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 adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It's adventure she wants - and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.It's time to take a walk on the wyld side.
Bloody Rose (The Band, #2) Review
- January 1, 1970PetrikARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.Attention avid fantasy readers; it’s time for me to ask for your consideration once again. Nicholas Eames did it again. As of now, I’m calling Bloody Rose one of the best sequels of all time.Last year, Kings of the Wyld made it into my small “favorite debuts of all-time” list. Since then its sequel, Bloody Rose, has easily become my most anticipated new release of the year. Expectations were high, and a fear of disappointment w ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.Attention avid fantasy readers; it’s time for me to ask for your consideration once again. Nicholas Eames did it again. As of now, I’m calling Bloody Rose one of the best sequels of all time.Last year, Kings of the Wyld made it into my small “favorite debuts of all-time” list. Since then its sequel, Bloody Rose, has easily become my most anticipated new release of the year. Expectations were high, and a fear of disappointment was certainly there, but as it turns out I needn’t have worried. It is with a heart full of joy that I proclaim Bloody Rose’s tour to be another successful tale; this is truly an excellent sequel to Kings of the Wyld, which was already amazing on its own. Those who follow my reviews should know by now that I'm a devoted series binge reader. When I started a new series to read and review, I usually finish every book available in the series first before moving to a different series or standalone. Bloody Rose however was one of the incredibly rare exceptions where I simply had to drop everything in my TBR pile immediately; it was completely irresistible.It’s been six years since the climactic battle in Kings of the Wyld and the melodies of life must continue. The main plot this time centers on our new main protagonist, Tam Hashford, who has been living a secluded, repetitive and boring life working at her local pub. This all changes when the current most famous mercenary band, Fable, led by the infamous Bloody Rose herself, arrives and Tam immediately volunteered to be their newest bard.Picture: Bloody Rose vs Cyclops by Felix OrtizTam’s journey with Fable was a magnificent and marvelous storyline to follow. The story, though still humorous and fun, had a darker tone compared to its predecessor. I feel like I received a lot of poignant and resonating messages from this book that could totally be applied to our society and living life, and I really didn’t expect that. Some of the themes being explored in this book were parenthood, knowing what truly matters in your life, and not getting lost in the pursuit of fame, wealth, and glory. I’ve seen a lot of acquaintances who have lost everything due to this kind of pursuit. One of the main reasons behind this is that we, as individuals, tend to let other people’s judgment of us affect the way we behave. We tend to think that we have some control over their assessment but really, the majority of the time we don’t. This book portrayed these messages beautifully, making Bloody Rose not a simply fun fantasy book but also a book with a lot of good lessons and messages for self-introspection. "We don’t get to choose what people think of us, Tam. You’re a legend now, girl, and legends are like rolling stones: Once they get going, it’s best to stay out of their way." Nick also nailed the importance of factions' perspectives effortlessly. Bloody Rose integrates the theme of how heroes most of the time will always be a villain from the opposing side and vice versa, which works wonderfully for the depth of the plot. "You didn’t get to be the villain of one story, she supposed, unless you were the hero of another." Like always, characters will make or break any story for me. Without spoiling anything from the first book, some characters from the first book did make some appearances and I thoroughly enjoyed every second I spent with them; it was like having a reunion with my old bandmates again. Clay and the other members of the Kings of the Wyld were a truly fantastic cast, and the premise of legendary bands reuniting for one last tour even when they’re past their prime was just spectacular. Fable at first felt a little different and needed some adjustment. It took a bit of time for me to grow to love these members due to the nature of the storytelling style being more of a slow burn than before; each characters’ background and personality took turns in their