Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bloodmaiden by Christine E. Schulze


Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties...They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for. For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan. 
These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel. Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon—but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumored as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynanian brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet, any hope at all is valued in Tynan... 
If they are to stand a chance of bringing cruel tradition to a permanent end, Crislin and Chalom must brave the constant, consuming blizzards of the Ever-white. They must brave the three dynasties and the challenges awaiting there. Together, they must convince the dragon emperors to allow them access to the shrines which house the sacred Aria - protective strands of music which may be able to disperse the evil from Tynan and unite the four dynasties of Sulaimon as a whole once again. Their only aid stems from a sprite whose moods are as unstable as her magic, a young minstrel, and a mysterious fox. Despite the odds, such plans are daring, dangerous, unprecedented, but fully possible - if they can escape the Wall first. 

My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a beautiful story about 4 dragon kingdoms and what one couple will do to save their people from one dragon kingdom’s great wrong.
Chrislin and her husband have been chosen for sacrifice, but it isn’t an immediate action. Their sacrifice might not happen for a while, but it will come within the next year. In a fluke of the guard schedule, Chrislin’s aunt helps them escape to go to another dragon kingdom where they can seek help for their own country. This is the story of their escape and journey to save their people.
This book is filled with beautiful descriptions, though at times there seemed to be a bit of over describing. The ideas of this fantastical world that was somehow related to our own world (there are some references to our world compared to the 4 dragon kingdom), was enjoyable to see the types of humans, dragons, sprites and other creatures of the world compared to our world. The idea of forced marriages, the sacrificial virgin, and the harshness of the dragons of the Tynan kingdom was a unique and creative idea.
I enjoyed the book and the growth of the characters, though I will admit that there were several pages that just contained too much and I skipped pages. But on a whole, I couldn’t help but hope that they would make it, that they would save their kingdom and that they would survive the challenges placed for them. You can’t help it, honestly.
This is a quick and easy read, and appropriate for just about any age (though the younger readers might not be able to handle the descriptions of the sacrifices). I recommend this book, and look forward to reading more by Ms. Schulze.

Happy Reading!


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