I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “Blood Lust” by Garrett Robinson! I got this copy of the book for free in exchange for a review, like with virtually every single book in this series so far, due to being part of Team Legacy. Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:
“In an unknown tavern in the kingdom of Dorsea, a young noble girl named Sun meets an old man: Albern, of the family Telfer, once the dearest friend of Mag.
Mag. The Uncut Lady. The Wanderer. Stories of her skill are known throughout all the nine kingdoms. But few know how her tale ended—and even fewer know how it began.
Albern begins his tale.
Stripped of everything she loved—her town, her home, and her husband—Mag sets off into the Greatrock mountains seeking revenge. Albern accompanies her, his only hope to keep her alive as long as he can.
But the Shades are not the only things lurking in the mountains. An ancient creature of unspeakable evil awaits them—and even the strength of The Wanderer may not be enough.”
Character relationship developments: 5 out of 5 stars
Remember Albern, who I liked from “Darkfire” early in the Nightblade series? He’s back, and he’s one of the main protagonists. Heck, he’s the one RETELLING the main story that we all read/the one Sun hears from him. It was definitely nice to see him again and take on a lead role in this series. Mag is also a very interesting person to read, and in a way she’s a bit like Loren—a reckless, but smart and cunning, and she knows her way around a battle. Mag and Albern have a lovely amount of banter between them that highlights their personalities, with Albern being the more cautious of the two early on (though he later joins in on the recklessness of the situation).
POV: 4 out of 5 stars
Albern’s development: 5 out of 5 stars
I like how Robinson has decided to experiment a bit here by switching between both third person point of view (for the present day when Albern is retelling the story of his adventures with Mag) and then first person (Albern’s point of view as he recalls said story). I think the transitions between both of these were good, and they do resemble well of what it’s like to recall a story. Granted, given that the main story is in Albern’s point of view, we all are aware that he may be fudging things up or making them up as they go, especially with sections that are in the villains’ or Mag’s point of view. However, I still think it was a smart decision to have Albern be the one narrating the tale. Not only does it give depth to his own character development, but it also is interesting to see things through his point of view.
Worldbuilding: 4 out of 5 stars
Also something really interesting about this book was…well, vampires. First we have Shades and weremages, and now we finally have vampires. We also have more interactions with satyrs in particular. I like how the worldbuilding is being expanded through implementing more human-to-non-human interactions, and I’m eager to read more of it. However, I do wonder if all the satyrs (save for the one that got punished for being ‘lenient’ on Albern and the others previously) are really that bad. It gives them a little less depth than I hoped for, but maybe future encounters will help expand individual satyrs’ developments or how they act as a whole (as well as more on their culture and their views on humans).
Plotline: 4 out of 5 stars
Mag’s development: 4 out of 5 stars
As for the actual plot, I do think it was very interesting to see how Mag’s husband’s death, along with the loss of her town and home, really affected her. Granted, we’re seeing this through Albern’s eyes, but I can’t help but wonder if her recklessness is partially caused by her mourning her husband’s death. It definitely doesn’t help that she was literally in the process of getting her husband healed before he got brutally murdered at the time, either. I would like to see more expansion on that in future books.
Overall, I’m rating this 4 out of 5 stars! I can’t wait to read more in the series.