Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Review: Blood Upon The Sand

Blood Upon the Sand
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Çeda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim—that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will—but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, chaining them to her, she feels their pain as if her own. They hunger for release, they demand it, but with the power of the gods compelling them, they find the yokes around their necks unbreakable.

Çeda could become the champion they’ve been waiting for, but the need to tread carefully has never been greater. After the victory won by the Moonless Host in the Wandering King’s palace, the kings are hungry for blood. They scour the city, ruthless in their quest for revenge. Unrest spreads like a plague, a thing Emre and his new allies in the Moonless Host hope to exploit, but with the kings and their god-given powers, and the Maidens and their deadly ebon blades, there is little hope of doing so.

When Çeda and Emre are drawn into a plot of the blood mage, Hamzakiir, they sail across the desert to learn the truth, and a devastating secret is revealed, one that may very well shatter the power of the hated kings. They plot quickly to take advantage of it, but it may all be undone if Çeda cannot learn to navigate the shifting tides of power in Sharakhai and control the growing anger of the asirim that threatens to overwhelm her. 

I have been so pumped for this sequel, I cannot even, with how Twelve Kings ended...I needed the next book! I consoled myself with the novella, but it wasn't enough. And now...I've finally read it! I'm so excited by where this series is going, and this book was full of twists and turns and another ending that has you wanting to scream because you're so curious...but you're going to have to wait soooo long for the next book! 

Blood Upon The Sand has an action filled opening, and immediately draws you in to the plot. You're right there in the scene with Ceda and from that point on, I was lost in the world of the book. It was easy to get pulled back in to the world of the book and pick up where we left off last time. 

This book makes it very apparent how much Ceda has changed since we first met her way back in book one. She was always a strong character, but she's changed and developed so much over the course of the two books, and after everything that happens in this book I'm intrigued to see how that will change her...or what it'll change her in to. We get lots of flashbacks to flesh out Cedas past, and the relevant new information that's dropped in this book, which I enjoyed because they're nice breaks from the main narrative. Plus I'm totally curious about Ceda's past and this book answers some big questions from the first book! There are definitely some surprises both to do with Ceda and to do with others. I literally felt so dumb for not putting some of it together. In case it wasn't obvious...I still totally love Ceda and her parts where my favourite! 

We also got some parts from the Kings POV, as well as Ramahd and Emre. I quite liked Emre's parts as well, plus the Kings because they where intriguing. There's some....turmoil amongst the Kings shall we say and it was interesting to see the King's POV. Ramahds POV I was kind of meh about. I remembered almost everything about Ceda and Emre, and the Kings. I struggled to remember Ramahd and Meryam and I really didn't think much of Meryam this book, I'm not going to lie. There are a lot of characters, and I did find it hard to keep track of them in this book, especially as it's been a while since the first book! 

I have to say, Emre has changed a lot too since the first book and I really like Emre! I connected with both he and Ceda, and their motivations, and I may or may not ship Ceda and Emre. Like seriously Emre, sort it out because we all know Ceda's too stubborn! I also wanted to mention Davud because I vaguely remembered him from the first book and I liked him and what we saw of him, so I was intrigued to see him take on a bigger role in this book. It was nice to see more of him, and I'm incredibly intrigued to see where his story is going to go! 

Along with the familiar faces, there are some new faces too! Sumeya I'm including as a new face, because we didn't see her as much in the first book. Now...I actually really like her. And I really, really felt for her towards the end after learning more about her. I loved her relationship with Ceda and I'm kinda hoping she'll side with Ceda and everyone because I love her! I quite like the other members of Ceda's hand as well. Aside from one. But more on her in a moment. I lost my liking for a couple of characters in this book it has to be said. Looking at you Zaide. Looking at you hard. Also Ramahd, vaguely remembered him but he's totally dropped Ceda in it. As well as a couple of others. 

Now. The member of Ceda's hand that I didn't like. Yndris. How I hated her. She was a spoiled, bratty, immature little girl and she's the daughter of the Confessor King. She was a constant thorn in Ceda's side and I was hoping for her death continuously. What a little cow. Seriously. I was reading like..."We should totally just kill Yndris!" *rage face*. If she's still alive in the third book I'm going to be annoyed, anytime she was in a scene I was just....ugh. 

The plot is complex, there's plenty of threads and the book is huge, but the intrigue and Ceda keep you reading. There are starting to get to be a lot of things and characters to remember which was hard at times, especially as I didn't have time to re-read Twelve Kings before I started this! The novella was tied in quite nicely if I'm remembering correctly, and there are many epic battles. I loved the dynamic between Ceda and Emre, and Ceda and the rest of her Hand. I was on edge watching Ceda walk a tightrope between her secrets and what she was up to and her Hand and Yndris who keeps stalking her. There's plot twists, and shocking secrets and questions answered and then the ending. Ceda going off like that...I'm so curious about what's going to happen next! 

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