Bloodrush by Ben Galley
Bloodrush by Ben Galley merges alternate history and fantasy into an accomplished coming-of-age story infused with magic (or should that be magick?) and mythology. It is book one in the Scarlet Star Trilogy and an entry in the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off. It is also one of my favourites amongst the ten finalists.
Here’s the synopsis:
Magick ain’t pretty, it ain’t stars and sparkles. Magick is dirty. It’s rough. Raw. It’s blood and guts and vomit. You hear me?”
When Prime Lord Hark is found in a pool of his own blood on the steps of his halls, Tonmerion Hark finds his world not only turned upside down, but inside out. His father's last will and testament forces him west across the Iron Ocean, to the very brink of the Endless Land and all civilisation. They call it Wyoming.
This is a story of murder and family.
In the dusty frontier town of Fell Falls, there is no silverware, no servants, no plush velvet nor towering spires. Only dust, danger, and the railway. Tonmerion has only one friend to help him escape the torturous heat and unravel his father’s murder. A faerie named Rhin. A twelve-inch tall outcast of his own kind.
This is a story of blood and magick.
But there are darker things at work in Fell Falls, and not just the railwraiths or the savages. Secrets lurk in Tonmerion's bloodline. Secrets that will redefine this young Hark.
This is a story of the edge of the world.
I like my protagonists to be unlikely or even unwilling and so Tonmerion, the central lead, and myself got off to a good start. We meet him at a difficult time, his father has been murdered and he’s being sent halfway across the world to what is, in his own mind, a land a barbarity, far removed from from the elegance and courtliness of London. His journey to Wyoming from London is great fun to read about and when he finally arrives, the story settles down to both progress and fill in the back story.
This is not my first encounter with Ben Galley’s work, I read and reviewed The Written a couple of years ago, and is was a book I really enjoyed. So I knew that the standard would be high and I found Blood Rush to be a very accomplished novel too. The book is very professionally put together, the cover art catches the eye and there are few typos found within. The story has all the ingredients fantasy book readers relish: travel, magic, intrigue, adventure and a little romance in what is ultimately a coming-of-age story. Elements within reminded me of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series (the magick) and Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus trilogy ( the humour and relationship between Tonmerion and the faerie Rhin). I couldn’t help be impressed with all the elements that made up this book and it deserves to stand shoulder to shoulder with all the professionally edited fantasy books released by the major publishers.
The parts I enjoyed most were those set in the Wyoming and in particular the relationship between Tonmerion and his undertaker Aunt, and the grisly work they had to perform. There were some lovely moments including Merion’s identifiable spoilt-brat teenage tendencies towards stroppiness and melodrama. In fact the relationships were a definite positive and Rhin the faerie, his Aunt’s enigmatic friend Lurker and the Serped family helped make up a strong and memorable cast. The settings of London and Fells Fall, Wyoming were also vivid and far more interesting than the real-life places they were based upon.
Negatives are pretty hard to think of, which is a great sign (maybe a little too long of I’m being completely honest). I would definitely recommend Bloodrush and now that I have read all the finalists in the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off I can happily say that it is - along with What Remains of Heroes and The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids - amongst the three best titles competing.
This Bloodrush book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read Bloodrush?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Bloodrush reader reviews
8.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troop...
Guy Gavriel Kay
Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the t...
A Christmas Carol
It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and all around the snow-covered city people are rushing home to be with their families. All except one man, that is: Ebenezer Scroo...
Sailing to Sarantium
Guy Gavriel Kay
Rumoured to be responsible for the ascension of the previous Emperor, his uncle, amid fire and blood, Valerius the Trakesian has himself now risen to the Golden Throne of t...
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. ...
As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airs...
The Moon and the Sun
Vonda N McIntyre
Louis XIV, the Sun King, rules the Western World from the Chateau at Versailles. Marie- Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in the scientific ...
Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there ar...
Who or what is Endymion Spring? A power for good, or for evil... A legendary book that holds the secret to a world of knowledge... A young boy without a voice - whose five-...
Dreaming Of Zhou Gong
The Wu have been living in isolation for decades while the Shang Emperor and his enchantress have ruled the land. It has been a terrible time for the common people and the ...
Kepler is like you, but not like you. With a simple touch, Kepler can move into any body, live any life - for a moment, a day or for years. And your life could be next. SOM...
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
Philip Jose Farmer
The High King of Montival
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine is no conventional medic and surgically implants a cuckoo-clock into his chest. Little Jack grows up different to other children: every day begins with a daily wind-up. At scho...
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...