Read The Brothers' War by Jeff Grubb Online


The Myth. The Magic.Dominarian legends speak of a mighty conflict, obscured by the mists of history. Of a conflict between the brothers Urza and Mishra for supremacy on the continent of Terisiare. Of titantic engines that scarred and twisted the very planet. Of a final battle that sank continents and shook the skies.The saga of the Brothers' War.Linked to the Antiquities eThe Myth. The Magic.Dominarian legends speak of a mighty conflict, obscured by the mists of history. Of a conflict between the brothers Urza and Mishra for supremacy on the continent of Terisiare. Of titantic engines that scarred and twisted the very planet. Of a final battle that sank continents and shook the skies.The saga of the Brothers' War.Linked to the Antiquities expansion of the Magic: The Gathering trading card game....

Title : The Brothers' War
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780786911707
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 409 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Brothers' War Reviews

  • Michael T Bradley
    2019-02-24 06:41

    I recently started playing the card game Magic: The Gathering (again), and enjoying it immensely, so I thought I would give the book world a spin. I believe I'd tried it years ago, but gave up rather quickly.Ostensibly "War and Peace," but in the Magic: The Gathering world, this book wends its way through four generations, though it mostly focuses on the one featuring Urza and Mishra, the two titular brothers, and their endless squabbling. My biggest problem with this book is one I think Grubb struggled with, as well, and that is: neither Urza nor Mishra are very likable. They have to remain petty children throughout the entire book for everything that needs to happen plotwise to happen. In order to get around this, Grubb decides to start focusing more on their assistants, Tawnos (for Urza) & Ashnod (for Mishra), who both get along but just happen to be on opposite sides of the building conflict. Hell, later in the book Grubb even makes Harbin, probably-Urza's son (though possibly Mishra's), into a starring character. Tawnos and Ashnod are decently enjoyable, but I kept wondering why they didn't just run away somewhere less ridiculous. Harbin just never gets enough screen time to feel like anything more than a placeholder.I kept pushing myself through this, hoping for at least some explanation of different M:TG cards. I now know what an ornithopter is. Dear God, do I know what an ornithopter is. Beyond that, nothing much sprang to mind (possibly because all the cards mentioned in here are older, more difficult cards to get a hold of). Beyond that, however, mana is confusing (it's the ... memories of one's homeland ... put into a magic bowl ... ?), no one appears to cast a spell (except at the end, where Urza apparently casts Obliterate? Which isn't a spell that would have been out at this point, I don't think. And again, he needs the magic bowl for it). If nothing else, this very firmly establishes Urza as the Elminster of this world, Dominaria as the kind of "base world" amongst the M:TG universe, and Phyrexia as the boo-hiss bad guys. I'm curious to see where this goes, but I'm planning to skim a lot before I get somewhere worthwhile.

  • E.M. Shelton
    2019-03-15 01:30

    By far my favorite book from the Artifacts Cycle. The characters were well written and the world rich in imagery and invention. The Brothers War is a how-it-all-started piece, and while not all the information is given up-front, the twists at the end weave events together adequately.The writing itself was a bit erratic and slow to start, but the story was captivating and the characters believable. The end seemed somewhat rushed, which I found forgivable since the loose ends were tied up without the story seeming forced.I would definitely recommend this book to any fan of Magic: The Gathering, and will even go so far to say it is a must-read if you like the game. If you're not a big fan of the game, it also does well on it's own (it would be much like watching a Star Trek movie and missing out on all the references from the show), and I would still recommend it.

  • Jonathan
    2019-03-13 08:59

    Overall I enjoyed this book quite a bit, it wasn't the most well written book ever but it was ok for what it is. My attention was held throughout wanting to know what happened next.

  • Josh
    2019-03-14 08:31

    This was a solid story, though the jumps in time between sections were a bit jarring. I also forgot who some of the characters were as time went on,very which to me says that the story was a bit longer than it needed to be. Overall a great kickoff to a great character in Urza. I look forward to reading more about him.

