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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
I don't usually write reviews. However this is such a great read.

This book was recommended to me via a review on Kim Harrison website which read "I don't blurb many books, but her work caught me off guard and shook me up. This isn't for the closed-minded, so don't expect a cookie-cutter book, but instead plan to be asked to think" which spurred me to have a look

This book grabbed me from the start as has such a different plot. Basically this book is based in a future a hundred years after the apocalypse. The Earth has plunged into an Ice Age and Seraphs and Demons fight a never ending battle while religious strife rages among the surviving humans.

The main character Thorn St.Croix is a neomage and has escaped from the Enclave as her powers were driving her insane. The Enclave is a place where others of her kind were gathered long ago and are exploited for their magic.

Thorn is disguised as a human and channels her gifts for war into stone magery or jewellery making.

However when an attractive policeman Thaddeus Bartholomew shows up on her doorstep accusing her of kidnapping her ex-husband Lucas she risks revealing her identity and retrieves her weapons to find him.

I have thought I would write this review which is basically the synopsis on the back of the book as it was such a killer read and so different to the usual heroine supernatural romance books. However saying that the heroine Thorn is similar to Merry Gentry from Laurell K Hamilton novels.

Anyway please read it!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2007
I usually like more romance on my books but, I loved this one. It is great, the plot (Thorn a neomage - stone mage - on Mineral City) is well developed, there are a lot of action scenes (battles)mixed with the emotions "Thorn" is feeling.

This book presents a new world divided among Devils (Darkness), Angels (Seraphs and Good Watchers), humans (orthodox and liberal ones) and neomage. There is a struggle between good and bad and, characters are caught in between. You don't have the whole picture at the beginning of the book (like in normal romance books), it is developed along the way. You have to expect the unexpected and, it creates a "expectations" that are not deceiving.

I love it, the main character Thorn is troubled and insecured. She has been on her own since a being a teenager, a "mage" disguised among humans until her "essence" is revealed. Helping her fellowed citizens but hated by some of them. Her way of thinking is different from the human one, she has her on morals and, her inner strength and capability develop as the book unfold.

I cannot describe it with words but, it is a book worth reading. I have already ordered the sequel.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2008
Stunning unusual fantasy set in a future where the Apocalypse has happened - plagues, angels, demons and all - and a new breed of people, blood mages, can work with the elements to do magic. Thorn's hidden life is about to be turned upside down when her ex is kidnapped by demons and her half-learned skills are going to get her into trouble with the seraphs if she can't rescue him and protect her new family. Believable world-story, strong, likeable characters, much humour and a really unique voice, I'm on the lookout for the sequels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2008
Despite a worthy attempt at creating a `new' post-apocalyptic world, Faith Hunter fails to convince. Even if all the right elements are present - a quirky, vibrant protagonist, mysterious and elusive creatures of the heavens and proficient supporting characters, when it comes to combining these elements Hunter loses the intrigue. As a lead character `Thorn' is not evocative enough to carry the book by herself, and, as is seen especially within the last 20 pages, the action drags when the reader is restricted solely to her. Although there are other characters that could easily be utilised to establish a more thrilling closing, Hunter mistakenly devotes relatively little time to them.
When commenting on the book, Kim Harrison asks `What's a woman to do when she falls in love with a seraph's child?' Of this `love' we see very little. What we do see is Thorn in `mage heat' which comes across as just a base excuse to throw sex into the otherwise platonic storyline - and it doesn't really sell. We are never convinced of the protagonist's emotions, only her need to bed the seraph's child, this lack of love articulated when she expresses desire for a random man just over half way through the book.
However, the story holds elements of interest that will entice fantasy fans and Hunter's fluid writing makes it easy to turn the page. Although her post apocalyptic world is a far cry from the likes of Terry Brooks, as the first in a trilogy there is only room for improvement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2011
Not Good. My rating for this book deteriorated as the book went on. At first, the concept of Thorne being a neo-mage hiding in plain sight under threat of torture and death if she were caught sounded promising. But the plot was just a hot mess. Where it wasn't dull as dishwater- talking about the day-to-day minutia of working in a jewellery shop- it was confusing to a ridiculous degree. I found myself having to go back and re-read sections constantly because I was totally lost. Normally, I might blame any such confusion on the reader, not the writer, but in this instance I'm pretty sure I was paying attention and it was still a confusing mess.

If you want to read something by this author, go for the UF one: The Jane Yellowrock series. That's a bit of a slow starter too, but once you're into it, it's approximately a bajillion times better than this effort.
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on 31 March 2008
Bloodring is a dark fantasy set one hundred years after three plagues have decimated mankind. The Earth is now in an ice-age, and seraphs and demons fight a never-ending battle. Meanwhile, the surviving humans are caught up in religious strife - as the apocalypse was preceded by the appearance of the seraphs. In this world Thorn St. Croix hides among the humans. A Neomage; she should be living with the rest of her kind in one of the Enclaves. Instead she chooses to live as a fugitive. When her ex-husband Lucas is kidnapped, she'll risk everything to find him, knowing that the price of discovery is death.

