- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Head of Zeus (3 July 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 178185226X
- ISBN-13: 978-1781852262
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 4.4 x 15.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 375,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Dark Blood (The Long War) Hardcover – 3 Jul 2014
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More About the Author
'Like Martin crossed with Lovecraft.' Scifi Now.
'Interesting and enticing. Thrusts you towards the next instalment.' SFX.
'Sieges, catapults, battles, longswords, beheadings a-plenty, profanity and rather bloody mayhem. Brilliant.' SFFWorld.
About the Author
A. J. Smith spent twelve years devising The Long War cycle. When not living in the Lands of Ro, he works in secondary education.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was (am) a big fan of A J Smiths debut novel, while it’s not a perfect fantasy book, it was cleverly written (a little on the epic side) …well read my Review.
Writing a review for an author is also even more of a pleasure when you meet the author and you find out they are genuinely a really nice person. (if you get a chance to go to the next Goldsboro books Fantasy in the Court you really must)
So how does book 2 measure up? if I’m honest its significantly stronger than book 1, the author seems to have taken his licks from the book one reviews (and there were a few, a fair few uncalled for) but channeled the feedback and energy into a tremendous second book.
There is a significant clarification to the plot, the protagonists and the overall plot. What had in book one slowed the flow and i think led to confusion for some readers has been solidified into a much tighter defined intense story, answering many of the questions outstanding from book one.
I feel the author has been channeling his inner GRR Martin, the world and over all plot is wide-ranging, with a large cast, of which no character is safe. The characters are also on the real side, there are dark personalities, frailties, flaws, all of which making up real people, for me a very GRRM character building trait. Book 2 continues its narrowing of focus with the characters, giving a much more defined group for the reader to follow than book one, which was as much an intro into the authors mind and world building as it was telling the story.
As second books go it’s a great triumph of writing and shows there is much more to come from the new voice in fantasy.
Again, the world is awesome. Feels really natural and consistent. If anything, I think Mr Smith has got into his stride more. The writing is more confident and the descriptions feel effortless.
A warning: there is more of the same in terms of violence and profanity. I think it adds to the book personally.
If he continues getting better at this rate the next part will be a classic.
The balance tilts away from being very strongly focused on the human element of the world to also delving into the divine aspects of the Long War, with more players being brought to bear, and with interesting - if at times annoying - additions to the world being brought in.
The author also toys with some of the many protagonists and you never quite know how many, and in further consequence which will make it out of the book alive, and which not. This is definitely a strong element to keep you guessing and while he does not keep on constantly decimating the cast like George R.R. Martin, he also does not approach his characters in the happy go lucky manner of some lighter fantasy, where each and every one of the 'positive' ones is definitely a survivor en-route to a happy ending.
The focus is now also stronger on a handful of characters, while some others are left lingering in the background, possibly to be brought to the fore in the next volume; with some more or less completely new additions, too.
In any case, the book remains a very strong mix of Machiavellian plotting (even if not quite so wide ranging as in ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A smooth transition from the first to the next, the author has spun a gripping tale leaving me anticipating the next bookPublished 5 months ago by Dr. Andrew Jason Penner
Really enjoyed the second book in what is turning out to be an excellent story. Good characters and a well written plot left me waiting for the next instalment with anticipation.Published 8 months ago by Eric Smith
Gods. And assassins. Priests and no doubt heroes. It's a fantasy story, and I think the second of its trilogy (these things always come in trilogies) as the author keeps... Read morePublished 14 months ago by jacw2000