The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey
Published by ACE
Published on: September 30 2014
Genres: Fantasy Romance
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Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…
A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.
Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.
But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…
Fantasy Romance is one of my favorite sub-genres, but I rarely have an opportunity to read it, b/c there’s not a lot of it available. This makes no sense to me, b/c AWESOME–it’s Fantasy AND it’s Romance . . . what’s not to like?
I think some people automatically shoot down anything designated as Fantasy, b/c they get overwhelmed by visions of infinite pages, multiple POVs, gruesome battle after gruesome battle, etc.
Fantasy Romance is an entirely different beast. Yeah, some of them are a bit longer (not this one) then the average book, and yeah, there is often more than one POV (only two), but the focus is different. The characters are still trying to save the world (or the kingdom), but the story is focused primarily on the heroine and her love interest(s), NOT on so many characters and organizations that a glossary is required to keep track of them all.
At least that’s my take. FYI.
And so The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey had been on my watchlist long before I had the opportunity to read it.
I instantly liked our heroine. The story opens in the heat of battle, and we meet Alix as she decides to run headlong into danger when she sees her leader in trouble. When a friend tries to reason with her–reminds her that their orders are to stay put–her response is, “And their orders were to attack.”
AND that is my reasoning every time I’m driving and have to pass some idiot on the right. You see . . . orders (rules, laws, speed limits, whatever) only work if everyone follows them . . . and when everything goes according to plan. Sometimes you just have to roll with situation you’re thrust into, damn your orders, and Alix gets that.
So does her brother:
“We’re not strong enough to confront the enemy directly, but we’ve become quite adept a hit-and-run strikes–taking out their scouting parties, raiding their camps, targeting their supply lines, that sort of thing. Some of the men disapprove of such devices–they’ve got fool-headed ideas about glory and honor–but I’m no martyr. I do what I can with the resources at my disposal, and no more.”
I realize that’s a lot of war talk for a Fantasy that I’m trying to differentiate based on the Romance aspect, but there is a war going on, and there are battles. They just aren’t the page after page (after page) of lopping off limbs and heads (and thank the nine Virtues for that) type of battles.
Speaking of the nine Virtues, the world-building left a bit to be desired. To save you the trouble, here are the Virtues I was able to figure out:
- Farika – Patience/Grace(?)
- Destan – Honor
- Olan – Courage
- Ardin – Boldness (Strength?)
- Eldora – Wisdom
- Rahl –
- Hew – Wit
Beyond that . . . I got nuthin’. I appreciate the lack of an info dump, but by the end of the book, I still hadn’t gleaned enough information to know what all nine Virtues were, let alone understand their importance. I had similar issues with other aspects of the world-building, but it wasn’t a huge problem for me, b/c I was too caught up in the story.
Why was I so caught up in the story?
Well . . . I don’t know about you, but by the end of Thor: The Dark World, I was ready for Thor to kick Jane Foster to the curb, b/c Sif. I mean really . . . Jane was BLAH, and Sif . . . Sif was Sif (A-W-E-S-O-M-E).
Alix is Sif with red hair. And Erik is Thor, and Tomald is Loki. *shrugs* Hey, you have to get your inspiration somewhere, and I’m pretty convinced that’s where Lindsey’s came from:
Tom sat beneath the window with his back to the wall, one arm draped across his knee. He made no move to stand as Erik entered. He did not even raise his head.
Don’t misunderstand–this is a completely new and original book, and one that I very much enjoyed. All I’m saying is that if you’re a fan of one (and I SO am), then it’s likely you’ll be a fan of the other (I SO was).
Full of witty banter, immensely likable characters, and swoons aplenty, The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey is not to be missed. There’s something for fans of both Romance and Fantasy, and I can’t wait to see what Lindsey has for us next.
Oh it sounds interesting and different but I’m always really anxious when it’s about fantasy. It’s not a genre I easily go to. Or if I do it’s because publisher sent them without telling me. But I can have a good surprise too.
This is a fantasy book that I’d recommend for people that aren’t crazy about the genre—there aren’t numerous POVs, it’s relatively short . . . if fantasy isn’t you’re thing, then it’s not your thing, but if you’re on the fence . . . 😉
Well, I’m not the biggest fan of romance and there’s only so much epic fantasy with battles and extensive character lists that I can take, so I was a bit wishy washy when you said that the world building left a bit to be desired… BUT then you had to mention Loki and Thor and now I feel like I’m gonna be all over this book!
*shakes fist at Jessica*
Pili recently posted…Saturday Pages: Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh!!
DUDE. Thor and Loki make everything better. EVERYTHING.
I’m glad that this one worked really well for you, Jessica! It seems that many books lack enough world building, it just gets so hard to envision a world properly without enough of it.