unraveling. However, as the book progressed and I reached 30% mark, I realized that once again, I had become fully invested in not only the main character but in literally every single character of the book, not only the members of Fable. It would be extremely hard to top Kings of the Wyld characters but somehow, in a different way, this younger Band of misfits were able to live up to their legend. I mean it, Nick writes a really fantastic set of characters. These characters were all distinctive, well-written, unique, and their relationship dynamics were a delight to read as friendship once again became one of the most well-explored aspects of the series in this installment. "We slept beside them, fought beside them, bled beside them. We trusted them to watch our backs and save our assess—which they did, time and time again. And somewhere out there, between one gig and the next, something changed. We woke up one day and realized that home was no longer behind us. That our families were with us all along. We looked around at these miscreants, these motley crews, and knew in our hearts there was nowhere we’d rather be than by their side." If I have to admit one thing that Nick definitely did better in this installment, it’s the action sequences. Don’t get me wrong, the actions in the first book were superb. But like I said, it could’ve been better if the final battle there received more pages; you have no idea how happy I am that Nick applied that here. The action sequences in this book deliver superlative quality on all fronts: vivid, immersive, cinematic, and extremely well-written. The last battle in Bloody Rose truly elevated the book into the category of epic fantasy; it was almost as if I was reading a battle sequence from the war in Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer. Nick managed to end this book on a high note due to its bloodthirsty actions that are full of turbulent, and immensely gripping emotional content.The world-building also received great treatment as more lore and revelations were revealed. Plus, Nick did a magnificent job in making sure that this book works absolutely well as a stand-alone; though it will spoil you on the events of the first book, readers don’t have to be afraid of forgetting things and not being able to follow the story. Some of you who follow my reviews should know by now that I’m a huge gamer and Final Fantasy fan. Final Fantasy is one of my favorite gaming franchises. Kings of the Wyld was filled with ubiquitous music references and plenty of Easter Eggs from this franchise and Nick himself is a fan of Final Fantasy. I’m very pleased that he keep this tradition in Bloody Rose, which was written in a way that almost felt like the author had his eyes on me when he was writing these scenes. Other than Yojimbo from Final Fantasy X as an inspiration for Yomina, or Red XIII from Fantasy VII, or maybe even Cactuar, I’m talking about a scene involving one new minor side character named Grudge. If you’re a Final Fantasy fan, you should know already who that character resembles just from the name. Here’s a hint: he’s green, hold a cleaver, and walks really freaking slow. I’m not going to lie, I was internally screaming with joy and had a smile upon my face as wide as the Joker during this cameo scene. The implementation of music and gaming Easter Eggs into the story was seamless. Here’s an example and also one of my favorite gaming references from the book: “Even when the shadow of the colossus fell upon them, it was enough.” For those of you who don’t know, Shadow of the Colossus is a video game (a brilliant one at that) that I absolutely loved playing.Picture: Shadow of the Colossus PS4 cover Nick proved that his capability as an author wasn’t a one-time thing; he’s not a one-hit wonder like some authors that I’ll refrain from mentioning. In my opinion, Nick has always been the best at changing the rhythm of emotions seamlessly. One moment you’re holding a breath you didn’t realize you were holding (am I doing this famous line correctly?), the next moment you’ll be laughing and then feeling sad. Bloody Rose was entertaining, brilliant, and written with a near automata efficiency, providing another perfect balance of pulse-pounding moments, humor, tension, and wyld adventure. Isn’t it beautiful when a book is capable of making you feel a variety of emotions? Bloody Rose shows the power of written words with excellence. I’ll even give it the highest praises by saying that the talk of music in this book reminds me a lot of The Kingkiller Chronicle. I wish I can show you the number of passages I highlighted but to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, I will let you experience them for