By Erin Lindsey
Published September 30th, 2014
Fantasy | Romance
Source: Received from Ace in exchange for an unbiased review (Thank You!)
About the book:
Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…
A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.
Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.
But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…
Romantic fantasy is a new sub-genre for me. You all know I’ve read and loved Robert Jordan and George R.R. Martin’s work. But The Bloodbound is fantasy with a huge shot of romance. And I liked it!
Right from page one, Ms. Lindsey throws her reader into the thick of battle and the plot of the story. She doesn’t spend a great deal of time with world building in the beginning. She lets her world unfold for the reader throughout the entire story. I was quite content with that because it’s not too complex of a world. It’s a pretty straight forward world of Kings, Queens, and Banner Houses.
The most complex the story gets is when they talk about the blood binding process and their belief system. I won’t spoil the blood binding details (phhhht, as if). However, I was intrigued by their worship of the Nine Virtues, which I think is related to Norse mythology, as best as I can tell. I had never heard of these before and anything Norse is pretty interesting to me (it’s in my blood). I figured the story had to be Norse based because of the spelling of the King’s name, “Erik” with a “k”. Very Scandinavian (as in my name, too… but I digress).
Speaking of Erik… he is one of three main characters. I almost hate to say this but there is a (dreaded) love triangle, sort of. I can’t say anything more than that… except perhaps that the triangle is resolved (at least to my satisfaction) at the end of THIS book.
But back to Erik. His character was heartbreakingly lovable for being a king. I almost enjoyed his POV more than Alix’s….. almost.
Alix is a great heroine and easy to like. She and her brother are all that’s left of their banner house so they are very close. She’s resourceful, smart, tomboyish, and oh so impulsive. It was her impulsiveness that I enjoyed the most because it never really got her in too much trouble. It was actually not a bad characteristic to have in the story and it was refreshing to read that for once. So many times you find the heroine punished for her impulsiveness.
My favorite character of all? Liam, of course! If you read the story, you’ll understand 😉 I’ve also got some other favorites, paired off in my head but not necessarily in this order (and not all of them can be paired off): Rig, Kerta, Gwylim, Ide, and Arran Green. I will say Arran Green only grew on me in the end. He pretty much annoyed me the entire way until the end. But I think that’s what the character was meant to do.
I will warn you that this tale might not be for everyone due to the pacing of the story. There are quite a few moments when the characters go into lengthy descriptions of the setting or reflect on situations past or present. It’s a wee bit wordy but not overly bad. Just remember, this isn’t a long book; only 368 paperback pages.
But within those pages you will be rewarded with a pretty fantastic romance (thank you for the closure!), awesome battles on the field, and crazy family drama (is there any other kind of family drama?).
About the author:
Erin Lindsey is on a quest to write the perfect summer vacation novel, with just the right blend of action, heartbreak, and triumph. THE BLOODBOUND is her first effort. She lives and works in Bujumbura, Burundi, with her husband and a pair of half-domesticated cats.
She also writes fantasy mysteries as E.L. Tettensor.