Fantastic review! <33
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) recently posted…Midnight Madness Newsletter (67)
EXACTLY. I’m a character driven reader, myself, but even with great characters, there’s only so much that can be overlooked on the world-building front, and too many unanswered questions gets distracting.
Gasps. Noooooo! jane and Thor are meant to be together. I like your parallelism. It makes me want to read this book had it not been for the allusion of love triangle.
Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…: Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix
Thor and SIF are meant to be together 😉 And I’m weird—love triangles don’t bother me. Unless they’re just ridiculous . . .
I totally agree with you about fantasy romance. It’s truly a beast I like to encounter but then again there aren’t many out there. So yeah, but this one seems really good even though it has some issues like love-triangle but still it seems worth reading 🙂
Tanja recently posted…The Sunday Post (#26)
I thought it was. If you’re a fan of fantasy romance, then I think this one is definitely worth checking out 😉
This one’s cover had caught my eye but I hadn’t bothered to read the blurb before. Now that I’ve read your review it’s going straight on to my wishlist. I’ll probably have the same issues with it Jessica but I love Fantasy Romance. Have you tried any of the Chronicles of the Warlands? That first book, Warprize, was one of the first romances I ever read and remains a favorite.
Rhianna recently posted…RhiReading Un-6th-Blogiversary GIVEAWAY!
I have! It was a long time ago, but the main barbarian guy’s manservant cracked me up! I have the other three books, but I haven’t read them yet—thanks for the nudge 😉
“Erik is Thor, and Tomald is Loki.”
THE BLOODBOUND was written long before The Dark World came out, of course, but the relationship between Thor and Loki (as established in the first film) was among the core influences on the relationship between Erik and Tom. Hence the ‘homage’ naming of the character.
Yay! I was right!
And yeah, like I said—completely original story, but everyone has to find their influences somewhere, and when those influences are Thor and Loki, I am there. And thanks for commenting. I don’t care if it makes me a dork, when an author comments on one of my reviews, it makes me jump-up-and-down-in-my-seat happy 😉
*sigh* So the rest of that comment was gobbled up by the tech gremlins, but I’ll summarise with “thanks for reviewing”. 🙂
I believe your comment was rescued—YAY!—and you are very, very welcome 😀
Another great find Jessica 🙂 I love Fantasy and the romance is a bonus.
Now I either get very lucky and this get publish on audio right way or I will have to play the waiting game.
Lupdilup recently posted…October New Audiobooks Releases (2014) Giveaway
Here’s hoping you don’t have to wait for too long, b/c waiting is bad enough when Thor and Loki aren’t involved. Toss them in with the waiting, and . . . WORSE. Much WORSE 😉
Fantasy romance?! i’m all for it!!! And this book exist in print! Really i’m addiong it on my list right away as it sound really good… oki i do fear a cliffhanger but that aside i really hope to read this ( and that the rest of the series comes soon ( so that i don’t get excuses not to get it^^))
miki recently posted…He Ain’t Lion ( Ridgeville1 ) by Celia Kyle
Yay! I hope you do read it sometime, and you don’t have to worry about a cliffhanger—the author left it open for more books in the series, but the story for this book was pretty much wrapped-up 😉
Your review makes me glad I had this book on my wishlist! Glad it’s excellent, Jessica 🙂
kara-karina recently posted…The Postman Knock #97
I’m glad it was excellent too. I hope you like it as much as I did 😉
I am most curious about the nine virtues.
Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Steampunk Sundays: Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn
You know what, eh, not for me
blodeuedd recently posted…Carole Reviews: Ravensdale – Lucinda Elliot
Eh. You win some, you lose some 😉
I’ve tried a couple of fantasy romance books and they fell flat for me. Maybe it’s just not my thing.
Mary Kirkland recently posted…Review: Walmart Beauty Box
Yeah, it’s not for everyone. Fantasy is kinda my thing though—LOVE it.
I haven’t heard of this author or this book before, but LOKI! 😀 I like how the book sounds and the world Ms. Linsdey has created. Adding it to the TBR 😀
Thank you for the great review
PS: Loki/Tom Hiddleston totally stole the show in the 2nd Thor, I wish they’d make a movie with him as a main character
YEP. Hearing “Loki” would have sold me too, if I hadn’t already read it 😉
He really did, and I wish they would too. Loki is WAY better than Thor IM humble O 😀
A movie about him would be sooooo much better!
I would pay to see that movie. For sure!
I love when you can instantly connect with a character. This does sound really good.
kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Burying Water by K.A. Tucker
I love that too, and yes, SO good.
I’m surprised there’s a drought of fantasy fiction available. I’ve known so many aspiring fantasy authors who can’t get published. Seems the publishers need to give more of them a chance!
