Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bloodwitch by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Abandoned by his people as an infant, Vance Ehecatl has been raised in relative luxury in the greenhouse of Lady Brina.  He has all the food he could want, a soft bed to sleep in, comfortable clothes, and just enough tasks to keep him from boredom.  The greenhouse is a haven of warmth and while he could want for nothing, Vance occasionally feels the urge to explore the world outside - even if it is only through a glimpse in the elaborate stained glass and wooden panels that make up the structure.  When his peaceful world is rocked by a violent death Vance strikes out into the wilds outside his home and discovers that the world is far bigger than he knew - and far more dangerous, with everyone trying to twist and turn his world so that he believes what they want him to.

The more Vance learns about the world of Midnight, the more confused he becomes.  Mistress Jeshickah is the ultimate power in Midnight and Vance has always viewed her with awe and minds his manners around her, but when a mysterious plague strikes at the human slaves and the vampire trainers Vance sees a side of Mistress Jeshickah that he has never seen before.  The mysterious and self serving Malachi Obsidian seems to hold a lot of answers to the questions that Vance doesn't even know to ask yet, but those answers come with a cost and Vance is not sure if he is willing to pay the cost - or even if the answers he receives are the truth.

Bloodwitch is the first book in a new series from Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, who wrote her first book when she was a teenager.  In the early years of her writing I devoured each book as it was written as she has a knack of writing spare but engaging prose, and her characters are well developed but not overly described - the perfect combination to keep the story moving at a blistering pace.  I have not followed her as much over the past few years, but that was more about reading habits than a reflection of ehr writing, so I had no hesitation picking Bloodwitch up to see if Atwater-Rhodes is as good as she used to be.  The answer is yes, but it appears that she has also matured as a writer and her "voice" has developed into a powerful and engaging force of nature.

From what I can gather Bloodwitch is set in the same universe as The Kiesha'ra series and inviolves a complex society of warring shapeshifter races, humans kept as slaves, and vampires at the top of the pecking order.  While I think I read the first book in The Kiesha'ra I didn;t follow the series, but I was able to pick up the world of Bloodwitch very quickly, and was soon so wrapped up in Vance's world that it didn't matter when the very odd thing made me go huh (but my questions were always answered very shortly afterwards).  This is an explosive start to a new series with little twists and turns, and secrets revealed through the eyes of a very innocent and sheltered Vance.  A great read, and I hope the rest of the series lives up to the promise of Bloodwitch.

If you like this book then try:
  • Raised by wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake
  • The unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • Burn bright by Marianne de Pierres
  • Daughter of smoke and bone by Laini Taylor
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • Sweet venom by Tera Lynn Childs
  • The demon trappers daughter by Jana Oliver
  • Legacies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
  • Thyla by Kate Gordon
  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • Proxy by Alex London

Reviewed by Brilla

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