Book Review: Bloodmaiden by Christine Schulze

Title: Bloodmaiden

Author: Christine Schulze

Series: The Amielian Legends #4

Page Count: 196

Publish Date: April 1, 2010

Synopsis:

Four dragon dynasties. One terrible tradition. The young couple who fights to reunite dragons and humans in harmony to end that dark tradition forever.

For Crisilin, the idea of humans and dragons living in harmony with one another is nothing more than a distant dream, especially once she’s forced to participate in Tynan’s annual ritual. Only one Quelda is chosen every year, which might sound like an honor. In reality, it’s a fate worse than death. The other three dragon dynasties of Sulaimon desire a peaceful tribute from the humans they’ve sworn to protect.

Tynan requires blood.

Along with her childhood sweetheart, Chalom, Crisilin must choose to embrace this cruel tradition or stand against it. However, taking a stand is no small task. Their only hope lies in seeking help from the other dragon dynasties, but reaching them means fleeing Tynan—a feat that’s not only punishable by death but is so perilous that no one who’s ever tried it has lived to tell the tale. First, there’s the infamous Wall. Beyond that, the enchanted expanse of the Ever-White Lake.

Can Crisilin and Chalom be the first to escape and stop Tynan’s ritual before it’s too late? Or will the dragons of Tynan, much like its people, remain trapped in dark tradition for all time?

Bloodmaiden

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My Review:

The author provided me with a copy of this book to review.

Dragons often play a quintessential role in fantasy books. Whether friend or foe, they add a certain element of magic into their stories. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read and these books often get bumped to the top of my TBRBloodmaiden thrusts the reader into a world of humans and dragons, where peace is merely a dream. One girl takes on the challenge of making that dream a reality by breaking a long-standing tradition.

Much like vampires and werewolves, Dragons are a generally overused genre. It is hard to come by a book that involves dragons that don’t seem to be a repeat of every other dragon-related book. However, Christine Schulze managed to give dragons a refreshing view with Bloodmaiden.

While Bloodmaiden is the fourth book in the Amielian Legends series, they act as standalone books, set in the same universe but can be read in any order.

That being said, I did find a few issues with the book. The first chapter or two felt slow, which isn’t always an issue as I realize the book has to start somewhere and often establish a bit of background and character development. However, once over that tiny hump the rest of the story seemed rushed, perhaps a bit too much for my liking. I realize that when a book involves characters doing a lot of traveling, like the ones in this one were doing, the book can become very dull and repetitive very quickly. And considering the characters had to travel between four different kingdoms in order to save the day so to speak, it would have been an absolute snore of a read to have chapter after chapter going on about them traveling. Now there were helpful bits along the way to speed the characters through their travel, which basically boiled down to magical transportation at the end of each part of their quest. It was an interesting concept and certainly helped to avoid the inevitable travel time.

The character interactions along the way were fairly good. Though I wasn’t entirely surprised when certain relationships were introduced, perhaps I’m just good at predicting this kind of thing. One little twist in the story I did enjoy was involving Tash’s true identity along the way. That part I had no clue of until it jumped out and bit me. Sometimes the most unexpected of surprises are the best. Of course, I also didn’t expect her close relationship with Pan and Brydon. So the book was certainly full of surprises.

Overall I thought the book was good, it had an interesting storyline, fairly well-developed characters, and a well-written plot. My biggest concern was that it was a bit too rushed. For example, the ending felt like it was being forced upon the reader without giving enough story to reach the ending. I think I would have liked to see the story flow a bit slower, and add some extra elements to it so that it’s not a case of travel, talking to dragons, getting what you’re looking for, teleporting out, and then looping back only to repeat that process again. I certainly would not be opposed to visiting the book’s setting again, seeing how the characters have grown since the end of the book, and getting more history about the lands and beings within.

Have you read Bloodmaiden? What did you think of it?

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