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Blood Ties (The Castings Trilogy) Paperback – April 7, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
This complex trilogy opener, YA author Freeman's first book for adults, describes the Eleven Domains, a landscape littered with prophecies, gods and ghostly warnings. Saker, a wealthy and callous enchanter's apprentice, seeks to avenge his family's massacre. Bramble, gifted with a connection to animals and woodcraft, kills a warlord's man in self-defense and must flee her home. Nervous young guard Ash trains to become an assassin and endures his beloved mentor's exploitation of his necromantic abilities. When Saker's vengeance-seeking walking dead roam the land, Ash must find ways to stop them as Bramble seeks to protect the people they threaten. Freeman shies away from simplistic morality, building elegantly well-rounded characters—most notably Bramble, who manages to be tough but not hard, a loner but not unsympathetic and sexual but not obsessed with romance—and interwoven stories that at times draw too heavily on George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire novels for inspiration. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Pamela Freeman is an award-winning writer for young people. She has a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney, where she has also lectured in creative writing. She lives in Sydney with her husband and young son. Find out more about the author at www.pamelafreemanbooks.com.
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At first I didn't think that I would enjoy the use of multple stories to advance the book, but it really worked. Each piece told from the character's POV advanced the storyline and gives the reader a different perspective to what otherwise would could have been a 'they're evil-we're good story. The writing was awesome and the world-building complete.
The magic was believable and the characters fully-formed. I cannot wait for the 2nd book in this trilogy to be available for the Kindle and I highly recommend this book to YA thru adult.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
There were some times that I felt situations could have been further explored--Bramble's redemption from her 'half-life', Thegan's POV not included--but I those omissions in no way lessen the rating of this book.
In this world Travellers flee from one atrocity to another. However several have taken differing approaches. Bramble a young villager has tasted the taking of a life but feels no remorse as she flees from soldiers wanting to rape her. Apprentice Ash has been trained by street wizard Doronit as a safeguarder assassin who has killed, but feels regret with ghosts of his victims visiting him; he knows he is no better than the butcher Acton the warlord. However it is Saker the enchanter who considers using black magic to destroy his people's enemies and return what he believes is rightfully his. Their actions and that of other Travellers and the warlords impact the ordinary people who just want to survive.
The first tale of the Castings trilogy is an insightful fantasy in which an event has repercussions that have further repercussions; nothing is isolated. In some ways it will remind readers of Palestine. When the prime Travellers Ash and Bramble act, readers see their actions and the consequences on others, but not just warlords as communities are impacted. This brings a deep sense of reality, but can detract from the prime theme of the warlords vs. the outcasts. Still few fantasy sagas make the villages seems so genuine. BLOOD TIES is a strong opening gamut to the Freeman fantasy realm.
In the story of Blood Ties, you have the eleven domains which a fair haired war lord named Acton invaded a thousand years ago. Acton never united the domains and now each domain is overruled by a war lord who usually treats his people like trash. The people Acton had slaughtered a thousand years ago are now known as "Travelers," the people who survived Acton's massacre anyway. They can never settle in one place for too long since they are always shunned by the townsfolk for their dark hair and dark eyes which marks them as "Travelers."
"Travelers" usually sing, dance, and juggle, for their daily bread. However, if a person born to a "Traveler" family can't sing, or perform any sort of entertainment they are forced to settle in towns where they are normally shunned. Some "Travelers" adapt to the new environment and other "Travelers" grow resentful of their current situations. In Blood Ties by Pamela Freeman the the three main characters are as follows: Bramble, Ash, and Saker.
Bramble was born into a town but her grandfather was a "Traveler" until he could no longer travel the road. He had told Bramble his stories and Bramble loved them. Of course, Bramble was not a "normal" woman. She was born with dark hair and dark eyes and was always confused for a "Traveler" although she never traveled the road. Bramble always went through the woods however, and bought back whatever she had hunted, whether it be a rabbit or a fox, and this fed her family throughout the winter. Of course, her parents were never pleased at this and always wanted Bramble to be a "normal" woman who would weave and practice the carpentry trade like her sister did.
One day Bramble is out in the woods and a war lord's man spots her with a wolf skin. Curious the war lord man goes up to Bramble and demands his wolf skin back. Bramble denies him this since she was the one that killed the wolf after the war lord man left the wolf for dead and didn't finish the job. Something happens here and Bramble's quest is set.
Ash was born to a "Traveler" family and unfortunately he had to settle in a town since he could not sing or perform any decent entertainment. He has remembered all the songs his father taught him though. Anyway, his parents dropped him off in a town and he tried everywhere to be accepted to learn a trade. Due to the fact that he was a "Traveler" no one would take him in to give him work. He struggled and tried to go for so many trades but they all rejected him, except for one trade- the trade of a Safe Guarder, or in other words an assassin. He gets trained by a woman named Doronit in the skills of killing and more but eventually, something happens to him and now his quest is set.
Saker was born a "Traveler" but his story is a bit different. You don't know his story until later on in the book. Anyway, he is an enchanter and he seeks something but he can never quite grasp it. Still, he is a very interesting character in the book.
What do these three characters have in common? One thing they all have in common is that society shuns them just because they are different. Another thing is that they share a common goal whether they realize it or not. The book takes you on a huge twist which I will not reveal here but I must say it has me intrigued to read the next book.
Blood Ties is also written in each character's point of view and then sometimes the characters they leave impressions on. Each story from all the characters all tie in together to form one unique story.
Blood Ties by Pamela Freeman is definitely worth reading. It's a story that is different from the norm and it takes you to the fantasy land that only a really good writer can do for you. I do admit the cover art for the book could have been done a lot better as it does not do the book justice.
I rate Blood Ties by Pamela Freeman a 10 out of 10.
Most recent customer reviews
Pamela Freeman's "Blood Ties" is your average fantasy novel.Read more