Series: Blood and Gold #2
Published by Harlequin Mira on August 22nd 2016
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An action-packed, compelling historical fantasy, from the pen of an award-winning author
The battle-scarred warrior princess Bluebell, heir to her father’s throne, is rumoured to be unkillable. So when she learns of a sword wrought specifically to slay her by the fearsome raven king, Hakon, she sets out on a journey to find it before it finds her. The sword is rumoured to be in the possession of one of her four younger sisters. But which one? Scattered as they are across the kingdoms, she sets out on a journey to find them.
Her four sisters all have their own paths to tread, the gifted magician Ash is on a journey to find a dragon that could determine her destiny. The beautiful, unhappy Rose has left her undermagician Aunt and is speeding to the aid of her daughter, Rowan, who has been lost to her. Ivy, sold into marriage for the sake of an alliance, is now set to become the ruling Duchess of Seacaster with the imminent death of her much older and sick husband, and the power-hungry Willow is raising her infant child as a potential trimartyr king and training to be a warrior for the fanatical religious order of Maava.
From wild rocky coastline to granite-topped tors, from bustling harbours to echoing ghost towns, from halls of kings to ancient primal woodlands, this story follows five sisters upon whose actions kingdoms will rise and fall.
Five sisters, the daughters of King Aelthric, are spread out across Thyrsland, each on a separate path. Bluebell, the heir to the throne, becomes aware of a plot to kill her and sets off on a journey to find each of her sisters, but as they draw closer together again they also bring the country closer to war.
I loved reading the first book in this series, Daughters of the Storm, when it was released nearly two years ago. The long wait meant that it took me a little while to remember what had happened to each of the sisters – Bluebell, who prefers her warband to call her ‘My Lord’ (and who kept appearing in my head as Gwendoline Christie no matter how hard I tried not to – sorry Kim!), Ash the elemental mage, Willow the religious fanatic, Rose who loves so fiercely, and Ivy, Lady of Seacaster. The story weaves together each of their separate stories in intricate detail, and the trials of their everyday lives adds colour to their joys and sorrows.
Brisbane author Kim Wilkins has created an excellent epic fantasy, full of kick-arse females and loving fathers, as well as some nasty villains. The settings are vivid, but the relationships between characters are what make this series really shine. Yes, there is strong violence in this one, but also a touch of romance, and one-liners that had me laughing.
I feel as though I haven’t done this series justice, but I don’t want to say more without spoiling the first book. Just read this series if you enjoy fast-moving fantasy, with a flock of strong women and some epic action. Also dragons.