The Bloodbound. Erin Lindsey. Ace Books. September 2014. 368 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9780425272688.
Lady Alix Black is one of the King Erik White’s noble soldiers who disobeys orders during the major Battle of Boswyck and saves the King’s life. For that deed he appoints her his personal protector and head of his personal guard. It’s a tough job given his stubbornness and frustrated moods due to his leg injury from that same initial battle against the Oridians. In this first fantasy novel of a planned series, the King learns that his brother, Tomald, is a traitor and is behind the new battle. The reason for this traitorous behavior seems rather silly, but it turns out there is more than meets the eye. Still, having one’s own brother turn against one and try to claim the Kingship for his own is a tough nut for King Erik to swallow. Add to that that Alix’s brother, Riga, has disappeared while out on a scouting mission for the King.
Initially the King decides to allow others outside his immediate circle to believe he was killed in order to see just how far his brother will go and what alliances that brother will make in his quest for the crown. We also learn that Alix has a lover, a fellow scout named Liam, whom she will never be allowed to marry because of his lower class status. We learn of the mysterious power in the bloodbound swords only the nobility are allowed to carry and use in battle and later what the Oridians will do to counteract that extraordinary power, creating their own genetically perversions called “thralls.”
To say more would be a spoiler, so suffice to say that the reader is quickly rooting for the King, Alix and those who will loyally do anything to protect their King and restore his power. The battles, led by the “Priest” and his forces, are fierce and betrayal abounds along with multiple surprises and discoveries. Alix is a perfect heroine, being fierce and tough in battle with enough kindness and compassion to appeal to every reader.
Fans will find themselves eagerly looking forward to the next sequel to this fantasy novel. Well-written, Erin Lindsey!