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Blood Spirits (Dobrenica #2)

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  579 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Everyone's favorite sword-wielding California girl returns-from the author of "Coronets and Steel."
With the man she loves set to marry a look-alike princess, Kim Murray returns to California from the magical country of Dobrenica to heal her broken heart. But family politics soon have her leaving for London, where she is forced into a duel with a Dobrenican nobleman. He re
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ebook, 368 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Daw Books
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(showing 1-30 of 964)
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Sherwood Smith
Sep 06, 2011 Sherwood Smith added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, my-books
Only the reader can decide if I was successful (or even mildly entertaining) but here’s what I was thinking:

I tried to show how a couple of people with no siblings and essentially no secondary family would make a relationship. Boundaries of privacy in headspace would be different than for those of us who grew up in crowded households where everyone knew everything, and poked their noses into each other’s lives without second thought.

On the other hand, I agree with the person who once said that a
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Francesca Forrest
Coronets and Steel set up the initial, Prisoner of Zenda-esque story situation; this sequel goes in for a deeper dive. At the end of the last book, protagonist Kim nobly sacrificed her love for Prince Alec to keep him from having to make an impossible choice . . . but instead of everyone appreciating her sacrifice, they're all angry at her--especially when promptings both natural and supernatural push her to return to the tiny Eastern European nation of Dobrenica. And the story takes off from th ...more
Katharine Kimbriel
Dec 01, 2011 Katharine Kimbriel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Urban fantasy lovers, kick butt heroine lovers, readers who like alternate time lines
Recommended to Katharine by: Read the first in the series, like Smith's writing
This is the sequel to CORONETS AND STEEL, a contemporary Ruritarian romantic adventure that will take you to a small middle European country you will swear must exist – but doesn’t? (Don’t recognize the word Ruritarian? Go hit Wikipedia. I’ll wait. Seriously, think “The Prisoner of Zenda” as a feminist tale.) BLOOD SPIRITS is the continuing tale of an American girl who finds out that her roots are not what she expected – and that some secrets may be literally deadly.

You will be fascinated and st
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Alana Abbott
I just finished Blood Spirits and thought it was an excellent sequel to the first volume. Smith develops the setting more thoroughly, playing with ideas of light and shadow, magic hidden in folk music, and the way that oral history means that sometimes, various stories must be shared in order to reach the whole truth. While narrator Kim makes bad decisions on occasion, one of the things that's endearing about her is that she realizes when she's made a bad choice and she works to fix it. She does ...more
Melanie
I liked Blood Spirits even more than it's predecessor. The characters take better shape, the suspense is better, and we get to see the fruits of the meticulous research and thought that Smith has put into the creation of Dobrenica. The culture and history, infused with mythology and magic are fascinating. I love how complete it all feels, although sometimes the attention to detail made me want to skim. Kim is still a fabulously kick-butt heroine--or should I say "madeuffween"? I really hope ther ...more
Particle_Person
I really enjoyed this book but it wasn't quite as good as Coronets and Steel. I think in part this was because Coronets inherited some structure from Prisoner of Zenda that was lacking here. That said, I've read this book twice now—it's been out a week— and by any normal standard it's excellent; it has the misfortune to be a sequel to a book that was BEYOND excellent.

On the first reading, I felt the early days of Kim's return to Dobrenica was such a downer and such slow going that I nearly despa
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Clare Cannon
This second part of Aurelia Kim's story follows on well from the first, Coronets and Steel.

Both books form a kind of modern day, magical The Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau.

Kim is a great heroine (Sherwood Smith's heroines usually are), she's sporty, courageous, and charmingly down-to-earth. And Alec is great as the 'heroine support', he's the noble, humble ruler we've also come to expect from Smith. And even all the sub-characters are interesting because they are so creatively diverse:
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Anne Osterlund
Kim is attempting to forget Alec, the gorgeous Mr. Darcy lookalike that she fell in love with last summer and who just happens to be the crown prince of Dobrenica. AKA the man Kim left behind so that he could marry her cousin and defend his country from all manner of deadly and hazardous danger.

