story ahead of time and it felt like he just wrote it on the go. Michael Manning definitely put a lot of forethought into his writing and I will definitely be listing to or reading his next book. A good story is one built with a foundation and filled in with consistent details. I look for a good beginning, a climax, and a satisfying ending in each book, even if the story continues on in another book. This book fulfills these requirements for me.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon
  • 08-09-16

Modern day meets D&D?

this classic mage story would have been received so much better had there not been modern english profanity and sarcasm spread throughout the entire story. it diminished the quality of the story itself which was good for an adventurer type of story.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Skipper
  • 04-04-16

POV jumps from 1st to 3rd

Excellent narration. The premise is good, and I want to go easy on a debut novel, but Gah!! The POV changes constantly from 3rd-person to 1st-person and back again, often within just a few pages. This occurred across the entire book. Disorienting.

Language felt like modern teenage punk. The modern slang broke the medieval atmosphere, drawing me out of the story. Anachronistic phrases include "getting laid, pissed off, scared the living sh-t out of me," etc.

No character development. Mort went from common blacksmith's son to Mage lord in just days, without a hitch, taking magic and money in his stride. Everything was too easy for him, including learning magic and a dead language from a book.

Mort — a green lad of 16 — took to sex easily. He repeatedly referred to teenage Penny as a woman, which annoyed me every time. Moreover, young Penny was molested, nearly raped, so she would be protective of her personal boundaries and sexual safety. She would wear clothes, at the very least! Nope. She can't even be bothered to put on a night gown or a sheet when two people enter the bedroom.

The story content is somewhat promising.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • TheOpinion
  • 11-09-13

Too little content

What would have made The Blacksmith's Son better?

Needs more content designed at driving the plot. There is a ton of missused space in this novel. It is one of those books were you read the whole thing and are still waiting for the book to begin. There are whole chapters that really don't add to the plot at all and the book basically goes nowhere but to build some basic characters and some plot lines.

What could Michael G. Manning have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Create more interplay between the characters.
Describe the world more. Basically you only have 2 points of interest in this book. The house where the main character grew up and the castle he gets invited to. There is not a dynamic environment in this book at all and that is a character on its own in epic fantasy.

What about Todd McLaren’s performance did you like?

He was clear and his voices were not bad. Good pace as well.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

melancholy

Any additional comments?

The book was not terrible but I think people are overrating it.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • G
  • 27-04-16

This is writers first novel. Thank God he gets better in future works.

The first series I read by Michael Manning was the Embers of Illeniel. His second series in the Illeniel world. I really enjoyed it.I am glad I did not start with this, his first book. I would not have stuck around to see if he ever learned to write like a semi-professional. Because I know he got much better somewhere between this first novel and his fourth book I'm going to take a chance on the second book in the series. It has to be better than his first attempt.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bob-o
  • 03-04-15

A great series once you get through the first 1/4.

A great series once you get through the first 1/4.of the book. The first 1/4 if juvenile and I could not tolerate the narrator and so i put the book down. Months later I picked it up again from where I left off and I adjusted to the narrator, probably because my expectations were low. By the end of the book I actually liked him. His i individual voices were good and consistent through the 4 books on Audible (there js 5th book not on Audible yet). The main theme of the books is about a mage that is self taught. The protagonist is arrogant, talks to himself constantly, and talks to the listener, and I do not like any of things. He is kind, loyal, and caresing, and yhese traits make up for that. However, the real reason I do like these books is because of the magic system grows and is explained more and more throughout each book. After my first reaction to the first quarter of the first book, I thoughy I had defiantly wasted a credit, but in the end I am glad I did spend the credit and have listened to all of the authors books on Audible.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-05-20

good but...

You really have to suspend your disbelief for the.plot to work.. Characters always behave in the way that would bring the most drama and tension to the story not in any sort of realistic way...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah Catherine Robinson
  • 02-11-19

Rough launch for Manning - but sets up a great series

I just finished Manning’s Dragon series - it was great - so good in fact that I hunted down his suggestions on the chronology to follow for his books in this world. Unfortunately, it’s clear his earlier work was poorly edited (if at all) - the story is solid, but the prose, organization, fluidity, and pace all feel very amateurish. Echoing another reviewer - if I had started with this book I likely would have returned it and written Manning off entirely - but his later work really is gripping and significantly better pulled together and these Mageborn books are a part of the overall tale.
Unfortunately for McLaren, audible and other apps have upped the ante for skilled narrators and his inability to act out the character’s / bring them to life and believably narrate female voices just made this more plodding than the story already was - which just added to the disappointment.
Definitely worth the ‘read’ if you’re excited about the complex world Manning creates over the course of his career, but if you’re enjoying current-day (2019) production and narration quality books, look elsewhere.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • W. Pierce
  • 07-04-15

good book

good book. not hard to follow, good pacing, over all Id recommend it to anyone who was a fantasy reader

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 14-12-14

Loved it

I loved this series.

Young man awakening to his powers without a teacher. Finds various learning opportunities along the way, coming to discover he is probably the most powerful person of his kind ever born (although not put in those words, that's what's implied). Then tragedy strikes at the very end of the series - or so it seems; I wonder what the next installment will reveal?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 04-11-18

Early Work

Michael G. Manning writes some brilliant books so if this is your first try don’t let it put you off. The writing and narration here is a little stinted but the story is a good one. For me the biggest part of the problem is the narrator who really does not make the story flow. There seems to be too many pauses both in and between sentences. It makes me feel playing the story at a faster speed may help. Usually I feel a different narrator is just a new voice to get used to but sadly that’s not the case. Luckily I started with the Embers of Illeniel series which is brilliant and a better starting point as the story predates this one. I’m particularly picky and only really like 5 Star work but Mannings later work is so good I’m game to give the next few books in the series a go!

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 14-02-19

Shame about the narrator

The narration is flat with too much emphasis on the punctuation and too much stop start within sentences. It makes the book too hard to listen to, I’ll read it instead.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mat
  • 19-10-17

interesting book

very interesting book, purchased it without any previous knowledge of it, and I must admit it have gotten me quite interested, it's short yes and straight to the point however it gave few interesting points, making me want to listen to the other books from the series, which I intend to do.
overall a short and engaging fantasy story with a nice magic to it, nothing overcomplicated. a book worth looking into

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • P. horscroft
  • 16-02-17

wrong narrator

I enjoyed the story but wrong narrator . The voices were not going well with characters.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-08-20

Good

I enjoyed this book very much, it feels like there could be a sequal to it

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • INVIZ
  • 28-07-20

Hard to get through the cringe.

I enjoyed it but the dialogue can sometimes be extremely cringey and frustrating. During a battle where people are being split in half and burned alive the main character unironically says to his enemy "did someone beat you with an ugly stick?" That along with the american radio host narrator made it hard to get through.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • charles macharia
  • 18-12-19

below average

The writing is juvenile, the story building is at best disappointing and the pace is ponderous. To top it all off the performance is wooden and brings out all the worst things about this book.

I read this series many years ago and I wished to revisit for the nostalgia, much better enjoyed as a book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Dr. J. S. Grimwood
  • 06-04-18

Basic

The writing and the story were rather basic. I do not plan to read anymore.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous grackle
  • 22-10-18

wasted potential

meh this series gets slightly worse with successive books but as a time killer while you do some menial labour is may have promise , if used in sorter increments