  • Michael
    2019-03-09 03:00

    I think this is probably the first book I've ever read that I absolutely loved. It's certainly the first book I've read that I'd give a 5 to, Harry Potter aside. Through and through, it's a very amazing book. Of course, you probably have to be a Magic fan to enjoy it to the utmost, but I think it might be good enough regardless.The first time I read it was during the 7th grade. I read it as a project, and a rather big project it was. It even included a map of Dominaria. I immersed myself in this as much as I could. I had been a Magic player prior to this and whilst reading it. I had also played a portion of the game that involved Urza, though only a portion. For those that have played during the Weatherlight saga (anything including Urza or the Weatherlight), you'll enjoy this book a ton.The book covers the life of Urza and his brother Mishra. Urza and Mishra are two brothers, born on the same year, though Urza on the first and Mishra on the last. Urza is the kind of older brother who knows he's the smarter and wiser one. He's also ready to remind his younger brother he's the older one. Mishra lives in his older brother's shadow, and is always quick to remind his brother that on the last day of the year, they're the same age. Urza and Mishra are sent away to a camp as little kids where they look for relics of an ancient civilization thought to have been much more advanced than theirs. Urza develops into the braniac, spending his time in the library and researching, while Mishra develops into the brawn, spending his time out in the sun and searching for buried relics. The two are inevitably set on a collision course that will change the world.The world building is what stands out the most to me in this book. They spend a lot of time searching after relics from this old civilization. So inevitably when they have interesting moments about them, you become really interested in them. World building is really huge in books and it's probably the thing I enjoy the most. Having some mystery in the book and uncovering it is really enjoyable for me. Jeff definitely does a good job at getting you hooked on it and giving you just enough to keep you interested while keeping you wanting more.For any MTG fan, this is probably the first book I'd recommend for you to read. It's absolutely amazing and it's a good book regardless of whether you're a fan or not. For those who've spent ages on Dominaria or playing the game while Urza was the man, it's certainly going to fit right at home. I don't want to spoil too much but you'll definitely see some familiar things and have a trip down memory lane. More importantly you'll learn some of the backstory to the cards you've been playing with and the storyline the cards have been following. It's everything you could want or expect.

  • Arjuna Perkins
    2019-03-14 08:52

    I wanted to enjoy some good pulp fantasy, and I'd played Magic: The Gathering back in the day, so I was looking forward to this dramatization. With low expectations and good humor, I started into it. What a disappointment! Grubb has a flair for description (as any good fantasy author should) and decent characterization, and the setting hooked me at first. Dominaria is a world of commerce and rationality that dismisses artifice and magic as superstitious legends. One thing always leads to another, and a pair of brothers end up opening Pandora's box in their archaeological vocation. Cue the dramatic explosions, the emotional rift, the world-changing grudge.The cliches were expected, as was the melodrama, so I tried to let those slide and enjoy the yarn. Unfortunately, this novel became unforgivably poor. Grubb has a propensity to end chapters with suspenseful, foreshadowing statements such as, "To Argoth's pain and her own shame, she would live to see how wrong she had been." In fact, the text abounds with cringeworthy moments that should leave any decently-read person shocked that it ever came to the press. Foundational characters turn out to be unspeakably naive, making grave errors that facilitate lazy plot development. Many of the book's most dramatic moments occur through a dazed montage, a sort of 'we all know what's coming' vaguery that seems to want to excuse the author of properly building his narrative. As a result, the book reads as more of a history with a few personal flairs thrown in, and the whole work lacks detail, development, suspense, and all the juicy bits we really want from this kind of fiction! I didn't like either of the Brothers, nor identify with their silly war, making this an ultimately unsatisfying experience.It's a shame, because the source material is quite rich, and I could see tantalizing strands of it reaching through. This really should have been a series (3-4 books of the same length) to allow the narrative to develop and breathe. This novel is short, but it doesn't even manage to be breathless.

  • Travis
    2019-02-28 05:44

    Of the 30-or-so magic books I own, this is probably my favorite. In a way it parallels the cold war. "Remember me as I tried to be, not as I was..."

  • Sammy
    2019-03-25 02:52

    Not that great. Grubb's writing is poor. I did find myself enjoying it more and more towards the end, however, i do not recommend it, even to a fan of the card game.