Except the “marriage magic” that was supposed to protect the kingdom failed. And Kim’s self-inflicted exile, teaching school in Oklahoma, frankly sucks. Plus there’s the whole “seeing ghosts” aftereffect
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Kris
I wasn't quite sure what to expect of this book. The first one had me enthralled from page one as I was sucked into this alternate not-exactly-here urban fantasy world taking place mostly in Dobrenica, a microscopic European country that never was with politicking embroilments like you wouldn't believe!

What drew me into the first book was the characterization and the fun hijinks that ensued with a bit of romance and a lot of political entanglements thrown in to spice things up. There was just en
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Anne
This is the sequel to Coronets and Steel, which I haven't reread since last year but LOVED.

I loved this one too, just not as much. It has:

- an intelligent, liberal female protagonist who is classically schooled in the American system, yet ends up being a long-lost relative of royalty

- a Central European setting in the made-up country of Dobrenica, which is quaintly behind-the-times in terms of technology but pretty heavy on the folklore and mysticism

- political intrigue

- murder plots

- fancy roya
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Casey Blair
I think Blood Spirits is my favorite book by Sherwood Smith so far. It’s the sequel to Coronets and Steel, the first of her Dobrenica urban fantasy series. I wasn't satisfied with the ending of Coronets and Steel—it was the right ending, mind you, just not the one I wanted—but Blood Spirits totally makes it worth it.

The Dobrenica series is called an urban fantasy, but it also has a lot in common with Ruritanian romance. I had no idea what that was, but if you check omniscient wikipedia, the ser
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Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
FYI: the spoilers in this review assume you have read the book. If you display them you will be confused, at minimum, and probably spoiled.

I'm a happily-ever-after kind of person. Not in the sense that all stories must end that way, but in the sense that ... if a book ends and there is the general sense that well, maybe the characters didn't get everything they want, but they'll be continuing on with their lives and that's all right, then that's fine with me. What will upset me is if you leave m
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Andrea
This second book had pretty much everything I thought the first one lacked. It's almost as if she wrote the first one without a clear idea of where everything would go or who the characters were, but she had it all figured out in the second book. The first book was great for the Kim and Alec characters, but the supporting cast was pretty flat. In this book, the supporting cast really shined, and I wanted to know more about their stories. The first book didn't do much more than hint at the fantas ...more
CatholicBibliophagist
Wooo -- love the opening! I'm looking forward to the start of a four day weekend tomorrow when I can hunker down and just blitz through the rest of it.

This is the sequel to Coronets and Steel which should definitely be read first. C&S is sort of like a contemporary Prisoner of Zenda but with a female protagonist and a touch of magic. I loved it and have been looking forward to the sequel.

Update: This sequel did not disappoint. It was just as much fun as the first book, and in some respects t
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Hallie
I have no idea why I didn't change the status from 'to-read' to 'read' a very long time ago, but I read this in MS and then again, of course, once it was published! Some day I'll have to sit down with my reading notebook, take the phone off the hook (ha, don't really get to do that), and do a lot of updating. To compensate for this omission, at least, I'm doing a rating, which I normally don't do for books by friends!
I am Bastet
Jan 11, 2012 I am Bastet marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm actually not sure I want to read this one. I might take it on faith that Kim and Alec end up together and go reread Crown Duel instead. Which is basically the same plot as Coronets and Steel, with very similar characters, just less ponderous.
Bethany
I can't say it's as good as Coronets and Steel, but it's still a good read. The fantasy is more pronounced in this book (ghosts and vampires play a significantly bigger role (ghosts more than vampires in the first 3/4)), but it still doesn't drown out the modern, yet 18th century feeling from the book. It's a little subtle so it doesn't throw you into an urban fantasy or something. The political intrigue is still there as this book revolves around a conspiracy against the 5 families and you lear ...more
Lisa
Sequel to “Coronets and Steel”, which is one of my absolute favorites of Smith’s. This may have something to do with the high levels of nostalgia attached to that book, since I read a beta version of a few years before it saw publication. I was living in England at the time and I swear that book got me through a hellish week of writing three length papers all due on the same day during finals.

