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on 2 March 2017
The Blood Queen has a very different tone to the previous two books – the pace here is slower, measured and thoughtful. For the first 60% of the book this really grated on me; the author obviously has an axe to grind (or it appears that way) with the whole subject of religion and atheism and I felt the characters got caught up in it too much; I felt myself craving the fast paced action of earlier books. Later on though, I did begin to appreciate the overall picture of what is going on. In the last third of the book, Vashni really comes into her own and it was great to explore and develop her character further.

Overall, this was a good book and perhaps i have been a little harsh, I did enjoy it despite my criticism above and will be adding the next one on to my list to read. I have grown to love these characters, and for that reason alone I am compelled to continue, and any book that leaves that feeling with you must be a good one!
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on 11 March 2017
I was given this book for an honest review and I really enjoyed it.

It is the characters that make this fantasy tale so good because they are interesting, intriguing and perfect for the genre. There is action mixed with thought-provoking philosophy, a brilliant unfolding plot and a great sense of place.

More secrets are revealed, whilst character development is engaging, so to make everything realistic and fascinating.

Vashni is my favourite for many reasons but I don't give spoilers, so won't say much, though, in my opinion, the story would not have the same impact without her.

Extremely well done and highly recommended.
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on 27 May 2016
This is the third book in the 'Deathworm' series and my favourite so far.

The story was good and I liked that the mystery surrounding the heart stones was finally revealed. Ever since Saul, mentioned them in the first book I've often wondered about them.

The 'Blood Trials', which is a fighting competition, I thought were good. I thought it was interesting that the Empress had not long started them up again.

Saul and Vashni were my favourite characters in this one. I liked that you learnt more about their past which the other two books didn't go into.

Saul, takes more of a lead in the action in this one to help save some people. What Vashni revealed about herself was not what I was expecting but I liked it.

Out of the group, Korhan didn't come across well in this story. He annoyed me the way he was fighting just so that he could prove a point.

I liked the new character Elden Roth, who joins the group. It was interesting that he could sing the truth. You didn't find out a lot about him, but I think you will soon. Brael and the effect his 'Truth' has on people could be felt further in this book. Votrex and Brael were ok, but I liked them better in previous books.

Empress Jade, I just couldn't take to. She just didn't come across as likeable.

The only part that I found disappointing was that the servants of the flame didn't seem to be in it so much. But, they and the mystery human helping the verkeath will be in it later I think.

Thank you! to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read book 4.
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on 18 July 2015
Another sword and sorcery novel full of swashbuckling adventure from Martyn Stanley: brashes, poison darts, magic and court politics abound in this instalment and the mystery of the heart stones is revealed which makes Saul wonder whether his old friend Empress Jade always acts in the interests of her people.

Brael's truth, forever unwelcome, causes trouble; with an un-winnable battle against Orcs, where soldiers of the empire are blessed to do their duty, it is unsurprising revealing the delusion of religion proves unpopular with the court for the religion of Ishar and the opium of Kirkfell has far reaching tentacles. Even where the motley crew of warriors thought they were amongst friends, they find foes, betrayal, danger and moral dilemmas.

As ever Deathsworn book 3 delivers, like the others in the series, a lovingly weaved detailed tapestry of a world populated with magical races and their various customs, where the familiar heroes descriptions of their cultures further deepens the readers understanding of their characters. Vashni's, an elf who has lived thousands of years ever expanding lives are further explored and more than ever the plot surrounding her thickens. Yet, the novel ends with Vashni victorious in her bid to save Harbinger whilst The Servants of the Flame and the Verkeath's intentions bubble under the surface - a horror to be confronted another day.
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on 2 May 2016
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
"The Blood Queen" is the 3rd book in the "Deathsworn" Arc series.
While it doesn't feel like there is as much "action" as in the previous 2 books, the story definitely moves along. There are some questions answered, some more questions raised, and a real sense that book 4 is going to pack a punch!
More so than in the other 2 books, the characters gain much more in terms of roundness - I'm pretty sure we could all see people we know in them now (I definitely can!) - and, for me, that is this book's main strength.
There are no "dull bits" - actually, I'm not sure Martyn Stanley could write something dull if you asked him to! - though it is a gentler read.
I had (as with the first 2 books) problems with the punctuation, some typos, and a few missing words... nothing harmful to the enjoyment of the story though.
This is a series I'm sure to revisit a time or two.
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on 16 January 2017
WOW! I so enjoyed this third book of Martyn's Deathsworn series. They are so beautifully and thoughtfully written and are an outstanding creation. It has taken me quite awhile to finish this book simply because the story is delightfully complex and detailed. There is NO way you can skip this book if you want to get it's full value of enjoyment. The journey and goals of our magical group of mixed breeds moves on in perhaps a quieter style than the second in the series. There are lots of surprising revelations as we learn lots more personal details about our 'heroes' in particular... Vashni. She provides us with fascinating new glimpses into who she is though there is clearly much more we have yet to discover about her. We find out what the heart stones are quite early on in the book. For me, I valued more and more the gradual overall growth of mutual respect and trust between all the members of the group as they learn more of each other. A new member joins them and the Emperor has surprises of her own. The Blood Trials - They are so interesting and exciting. It is not an easy book to review as there is so much to think about and discuss. Issues of faiths, the church, court politics, flawed humanity, courage, wisdom, morals... lots of twists as the plot moves forward. Where do I end this review? Perhaps just to say this is an outstanding series. I have already purchased the 4th book and am looking forward very much to continuing the saga of this little group's growth in strength, wisdom and togetherness; in every way. I am looking forward to learning more about each of the characters and especially looking forward to more of Vashni's history. If you are into top class fantasy do read these wonderful books.
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on 13 May 2016
Another enjoyable romp into the world of fantasy. Empress Jade has changed since the group saw her last in ways and dress- what is she hiding. And what are the “blood games”?
I love the characters in this and their interactions and sparring’s off of each other. Martyn weaves wise words into the tale such as
“You should not judge people by their position. Sometimes great men of noble spirit are simply not afforded the opportunity to fulfil their destiny while arrogant, naïve fools who have friends in high places are gifted positions of wealth and authority.” This might be a fantasy book but truth prevails! I love the author’s sense of humour and sometimes sarcasm interspersed in the tale. Another enjoyable read.
I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review
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on 1 February 2015
Brilliant book real page turner.cant wait for the next instalment.
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on 20 June 2016
Very good reading lots of twists and turns
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on 7 July 2016
I found the books okay, but to many ideas taken from the Warhammer world. I wish the author could of been more original. Felt like a rip off.
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