Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Blood King-Gail Z. Martin

The Blood King
Gail Z. Martin
Solaris, Jan 2008 , $7.99
ISBN: 1844165310

In under a year since the assassination of King Bricen by his oldest son, the kingdom of Margolan has gone from wide prosperity to abject poverty. King "Jared the Tyrant" could not care less that people are starving. Instead with the assistance of his notorious blood thirsty fire mage blood practitioner Foor Arontala, he has destroyed the peace pact with the Blood Council; his minion is slaughtering their vayash moru vampires. The evil pair plans to sacrifice the souls of all those they stolen in the Soulcatcher to present as sacrifices to the Obsidian King on Hawthorne night. This will enable the malevolent one to escape the incarceration the Summoner sorceress Bava K'aa placed on him and consequently conquer the Winter Kingdoms.

Jared’s younger half-brother Prince Martris "Tris" Drayke is the only other survivor of the family massacre. He remains in hiding pretending to be a peasant struggling to survive in hard times. The Sisterhood reluctantly agrees to train Tris in using his Summoner skill inherited as the grandson of Bava K'aa to fight against Arontalato; that is if he survives the training ordeal

The sequel to THE SUMMONER, THE BLOOD KING is an exciting quest fantasy that continues to move forward towards the anticipated confrontation between the two brothers. The story line is action-packed from the opening though feels a bit padded with a cast of interchangeable expendable pawns as Jared and Arontala have gotten around destroying seemingly a zillion villages that the readers visit and sacrificing quadrillion people for their cause. Still this is a terrific tale as the audience follows the adventures of Tris preparing for the inevitable altercation with his sibling and the evil mage.

Harriet Klausner

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