To sum up, this series is Smith’s creative response to “The Prisoner of Zenda” by Anthony Hope. Though
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Emma
Splendid book, with just the perfect flair of adventure and romance and horror--it hits a very sweet spot for me. (It helps that Alec is DREAMY.) But I have a serious issue with Kim's dialect, and had a similar one back when I read the first book. As a twenty-something Canadian myself, I've NEVER, among a wide circle of North American acquaintance (and Kim is supposed to be a contemporary Californian), heard a fellow twenty-something use a phrase like "gassing on". Or cluck like a chicken to tea ...more
Estara
Oct 03, 2011 Estara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of folk tales, family, intrigues and derring-do
Recommended to Estara by: auto-buy author
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara
This sequel to "Coronets and Steel" was a fun and enjoyable read, just like the first book. These books are about Kim, a young woman from California who goes to Europe to find out about her family history, learns a lot about the secrets of the past, and gets involved on a personal and political level with the complexities of a tiny (fictional) Eastern European nation called Dobrenica.

SPOILER WARNING: YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ CORONETS AND STEEL.

"Blood Spirits" begin
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LadyTechie
I am the first to admit that I kept putting off reading this book over and over, though I bought it as soon as it was released. I had a fear of how things would go in this one and I was quite surprised by several parts of it. I did not want to read about Kim's mooning over Alec for an entire book and have it continue to go unresolved. I finally got over it and read it. Ruli's story was a huge shocker for me. I was quite bothered by one of the things we find out about Kim's mother and her "free l ...more
Wealhtheow
Kim is the granddaughter of a long-lost princess, but in a noble gesture she turned down a chance at love and Dobrenica's throne. She returned to the US to recover from the tumultuous events of Coronets and Steel, only to have a strange vision of her cousin. Afraid something terrible has happened, she races to Dobrenica and discovers that her cousin (view spoiler) ...more
Phoebe
At the end of the first book, Kim gracefully bowed out of her burgeoning relationship with Alec, to leave Alec and her cousin Ruli to their fated marriage. But a creepy vision and telepathic request for help from Ruli disturbs Kim enough to head off to Dobrenica once more after just three months away. She finds a crisis, with Alec accused of driving drunk and murdering Ruli, (but with no memory of the crash that killed her), and plenty of political intrigue to puzzle over. As usual, Sherwood Smi ...more
Maren
I really liked the first several chapters of this book. But then it felt like nothing happened for a LONG time. It picked up again at the end, but overall the mystery in the plot failed to draw me in. There were a few scenes that I could tell were supposed to be really cool which fell totally flat for me. I might still try the third book in the hopes that this was just a middle book slump.
Lady Reads
That's really what Blood Spirits is- a journey. It takes you to a place that is foreign but so real you feel like it's one airplane ride away. You can almost see the geography of Dobrenica.

The truly special thing about this series of books is the love story and the two lovers. They each stand on their own, are strong on their own. They really aren't in that many scenes together, and its fantastic to find two intellegent, bold lead characters who aren't hanging off of eachother everywhere they go
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Amy
Politics and intrigue. It was good but slower than the first one and more of a murder mystery. Clean as far as the romance aspects. Some violence. A bit of language.
Sara
I will not be finishing this series. Sherwood Smith is a great author, but after reading the first two books in this series I cannot go on.
Mary Claire
I am just in love with this author and these books, even if in my copy at least, there are many editing errors like commas right before periods, which drive me crazy. Read it through in a single day as per usual and I feel completely enamored with the ending, which was even twistier than I hypothesized, which is probably why it is so good! However much I love the books and the characters, I actually hope this finishes their tale because I can't stand it when things continue on after they've been ...more
Natalie
Really not my kind of book. Might be other people's kind of book, though.

I really just don't like the protagonist. She feels really self-centered and shallow to me and I had a hard time buying into the whole concept of the novel. I will admit that the fact that the vampires are repelled by sparkly things was amusing, though.

Also, the character named Nat annoyed me because I am sorry, that is not an acceptable nickname for Natalie. (Okay, it's not an acceptable nickname for this Natalie: I have a
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I am a writer, but I'm here on Goodreads to talk about books, as I've been a passionate reader as long as I've been a writer--since early childhood.

I'm not going to rate books--there are too many variables. I'd rather talk about the reading experience. My 'reviews' of my books are confined to the writing process.

More about Sherwood Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Dobrenica (3 books)
  • Coronets and Steel (Dobrenica, #1)
  • Revenant Eve (Dobrenica, #3)
Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2) Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2) Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1) A Posse of Princesses Inda (Inda, #1)

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