Blood’s Pride: Shattered Kingdom’s Book 1
Evie Manieri does a fantastic job of creating a fascinating world for the action of Blood’s Pride. In a series, the world becomes a character in the story and is shaped and reshaped by the action. There are some really wonderful things happening here. We are given hints of odd magic. There are old gods who watch and care about what is going on. The single thing that caught my imagination the most was the idea of a people who lived in darkness and at night, who burned in the sun. What was best was that these weren’t vampires, but a people from the far north who blue cold blue blood and found the touch of human warmth painful.
The story begins in a tiny outpost of the empire whose only importance is the mine that contains the ore for Imperial Swords – weapons that answer the mental commands of their owners. The people who have been enslaved to work the mine are planning revolt and they have hired a mercenary. That pulls in the other people who inhabit the land. There are the prerequisite twists and turns and double dealing, but what kept me turning pages was the depth of the characterization. These are flawed human beings who are still noble enough for me to want to follow their lives through a series of books. I am not a fan of books that just stop without any kind of ending and expect the reader to simply wait a year to read the next chapter. Blood’s Pride leaves no question about where it is headed next, but there is sufficient conclusion for me to be able to put the book down with a sense of satisfaction.
I would highly recommend this book to any who like epic fantasy with rich and varied characters and cultures.