Series: Bloodmark Saga #2
Also in this series: Bloodmark
Published by Wise Ink on 10/31/14
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: The Author
My content rating: Mature YA (Characters have sex, but it's not explicit; Violence)
Werewolf princess Ashling Boru's eighteenth birthday is only a year away, which means that she only has twelve months before she is claimed and fulfills her prophecy to unite the packs and lead her people. Her father decrees that her four suitors must fight in the Bloodrealms, the werewolves' ancient underground fighting world, and the winner will have King Boru's choice to win Ashling's hand. The wolf laws are rigid and barbaric, and Ashling's illicit love for Grey, if discovered, will mean his death. But when Ashling and Grey get trapped in the blood-soaked depths of the Bloodrealms, they find ancient horrors far greater than Ashling's father's rule.
With betrayal around every corner and old nemeses set to destroy Ashling, she is more divided than ever between the destiny she didn't choose and the love that she did. To make matters worse, her decision will not only set the course of her future, but the future of her entire race.
Bloodrealms is the second novel in Whittet’s Bloodmark saga.
***This review is for book #2 in the series and may contain spoilers for the first book. Check out my review of Bloodmark HERE and scroll down for a chance to win it!***
This second installment of The Bloodmark Saga is even more intense and exciting than the first! In this book, Ashling is dreading the day that Grey has to fight her other three suitors for her hand in marriage. She knows who she wants (kind of – there is some wavering, but I’ll talk about that later), but she feels powerless in a werewolf society where she has no power, despite the fact that she is prophesied to lead. Meanwhile, Ashling is also still trying to emotionally recover from Adomnan’s attack. She doesn’t know if she feels strong enough to rule her own life, much less her pack’s – but when the stakes are highest, she finds the strength she needs!
What Fed My Addiction:
- Ashling’s struggles. Throughout the book, Ashling really struggled to overcome the emotional repercussions of Adomnan’s attack and near-rape. I thought that her struggles were incredibly realistic, and I loved that Whittet didn’t just skim over Ashling’s response. Memories of the attack haunt her dreams, feed her fears and affect how she responds to the people around her and the situations that she finds herself in. She is a survivor, but the journey is not easy.
- Ashling’s outrage. There are quite a few things in the werewolf society that horrify Ashling. She ends up confronting these issues head-on. When the suitors go to the Bloodrealms to train, Ashling cannot ignore the truly terrible things that go on there – all perpetuated by her people. Slavery (including using slaves to fight to the death), kidnapping, torture of the very humans that the werewolves are sworn to protect – these are just a few of the horrifying things that are done in the Bloodrealms, and Ashling can’t stand that her pack participates. Ashling is confronted by horrors, but they strengthen her resolve – she knows that she must unify the packs in order to stop these travesties from happening.
- The high stakes. There is LOTS of action and adventure in this book (especially the second half). Danger abounds, and you’re never quite sure if everyone Ashling loves will make it out alive!
- The love triangle (pentagram?). So, in this second book, Ashling has four men competing for her hand in marriage (and for the power that she will bring). At first, she’s sure that she wants Grey, but things do get a bit cloudy for her. First of all, she is afraid that if she chooses the wrong person it could have dire consequences for her family and the rest of her pack. This doubt seemed completely realistic – the responsibility of choosing the mate who would fulfill the prophecy must have felt overwhelming to her! What I wasn’t as crazy about was how quickly she jumped into kissing one of her suitors (I won’t give any more details than that). If it had happened even just a little bit later in the book, I would have been on board with it, but as it was it felt like it happened too soon with little connection between Ashling and this character (that connection is fostered a bit further – like I said, I think I would have been okay with the kiss if it had come just a short while later). Since it happened so quickly, it felt more like a device to cause friction between Grey and Ashling than anything else. This marred the first part of the book for me a bit. But, overall, I was relatively pleased with how Whittet handled the suitors, how Ashling felt about each of them and how it all played out.
What Left Me Wanting More:
- Some easy resolutions. While there were definitely high stakes in this book and a lot of danger, there were a few issues that felt like they resolved themselves a little too easily. One major example was that one of the major enemies against Ashling and her pack became (possibly hesitant) allies within the span of one conversation. Seemed just a little too convenient. There were a few other small examples of this as well (including, but the overall struggle that Ashling went through was anything but simple.
So, overall, I was very happy with this second book in the series – and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Whittet’s writes beautifully, giving us strong and complex characters and unforgettably dark settings. It’s a winning combination! I give this book 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Aurora Whittet started out as a wild red-haired child in Minnesota dreaming up stories for her friends to read. Today, she has completed the first of three novels in the Bloodmark Saga. She is a national award-winning graphic designer in her day job. Aurora lives with her family in Minnesota.
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