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Blood Hostages (Blood Wars) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Feb 1996

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 31 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (1 Feb. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786904739
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786904730
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,390,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


When his uncle is abducted by a pair of gargoyles at the behest of an eight-armed god, Aereas joins his cousin Nina on a perilous journey into a bizarre and twisted world where they uncover a plot to turn the tide of the Blood War and unleash a horrific evil. Original. 75,000 first printing.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Somewhat formulaic ... cast includes the hero, his love, a traitor, a wise old man, and other stereotypical characters. The plot is essentially "loved one has been abducted, here are the subsequent attempts to rescue him". However, just as formulaic movies are enjoyable (Titanic, anyone?), so is this book. Highlights: the intrigue of the planes, the strength of the female character Nina. The trilogy gets better with the next book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found Blood Hostages to be an exciting novel over all. The surreal atmosphere presented in the Planescape setting created an unbelievable canvas for King to work on. The book had a strong intro, followed by a somewhat weak middle that created a slight lag in the action of the book, but finishing with a cliffhang style ending that propelled the reader into the next book in the trilogy.
-Jason Tucker
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By A Customer on 22 July 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a good book by all means but I do have a problem with the ending oft his book. The ending didn't want me to go get the next in the series and finish reading it. The characters were not gripping and didn't really care for theh at all but the over all story was pretty good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8ccb34a4) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ccc7ee8) out of 5 stars A decent addition to the Planescape universe 1 Jun. 2006
By Ty Arthur - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Planescape was arguably the best dungeons and dragons campaign setting TSR ever produced. In terms of role-playing opportunities, depth of ideas, volume of content, and maturity level of the game, Planescape certainly took things to a whole new level entirely. "Blood Hostages" is the first in a trilogy of books based on the Planescape campaign setting. Blood Hostages tells the tale of Aereas and his cousin Nina, who are chasing after Nina's abducted father, Artus. Being mostly ignorant of the Planes, the cousins are swept up in power struggles they don't fully comprehend, and soon discover that Artus' kidnapping has something to do with the world-spanning Blood War between the lawfully evil Baatezu, and their chaotically evil rivals, the Tanar'ri.

In an effort to convey the mind bending nature of the Planes, the author (J. Robert King) occasionally shifts view points suddenly, or describes some seemingly unimportant back story during a tense scene, or will radically change writing style for a brief time. While this was certainly a commendable effort, it unfortunately wasn't executed as well it as could have been. Instead of a mind twisting, soul altering, jaw dropping tour-de-force of planar mayhem, the reader will get an overall competent, but occasionally forced or boring, fantasy read. Blood Hostages isn't entirely true to Planescape mythology (King occasionally seems confused as to which creatures are Baatezu and which are Tanar'ri), but it does have enough of the good stuff packed within to keep the reader turning the pages. When Nina and Aeareas, two Clueless prime worlders who don't know the Nine Hells from the Abyss, are thrust into the Outer Planes, they are fortunate enough to receive a guide in the form of the friendly gnome Boffo. This is where the story starts to pick up and the insanity of the Planes really starts to set in. The cousins receive a tour from Boffo of Sigil, the city which sits atop an infinitely tall spire at the center of the Mulitverse. King almost perfectly describes the city's look and feel, and how its various inhabitants and organizations could drive a prime worlder completely barmy.

Although Sigil is given its due, the rest of the multiverse isn't shown quite as much favor. After the first third of the book, the author seems to become bored with describing things in great depth, and starts glossing over things that really should be given more attention to. At one point in the story the characters are floating throughout the Astral Plane atop the body of a dead god - and the sky is raining demonic Tanar'ri intent on ripping everything to pieces. This scene had the potential to be both highly terrifying and extremely exciting, but it's dealt with in unfortunate "assembly line fantasy" style, with the minimum detail required to get the point across and move on to the next section.

Overall, Blood Hostages is a decent addition to the Planescape universe, but it could have been so much better if a little more time had been spent expanding the story into a larger novel.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ce4ee28) out of 5 stars good intro to wonderful series 16 Aug. 2002
By S. Patel - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I sincerely hope someone comes across this book either online or in some out-of-print book shop, and discovers the incredible imagery and thought JR. King put into these books. The books are short, but very well written. Even though the author is jumping through time and space, and heaven and hell, he manages to keep us interested in the characters.
Anyone who likes the idea of reading about a world that is as chaotic but strangely consistent as a dream will enjoy the ride that is the series.
As for the fact the book may not be true to canon Planescape, I can only say who cares? The books are still beautiful, and I highly recommend them to younger readers as a mind opening experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cffe0d8) out of 5 stars Disappointingly average 12 Feb. 2008
By ex-Echo - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Way back when, I used to DM in using the Planescape setting and loved it, so I had high hopes for a triology set in the planes. The author ran into the same problems I did as a DM though, primarily being describing the planes. The sheer impossibility of some of the settings, the bizarre morphology of the creatures, and the topsy-turvy physics of some of the locations often refuse to be pinned down by words. The author (and myself in the past) often seems desperate in his descriptions, mixing metaphors, stretching analogies, and repeating the same description over and over again with only slight variations in the hope that the feeling will eventually catch. It becomes tedious at times, other times almost painful.

Another issue is what turned most people off from the Planescape setting. The characters almost immediately become super powerful. Before the first half of the first book of the triology is over, the supposedly green, inexperienced characters are already hanging out with greater fiends, bargaining with a god, and killing extremely powerful monsters with just one blow. It takes away the grandeur and mystique of the setting.

On the plus side, the series held my interest enough to finish all three books in a week, and it seems to get better as it goes along. I can't say I'd recommend these books, but if you're deployed and there's nothing else to do, they'll kill some time.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cccb33c) out of 5 stars THE BLOOD WAR AWAITS!!! 7 Aug. 2004
By L Gontzes - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Definitely a great fantasy epic and one of my personal favorites, The Blood Wars Trilogy-Blood Hostages, Abyssal Warriors, and Planar Powers, brings to life the story of Aereas and Nina, two cousins, and their adventures in the "multiverse" that is the World of Planescape. The books are so incredibly well written that the reader feels that they have been transported to another universe and are actually present among the characters, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel, sensing what they sense.

The author has done a FANTASTIC job of both acquiring vast knowledge relevant to the Planes as well as presenting this material efficiently and successfully! His solid grasp of factual detail makes him very capable of providing the necessary background needed to carry out the very difficult task of writing Planescape novels, which is something often missing from the work of many Fantasy authors.

JR King has truly outdone himself and has presented us with a masterpiece of literature the likes of which we have seen only in JRR Tolkien's work and in authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends trilogies as well as RA Salvatore's Icewind Dale and Dark Elf Trilogies. Love, fiends, bravery, magic, swordfights and battles of epic proportion are all about. A great trilogy indeed and a "must read" along with Pages of Pain, sadly, the only other novel written in the Planescape setting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cccb4ec) out of 5 stars Good fun for the Clueless 17 Jan. 2001
By Kris - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Just as a warning, this is the first fiction book I've read in a while. I've played D&D and have a copy of the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, but I have never read the Planescape manual. I probably would have enjoyed the story more if I knew more about the creatures. The monsters and many of the settings were not given as much description as I would have liked, though the choice of settings and plot devices kept my interest throughout the book. (*Spoiler - another review in Amazon criticizes the author's treatment of the Lady of Pain, but she is in no scenes and is not mentioned very often. I haven't read the other books yet, so perhaps the reviewer was referring to the trilogy as a whole.)
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