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Blood of the Gods by David Mealing

Blood of the Gods by David Mealing
4.5
Book Name: Blood of the Gods
Author: David Mealing
Publisher(s): Orbit
Formatt: Paperback / Ebook
Genre(s): Epic Fantasy
Release Date: August 21, 2018 (US), August 23, 2018 (UK)

Blood of the Gods is the second book in the epic fantasy trilogy, The Ascension Cycle. It follows closely after the events of the first book, Soul of the World. Like its predecessor, it is split into four sections, each marked by a change in season. Each section is split into four character perspectives: Sarine, Erris, Arak’Jur and Tigai. At the end of each section there is an interlude, which features more perspectives. Both books also provide a map of the world. So far, the first two books have started in the Spring.

After reading Soul of the World earlier this year, Blood of the Gods became one of my most anticipated books releases of 2018. I had high hopes for this sequel and I am happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. The story continues to follow the three main characters (Sarine, Erris and Arak’Jur), along with the additional perspective of a new character, Tigai. Like the first book, each perspective has a distinct voice and each chapter is as compelling as the last. Since this is a sequel, we have already been introduced to the majority of characters and so the author was able to focus on the growth of each character. This is one of the strengths of this book. The author manages to keep each character consistent with what we know of them from the first book, while developing them in ways that keep them engaging. The characters are fantastic, and I cannot wait to see how things progress for them all in the third and final book.

In terms of the plot, Blood of the Gods is fantastic. The story continues soon after the events of book one and it is taken in a direction that I loved. It was very easy to settle back into the flow of the story. The twists and turns within the plot make it an engaging read that will keep you gripped until the very end. Mealing does a great job at weaving all these plot threads together without sacrificing any character development or worldbuilding. I loved the plot development and felt that the pacing was well suited to the story. The military aspects and battle scenes are also really well done. Once I started reading it, I didn’t want to put it down.

Once again, the magic system is a strength in the series. There are three distinct systems; leyline manipulation, a spirit-based system and magic possessed by a small dragon companion called kaas. One of my main complaints of the first book is that there wasn’t a focus on any of the systems, so I felt like I didn’t have a good understanding of any of them. However, in book two the author does a good job at exploring these systems more. There was just enough focus on the magic to expand on what we learnt in book one, while also still keeping some of it mysterious and intriguing.

Like the magic system, the worldbuilding is fantastic. I loved the world in the first book and I love it even more now. You can really see the time and effort that Mealing’s put into his world. The magic systems and worldbuilding feel more assured in this sequel. There is so much depth to the world and I loved that we got to explore more of it. I will say that the world isn’t the most unique within the fantasy genre, but it is richly written with interesting cultures and a great map.

The story will continue in Chains of the Earth, but as far as I know there is no release date for it as of yet. Overall, I thought this was a fantastic continuation of this trilogy. Like Soul of the World, Blood of the Gods contains unique magic systems, a well written world and a fantastic cast of characters. I think this series is seriously underrated and I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you love epic fantasy books. This is definitely one of my favourite fantasy releases of this year. I am eagerly anticipating the release of the third and final book, hopefully sometime next year.

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2 Comments

  1. Great review! I feel like this series is so under the radar and deserves to be more recognized. Highly original with an awesome magic system. I’m glad someone else is giving it some love!

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