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Bloodheir (The Godless World) Paperback – June 3, 2008
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
This awkward middle volume, the second installment of Ruckley's Godless World trilogy (after 2007's acclaimed Winterbirth), lacks the thematic impact and emotional intensity of its predecessor. As the armies of the Black Road, a fatalistic religious movement revolving around a creed of predestination, descend from their northern exile, the quarrelsome leaders of the True Blood clans must join forces or die, but supernatural forces beyond their understanding are playing with their destiny. Multiple plot threads featuring dozens of integral characters bog down the pacing considerably, creating a narrative that, like the unwieldy and poorly led True Blood army, becomes a lethargic thing emanating resentment and reluctance. New readers will be utterly lost and fans left impatient for book three. (June)
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The latest addition to one of the durable institutions of modern fantasy, McKiernan’s Mithgar saga, is a quest yarn in which a warrior, his true love, and a stalwart band of men and dwarves set off to find the legendary City of Jade and its lost magic. They encounter more than enough perils, of which enough of the magical sort are pretty original. Apparently a stand-alone story, the book is an unexpectedly good introduction to McKiernan and Mithgar, as well as a solid treat for long-haul fans. --Roland Green
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In any case, amidst the tonnage of fantasy out there, this series still is worth reading, and I believe, with all the threads coming together, that the third installment will be more satisfying.
All in all, an honnest 3,5 star book. A 6.5 in a scale of 10.
Read it, by all means. There is a lot of stuff out there, considerably worse. And this one still has margin to improove.
It seemed much of the tension in the story faded a bit as power shifted between the various players in the book and the pieces on the board were being setup for book three. Bloodheir also focused more on characters I least liked verse the first volume. Despite the story not feeling like it follows the typical highs and lows of writing, it did manage to leave us with the expected rather bleak ending the middle volume of a series often does.
Magic is still handled quite well here. Even with the growing power of the Aeglyss character it still comes across quite mysterious and unknown. Even Aeglyss himself not understanding his own limits.
The play for power in the story continues to be interesting as well. Though you might label one side of the war the "bad guy" verse the other, within both sides are people made up of shades of gray. Both sides of the battle have their own internal struggles that risk tearing them apart more than the war itself.
It was quite a bit easier to follow the story this time. My last review I mentioned the confusion with all the family names and more; but it was all quite familiar to me by now. Also the structure of the story was familiar as well. Instead of the typical chapter to chapter layout, each book has been made up of five huge chapters (with prologue and epilogues as well) and then each chapter is broken up into sub-chapters. It was a bit 'different' when I started 'Winterbirth', but works perfectly for the structure of the story.
Though I felt the story lost a bit of momentum about 2/3rd's of the way through, it still easily held my interest due to the being already pulled deeply into this world. Ruckley has built to an interesting point so far and I am very interested in seeing how it plays out. My recommendations to read this series from the first book review still stand.
There is more infighting in this one among the different factions and the boy Thane Orisian is off doing his own thing while the rest of the Godless World gets smashed into oblivion.
Aglyss becomes the main protragonist and uses his powers to further weaken his enemies and allies alike, bending them to his will.
Taim is my favorite characters in the second installment. He is the good guy in this story who you really want to root for and see come out on top more than any of the others. I hope in the end of the series he gets to see his wife and daughter, at least one more time.