Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames
I received an advanced review copy of the well sought after Bloody Rose from Orbit Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Nicholas Eames and Nazia.
Even Eames himself said that the success of Kings of the Wyld was like a guillotine to his neck. Metaphorically of course. With an exceptional, original award-winning debut there will always be doubts about where to go next and if it can be better. I'm happy to say Bloody Rose blows Golden Gabe, Moog, and Slowhand's adventures out of the water!
Rose, Gabe's daughter who he adhered to rescue from the bloody and horrific horde siege of Castia is stepping out of her father's shadow. She is the frontwoman for Fable, the most popular band in the land. She also flaunts two legendary swords. Events commence on their tour starting at Ardburg. The bands here are essentially mercenaries or gangs who join events to pocket a pretty coin by battling drugged droogs in arenas. Originally, the esteemed bands were legendary folks who would traverse the Heartwyld and other grotesque places to put demons, beasts and even dragons to the sword. Like the siege of Castia in Kings of the Wyld there are the rumours of an uprising coming to attack headed by the giant Brontide!
Rose and her untouchable and picturesque companions in Fable decide to fulfill their tour dedications that oppose the oncoming threating invasion from the horde which Rose is all too familiar with, with her incarceration at Castia a few years before. Instead, they have a greater goal. She wants to step out of her father's shadow in a majestic way by taking on and destroying a legendary beast that is infamous for its notoriousness and the fact it is rumoured to be impossible to kill. The last band of warriors who tried lasted only 17 seconds prior to their ultimate demise.
One of the finest elements of Kings of the Wyld was the camaraderie of the band. The closeness, loyalty, friendship, and dedication to each other - so I was surprised when Eames surmised that the second entry in The Band trilogy would feature mostly all new players.
It's written from one point of view perspective. Tam's, who is, in the third person, a wannabe bard. She works as a barmaid at The Cornerstone which is the main establishment where all the bands or warriors in town frequent, drink and fight. They have a rule, as a respectable establishment, there are no fights allowed before 12 o'clock! She had famous parents in the mercenary and band scene and after a potent and exceptional musical performance at the inn she ends up joining Fable and the adventures begin.
The greatest thing about Eames writing is the humour. I laughed my face off a few times but I will acknowledge that this sort of humour in fantasy is not for everyone. Honestly, though, it perfectly fits what I enjoy and I can see why this gentleman won a Gemmell award. When you have lines such as "as crazy as socks on a centipede" you know it is pretty awesome. :)
This is a standalone novel, however, about 20% more enjoyment can be given if you've read The Band #1. A few players return who are as hilarious as ever and OWLBEARS! (Anyone who has read the first book knows that that is a reason to purchase this novel!)
There are so many new amazing colourful and complex characters. The lead ticks the LGBT boxes and is someone who is worth following. The gang incorporates a witch who can summon her tattooed demons into the field of battle, a legendary immortal rabbit-eared warrior and a shapeshifter who can turn into a bear. The first half builds up the amazing relationships and character personalities.
This has an amazing fist-bumping excellent finale but I did have a few negatives. Occasionally I got a little disorientated with the action. Once or twice, scenes during the middle seemed like a slight mess to me but wow, the ending was one of the negatives I had in Kings of the Wyld. In Bloody Rose, the build-up, culmination, and the eventual ending is perfectly composed, performed and written. I've read most of the top new authors in the last few years and Eames is the one to watch who will end up in Rothfuss, Lynch, Martin territory for excellence. Keep up the great work Nick. You've got a huge fan in me. Recommended.
9.0 / 10
Finally, FINALLY, the lights fade. A surge of excitement electrifies the arena as you become acutely aware of the hairs on the back of your neck. Months of waiting for this moment culminate into a blissful grin as the band finally takes the stage. You catch yourself screaming with the rest of the crowd as the opening riffs pulse through the speakers. It’s a feeling that defies description, shared only with those who are here in this moment with you. Complete strangers are forever bonded by this momentary feeling of transcendence. And although you might attend more concerts during the span of your lifetime, tonight is singular. It is unique. This combination of sounds and sights will never strike this exact chord in your soul again. So, you commit yourself fully to this moment, soaking in every detail, absorbing and filing away each new wave of emotion, to be examined and analyzed and cherished later. It is a rare thing to experience art that can raise you so high, that can bring you elation and honesty and joy, or that leaves a lasting impression carved into your psyche. I’ve been lucky enough to catch a handful of these experiences in my lifetime: Daft Punk at Coney Island, Radiohead at MSG Theater, and A Perfect Circle at the Theater of Living Arts. And now my list has grown by one after finishing Nicholas Eames’ brilliant Bloody Rose.