  • Chip Hunter
    2019-03-02 02:43

    'The Brothers' War' relates one of the most important (and well-known) events from the lore of MTG. The infamous brothers, Urza and Mishra, battle for dominance of Dominaria, creating enormous armies of extremely destructive artifacts and creatures, eventually leading to the cataclysmic final battle in which an entire continent of Terisiare is essentially destroyed. Jeff Grubb does an excellent job of relating this rather well-known story in a way that will keep you interested the whole time even though you know from the beginning what the final outcome will be. This is the longest MTG book (at least through 1998), and the story it tells is so epic that it really could have been divided into two or three individual books. A few of the scenes could have been expanded on, and Grubb was forced to skip years at a time in order to get the whole story in a single volume. It does make for an exciting read though, so I'm not complaining too much.Many of the cards from the Antiquities expansion and the standard editions are used in the story, mainly the artifacts and artifact creatures. It doesn't seem forced however, with Grubb doing a great job of working them into the story in a way that seems believable and natural. Tawnos and Ashnod play major roles in the story and they, along with Mishra and Urza, are very well-developed characters with unique and consistent personalities. The most interesting aspect of the story to me was that you don't really have the good-vs-evil story found in most fantasy books. The war between Urza and Mishra results from fatalistic chances and misunderstandings rather than evil intentions by one side or the other. At some point during the book, Mishra does become the 'more evil' of the two, but both brothers are destroying land and lives to fight the other.Bottom line, this is one of the best MTG books and tells one of the most important background stories of the MTG universe. The tale apparently continues in 'Planeswalker', which I look forward to reading.

  • Alexander Faria
    2019-02-24 01:51

    No se que pensar.. Al principio fue bastante interesante, pero tengo problemas con los finales de 2 capítulos y al final no me quedo claro exactamente que fue lo que pasó.Hay cosas que no explicaron lo suficiente.. sacando cosas de repente.. (el poder de Hurkyll por ejemplo), Si hubo un giro interesante, pero la pelea entre los hermanos no fue nada de lo épico que esperaba.Comencé a leer el siguiente libro de ciclo y se aclaran algunas cosas, pero nuevamente aparecen situaciones de la nada.. Parece la explicación de porque el Oráculo cambio de piel en Matrix..Igual seguiré leyendo.. *******************************************************************I do not know what to think .. At first it was quite interesting, but I have problems with the end in 2 chapters and in the end I was not clear exactly what happened.There are things that did not explain enough ... taking things out suddenly ... (the power of Hurkyll for example),There was an interesting turn, but the fight between the brothers was nothing of the epic I expected.I started reading the next cycle book and some things are clarified, but again situations appear from nothing .. It seems the explanation of why the Oracle changed skin in Matrix ..I will continue reading ..

  • David Thomas
    2019-03-09 09:00

    This book has a special place in my heart, as it was the first Magic: The Gathering novelization that I read, around 20 years ago. It's essentially the origin story of probably the single most important character in MTG lore, Urza Planeswalker. The thing that surprised me is how much I'd forgotten, only remembering the main story beats. Despite being part of a franchise with the word "magic" in the title, there is almost no magic in the book. The main magical resource in the card game, mana, is only first mentioned ~330 pages into a 400 page book, and even after it's rarely mentioned.Another thing that surprised me was the presence of several strong female characters, and the book passes the Bechdel test. Also, Urza himself comes off as borderline autistic, caring only about his machines and artifacts. He only marries a princess because he had an eye on one of the books in her dowry.It's worth noting that the cheapest copy on Amazon at the time that I got the book was 80 bux, and I got a copy from a West Virginia library through inter-library loan for a $2 fee. Love your local library, guys.

  • Iain
    2019-03-23 02:32

    Not perfect as it drags at times and suffers from the "everything goes wrong for our heroes" syndrome. That said, this is definitely one of the best MTG tie-ins I've read, and critical to the entire Urza's Saga story line. Recommended for fans of MTG fiction, and rated as such.

  • Todd Finney
    2019-03-12 08:56

    Found my copy again. Bringing me back to my younger memory. Fantasy books should use this as the bar in story and plot.

