Meet James McStravick, new reviewer at The Bandwagon and avid reader.
James McStravick by day is a mild mannered Software Tester and by night he runs the Observant Raven blog (https://observantraven.wordpress.com/). The blog is dedicated predominately to book reviews with the odd dabble in articles focused on all things bookish. He loves nothing more than reading by the fire either in silence or with some nice orchestral soundtracks playing. As well as his love for all things bookish he also enjoys playing video games, watching TV/Films/Anime and testing his culinary skills on new recipes.
You can follow his bookish adventures on Twitter (@jamesmcstravick), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/james.mcstravick.3?fref=ts) and Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/12669558-james-observantraven).
In The Blood is the first book in R.L. Martinez’s The Witchbreed Series, this is also her first foray into Epic Fantasy.
When I first heard that this was an epic fantasy series I was sceptical, this is due me believing that epic fantasy is one of the harder fantasy sub genres to write in but what I got was something that from the first few pages had me intrigued and interested in its world and characters.
In The Blood has us follow four main characters the sisters Ottilde and Oriabel, Hito and Wilder. I don’t want to say too much about Hito and Wilder as I believe finding out for yourself more about these characters is part of the joy I experienced when reading this book. So all will say is that Wilder is a Prison Chief and Hito is a Lord from another land.
With regards to the sisters Ottilde and Oriabel what I can say is that from the outset it is very clear that they are very different when it comes to how they treat people and view their actions.
Ottilde is a disgraced prisoner of war who is being held at the same prison where Prison Chief Wilder resides. Ottilde has a very aggressive personality towards most people apart from her sister, this is shown in many scenes when you see her going to great lengths to return to her sister.
Oriabel is a Lady who is loyal to her subjects and likes to help people in any way she can but at the same time she harbour’s a magical secret that would have her entire city turn against if it was ever discovered.
Even though Ottilde and Oriabel are very different they are book very strong people but in their own way and this becomes more evident as you progress through the book.
One reason why this book had me so intrigued and interested was the characterisation as we are always left wanting to learn more about the characters and their history. The emotion that has been put into these characters is very clear and over the course of reading this book I too grew emotional bonds towards the characters.
There isn’t a great deal of world building but this helps towards the books progression as I sometimes find that books can do too much world building and in turn it can do more damage to the book than good. But this book I find has the perfect balance as it only occurs when the characters are in a new area and you experience what they see.
The only downside I found to this book was that I wanted to learn more about the magic in the world but it could be this will touched on in future books. As well as that I feel that this book could have done with more actions scenes, that’s not to say it didn’t have any as it certainly did and I feel they were done very well, but in my opinion more drawn out action scenes or more of them could helped towards the excitement of the book.
It could be that this series of books isn’t going to be that type of fantasy and if so I have a lot of respect for the author for trying something different in a genre that is usually filled with action. With all of the above in mind I feel this is a very enjoyable book that holds your interest and intrigue throughout and would highly recommend it.
To find out more, visit the author’s website here.
Wild Horses Don’t Stop Whoa by R.L. Martinez