«A Time of Blood» – the second book Of Blood and Bone series by John Gwynne is coming out tomorrow, April 18th!
For everyone who doesn’t know or heard of this book, this is the second installment in Of Blood and Bone Fantasy series by John Gwynne, set in Banished Lands over 100 years after the events of The Faithful and the Fallen.
Do you need to read the first series?
Personally, I haven’t read The Faithful and the Fallen, but I definitely would love to pick it up at some point, even though I’m more attached to the current characters than the world itself.
But there might be some perks to reading the other series first. For example, this series definitely contains some spoilers to the first one, as it references a lot of historical events and past accomplishments. Also, it would be easier to jump into this series if you are already familiar with the world. (Although, I didn’t find it difficult or complicated to get into). And you might pick up more “hidden” references than a new reader.
Defy the darkness. Defend the light.
Drem and his friends flee the battle at Starstone Lake to warn the Order of the Bright Star. They’ve witnessed horrors they’ll never forget, such as magic warping men into beasts. But worst of all, they’ve seen a demon rise from the dead – making it even more powerful. Now Fritha, the demons’ high priestess, is hunting Drem’s party.
Concealed in Forn Forest, Riv struggles to understand her half-breed heritage. She represents the warrior angels’ biggest secret, one which could break their society. And when she’s found by the Ben-Elim’s high captain, he swoops in for the kill.
Thank you, Pan Macmillan, for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way
«A Time of Dread» came out in January 2018 and was one of the first books I read last year. You can find my review here. It was a very solid first book, but the second book exceeded all of my expectations.
While in «A Time of Dread» I was just getting familiarized with the world, history, and characters, in «A Time of Blood» I was ready to jump into some action. And John Gwynne definitely delivered a lot of it!
Just like the previous book, the second installment also has four narrators. Drem was my favorite from the first book and that love for his adventures, his calm and fair spirit continued onto the next one. His story line was also packed with action!
This time, however, Riv’s arc also got some special attention from Gwynne. I love how different the characters are. How every single one of them has personality traits specific only to them. Making the dynamic within the groups very captivating.
There was only one flaw that I have to point out. Something that I noticed happening often was the over-explanation of emotions.
We already read the characters’ thoughts highlighted in italic, and just a simple “he shrugged” or “he smirked” would be enough to transmit their emotions. But John Gwynne usually adds “He felt confused, angry, bewildered, and deeply worried…”.
This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your reading preferences.
- PRO: readers never doubt characters’ emotions. We know exactly what they are feeling at every moment. This is usually a technique used in books for a younger audience, to help them understand what a “shrug” or a “smirk” actually means.
- CON: can make the pace of the book feel slower with many unnecessary explanations.
The Banished Lands represent an entire continent with a few isles here and there. In the first two books Of Blood and Bone, we were limited to a rather small territory – The Desolation (where Drem is from), Dun Serene and Drassil in the Forn Forest. But the map is so vast, I’m curious to see if we get to travel a bit further in the final book or if John Gwynne has some other plans for the rest of the map (or maybe it was fully explored in The Faithful and the Fallen series?)
If you ever end up in the Banished Lands, would you be Team Ben-Elim and become one of their subjects/followers or Team Kadashim? Let’s find out!
What character did you get? I’m a White Wing and a proud member of “Team Ben-Elim”!
Let me know in the comments down below!
OTHER BOOKS BY JOHN GWYNNE: