I had high expectations for this book, I am glad to report it met them and then some.
Bloody Rose is the sequel to Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. I adored Kings of the Wyld so it’s next of kin had big shoes to fill. We aren’t here to talk about Kings of the Wyld though, but if you want to read more about it, I reviewed it at the start of the year.
Bloody Rose follows Tam Hashford. A young woman who yearns for adventure, rather than a life of serving drunk washed-up adventurers in her local pub. She is given the opportunity of a lifetime, to leave her hometown and become the bard for one of the most famous bands of mercenaries this side of the Wyld, Fable.
Tam takes them up on the offer and begins travelling with the one and only Bloody Rose herself. However, it’s a big world out there, and danger is everywhere, even for the likes of Fable.
Everything I loved about Kings of the Wyld is present in the follow-up, even some of the characters. In-universe it has been about six years since Saga’s last quest so it was interesting to see how they had been getting on.
Tam has one hell of an arch during her adventure. It was great to see her grow from a naive bored girl to, well, read it for yourself to find out.
The rest of Fable are an interesting lot. You have a summoner who summons monsters to fight for her from tattoos, a shapeshifting sweetheart, an excitable manager, a devoted husband and the legend Bloody Rose. Sometimes when reading about a group of people, there is one that you aren’t too fond of. Not the case here.
Each and every one of these bandmates has faced trials and tribulations, only coming out of it stronger than ever. They aren’t just brothers in arms, they are a found family of survivors who rely on each other for support and love. Hell mend anyone who hurts one of them, because the others will not let that go unpunished, as this book proved.
Eames has become one of my favourite writers. It is almost painful to put one of his books down. You get lost in his impeccable worldbuilding and truly feel as if you are fighting alongside the characters during their plight.
I said in my Kings of the Wyld rant that “if Bloody Rose is only half as good, I will still be satisfied.” Needless to say, it lived up to that lofty bar set by the former. Though don’t ask me to chose between them, I love them both. It would be like asking me to pick between my children!
I highly recommend Bloody Rose as it is bloody brilliant. If you are a fellow Fantasy fanatic, you need to read both Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose.
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