yourself.Bloody Rose proves once again to be another fun escapism at the highest level just like its predecessor. A new dawn of fantasy is on the horizon and at this rate, I have no doubt Nicholas Eames will be one of the new leading authors; in my eyes, he already is. There’s still one more book left in the trilogy but it’s never too soon for me to say that this will most likely become one of my favorite trilogies of all time by its conclusion; it already is.Kings of the Wyld was honestly one of the books—together with Sanderson’s and Gwynne’s series—that I have recommended the most to every fantasy fan. I have sung and strummed the chord of praises for Kings of the Wyld for more than a year now, and this review shall become my second concert (by that, I mean recommending this book to every fantasy fan) for this stupefying excellent series. Bloody Rose has even emboldened me to claim that this series has become superior to The Kingkiller Chronicle or The Gentleman Bastards. Get hyped for the release of this book! Upon finishing the book within 24 hours, I was struck with insomnia due to euphoria and it was totally worth it. If you’re a fantasy reader, you better get some holy water to cleanse yourself of your sin if you’re thinking of not reading Bloody Rose. This is a must read with an infinite exclamation mark! "The bards tell us that we live so long as there are those alive who remember us. In that case, I think it’s safe to say that Bloody Rose will live forever." You know what that passage means? It’s up to the last of us to be the bards of this series, making sure the tales of the Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose live forever. There’s only one book left in The Band trilogy. If the last book ends up being as good or maybe even better than the other books in the series so far, I have zero doubt that The Band will officially become the third trilogy—after Mistborn and First Law—to have every single installment in the trilogy be included in my favorites of all-time list.One last thing. “Hi, Terry! If you’re reading this while drinking your morning tea, I’m sorry for the super long review. Your son successfully wrote another amazing book! Get him some beer and pat him on the back for me!”Side notes: Some readers have messaged me saying thank you for my review on Kings of the Wyld. They told me they bought the book because of my recommendation and the majority of them loved it; friendships were also formed—Hi, Sarah!—and I’m seriously gratified with this result. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to you all for all the support and faith in my reviews! Let me use this space to also clarify this. I always try my best to support authors—especially underrated or new authors—without expecting anything in return; authors don’t owe me anything for my support. That’s why I found it extremely heartwarming to see my name included in the acknowledgment section. Thank you, Nick. I won’t forget this. It means a lot to me and I can’t wait to talk about video games, books, and cool artworks over that beer you promised.I read this book in ebook format and I honestly can’t wait to see how the physical copy will turn out in real life. Richard Anderson is one of the best cover artists in the industry and he did a scintillating job with the cover art for this book; in my opinion, it’s even better than the already amazing Kings of the Wyld! Plus, I can’t wait to see the new map put on real pages. I also suggest checking out Felix Ortiz’s Artstation site for more awesome Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose artworks!Finally, this is currently my second longest review of all time (2.2k words) and there are seven gaming Easter Eggs in it; including the next sentence. Can you catch ‘em all? ;) The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. Official release date: August 28th, 2018You can pre-order the book with FREE shipping HERE!more
- January 1, 1970Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ MartinHell yeah!! Thank you my friend, Samir for showing the cover reveal where I promptly went to Amazon and pre-ordered. Yeah, it says July 2018 over there but who cares 😄And it's got girl power!! Yessssss!
- January 1, 1970MelanieARC provided by Orbit in exchange for an honest review.1.) Kings of the Wyld ★★★★★This is the first book that is actually being published with my name in the acknowledgements and... I just have a lot of feels. Forever thankful for this community and for everyone who takes the time to read my reviews. You all bless me every single day. 💗Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitchmore
- January 1, 1970SamirWe have a cover and it rocks! Art by Richard Anderson.