There are so many aspects of this book that appealed to me. What stood out most was the exceptional balance that was struck between humor, action, character growth, and sheer creativity. Nearly every page crackles with something fresh and memorable: clever similes, interesting character origins, a rotating menagerie of monsters, conversations of enlightenment and camaraderie, or a sharp commentary comparing this world to our own. Every chapter connected me further with Tam, Roderick, and the rest of Fable. Emotional moments snuck up on me and hit me hard, though I usually found myself bursting with laughter on the very next page. These characters are flawed, haunted by their past, unsure of their future, yet care deeply about each other. The development of this kinship is one of the central and most compelling themes of the book, and it helped to elevate this story into rare territory.
Like in his debut novel Kings of the Wyld, Eames pays clever homage to some of his favorite pop culture and musical references that may have inspired him throughout his life. I admired how these references never felt like they were shoehorned in for the sake of nostalgic appeal. Instead, their appearances felt natural, and added depth and dimension to the setting. I thought about which song lyrics or video game characters were chosen for this story, and these references often had backstories that intersected with the plot of Bloody Rose. These references, combined with the book’s brilliant sense of humor and genuine pathos of its characters’ plights, felt carefully cultivated and richly rewarding. Some characters only spend a paragraph in the spotlight, while others have exceptional arcs with tragic or glorious endings. Yet each character feels alive and familiar; if you don’t know these people, you know people just like them.
Bloody Rose is many things. It is story of inclusion. It is a tale of loyalty, of finding your passion, of playing to your heart’s strengths. It speaks to the successes and pratfalls of persistence, and dances on the fine line that separates bravery and stupidity. But above all, it is a story of family: those who you are borne into, and those who you choose along the way. This is a beautiful, funny, exciting, hopeful, devastating, and wondrous book. It is something to savor, like the best pieces of art. Though with Eames only starting his publishing career, I have a feeling that the best has yet to come.
All reviews for: The Band
Kings of the Wyld
The Band #1
GLORY NEVER GETS OLD. Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best, the most feared and renowned crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld. Their glory days...
The Band #2
Live fast, die young.Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventur...
Have you read Bloody Rose?
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.
Bloody Rose reader reviews
9.3/10 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
Red Dwarf: Better Than Life
Rimmer, Cat and Kryten are trapped in a computer game which can transport players directly to the world of imagination, a world where each player can enjoy fabulous success...
According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter - the world's only totally reliable guide to the future - the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday,...
Knights of the Dead God
The half-orc girl, Mikaia Goretusk, has been torn from her home. Her world. Her family. Her only allies are the holy knight, Arthur Shield, once sworn to kill everyone she ...
War God Rising
Sand is destined for greatness. Or so a pair of two-bit criminals would have him believe. After rescuing him from certain doom, Bess and Kaede embark on a scheme to game th...
J Michael Straczynski
With an introduction by Neil Gaiman!In this dazzling memoir, the acclaimed writer behind Babylon 5, Sense8, Clint Eastwood’s&nb...
The Portable Door
Starting a new job is always stressful, but when Paul Carpenter arrives at the office of J.W. Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discov...
Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
When Lister got drunk, he really got drunk! After celebrating his birthday with a Monopoly-board pub crawl around London, he came to in a burger bar on one of Saturns ...
A brand new adventure fantasy: imagine Guardians of the Galaxyplanning a heist on Smaug's gold, for fans looking for something with a modern twist and some humor....
Here Be Dragons
A mid-life crisis, a castle gardener, an unfaithful steed, a dastardly hero, a merciless king, and a dragon that needs saving. With heroes this bad who needs villains...&nb...
Great fantasy books published in 2018
"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scop...
Age of War
Michael J Sullivan
The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile - and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron...
Legion: Lies of the Beholder
Stephen Leeds, also known as 'Legion', has a unique mental condition. He can become an expert on any subject in hours... and with every new area of expertise a new ...
A Veil of Spears
The Night of Endless Swords nearly saw the destruction of Sharakhai, and since then the Kings have come down hard on the rebelloious Moonless Host. Hundreds have been murde...
The Ember Blade
A land under occupation. A legendary sword. A young man’s journey to find his destiny.Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He’s never questione...
Fire and Blood
George RR Martin
From the masterly imagination behind A Game of Thrones - one of the greatest fantasy epics of all time and an unmissable HBO hit series - comes a definitive history of West...
In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of S...
Iron and Magic
Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh ...
The Fall of Gondolin
In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast militar...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: