oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen

Gail Dayton, NEW BLOOD

Gail Dayton, author of the Compass Rose books, has a couple of new novels out from Tor Romance. I read the first one, New Blood, a few days ago. It's historical alternate world, roughly nineteenth century, in which magic is known in four forms: (elements) alchemy, (spirits) conjury, (plants) wizardry, and (blood and sex) sorcery. The latter is pretty much exclusive to women, and at the beginning of the book has died out. That was all pretty cool.

It's one of those books that you can only recommend to certain people. If you liked her books from Luna, you will probably like this; if you didn't, you will probably dislike it, because it has many of the same basic story elements and themes. The heroine is identified as having greater power than she knows, and spends the rest of the novel figuring out that power and how she's going to use it. I liked the figuring out parts; I didn't so much like that everyone except the obvious villains liked her and helped her in her quest. Because sometimes I am in the mood for "person with terrible past finds lovely new family," but sometimes I am not, and I get annoyed with how nice everyone is, even while I'm liking that they're nice and I like them. (What? That sentence does so make sense!)

I liked that the heroine, Amanusa, had a terrible past, because it made total sense for where she'd grown up; I liked her interesting background. I liked that when Jax, the bound "blood servant" of the now-dead last sorceress, found her, she was not at all happy about it. Both of them had serious emotional issues related to their past experiences. There were interesting dynamics involved with him being bound to her in ways that could easily result in abuse. I was disappointed, though, when all of those issues were resolved too easily.

And that was my main complaint about the book. I didn't worry enough. (Sometimes one doesn't want to worry! So I'll read book two!) I wanted more intensity from the story than I received.

Still, I really liked the way she set up the magic.

New Blood
Tags: historical, paranormal, reading, romance, sf/f

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