Blood and Memory
by Fiona McIntosh
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
480 pages; ISBN: 0060747587
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Blood and Memory
Eos, Aug 2005, $14.95, 480 pp.
Kept alive by the magic of the Quickening, warrior Wyl Thirsk witnessed ruthless King Celimus of Morgravia kill Myrren the Witch; the person who gave him his paranormal skill to switch bodies. He vows vengeance while he resides inside his third body that of Faryl the female assassin. Romen Koreldy had killed Wyl’s body, which due to Myrren’s Quickening enabled the deceased to move his soul inside his “conqueror”. When Faryl killed Wyl’s second body that once belonging to Romen, he moved inside her flesh. In each case he kept his memories expanded by that of the body he uses.
King Celimus plans to conquer neighboring Briavel either by marrying Queen Valentyna or invasion. Concluding that her country will be slaughtered in a war, Valentyna ponders marriage to the insane abusive Celimus, which she believes would be worse than death, but also fears the outcome to her people if the vicious soldiers of Morgravia attacked. Wyl continues his search for his sister, his desire to return to his beloved beleaguered queen, his need to kill Celimus, and finally trying to understand the Quickening.
This terrific dark fantasy will get fans to believe in sorcery especially the Quickening but to better understand what is going on especially with the magic, new readers should start with book one, MYRENN’S GIFT. The story line is action-packed as Celimus puts in motion his scheme to annex his neighbor while Wyl in a female’s body (interesting psychological twist) struggles with several potentially conflicting objectives. Readers will question his thinking skills because he makes the same fundamental errors which places him in unnecessary jeopardy, but that cranks up the excitement so that the audience has a fabulous saga to follow.
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