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Blood of Innocents: Book Two of the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence Paperback – February 2, 2016
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From the Back Cover
A novice sorcerer may hold the key to saving his world—or be the instrument of its destruction—in this second book in the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing saga of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery
Anasoma, jewel of the Mahruse Empire, has fallen. As the orphan Caldan and his companions flee the city, leaving behind their hopes for a new beginning, horrors from the time of the Shattering begin to close in.
With his friend Miranda’s mind broken by forbidden sorcery, Caldan does the unthinkable to save her: he breaks the most sacrosanct laws of the Protectors. But when the emperor’s warlocks arrive to question him, Caldan realizes that his burgeoning powers may be more of a curse than a blessing, and the enemies assailing the empire may be rivaled by more sinister forces within.
And soon, the blood of innocents may be on Caldan’s own hands.
About the Author
When he was eleven, Mitchell Hogan was given The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy to read, and a love of fantasy novels was born. He spent the next ten years reading, rolling dice, and playing computer games, with some school and university thrown in. Along the way he accumulated numerous bookcases’ worth of fantasy and sci-fi novels, and he doesn’t look to stop anytime soon. For a decade he put off his dream of writing, then he quit his job and wrote A Crucible of Souls, Book One in the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence. He now writes full-time and is eternally grateful to the readers who took a chance on an unknown self-published author. He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, Angela, and daughter, Isabelle.
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Top Customer Reviews
On the other hand, I loved the subterfuge, double-crossing and intrigue found in this book. Where few people are to be trusted and all of them have their own agenda.
Fellicene's portrayal as an idealist does not mesh with what we know of her in the first book.
Book is good. Hope the next one is better.
It is then with disappointment that you read this second book and all that character development is seemingly thrown out the window. Instead the reader has to deal with Caldan as an immature, obnoxious, entitled brat who worst of all is incompetent, failing at most things he does and then wallowing in disgusting emo moments of self pity and reprobation. It is with almost horror as you turn each page of the book hoping Caldan would snap out of it and return to demonstrating his moments of brilliance from the 1st book. But instead as the pages dwindle he continues to engage constant moral and action failings that have you putting down the book in frustration. Rather than creating new engineering marvels or discovering new aspects of magic or demonstrating his mastery of Dominion as he did in the first book, he spends every page mewling over a lost love and generally failing at every endeavor while wallowing in indignation and self pity.
He is a pawn to every side character introduced rather than a budding hero in his own right. Even the side character Amerdan comments that Caldan is useless especially when compared to Bells.
Is in fact in Bells and Amerdan that the author lavishes the accomplishment and development. It is done in an almost GRRM attempt to add depth and complexity to the antiheroes but since that development is done almost always at the expense of the protagonist, Caldan, the development leaves a sour taste in your mouth.
The other "hero" of the series Vasile undergoes a similar transformation. In book 1 we are introduded to an extraordinarily competent hero with a unique and powerful talent and in book 2 he is transformed into a weak, incompetent, confused side kick to another side character Aidan that the reader and struggles and fails to find any connection to. I found myself skipping over all the story line involving Aidan while gritting my teeth through the passages where Vasile is portrayed as being just short of a doddering fool.
So basically in book 2, the author incomprehensibly took the 2 main heroes and destroyed all their accomplishment and reduced them to self pitying incompetent fools that throws out all their earlier developmenent and feels like a huge insult to the investment the reader placed in those characters in Book 1. And instead the focus is placed on side characters like Bells, Aidan and Lady Felic who at this point in the story you struggle to find any connection or interest in.
Overall a very disappointing follow up in a book that I was highly looking forward to reading.
EDIT: Updated from 2 to 3 stars. For all its faults the book is the continuation of an excellent series and whoever enjoyed the first book will want to read the second one
BLOOD OF INNOCENTS is the second book in the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence series by Mitchell Hogan.
POV: Third Person
SETTING: Anasoma (fictional location)
SEXUAL CONTENT: none
Jen’s Review of BLOOD OF INNOCENTS
I want to start by giving my apologies to the author and the publisher. I read this book months ago, and I never wrote the review. My delay has nothing to do with the quality of the book; I just fell into a rut where I didn’t want to write reviews anymore. I kept procrastinating, making days turn into weeks and then months.
Blood of Innocents was an exciting, fast-paced, and skillfully written book full of endearing and interesting characters. This book continued the story of Caldan, a young man who is caught in the middle of a war and stuck in a bad situation due to choices he made in the previous book. He is learning to expand his magical abilities, while caring for his injured friend (romantic interest). Caldan is a character who people can relate to–he makes mistakes but has the best intentions.
Because Caldan is so likable, the other characters sometimes fall to the wayside. That doesn’t make them less interesting; it just becomes easy to want to skip over their parts in order to get back to what is going on with Caldan. I think the author could have had less scenes from the perspectives of other characters, and the book would not have suffered for it.
I only saw a couple of errors in the book. One was on page 127. There is some word confusion during a conversation between Bells and Caldan. It’s a minor thing. Overall, I thought the book was very well-written.
Compared to the previous book, this one was more graphic due to Amerdan showing more of his violent nature. This is not a problem; I am just letting people know what to expect in case they haven’t read it yet.
Blood of Innocents is a book that can be read alone without having to read the previous book in the series. The author introduces the world and the characters to the reader in such a way as to avoid confusion. There is also a “Dramatis Persona” at the beginning of the book, which tells the reader who all the characters all, which is very helpful because there are a lot of characters in this series.
I also appreciated that there isn’t a huge cliffhanger at the end. Also, the author started giving some of the answers to questions that have been looming since the first book, such as what is going on with Caldan’s body.
If you haven’t read Blood of Innocents, I strongly suggest it. This is one of my favorite fantasy series. It’s a coming-of-age story mixed with magical realism and action-adventure. I would definitely read the next book if given an opportunity. I give this book five out of five stars for being hard to put down, having lots of intrigue and suspense, and providing vivid setting descriptions.