Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bloodmaiden by Christine E. Schulze

Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties...They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for. For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan.
These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel. Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon—but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumored as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynanian brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet, any hope at all is valued in Tynan...
If they are to stand a chance of bringing cruel tradition to a permanent end, Crislin and Chalom must brave the constant, consuming blizzards of the Ever-white. They must brave the three dynasties and the challenges awaiting there. Together, they must convince the dragon emperors to allow them access to the shrines which house the sacred Aria - protective strands of music which may be able to disperse the evil from Tynan and unite the four dynasties of Sulaimon as a whole once again. Their only aid stems from a sprite whose moods are as unstable as her magic, a young minstrel, and a mysterious fox. Despite the odds, such plans are daring, dangerous, unprecedented, but fully possible - if they can escape the Wall first.

I received this book for free for review.

The genre of Christian Fantasy is an interesting one. I haven’t read that many examples of it, but what I have read are pretty well done. I enjoyed this one, although I preferred the previous book I reviewed by this same author more.
The story is pretty unique, with lots of description, sometimes to a fault since they do seem to get in the middle of the action, therefore slowing the pace down.

The plot is fun, with some moments of well-crafted tension that make the reader turn the pages all the quicker. I loved the riddles in the story. It’s always a great detail to add to any book, riddles that make the reader use his or her brain to figure them out.

The writing is a bit uneven. Some parts are very well done, while others suffer from lack of editing, which is a shame since the story has real potential. It’s not so much spelling or grammatical errors, but just plot planning that should have been a bit tighter.

I do still recommend it for readers of fantasy, especially those of you out there that enjoy stories that are just a bit different.

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