Blood Brothers: A Novel of Epic Fantasy Kindle Edition
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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As wonderful as the writing is, it was the characters that really drew me in. Grillis, Athemon and Verlvik are each marvellous in their own way. Each possesses an immense personal strength, while also displaying notable weaknesses. They balance each other in a truly meaningful way, even as they themselves are largely unaware of it. They each also managed to retain a certain childlike innocence even as they were forced to make decisions and act as adults.
Though the characters were human, pictsee and caprine there was a definite 'we're all the same, really' theme to the book that could easily be read as an anti-rascism allegory. This is always nice to see when not so heavy-handed as to overshadow the story. It wasn't here. It was just pleasant background noise.
Though it worked here, I always have a hard time engaging the flow of a story told from multiple POVs, even when consistently contained within their own chapters. I find it stutters a bit in my mind. (I'm not sure how else to describe it.) I also thought that the enemy to be overcome was a little flat. Sure, it was evil incarnate and all, but there was no sense of grey to give it any depth. While I had no trouble understanding why they needed to be defeated, I was given no real understanding of why they did what they did or how they'd become as evil as they were. They were a fairly cliché opponent. Lastly, the book is really quite violent and fairly gory. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but is worth noting, especially since I think it will work well as an upper YA book.
Be that as it may, I still really quite enjoyed the book and will happily pick up more of Soriano's work in the future.
Please Note: the author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Spoilers (general theme)
Three young men of vastly different races find themselves thrown together by chance to try and save their realm from the clutches of an evil religious cult. The only thing they've in common is that they're all outcasts from their respective societies and each has his own unique, but at this point, ill-define talent. This then is the tale of Grillis (human), Athmon (caprine) and Verlvik (a pictsee healer)... detailing their individual situations, their coming together and events that require a blending their particular skills to survive.
1.) a well written and intriguing tale.
2.) a nice blend of action and drama. Lots of tense encounters yet there was still some very good character development.
3.) scenes of encounters between men that were violent and savage. Some scenes that could only be described as stunningly visceral and intense.
4.) skillful prose that had a nice flow, making for an easy read. In addition, I didn't notice a single grammatical or spelling mistake.
1.) no map... a tale with a fair amount of travel. A map with direction, distances and topography, while not an absolute necessity, would have enhanced this work.
2.) while there was lots of action in this story there were also a couple of areas what I'd consider excessively descriptive... e.g. Verlvik's transformation scene with Kalvrava that took place over a couple of chapters. And while this incident (and others like it) were related to the overall story, they just dragged on to the point I felt an urge to skim. Kind of a feeling like... Ok, Ok, I've got the idea, now let's get on with it.
3.) there seemed to be moments when one of our heroes were emotionally stunned by the severity of some dire moment... unable to react when action was definitely needed. The concern was that this seemed to occur just too often to be realistic.
A book that was AT TIMES, one of the best books I've read in ages when it comes to intense encounters that could only be meant for an Adult reader. But then there were just a few too many moments that had a writing quality that one would expect to find in a Young Adult book.
And that in a nutshell maybe the book's biggest drawback... the mixing of many areas of superb hard core Adult story-telling with parts that seemed in many ways, almost Young Adult-ish. It made for tale that had parts where I could barely wait to turn the page to other sections where I started skimming to get through.
Not just good, but great in so many ways... it just needed more focus on its intended audience.
As it is... 3 1/2 Stars
Great work and I will definitely be looking out for other books by this author!
This story blends together the story of some diverse characters and shows how they come together despite their different backgrounds. It is the story of human cooperation and bonding.