Today, I’m bringing you another blog tour hosted by The Write Reads! This one is for a sequel to an intriguing fantasy series that builds on the exciting world we encountered in the first book: Blood of the Lost Kingdom by Kristin Ward! I was actually on the blog tour for the first book in this series, The Girl of Dorcha Wood. I enjoyed that one so much that I had to jump on board for book number two!
Before I get to my review, though, I want to thank Dave @ The Write Reads (and all the behind-the-scenes folks!) and the author for providing me with a free e-book in exchange for an honest review and my participation in this tour. It is very much appreciated!
Alright, let’s dive in, shall we?
Mysterious. Hidden. Sacred. Erabel is the beating heart of Dorcha Wood. And its heir has come home.
Fleeing the man who betrayed her, Fiadh returns to her beloved forest, into its heart, to discover her people. And herself. With the aid of Veren, an Aos Sí warrior, she explores her birthright, a world safeguarded from the corruption of mankind. There, she learns the history of a mighty race and the vastness of the power coursing through her blood.
But beyond Erabel’s boundaries, men are flocking, rallying to an evil lord who covets the strength flowing in Fiadh’s veins. They have their eyes fixed on the lost kingdom of the Aos Sí, and it’s only a matter of time before they breach those borders and come for Fiadh and all who protect her.
All around her, the world is closing in, as some plot in shadows, and others in the stark light of day.
About the Author
Kristin Ward is an award-winning young adult author living in Connecticut. A science and math teacher for over twenty years, she infuses her geeky passions into stories that meld realism and fantasy. Kristin embraces her inner nerd regularly, often quoting 80s movies while expecting those around her to chime in with appropriate rejoinders. As a nature freak, she can be found wandering the woods – she may be lost, so please stop and ask if you see her – or chilling in her yard with all manner of furry and feathered friends. Often referred to as a unicorn by colleagues who remain in awe of her ability to create or find various and sundry things in mere moments. In reality, the horn was removed years ago, leaving only a mild imprint that can be seen if she tilts her head just right. A lifelong lover of books and writing, she dreamed of becoming an author for thirty years before publishing her award-winning debut in 2018. Her first novel, After the Green Withered, is one of many things you should probably read.
As I mentioned early, this review is for book two in a series. That being said, there may be slight spoilers for book one found in my review. If you haven’t read The Girl in Dorcha Wood, you might want to skip this for now!
This story picks up directly after the events at the end of book one. Fiadh is headed back to the woods that sheltered her for all of her life in the company of a creature of myth. Gideon is on a quest for revenge that will seriously test his moral code. And the world is gearing up for war.
I think my favorite thing about this book was getting to learn so much more about the lore of this world. Much like Fiadh, the reader doesn’t know much about all this Erabel business and why she’s so important to the Aos Sí. It was great getting to dive much deeper into the lore as Fiadh discovered this world. The descriptions of Erabel were lush and beautiful and made me fall in love with this setting even more. I loved learning more about these Celtic myths and watching Fiadh grow as a character.
Speaking of character, Fiadh continues to be an incredible one. She goes through a lot in this book and it’s quite a journey watching her try and adjust. I loved watching her discover more about her heritage and meet new allies. The new characters we are introduced to were wonderfully fascinating, as well. This author knows how to write a compelling characters and it’s why I enjoyed this story so much! I even started liking Gideon a bit more. Only a bit… still mad at him from the last book 😂 But the way his character arc is moving is incredible to watch and definitely has me invested.
I also found myself quite invested in the plot. I will say that this book definitely felt like a bridge book. There was a lot of a lore, a lot of character development, but I felt like not much really happened. And the things that did happen, like Fiadh learning to use her magic and weapons, were glossed over quickly. I would have loved to settle in for her training and to get more of what was happening in the world of men. It felt like it ended abruptly, but in a way that certainly makes me eager to continue!
Final thoughts: This was an engaging second book to a great series. I loved all the lore and character growth that we got to experience in this one! It was fascinating getting deeper into the world of Erabel and watching Fiadh grow as a character. This did feel a bit like a bridge book, where we got a lot of background information to move us forward, but not a lot happened. Still, the action we did get was incredible and the ending makes me eager to continue!