Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Blood's Pride by Evie Manieri

If you go to World Fantasy Con, you'll come back with books, books, and more books. It's the "nature of the beast."

Evie Manieri is a new author and Blood's Pride appears to be her debut novel. It's secondary world fantasy, but steps outside the Tolkeinian norms.

The peaceful Shadari are attacked and invaded by the Norlanders. Rather than defending them, their clerics take their own lives during the battle. The Shadari are occupied slaves of the "Dead Ones," as they call the invaders.

The "Dead Ones" are almost vampiric creatures - although clearly alive not undead, they are cold, and cannot abide the touch of the sun or, for any long period, the touch of normal humans. They fall somewhere, I suppose, between vampires and drow - an interesting fantasy race. Oh, and they ride furred winged beasts called triffon that are just as nocturnal as they are.

Despite this, one of them manages to father a child on a local woman. But the real story is the conflict between the three children of the governor - one of whom wants to rule at all costs.

It's an interesting world, with a magic "system" that appears to be tied to bloodlines and is more clerical than arcane.

Unfortunately, I found the story didn't really stick with me after reading - it was an okay read, but it didn't cross the line into being one of those books that stays with you for hours or even days afterwards. If you have a voracious appetite for epic fantasy, this one is probably worth it - it's the first of a series.

If you're more picky, like I am, then it may or may not do it for you. The characterization is handled well, but some of the lesser characters seem to serve little purpose.

A solid work, but nothing truly special about it. Three stars.

Blood's Pride (Shattered Kingdoms)