- January 1, 1970James Lafayette TivendaleEven better than Kings of the Wyld. Review will follow over the weekend :) x
- January 1, 1970Petros TriantafyllouBloody Rose is one of those books that make you want to go back and lower every single rating you've ever given, simply so it will stand above everything else. Tam, the daughter of the fearless mercenary Tuck Hashford, has been sheltered for all her life by her over-protecting father after the death of her mother. She has never even set foot outside of her home town before, and she can only ever dream how the life in a band would be. That is, until Fable, the band of the infamous Bloody Rose her Bloody Rose is one of those books that make you want to go back and lower every single rating you've ever given, simply so it will stand above everything else. Tam, the daughter of the fearless mercenary Tuck Hashford, has been sheltered for all her life by her over-protecting father after the death of her mother. She has never even set foot outside of her home town before, and she can only ever dream how the life in a band would be. That is, until Fable, the band of the infamous Bloody Rose herself, visit the pub she's working in, looking for a new bard... "I should warn you," she said. "What we're going up against could be just as dangerous as the Horde. Worse, even". To Tam, there was nothing worse than the prospect of never leaving home, of being cooped up in Ardburg until her dreams froze and her Wyld Heart withered in its cage. She glanced at her uncle, who gave her a reassuring nod, and was about to tell Freecloud that it didn't matter if they were facing the Horde, or something worse than the Horde, or if they were bound for the Frost Mother's hell itself. She would follow.Since I was already reading another book (which I was rather enjoying) when I got my hands on a Bloody Rose ARC, I promised that I would only read Bloody Rose after finishing that book. I only permitted myself a quick glance at the first chapter, to see how Eames opened the story. Seventeen hours and a sleepless night later, here I am writing this review. Let's start by saying that Bloody Rose, as is the case with Kings of the Wyld, is a stand-alone novel, with no previous knowledge required. Sure, since the story takes place a few years after KOTW it could spoil a few things from the first book, but all in all, it's a seperate story, featuring a completely new set of characters. When I first heard that Bloody Rose wouldn't future the original cast of KOTW I was pretty much bummed out. Nick had proven to me with KOTW and with his story in Art of War that he was an excellent writer, capable of producing another great novel, but I thought it would never be as cool as the first book was. Let's just say that it's not the first time I was wrong, and it certainly won't be the last. I can't claim that Bloody Rose is better than KOTW, since that was already perfect to begin with, but I can sure as hell say that it's on a par with it. In Bloody Rose, we follow Tam and the other members of her band called Fable. Eames doesn't offer much of a backstory, but his well-fleshed-out characters are enough to get us emotionally attached from the very first page. The story itself is compelling, fast-paced and exciting, keeping you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Although Kings of the Wyld introduced us to a Horde of monsters capable of defeating and enslaving humanity, in Bloody Rose, Eames has managed to raise the stakes even higher.It's not easy to keep both old and new readers happy when you write a second stand-alone novel in the same world. You'll either have to repeat yourself during world-building, annoying your old readers who already know this stuff from the previous book, or leave important elements out of your story, introducing your new readers to an incomplete setting. It's not easy, but it is possible, and Eames has managed to pull it off nicely, proving how talented he is.I mentioned earlier that I read Bloody Rose in less than 24 hours, which probably doesn't mean a lot to you, since most of you know that I've already pulled off something like that numerous times in the past. It does mean a lot to me and my close friends though, who know first-hand that I've been in a reading slump since I read Grey Sister back in November of last year. I've read a lot of excellent books since then, but Bloody Rose was the only one that managed to get me out of it. All in all, Bloody Rose is an exciting and thrilling novel, and the perfect continuation of Kings of the Wyld. Highly Recommended. Note to Author: Last time I cried reading a book, was when Odysseus returned to Ithaca after a twenty-year absence, only to find out that his dog Argos has been waiting for all these years to greet his master for one last time before he died. You, sir, are not allowed to make me cry two times before the 43rd page of a book I've barely even started, for a character I don't even know yet. In bird culture this is considered a dick move.more
