A Time Of Blood (Of Blood and Bone #2) by John Gwynne

AtimeofbloodWow.  Again, I start off a review for a John Gwynne book with that very simple and yet I feel highly appropriate word.  Wow.  This was an excellent book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

Truth and courage people.  You will certainly find plenty of ‘truths’, some of them more unexpected than others, in the pages of this book and you will have to forgive me if I suggest that you might need a good helping of courage to get through this instalment – by which I mean the tension is ramped up, the battles are bloody and everyone seems to be in danger.  This is, again, an epic story of battles, bloodshed, treachery, heroes and villains.  It makes for thoroughly entertaining reading at the same time as leaving me with a very real dilemma about how to go about reviewing the story without giving away spoilers.

I’m going to veer away from discussing too much detail about the plot because that way leads to the land of spoilers and I really don’t want to give anything away here and ruin the many surprises in store for you all so this will instead be a simple reflection on my thoughts and feelings during the read.

Firstly I must say that this is an excellent second book in series.  The pacing is almost relentless and there is not a glimmer of middle book syndrome in sight.  In fact I would go as far to say that this is almost perfect in every respect.  The story picks up almost immediately where the first book left off and brings us a thrilling game of cat and mouse being played out across the wilds.  Meanwhile terrible plans are being put into place, armies moved around like chess pieces on a board just waiting to attack.

We once again follow a number of different character perspectives that allow us a bird’s eye view of what is taking place in different parts of this world.  I love this form of story telling and Gwynne seems to be a dab hand at pulling off the different voices, keeping them all unique and allowing them to grow in the most natural way possible.  You can’t help but develop genuine attachments to some of these characters and feel real fear when the author writes them into such terrible predicaments.  I was holding my breath reading parts of this, my heart in my throat, here is an author who knows how to bring you to the edge of your seat and keep you reading into the early hours of the morning.

On top of this the world building is developing in a fascinating way.  It is starting to become apparent that the Ben-Elim have many secrets.  Secrets that they’re very anxious to keep that way.  I like this, things are not quite as clear cut as they may have at first appeared and what began as a feeling of strong doubt in the first book has developed into these warrior angels falling much further from grace.  Then there are the Kadoshim – this is an enemy that has been greatly underestimated and the price is about to be paid in the spilling of blood.  Much blood – this book is indeed aptly named.

And, to repeat what I said about A Time of Dread, Gwynne can undoubtedly write action scenes that simply spring off the page in the mind’s eye.  I confess that I sometimes become a little tired of battles and fight scenes or, more to the point, find them difficult to envisage.  It’s not a feeling I experienced when reading either this or the first book.  The fights and battles are just exquisitely wrought, they’re exciting to read with literally never a dull moment.

To be honest I don’t think I can say too much more.  This is turning into a captivating series and an author that is fast becoming a favourite.

I have no criticisms at all and can only suggest that if you enjoy sweeping fantasy, epic battles that are much more complex than simply good vs evil then do yourself a favour and pick up this series.  Oh, and lest I forget, there are bears and dogs – fantastic, faithful creatures that I just loved reading about.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.





12 Responses to “A Time Of Blood (Of Blood and Bone #2) by John Gwynne”

  1. Tammy

    I need to read the first book! I’m not sure why this series never caught my eye, but I’ll have to make sure I don’t miss out😁 Awesome review!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I know what you mean, it’s like the author’s first series just seemed to fly by without me ever really noting it or picking it up on my radar – I feel a bit sheepish now for not having read it because these are very good. I think it might be because I know the books are going to have lots of battles and they don’t really lure me the same way as other stories. As it happens Gwynne is so good at writing action that it’s not a problem but even so I still feel the initial doubt.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I can’t wait to read this! I feel like I’m constantly playing catch up, but there are probably half a dozen books I wish I could read all at once right now, lol. This is one of them.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, me too, although you manage to read such a lot – it’s very impressive, not just because of the reading but keeping up with all the reviews – I seem to get behind with the blogging if I read too much.
      Lynn 😀

  3. pagesandtea

    I must have checked the library catalogue 100 times to see whether they have this listed yet and they still don’t. It sounds so good and I really enjoyed the first book (borrowed from the library), so hopefully they’ll get at least one copy in 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled and be first on the list!
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I’m almost halfway through and I totally agree with you: this is just perfect, and unlike its predecessor it hits the ground running – and never stops. And the buildup in tension becomes unbearable at times: today I was reading on the subway, and realized I was holding the handrail so fiercely that my hand hurt, but I was at a very harrowing point and the story had taken hold of my senses so very strongly… 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I can totally see that – I’m surprised you didn’t miss your stop as well. Gripping stuff.
      Lynn 😀

  5. waytoofantasy

    So glad you loved this one, Lynn! I haven’t read any of his books yet but they’re highly praised so I may have to check them out at some point. 🙂

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