  • Lukas Lovas
    2019-03-02 06:39

    Nice. Very nice. Actually, I expected something much worse, but this stuff was actually original, highly readable, and well written.I enjoyed Magic:the Gathering, since I was a kid, though I couldn't devote as much time (and especially finances) to it, as I would have liked. Recently, I bought a lot of new cards, and I decided to get in the mood by reading a book. And what a book this was...I usually don't read books unless I can get my hands on an audio version, since I can read that while working. But this was a time well spent.The Brothers' War sets up the world of where the game is played, and you kind of feel the connection. Everything is well named, every invention and artefact has a name, so that even if you haven't seen the cards, you can imagine the names being on the cards. And you just keep imagining...if this was a card, what picture would it have? What color? Would it have flying? sum up, I liked most of the characters and I think they were well thought out and deep. The story was a bit sad, but I liked the fast progression of years - There was nothing going on? Good. Just put "twelve years have passed since..." on the beginning of the next chapter. It was refreshing :)

  • Shane Mcgonigal
    2019-03-13 04:31

    I've been a big fan of the Magic: The Gathering game for many years, and it's refreshing that they have a good story line to go with them. Brother's War is one of the better written books in the series. Sadly, they seem to have given up with publishing good novels in the newest series. Urza's story is probably the most well-known and classic in the series, and worth a read. I suggest starting with The Thran before reading Brother's War.

  • Arnaud Neto
    2019-02-26 06:35

    Para quem gosta dos jogos de Magic: The Gathering, é um ótimo livro, um boa narrativa, apesar de te confundir algumas vezes pela passagem de tempo rápida, porem muito bem estruturado. Conta a história dos irmão Urza e Mishra os Grandes Artífices e principais personagem da primeira Geração de Magic. Recomendo para fãs e não fãs

  • Chelsea
    2019-02-22 07:40

    I enjoyed the story and the creativity using MtG devices, and I loved the explanation of what mana is that came in at the end, but the writing quality was meh. If I read the next books in the series, it'll definitely be at a later date, though they are written by different authors and probably about different characters. We'll see.

  • Alexis Hunter
    2019-03-19 01:31

    While this isn't normally the sort of book I'm into, something about The Brothers' War captivated me. Jeff Grub has a knack for weaving words, describing worlds so different from our own - and yet just as believable. I saw myself reflected in some small part in Urza. And his quote, "Remember me as I tried to be, not as I was," rings true in my heart.

  • Shann81
    2019-03-15 07:46

    Decent book. I don't play MTG I just read few books of MTG universe. And this one was pleasant suprise for me. It's not even about magic but about artifacts, technology, brothers-rivals.. I would classify it as steampunk genre. If you want to explore MTG universe this books is necessity! Other MTG books aren't so good from my point of view.

  • Ignacio Energici
    2019-02-23 05:31

    Un libro que es más largo de lo que debería ser a mi criterio. Para quienes han jugado Magic: The Gathering desde los inicios lo encontrará interesante. Si no, una historia extraña e innecesariamente compleja.

  • Joe Vincent Iscala
    2019-03-12 05:57

    Nostalgia...This book reminds me of why I got so into MTG cards back in college...More than just the actual magic, this book is the first high fantasy book I've read, and come to think of it, is the reason why i love reading high fantasy novels a lot

  • Andreea Pausan
    2019-02-23 02:46

    Interesting story about how the past always affect the present, even through something as seemingly innocent and ancient relics. There is power in the past 2 brothers come to rip the world apart before learning this.

  • Doug
    2019-03-13 00:56

    A well put together story, which can captivate even if you will never even touch a Magic card. The plot carries the book, whereas the characters are the backdrop, yet fleshed out enough to seem real and relatable.

  • Brad Kviten
    2019-03-01 01:48

    This was the first of the MTG books that I ever read and it hooked me on them for years. Even if you have never played the cards game. I highly recommend giving this book a read because it's a wonderful fantasy book !

  • Evan
    2019-03-12 07:56

    One of the better written tales in the magic universe. Excellent character development in a vast story that contains plenty of action, reactions, and a little bit of romance. I couldn't put it down after the third part.

  • Catherine Thomas
    2019-03-11 00:39

    Although the story is thoroughly interesting, at times the book is so overly detailed with insignificant events that it can be hard to read. I wish the book focused more heavily on the conflict with Urza and Mishra, and left out some of the in-between details regarding Ashnod and Tawnos.

  • Shase Lindell
    2019-03-17 01:46

    Amazing book.

  • dumpling
    2019-03-20 07:37

    Part were too rushed and overly descriptive for my taste.Ends largely with deus ex machina ~ meh.Overall it's a cool story giving backstory to two interesting planeswalkers in the MtG universe.

  • Trenton
    2019-03-18 02:39

    its a good book

  • Alejandro Morelos rubio
    2019-03-15 00:35

    Quite good, I was used to mediocre MTG books, but this one stands by itself and I would recommend it to anybody interested in the fantasy genre.