- January 1, 1970Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~Alright but are we all seeing this MIND-BLOWING ARTWORK ON THE COVER!? 😍
- January 1, 1970KristenFull review is here, on my blog!Okay, I was going to attempt to wait to let my love of this book out on the world, but I can’t. I can’t hold it in. *spews rainbows* – sooo… this review is just going to be 1500 words of me squeeing into my computer screen.I was 8% into this thing and had more stuff highlighted than I do for an average over 4 books, lol.I sat there and I said to myself, before I even started this thing. “It can’t… it just can’t be as good as KotW was.”Welp. Here we are.This is the Full review is here, on my blog!Okay, I was going to attempt to wait to let my love of this book out on the world, but I can’t. I can’t hold it in. *spews rainbows* – sooo… this review is just going to be 1500 words of me squeeing into my computer screen.I was 8% into this thing and had more stuff highlighted than I do for an average over 4 books, lol.I sat there and I said to myself, before I even started this thing. “It can’t… it just can’t be as good as KotW was.”Welp. Here we are.This is the story of Tam, who is seventeen, and the daughter of a well known mercenary and a very well known bard who were once in a band back in the day. Unfortunately, her mom died, leaving her with a father who is now over-the-top overprotective of her, and all she wants to do is go out and find adventure in the world.And she does manage to break away from her sheltered life… and somehow ends up as the bard for Fable, one of the most famous bands that are touring. Fable is lead by Bloody Rose – Golden Gabe’s daughter, and the reason that he got Saga back together in Kings of the Wyld. Rose is joined by Freecloud, a swordmaster and one of the last of the druin; Cura, a summoner who summons creatures from her tattoos; Brune, a shaman who turns into a bear; and their booker Roderick, who is… a little more than meets the eye.Most of the bands in the world are generally heading towards the Brumal Horde, a host of monsters like Lastleaf gathered six years previously, but Fable isn’t going that way. They’re finishing their tour, and then they have a contract to complete. Their journey brings them to many different places, where they meet many different kinds of people, and deal with many different kinds of shenanigans. Everything from huuuuge monsters, to undead monsters, to bar brawls, to some very strange animals.SHENANIGANS – DUN DUN DUNNNThere are a thousand reasons that I loved this book. It is amazingly well put together, an well written. It’s funny as hell and it makes me laugh, yes, but it also has serious moments. Some of those moments got me in the feels pretty good too. The characters became friends of mine, in a way. I really liked Tam as a character, and I liked the journey that the band made. I didn’t start off really liking Rose but she really grew on me as we went… but the real star here, for me, was Freecloud. After Lastleaf, I don’t know what I was expecting from a druin, but I don’t think it was this. I wanted all the good things for him because he deserves good things. He’s just a good dude, full stop. He’s got the prescience, the grace (usually), and sometimes the sort of… otherworldly agelessness that druin do, but at the same time he’s so down to earth and easy to talk to. He’s one of those characters I just latched onto, so as the story went on, and things came to pass… well… feels. The feels happened. Brune and Cura were also fun, and the banter between them made me laugh. Roderick is also a fun dude who is unexpected and yet… he is what he is, lol.Some characters from KotW make appearances, and the first of which that made me break out into a giant grin was Tiamax (who still reminds me of Garrus Vakarian, there I said it), the arachnian former member of the band Vanguard. He’s a bartender now, in the bar where Tam works, and… y’know, having 6 arms, he’s pretty great at it.And then there are the subtle and sometimes not-as-subtle references to various games, books, and pretty much everything else that I will always love. A couple of Cura’s summoned creatures reminded me very much of aeons from FFX – one of which is a rather electric horse, and the other of which is my favorite summon in the entire franchise. There was another character who was awfully reminiscent of a very common enemy in the same franchise, and named very appropriately. There was a reference to Shadow of the Colossus. There’s a ‘Winter is Coming’ in there somewhere (and it fit really well. It wasn’t just totally random). I was not-so-subtly geeking out the entire time, for reals. ^_^The majority of the things I caught were obviously music related though. There’s a band in this one called Men Without Helmets, which immediately got the song Pop Goes the World stuck in my head. If you’re not Canadian, you might not know that one, but you might know Men Without Hats’ other hit song – The Safety Dance. It was on my playlist