Release date: September 30, 2014
Published by: Ace
Source: Provided by publisher
Author links: erin-lindsey.com | FB | Twitter
Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…
A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.
Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.
But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…
There was so much that I loved about The Bloodbound. The military strategy, fierce battles, glory and heartbreak of war, and the strong, capable female protagonist in a traditionally male role all made this a win for me.
I adored Alix Black. She was first introduced to us as a scout, but we quickly see her running into battle, risking her life by defying her orders, and soon after she transitions to the role of Captain and personal bodyguard to the king. She was brave, loyal, clever, and could be a bit stubborn. I loved all of these qualities about her. Her only flaw was her decisions when it came to relationship matters.
The story does have a love triangle and I occasionally found myself wanting to skim through the romantic elements so that I could get back to the war and King Erik's fight for his throne. But it wasn't enough to take away from my enjoyment of the story. Also, I was surprised by the outcome of the love triangle and was actually rooting for the other guy.
The fantasy elements in this story weren't as strong as I thought they would be. There is some blood magic involved, but no wizards or witches, elves or fey, or even dragons. Priests and bloodbinders create weapons fusing blood and magic. It's an important part of the story, but overall it really only plays a minor role. The story is more about Alix supporting her king, protecting him from assassination, and the Banner Lords strategizing on how to get the king back to Erroman and how to win against the advancing Oridian army.
The Bloodbound has been one of my favorite stories so far this year. The characters were well crafted and the relationships were complex. It was intense, perfectly paced, and the gripping first chapter had me hooked. I'm anxiously awaiting details for the sequel. Highly recommended.