Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Review: Bloodmaiden

Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties... They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for. For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan. These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel. Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon-but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan.

-- See more at Goodreads

Cover Inspection:
I believe that I am in love with the model's cloak! Love!

First Thoughts:
I haven't read a fantasy book like this in quite a while. Am I ready for it?


My Review:
Let me premise with the fact that I once was a hardcore fantasy book follower. My shelves were filled with Tor books and I had mastered the art of remembering the names, lineages and personalities of multiple characters. Yes my friends, reading a fantasy book is like stepping into a brand new world. You start by feeling your way around to see if you can get acclimated, but once you do you're hooked. I missed that. So I was excited to read Bloodmaiden as soon as I opened it!

The book opens with a suspenseful first chapter, drawing you in almost instantly. We are introduced to Crislin, the new Qelda of Tynan, and her new husband. What follows is a gorgeous romp through beautiful dynasties, roving countrysides and an all around vividly painted world. My absolute favorite part of stories like these is falling in love with the world that is created within. Christine Schulze does a fabulous job of providing enough description to paint a mental picture for the reader, while still allowing them to add in certain details on their own. It was fantastic!

Characters. Characters are an extremely important part of any fantasy story. I think that is why I ended up with such an affinity for strong characters at all. It fuels my reading. I can happily say that the characters in Bloodmaiden, all the way down to the smallest supporting one, were excellently written and completely intriguing. I was hooked into the story with the setting, and brought further into it by the character development. My one qualm with the characters, however, was the lack of conversation between Crislin and her husband. Although I feel like it may have taken away from the story somehow, I would have liked to see them interact more. I felt their love, but part of me wanted to see it as well.

As for the story itself, my one difficulty while reading was the quick pace at which the story moves. It isn't that the story isn't engrossing. It is in fact so engrossing that I was a little thrown off by how quickly things were happening. By the time I would figure out exactly what the important events in the chapter were and how they tied into what I had previously read, a new plot twist was thrown at me. I'll admit that it definitely kept the story fresh! It kept me at the edge of my seat for sure. However I would have liked a little more time to slowly revel in the beauty of the world and the words on the page.

Overall Bloodmaiden is a very solid and well-written story! I haven't even begun to delve into the delicious dragon-fueled dynasties, or any of the other epic parts of the storyline. I'll leave that up to you to discover as you dive into this beautifully written book. I happily recommend this book to all fantasy lovers out there! Enjoy!

Book Details
Title: Bloodmaiden
Author: Christine Schulze
Publisher: Old Line Publishing, LLC
Pages: Paperback; 208
Source: Received from author for review.
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Final Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
[+/-] Click to see rating.


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