As well as Thorne, we meet her ex brother-in-law Rupert, and his lover Audric (I think my favourite characters). Thadd - a policeman who is convinced Thorne knows more than she's letting on, and who has secrets of his own. Various townspeople with their own agendas, and of course the seraphs.

There was a lot I enjoyed about the book. It's filled with a subtle eroticism, that crests and wanes as you're reading.
"I dragged my thoughts away from his muscled back and what it might look like naked if he lifted a bale of hay overhead. In summer. After a hard workout."
:) Okay, some of it's not so subtle. But there's this slow burn as you're reading it, that let's you experience Thorn's frustration as she's unable to fulfill her desire.

Faith Hunter 'draws' characters very well. She can paint a picture with words, which fixes them in your head very quickly. She has a wonderful way of expressing herself - I can't remember the last time I read the word 'pellucid' or 'susurration' in a novel. It adds to the sensuality of the storyline.

One of my concerns before reading the book was the religious content, I'm pleased that the seraphs in this world haven't validated any religion. And that there are some groups that believe the seraphs aren't angelic but alien in origin. I like the fact that we're given more than one possibility and no definite solution.

My main problem with the book was that there was a lot I was confused about or didn't understand. I get the main thrust of what's going on, but I think some of the subtleties of the plot are lost on me, which is frustrating. Though conversely when you finally work something out, it's rewarding. Yes, I want to have my cake and eat it too.

I didn't completely understand why Neomages risk execution for living outside an Enclave. There is some clarification later on in the story - to do with the part they played following the apocalypse. But I think perhaps there are still some gaps to be filled in. Maybe it's because the world has gone mad, and you can't look for logic or sense there, you can't look for reason in a fundamentalist world - but I think in a story there has to be some consistency.

Having said all of that. I don't necessarily think that not completely understanding what's going on in the first book of a trilogy/series is a bad thing. As long as these complications are clarified in a later book. My problem is that I don't know whether they will be. So my fingers are crossed that a) this is the case and b) by the time I've read the next book I'll be keeping track of who is what, and what that means.
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on 2 April 2014
The book started well. I initially liked the main character. She seemed to be a kick ass heroine rogue mage escorting a caravan train through the badlands. Then they arrived home and we settled into day to day life in the jewelery shop. In. Detail. I was almost delighted when the tedium was broken by the new revelation that our heroine literally 'goes into heat' for anything with wings (of which there are a lot of male things). From that point on, her fighting strategy turns from 'kick its ass' to 'keep hitting it until I can say the magic words and a winged male (oops, in heat again) will rescue me'. Again. And again. I won't spoil the ending should you manage to navigate the highly confusing fight scenes to get that far but it left me feeling seriously betrayed by the author.

Personal note: I began feeling the same way near the end of the Jane Yellowrock series with this author (the first few books are great, the last few, not so much). It's like the heroine goes from being a ball busting fun to read bad chick to a needy housewife that begins to bug me no end. Not liking the new books fromt his author nearly as much as the older ones (again, these are still great).
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on 18 May 2010
The others are right, this book is action packed and stunningly visual although a little confusing and complicated for me.

I would say that if you arent the type to err toward the more "easy going" (shall we say?)books then you will probably love it - I enjoyed it but would not recommend it to everyone as it is simply too slanted toward a certain type of reader to be enjoyed by all.

It is worth checking out the Jane Yellow Rock books that she has done as a way to ease yourself into her style, although the content is wildly different (which is a credit to the author) - I just think that this is not one-size-fits-all like some others found in this genre.

I dont think there is much romance at all to be found here - but this is not necessarily a bad thing - but I cant rant and rave about this book as I found a little hard to follow and a bit too "twisty" to get my head around.
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on 10 September 2010
I am in love with Hunter's Jane Yellorock series, and that's the reason why I picked up this book, because I am more into urban fantasy than classic fantasy. Because of this I found the book sometimes a little hard to follow (I think I was missing the vocabulary), but anyway I found myself really liking Thorn and her friends, and future world that Faith Hunter created. At the end I found myself wanting for more, and I really can't wait to put my hands on the second book of the series, so that I can discover how the character will develop.
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on 3 May 2015
Love the Jane Yellowrock series, cannot even finish this it is boring, boring,boring. Best character is Audric, next best is the Amethyst stone. Interesting characters are given no time at all, what has Miss Hunter done with what seemed to be a good idea? Did she save her ex? who cares. Did we meet the winged ones? ditto. I gave up at about 60% through. Come on Miss Hunter you can do better than this.
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