Book Review: Bloody Rose, by Nicholas Eames

I read Kings of the Wyld last year and loved it, so I thought it’s time I’d take a stab at the sequel.

What to expect

The events in this novel take place six years after Kings of the Wyld, but more importantly with (almost) completely different characters. While Clay, Gabe, and Moog make guest appearances this story isn’t about them.

Eames sets out to continue exploring the same world as KotW, with it’s treatment of adventurer bands like rock stars. This time we focus more on the darker aspects, on the social impact of monster pit-fighting, and on the consequences of defeating the last monster horde in the previous novel. In between we tour other parts of the world, delve further into its history, and deal with the megalomaniac monster problem of the day.

What I liked

I enjoyed Eames exploring the world further, from the psychology of the immortal Druins to the wider geography. Eames’ style can be light at times, with plenty of geek references and jokes, but well balanced with character-driven emotional journeys. His world building, from society to magic, in engaging and well thought out.

What to be aware of

As mentioned, we are presented with different cast of characters, with their own issues. It may take readers a while to bond, as these issues can be distinctly different than those of KotW. You should read them in order to understand what is happening and the world itself, but because the characters and themes are different it may not be a smooth transition.

And while Eames writing can be powerfully emotional and appeal to those epic-fantasy fans clamouring for character-driven stories, at times I felt that it was bit much and if we could get on with the actual adventure it would be much appreciated, kthnx.

Summary

I’d recommend this novel for epic-fantasy fans, who love door-stopper sized books about characters’ inner journeys.

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