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"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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"Merros had no desire to be dinner. To that end he called for his soldiers to get their asses in gear."
"He was very grateful for the ability to sound like he wasn’t ready to piss himself as he took careful aim and fired."
"Really, it was hard to say which was more exquisite, the torture of shattered hands or a broken heart. Poets and physicians each have their own answers."
For me, Merros was hands down my favorite character. What I quoted above was in his PoV within the first chapter, except for the very last one. It was his voice that kept me glued to this book.
The story is an interesting one set in interesting lands. Merros, an ex-soldier turned mercenary, is hired by a wizard and advisor to the king to go into the Blasted Lands, which are barren ice lands, and create a map of the lands. Other expeditions in the past never faired well, so there’s already a sense of doom. Anyway, in these lands Merros comes across a race of people. These people want to travel to his homeland and start relations. Merros escorts them back.
Now, obviously that’s really, really dumbed down. There’s a few other stories going on, but they kinda all tie into these people coming to Merros’s home. But what makes the story engaging is the fact you’re never sure if you can trust these people. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Now, these new people are very interesting; solving disputes through violence, honor through fighting abilities, and so on. The story spends a lot of time exploring the differences between Merros and these new people. We get to hop into the minds of a few of these Blasted Land natives as the PoV wanders to a few different characters, and it definitely gives you a perspective from both sides. Still, something always feels off about the exchanges, which again is what keeps the reader glued.
Despite all the cultural exploration, the book moves rather quickly. It had enough fighting and action to keep the pages turning. The cast was diverse and entertaining, fleshed out nicely. I enjoyed them all, but Merros had hooked me from the beginning and I always looked forward to his PoV.
As for the world, it felt very nicely developed to me, and I never felt bogged down by history lessons. Yet Moore wove information into the plot effectively. Traveling through the Blasted Lands was my favorite because it was such a harsh and foreign environment compared to where fantasy is usually based. And Moore did an excellent job of describing the scene without boring me to tears.
Overall, if you’re looking for something that goes a bit off the beaten track in terms of setting, you should pick this up. It was a fast read, and as I said, entertaining.
Mr. Moore does his best to establish a multitude of one dimensional characters that he hints may be either good or evil. I'm assuming his goal is to constantly make me wonder who is the good guy and who is the bad. The problem is that he never actually makes it to that point. He only gave me a superficial view of most of his characters (thus allowing me to wonder what category they fall under) and he then fails in the end to bring it all together. Most books written in this form have a defining moment where lines are drawn and the reader knows who is on which side. This book attempted to do the same thing. But, alas, Mr. Moore kept the reasoning behind the actions of his characters to himself during this moment thus leaving me to wonder if this was truly an act of evil or was there some purpose behind it.
I applaud Mr. Moore for using this tactic to try to keep the book suspenseful. And, Ill probably read the sequels, when I have some free time, just to find out why the people did what they did (which I'm assuming was the purpose of why the book ended the way it did). But, if he had just been a little more specific, I may have felt a little more attached to his characters and been excited to find out what happens to them (as opposed to just wondering how it ends).
The only reason it wasn't a 5 star was the first quarter or so of the book being mostly average at best and that I felt the characters for the most part were flat and had no real personality.
Most recent customer reviews
Not one of the characters makes a decision that has any effect in the whole outcome of the series.
Would not recommend.