Saturday, February 16, 2013

ARC Review: Blood's Pride by Evie Manieri

Bloods Pride by Evie Manieri

Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Shattered Kingdoms 
Pages: 528 Pages (Hardcover)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Release Date: February 19, 2013
A generation has passed since the Norlanders' great ships bore down on Shadar, and the Dead Ones slashed and burned the city into submission, enslaving the Shadari people. Now the Norlander governor is dying and, as his three alienated children struggle against the crushing isolation of their lives, the Shadari rebels spot their opening and summon the Mongrel, a mysterious mercenary warrior who has never yet lost a battle. But her terms are unsettling: she will name her price only after the Norlanders have been defeated. A single question is left for the Shadari: is there any price too high for freedom?



I struggled through this one!
A totally frustrating read. While it seems to have all the ingredients for a good book. It totally fell short in the delivery.
Not epic fantasy - just a long book with a couple of good ideas added to the usual same old and rather tedious writing.

I had high hopes for this Blood's Pride. It sounded like exactly my kinda book. So I was rather pleased when I got approved to read the ARC.
After reading the prologue, this impression was confirmed. I was sure this was going to be an interesting read. Sadly a few pages into the first chapter I realized I was wrong.

The more than 500pages that followed were a struggle. I found there were so many characters with really odd names.  I wouldn't have mind the many characters, if I didn't have to constantly check who they were. I got confused for most of the book and had to go and check the glossary to be sure I am thinking of the right character. The reason for this are definitely the odd names. But also, and this is much more disappointing, I didn't manage to connect to any of them. After finishing the book I was still kinda untouched by their misfortunes or happiness.

The whole novel is written in third person, that definitely didn't help the problem. But all the different POV -and Manieri did write a lot of different POV- sounded exactly the same. All of them were too observant to detached somehow. It's another reason that made it impossible to connect to the different characters. And after reading the book there are not many details I remember about the individual characters nor would I be able to remember their correct names without checking them up. Having a cheat sheet while reading, honestly sucks!
Sadly the character building was barley exsistent. It felt like there was an outline for characters done for the storyline. They had their purpose. Defiant youngest sister, servant that's actually a king, evil heartless tyrant, mysterious .... and that's what the stayed mostly. In my opinion Manieri put very little into character building, which is one of the biggest downfalls of the books.

The world building was actually quite interesting. I like the idea of the Tribes. The different ideologies.
The only thing like with the rest of the book, it didn't feel like there was follow through. After a really good prologue, I was expecting more of the world building as well. Though I think it definitely was the best part of the book. And it's the reason I rounded it up to 2 Stars on Goodreads, actually.

The story line was ok, but nothing new. I guess its classic epic fantasy stuff and comes with the territory. But I have been reading epic fantasy since my teens. So I have plenty to compare it to, sadly it left me underwhelmed as well.

The writing style, oh and here is the crux of the issue. Was not to my liking. Writing style is really important to me. It makes or breaks a book. And while by no means this is really bad -I have read far worse- it felt just not quite good enough. The same tone throughout the book, despite the multiple POV, and gone were the beautiful descriptions from the prologue, it felt like Manieri could do better. And I kept on expecting her to do better, since she clearly can judging from the prologue at least.

Well it did make me think, just not about what I did expect to think about after reading it. It made me think about what I think makes a good epic....
A good epic fantasy combines great world building, a good story and interesting characters. It makes you care about the characters their fates, their world and it makes you wanna discover more about it all. But mostly when you a good epic fantasy book, you are lost in that world. Totally consumed by the story, absorbed by every detail. A great story teller can make it feel so real, that when you finish that last sentence you have to blink a few times to realize where you are and most of all you are sad that its over. you want it to go on... When I finished Blood's Pride I was just glad it was over.
A really disappointing book with a great prologue, and I honestly wish I could say differently!

ARC was provided by Publishers through Netgalley. Thank you!

View all my reviews here

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