Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Book Review: Bloodmaiden

Blood Maiden by Christine E Schulze
Bookshelves: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult

My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2

Remember how back in your childhood days you'd often lay awake in bed, conjuring up an epic fantasy in your little head? Well, I certainly did. I thought of dragons and mysterious kingdoms, sprites, feisty little creatures, magical guitars and weird folk. Imagine my delight when I came across all those while I read Bloodmaiden! 

I have to admit the initial few pages had me doubting the enjoyment factor I'd get from this book, because of the first person narrative - It's not the style I'm used to reading or particularly fond of even. It felt a little odd but that odd sensation soon passes away as the story picks up. 

The story is Crisilin's narrative, who's the 'chosen sacrifice' or Quelda for the kingdom of Tynan, as part of the yearly 'blessing' the kingdom receives from the dragons ruling it. Now this kingdom is grim indeed for much tragedy falls on it's people at the hands [claws?] of the tyrant dragons, pushing them farther into the darkness. Now Crisilin faces a terrible fate, she is to get married to a partner and be sacrificed - to be consumed by the blood lusting scaly beasts. Does she dare defy the dragons? Is there any hope for a future together with the childhood friend she loves? And more importantly, how does she manage to restore some semblance in her own kingdom? 

This book has some fantastic descriptions. I reveled in the rich details of each kingdom and the scenery. I usually like my books to have such details. Each kingdom had it's own wonderful setting, it's own tale to tell. The characters were strong, nicely etched. My favorites have to be Brydon and Pan. They were such complete opposites as to strike out each others' personality totally and just seeing the two interact was vastly entertaining. Mokuolu was another colorful character, one I enjoyed every time I read about. 

Crisilin didn't particularly strike me as a very strong individual but then I had to constantly remind myself of the horrors she'd prepared herself for and of how tender an age. Same goes for Chalom, though I think he was plenty brave for doing what he did. Such devotion isn't oft seen among men. 

Most of all, I liked how the journey progressed and yes, even though the ending became obvious halfway I still enjoyed the vivid scenes and the bonds formed during the entire book. I'd give it a 3.5 and recommend it to everyone who likes dragons and epic fantasy.

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