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Bloodrights by N. Lee Wood

Review by Caleyna

When I picked up this book I was expecting a nice little fantasy/romance story with some adventure and political intrigue. Boy was I wrong!

Though only 500 pages, this is an epic fantasy. A brutal epic fantasy at that. It reminded me a lot of GRRM, esp with a couple of really grotesque sex scenes and some nasty murders, and GRRM is just not my style.

The book follows Antonya, a young woman who claims to be the rightful heir to a kingdom controlled by her evil uncle and a corrupt church. The story gains momentum quickly, and Antonya goes from a girl with a dream to a respected military leader with ambitions to take down the Faith, a religious group that relentlessly pursues heretics and Purges cities that might possibly have commited some sin. The Faith is one nasty customer, which makes the reader want Antonya to succeed in her quest.

The main problem is that the book is simply too short. If Wood would have written WoT it would have been over in two books. While I think WoT is too drawn out, I think Bloodrights is too sketchy. Wood doesn't spend enough time making her characters likeable. In fact, by the end of the book I really couldn't stand Antonya, which made reading about her quest quite difficult. There are a few characters that I like, but they don't get nearly enough "screen time". The brevity of the book made me feel like I was missing giant pieces of the story. I needed more details about the hows and whys of what was going on, along with some more "human" pieces.

I think people who enjoy brutal fantasy worlds such as GRRM would really enjoy this book. I can recognize the technical merit of both authors, but I just can't enjoy them. I don't think it would really be fair for me to give this book a grade because of that, but I guess I should anyway. I'll give it a 3.5 out of 5 amulets.

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