right after Pop Goes the World, and my childhood of sitting on the floor in front of the TV in the 80s watching nothing but shitty music videos came right back. Yeep. There’s also a pretty clear reference in this one to another song that was famous in Canada but pretty much nowhere else – and here is a link to the music video, and you are so welcome for this, my friends. BASK IN THE GLORY THAT IS MY CHILDHOOD.I didn’t really realize this until pretty far into this book but… after a reference to Men Without Hats, then Duran Duran, then Whitesnake, and even a minor character whose name was a very subtle but fucking brilliant Van Halen reference… Bloody Rose… takes place in the 80s.Kings of the Wyld felt like it was representing all the greatest classic rock bands. Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, etc… but not really in a specific time frame. Bands who are, perhaps, past their younger days at this point in the story, but not necessarily out of the game. They can still rock. That feeling is still present here too.But, as Rose and her band are pretty much the next generation after Saga, their manager, their groupies, and their afterparties definitely reminded me of the brightly colored, platinum-blonde, sometimes utterly ridiculous 80s. And since I was born and spent a good deal of my formative years within the 80s…. I FUCKING LIVED FOR IT. <3<3<3Ahem, back to business. Like I said, there are a thousand reasons that I loved this book, but I can’t point them all out to you or what fun will you have? So let me just say that if you loved Kings of the Wyld, you’re going to love Bloody Rose.And, I mean, if you haven’t read Kings of the Wyld yet… then drop everything you are doing. Right now. GO.This was a fantastic sequel. It was a fantastic book all on it’s own (but I think you’d probably benefit from reading KotW first although this follows different characters on a different journey). I loved every minute of it. Well… there were a few minutes I could have done without… but all the same, I can’t wait for more!This one gets 7/5 stars!KotW got 7 stars as well. 6 because it’s one more than 5 (because it went up to 11, which is one more than 10), and a bonus one because Nick Eames is Canadian and I was feeling extra patriotic that day.This one gets one extra for nostalgia-ing me in the face then making me cry (fucking twice), and then a bonus for making a fucking GOWAN REFERENCE, lol.OMG… is the next book going to be the 90s? Nirvana, and Tool, and RHCP, and Soundgarden and on and on and on…. :o CLEAR MY SCHEDULE!-HI TERRY! This is probably my favorite book ever written, so that's a thing that made my whole week. I hope you also have a good week!~ ^_^This review is based on a NetGalley - Thanks to Orbit for that NetGalley. :)more
- January 1, 1970William E.Fable is the hottest band to hit town since Saga
- January 1, 1970HannahSomehow, an advanced copy of Bloody Rose has wandered into my unsuspecting life…Hey, I’m not asking questions. I was worried at first that I would spend too much of this book missing characters from KotW - specifically, Clay Cooper as a narrator - but that worry was wonderfully misplaced. Tam Hashford is the daughter of a famous bard and merc, but she herself is stuck in a rather monotonous life working at a pub. As such, she jumps at the chance to accompany the infamous Fable as their bard.Fabl Somehow, an advanced copy of Bloody Rose has wandered into my unsuspecting life…Hey, I’m not asking questions. I was worried at first that I would spend too much of this book missing characters from KotW - specifically, Clay Cooper as a narrator - but that worry was wonderfully misplaced. Tam Hashford is the daughter of a famous bard and merc, but she herself is stuck in a rather monotonous life working at a pub. As such, she jumps at the chance to accompany the infamous Fable as their bard.Fable seems to be rarely sober, very dysfunctional, and always killing something - one happy family that Tam fits perfectly into. I adored them. It did take a while for me to warm up to Rose, as throughout the book her idol-like stature is peeled slowly back to reveal the human being beneath.I think Eames shines not only in his fight scenes, but also with his dialogue. The great Sir Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite storytellers, and it thrills me to find another author who can cleverly weave wit and comedy into his writing. As for the fighting - I appreciated that Eames gave our final battle a bigger chunk of the book this time around, and that he knows wars can't ravage cities without some sacrifice. Hey, glory or death right?more
- January 1, 1970Karen AndersonLooking forward to reading book #2(did I really miss the song title on the previous book? I hope I just forgot. Sheesh)
- January 1, 1970BekoAwesome Cover.
- January 1, 1970JustjoeeMINDBLOWING!
- January 1, 1970Bradley Paul ValentineLemme guess. This girl band is more deadly and wild than the boys.
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