The Kingdom of Alden is under attack from neighboring Oridia and every citizen must rise to defend it, including Lady Alix Black. Although Alix’s family is known for being bold, the noblewoman-turned-scout surprises everyone when she saves King Erik’s life during a brutal battle. But as Erik fights to protect Alden, his brother plots to steal it, with the help of Alden’s greatest enemy, the Priest.
An Oridian lord and powerful witch, the Priest keeps Oridia’s soldiers equipped with bloodforged weapons, and is rumoured to command darker magicks besides. It is said the Oridian army never loses a battle when the Priest rides with them, and now he’s been spied on the battlefield itself, just as Alix is thrust to the front lines.
Newly promoted to Captain and personal bodyguard to the king, Alix finds herself dangerously unprepared for the task at hand. To make matters worse, she’s been separated from her comrades, including Liam, her most trusted confidant – and maybe something more. Torn between her duty and her heart, Alix must rely on her instincts as she grapples with political intrigue, fierce battles, and unspeakable evil in order to protect her king and save her country.
I recently stumbled across this book sitting on my ‘Read’ shelf with four stars, and I didn’t recognise it at all. Considering I’m a pretty cynical rater, I knew I had to reread Bloodbound to find out what was worth four stars. It’s also why I’m writing this review: I don’t like the fact that I’ve forgotten a book I’ve rated so highly. It’s time to start writing reviews to help solidify these books in my memory or at least have something to jog it the next time I end up in this situation. What I will say, though, is that this book deserves this four star rating.
Alix is such a strong, resourceful female voice throughout this book, but what’s even better is that she isn’t perfect. She makes mistakes by succumbing to her emotions and instincts at the wrong times; she doesn’t just fall into doing the right thing in every moment. It’s so rare to have a protagonist, let alone a female one, with flaws, and it made her much more relatable.
While Liam comes into himself in Bloodforged (more on that later), I was very empathetic to his situation. He has spent his whole life in the shadows and assumes that is how he will spend the rest of it. Liam is kind and strong; his actions and reactions are believable and, like Alix, not always perfect.
Erik’s struggle throughout the book is beautiful – the push and pull between doing the right thing and being a good person provides a lot of depth to the story. He does feel more stilted than the other characters, but I choose to believe that’s intentional; after all, he is royalty. Erik is a king at war, a war of his own making, and that comes with many responsibilities.
I enjoy how Erin Lindsey wrote this book; no long explanations to situate you into this world’s geography or religion, almost as if it is the real world, so why would it need to be explained? I’m sure if you read the index at the end of the book, you’d catch on faster than I did, but as much as I love my Kindle, it doesn’t make looking at the references easy. It didn’t matter – I wasn’t bogged down by the details or trying to understand the gods or war strategy. I just took it at face value and enjoyed the story.
Bloodbound is a little predictable and a bit too cheesy for five stars, but I love this world and its characters. Alix alone would make this an excellent book; the fully developed cast of characters is all bonus. I would recommend this to any fantasy fans who enjoy a pretty significant side of romance – it’s worth it.