The Blood of Whisperers by Devin Madson
I count myself a fan of Devin Madson. 2018’s We Ride the Storm was an amazing read. I knew immediately that I needed to grab some of her other works, so I finally picked up The Blood of Whisperers. Set a generation before the events of We Ride the Storm, this first book in Madson’s Vengeance Trilogy does not disappoint.
We are treated to three viewpoint characters in this book. Hana, a scion of the Otako family who finds herself fighting to reclaim the throne for her cousin. Darius, sworn to protect both the current Emperor as well as Hana. And Endymion, a young man with mysterious powers. Each of these viewpoints is told in first person perspective, and Madson excels at both making us care about her characters as well as showing us all the ways in which they grow over the course of this novel. Characterization and character growth are strengths of hers, and they help The Blood of Whisperers truly shine. The world building is also excellent. Some of the family relations can be a little complex, and because Madson avoids any infodumps there were moments when I wasn’t quite sure how the various politics of yesteryear had worked to create the current situation. But that’s more a feature than a bug, as it allows the focus to remain solidly on these characters. In addition to deep characters and wonderful world building, Madson treats us to a very interesting magic system in this book. It’s based on empathy, being able to feel another’s emotions, and I’m really looking forward to discovering more about what Empaths can do as this trilogy progresses. I also must praise Madson for the way she gives us characters that are likable, but also incredibly grey. Each of the three viewpoint characters - to say nothing of the various side characters! - has their own desires and motivations. Sometimes these align with the other viewpoint characters and sometimes they don’t. But you won’t find simple good guy or bad guy stereotypes here. These characters are too real for those sorts of oversimplifications.
As I mentioned before, there were moments in the novel when I did feel a little confused about the political situation. This is one of the dangers of complex worlds, communicating all that information to the reader in a way that isn’t an infodump but still gets them the information they need before they’re halfway through the book can be a challenge. Other than this, there were a couple odd turns of phrase - for instance, people are always doing things in a desultory manner - or things that fall under my personal pet peeves - “fire!” was used in reference to releasing arrows in at least one scene - and while those things are mildly frustrating to me other readers may well pass over them with hardly a thought.
The Blood of Whisperers contains deep, complex characters set in the midst of a fully realized world. It was a lot of fun to read and I’m looking forward to grabbing the next book in this series. If you love excellent characterization in your fantasy, as well as unique magic and a non-Western setting, give this one a try.
This The Blood of Whisperers book review was written by Calvin Park
All reviews for: The Vengeance Trilogy
In Shadows We Fall
The Vengeance Trilogy #0.5
Empress Li is out of favour at court. Foreign-born and past her prime, she is to be set aside. But she won’t go quietly. With nothing left to lose, Li will do anythin...
The Blood of Whisperers
The Vengeance Trilogy: Book 1
They call him the Usurper.A man of common blood sits on the throne. At his command the last emperor was executed, but now the empire is on the brink of war.Ve...
Have you read The Blood of Whisperers?
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.
The Blood of Whisperers reader reviews
8.8/10 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 Raven Tower
For centuries the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by a god known as the Raven. But in their hour of need, the Raven speaks nothing to its people. It is into this unres...
Red Queen's War
The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire fear her as they fear no other. Her grandson Jalan Kendeth is a coward, a cheat and a womaniser; and tenth in line t...
A Song of Ice and Fire
George RR Martin
Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robe...
The Inheritance Trilogy
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky - a palace above the...
Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies...
Legends of the First Empire
Michael J Sullivan
Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god f...
Nona Grey’s story reaches its shattering conclusion in the third instalment of Book of the Ancestor.THEY CAME AGAINST HER AS A CHILD. NOW THEY FACE THE WOMAN....
As shadows threaten to consume the kingdom of Southmarch, Barrick Eddon, heir to March throne, battles his way across the sinister Shadowlands. He must journey through this...
Kings of Ash
Follow the long, bloody journey of Ruka, son of Beyla through the islands of Pyu and the frozen wastes of the Ascom; see the return home of Ratama Kale Alaku, the 'Sorc...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: