Three cultures clash in all out war–against each other and against the gods–in the second book of this fantasy duology that’s sure to capture fans of The Hunger Games and An Ember in the Ashes.
The Races are over. War has begun.
Ashlord and Longhand armies battle for control of the Empire as Dividian rebels do their best to survive the crossfire. This is no longer a game. It’s life or death.
Adrian, Pippa, and Imelda each came out of the Races with questions about their role in the ongoing feud. The deeper they dig, the clearer it is that the hatred between their peoples has an origin point: the gods.
Their secrets are long-buried, but one disgruntled deity is ready to unveil the truth. Every whisper leads back to the underworld. What are the gods hiding there? As the sands of the Empire shift, these heroes will do everything they can to aim their people at the true enemy. But is it already too late?
The first book in this series bowled me over with its inventive world-building, Hunger Games-ish race, and three characters that were so easy to root for, so requesting an ARC of the second book in this duology was a no-brainer.
In Ashlords, war, rebellion, and unrest were stirring, and this sequel is set several months later after the war has started. Where Ashlords primarily focused on the race, Bloodsworn is all about the battle and delves deeply into the seven gods and how they’ve affected society. The three main characters are now back with their own people and on opposite sides of the feud. Pacing is a bit slow at the beginning, but it gave me time to regain my footing in this world and catch up with Adrian, Pippa, and Imelda and learn the new roles they now played in the war. As with the first book, it’s impossible for me to choose a favorite among them. Adrian and Pippa were both used as pawns in different ways, but are now strong enough to forge their own path. Imelda, once considered an underdog, proves it’s a mistake to underestimate her. They all show tremendous growth over the span of the series, and their arcs do justice to these engaging characters.
With the three MCs having separate storylines, I wondered how and when they’d intertwine. A couple of game-changing plot twists soon answered my question, but the author also holds back some suprises until nearly the end. Tense, fast-paced battle scenes kept me glued to the pages, and the slivers of romance among all the fighting are actually kind of sweet and don’t overshadow the main plot.
This is an exciting, complex, original series sure to engage both YA and adult readers. Although the story was complete and the ending satisfying, I’d have loved another book. Just a hint to the author!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.