Stephanie Faris recently posted…The Cephalopod Coffehouse: Best Book of September
Oh, there’s a limitless supply of fantasy. It’s fantasy ROMANCE that is limited.
Bout time you got back to reviewing you slacker. I have had a shortage of snark in my blog reading lately.
Um, fantasy romance. Not really my thing. I did like Moth and Spark, so not completely against it.
Nathan ( recently posted…Fantasy Romance Review: Rowenaâs Key (The Golden Key Chronicles 01) by A.J. Nuest
HA. Can’t let you have a shortage of snark 😉 Glad to be back!
Oooo this definitely sounds like a book I could get with. The info dumping world-building in fantasy is what usually makes me hesitant, but that kind of stink that there should’ve been more of it.
Christy recently posted…You by Caroline Kepnes
Yeah, I would’ve liked more, but it wasn’t necessary to understand the story. It was just my OCD-ness that kept distracting me 😉 Overall, I really liked it.
I recently read and enjoyed this one too! I hear ya…it’s fantasy, but I think it’s a book that urban fantasy/paranormal romance fans or even YA readers can easily get into.
Mogsy recently posted…Angry Robot Backlist Boost: An Interview with Cassandra Rose Clarke
Yay! I’m glad you liked it too. And yeah, I think fantasy romance would have a much broader appeal to readers if they weren’t so scared by the “fantasy” part.
I have to admit I’m not a fan of the cover but I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed this one despite the lack of world building which is definitely needed in fantasy.
A wonderful review Jessica!
Sharon – Obsession with Books recently posted…Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa
Thanks, Sharon! And yeah, overall I really liked this one.
Jessica, this sounds awesome. I’m not sure I’ve read any Fantasy Romance…I’m not sure which books would qualify but I’d be totally open to give The Bloodbound a whirl. Alix seems like a heroine I could get behind and I like your comparisons to Thor. 🙂 Wonderful review, as always.
What are some examples of Fantasy Romance?
Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Special Feature ~ OctobeRec Fest**
Hey, hey—you know what would qualify as fantasy romance? Hmmm? Do you, do you?? KA’s Fantasyland series 😀 😀 😀
*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*
And, LOL! I didn’t even see that you requested examples when I went all KA pusher on you. Anything by C.L. Wilson is also fantasy romance, and so is the Warprize series. I can’t remember the author, but it’s on my bookshelves on Goodreads, if you’re interested.
First time I hear about this book, but it sounds just the way I like them. I’m adding to my TBR.
P.S. It’s good to see you back. 😉
BookaholicCat recently posted…Review: An American Duchess by Sharon Page
Yay! I think you’d like this one, Marcela! And thanks! I think I finally am back 😉
I’ll admit sometimes I am iffy about the fantasy because of the epic details, but this sounds good as the fantasy romance
Yeah, this is the kind of book I’d recommend to readers daunted by the epic-ness of most fantasy. It’s still fantasy, but it doesn’t swamp you with details or 1000s of pages 😉
I’m excited to check this one out Jessica! This is a new find for me, and as you probably know, I adore fantasy romance. So, this sounds like something I should check out for sure. I have no problems with battles- love them in fact. Glad this one was a winner. I may end up hunting this one down tomorrow 🙂
Yay! On the one hand, I’m surprised you didn’t already know about it, but on the other, so glad to put it on your radar. I hope you do read it, Kim. I really think you’ll like it 😉
Wow! It sound incredible. Another book/series I have to add to my list. Thanks!
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No problem! I hope you like it.
the banter sounds fun
LOTS of fun 😉
Ooh I am a fan of Thor & Loki (from the movies), so I need to look into this one! I haven’t heard of this author or this book before, but I’m definitely intrigued! Great review!
Tricia recently posted…Favorite Books
Thanks, Tricia! And yes—Thor and Loki FTW 😉
Sounded like a really exciting read…great review 🙂
Thank you! I thought so 😉
What about Liam?!?!?!?!
Fantastic review! Mine’s tomorrow. I didn’t need the info dump on the world building – I kind of went with the flow of it. I like how you went looking for the 9 virtues, though. I didn’t even know they WERE virtues! I had no clue what they were – some Saxon gods I figured (bwahaha). Yeah, I don’t read too many of these stories, as if you couldn’t tell 😀
Kristin recently posted…Something Wicked Blog Hop Giveaway
Pfft. You read WoT. If you can keep track of all of that goes on there, then you are WAY ahead of me, LOL. As far as Liam goes, he’s not Erik! What about Erik?? 😉
This sounds awesome. I love fantasy stories, and fantasy romance is really hard to find. It is definitely the undernoticed cousin of PNR, with just as much possible potential.
Sarah recently posted…Review: Fangirl
I totally agree, and you should definitely check this one out, if you’re already a fan of the genre 😉