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A Sign in Blood [Kindle Edition]

Marion Sipe
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
 
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Book Description

After swearing to find her father’s murderer in front of her entire clan, Chadri sets off to the city of her birth. In Mesaceal, the capital city of a vast desert empire, she reclaims her father’s title and begins her investigations of the 15-year-old crime. However, the few clues that remain keep pointing her to the ruling class, tangling her further and further in the political web. She befriends Liral, the nation’s Queen-in-Waiting. Liral knows she won’t live long enough to claim her crown if she doesn’t take some action, and her strongest enemy, Factor Hillian, is also the man Chadri suspects of orchestrating her father’s murder. But Hillian isn’t going to sit quietly while the two of them plot against him…

Meanwhile, to the north in Vinisha, the Apostasy’s time is coming. Among the people, Carial Deom’Tetra—the Apostasy’s leader—is growing ever more popular in his battle against the Military and Priestly Castes. Then an unexpected attack leaves Carial cut off from his people, without aid or recourse, until help comes from an unexpected quarter. Bastian Deom’Earin, a Full Rank Priest and member of the ruling Priestly Caste takes him in and shelters Carial as he heals. Together they learn of a traitor among the ranks of the Apostasy, and must root out the turncoat, but which of Carial’s most trusted will it be and will the Apostasy survive their defection?

Swept together by events, the two groups collide, dragging up old secrets. Chadri, Liral, Carial and Bastian are forced to work together, not only to overcome their own enemies, but an enemy who’s been sleeping for centuries, an enemy Chadri’s father once also fought against. Trapped within the tightening threads, she must unravel the secrets surrounding her father's death, or die the same way he did.

465 pages. 165,000 words.

Product Details

  • File Size: 847 KB
  • Print Length: 446 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0059HBT5O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,263 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but a few niggles September 24, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed this tale of a struggle for freedom and survival against the odds. I liked the magic system, and the characters are well-rounded and believable. It misses out on the 5th star because of a few problems.

The plot, while usually tight and clever, sometimes loses its way. Early on, we learn that the rebellion (not mentioned in the blurb) must have a traitor high up in its ranks. The leader investigates for a bit, but then seems to give up when he can't figure out who it is. The traitor eventually gives themselves away, by acting against orders in view of other rebels.

Towards the end of the book, two male characters realise they love each other and share an awkward kiss. I've no problem with gay characters, but the scene has no consequences. It doesn't change their relationship; there's no dilemma where one character has to choose between the other guy and something or someone else that's important to him. Scenes that have no consequences shouldn't be in a story.

The ending is rather abrupt, and I would have preferred a bit more time to be spent tying up (some of) the loose ends. Perhaps the author wants to keep her options open for a sequel?

I don't normally complain about names, but many of those in this book are too similar, which made it harder than necessary for me to keep track of who was who. Most of the characters have a first name and a surname, and the surname usually has a prefix, equivalent to Mr or Mrs. There are lots of niceties of protocol about which name you use when addressing someone. That's all fine, but because the prefix is a made-up word (and possibly because it's joined to the surname with an apostrophe, rather than being a separate word), my brain insists on seeing it as part of the name.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good July 19, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This isn't usually the sort of thing I enjoy but I picked it up on a whim after a recommendation and I enjoyed it. It's well written with some really interesting characters. It only misses out on 5 stars because I struggled to get into it initially but after the first 50 pages I suddenly found myself drawn into it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Christy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best epic fantasies I've read in recent years. It grabbed me from the first page and even after I turned the last page, I was still immersed in that world. The characters are three-dimensional and all of them hide a strength just waiting to surface. They also hide painful histories which shape their character and fate. The world is wonderfully built, realistic with touches of magic that permeate everything and shape society and individuals. Following Chadri, Liral, Nathias, Carial and Bastian throughout the pages was a pure pleasure and I rooted for all of them. This is a book you cannot miss if you like fantasy. I really hope Marion will give us a sequel!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passive "Tell" Narrative Tramples This Book October 9, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was a tedious read. To be fair to Ms. Sipe, her narrative voice is not something to which I am drawn. To explain further, this book is written with the same passive narrative as an encyclopedia, filled with hundreds of pages of interior monologue from the various thoughts of her characters, and interrupted only every once in a while with actual "showing" and actual conversations.

Example passage to point out what I'm talking about:

"That explained why Vella hadn't feared the inkeeper's ire. The Nirafel holding a crossbow on Chadri gestured her over to the others. Chadri went, though she refused to kneel until her knees had been kicked out from beneath her. A small rebellion, and in the end it only earned her an aching leg."

Okay in the above passage we don't need her to explain the previous passages because we aren't a stupid reader and know why Vella doesn't fear the inkeeper's ire. Then the whole bit about getting the legs kicked out is all extremely passive...I could read this in an encylopedia.

Example: "It is said that Chadri refused to kneel until her knees had been kicked out from beneath her..." etc.

The whole book reads exactly like this. It's all passive thoughts, passive emotions and I longed to not be told things that were supposed to be happening right then and there but were written in a narrative that could easily have happened hundreds of years ago. How about a little direct action, i.e, "Chadri didn't kneel. A guard kicked her behind the legs and she cracked her knees on the floor."

The passive "tell" narrative which comprises 90% of this book goes on for nearly a thousand pages.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Sign in Blood March 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a very fluid story that takes you on an awesome journey. It is very well written. There are never any issues with grammar, spelling, etc. The story also flows together into a coherent whole.

At times this story is very captivating, and at others I found myself trying to figure out what was going on. The author jumps back and forth between scenes to include multiple characters and storylines that weave in and out of each other. Unfortunately the boundaries between them aren't always concrete, leading to some muddy moments. There were also some times where certain scenes drug on a little longer than necessary, creating a bit of a lull in the storyline. There are times where the storyline seems to drag on a bit.

The characters in this novel were quite original yet still fairly real. I appreciated that there was a very strong cast that is mostly female. However, I would have like to have seen a bit more character development. Some of the characters are phenomenal, but others need a bit of beefing up. They serve important roles in the story but seem to be placeholders on paper.

As a whole this was an enjoyable read. I appreciated the cohesiveness of the story and the journey undertaken by the characters.

Please note that I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review
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More About the Author

Marion Sipe is a writer, poet and artist. Now pursuing a marketing degree, she was home schooled for most of her life, which taught her a love of research and the skills to get the job done. Well, that or the skills to get lost in the stacks. It depends on how interesting the research is. In addition to a pretty much obsessive love for worldbuilding, words and writing, she enjoys Photoshop, drawing, painting, juggling, and reading, of course. Lots of reading. Having recently returned home to New Orleans, she resides there with her vicious guard cats and handsome prince. And lots of books.

Some of them her own. To find out more, visit http://marionsipe.blogspot.com


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