A Child of the Blood
Malim is the supernaturally powerful, time-travelling heir to the leadership of ‘The Family’. He is the fulfilment of a long-awaited dream. But the dream has become a nightmare. Centuries of inbreeding have created a dangerous psychopath. To escape his father, Rendail, Malim leaps forward fifteen hundred years to 21st Century Scotland. His aim? To rule the present and control the past. To achieve his insane ambitions he must breed. One woman, Karisse, carries the blood he needs. But his brother, Arghel, stands in his way. While Rendail struggles to preserve the Family, Malim lures Karisse to the far future, out of Arghel’s reach. The battle lines are drawn. The outcome will determine not only the fate of the Family, but the path of time itself.
“Dynamic, intelligent and terrifying, A Child of the Blood blends fantastic elements of the past and a menacing view of the future to create one hell of a present …”
Words with Jam
A Child of the Blood: Review by JJ Marsh
Reproduced here by kind permission from Words with Jam
The second in the Blood Dancer series, A Child of the Blood follows The Tyranny of the Blood, in which we first encountered this complex world of time-travel, eugenics and the Family.
While the story continues from where Tyranny left off, this book stands alone as an adventure in its own right; sometimes thrilling, sometimes horrifying and often touching. The Family has one focus - the purity of the blood. Careful breeding has enhanced the gifts of longevity, telepathy and immense physical and mental power. It has also generated madness, deformity and a ruthless pursuit of perfection.
The eponymous child could refer to various characters in the novel. Such as the two brothers: Malim, blessed with the gift of leaping into the future, is dangerous, twisted and insane; or Arghel, who believes he was pushed from the family home in favour of his older brother. The comprehension of the real reasons behind his banishment is one of the most poignant threads in the book.
Malim plans to leap to the future and set up his own dynasty to rival his father, Rendail. However, to further his line, he needs a female of the right blood, with sufficient strength to survive the journey. Only one such exists - Karisse - and she belongs to his brother. Possessed of the power to take her, Malim seems invincible. But he's forgotten one thing. His sister.
Maylie, like Arghel, fled the family home years before. Her son, Alex, has travelled to the future to lie in wait for Malim. He must be destroyed both in the past and the future. Unfortunately for Alex, the modern-day police investigation into the disappearance of a woman from a psychiatric facility unwittingly aids Malim. The police soon find themselves dealing with circumstances, not to mention minds, they cannot possibly understand.
A Child of the Blood has tension, romance, agonies of flesh and emotion, love, loyalty, familial bonds and edge-of-your-seat moments. Much like the previous book. However, here the battle for control of the Family takes on a new disturbing aspect, while retaining a sense of an eternal struggle.
The characters feel genuine, flawed and in Malim's case, uncomfortably real. As part of a trilogy, the amount of backstory and huge cast can become occasionally overwhelming, so the family tree and introduction is an excellent idea. New readers will find the story fascinating and Tyranny fans will be delighted.
Dynamic, intelligent and terrifying, Child of the Blood blends fantastic elements of the past and a menacing view of the future to create one hell of a present.