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Blood's Pride (Shattered Kingdoms #1)

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  433 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
Evie Manieri's Blood's Pride is the first book of The Shattered Kingdoms, an engaging, action-packed, and "highly imaginative" (Kirkus Reviews) series of fantasy novels with epic scope and "the perfect mix of romance, family ties, betrayals, and agonizing dilemmas" (RT Book Reviews).

Rising from their sea-torn ships like vengeful, pale phantoms, the Norlanders laid waste to
Paperback, 464 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Tor Fantasy (first published August 30th 2012)
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Apr 14, 2015 Gavin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I chose this book on a whim and I'm glad I did as it turned out to be a hidden gem. I'm not quite sure why, but the synopsis left me with the impression that this would be an action fantasy with a bit of romance following the story of the Mongrel. Imagine my surprise then when this turned out to be a dark, intense, complicated multiple POV fantasy with excellent world building and characters that were all shades of grey.

The Plot

A generation ago the strange Norlander raiders arrived in their shi
Anzu The Great Destroyer
At first I felt lost. Loads of weird names. Freaking weird names. Really. For everything. Couldn’t remember anything. And the thing is, Blood’s Pride has a shitload of main characters. The point of view changed throughout the book more times than I could remember. It was overwhelming, especially since Evie Manieri has a thing for overly-complex idiotic names.

I need my books to be special in order to feel sucked in and enjoy what I’m reading. Blood’s Pride caught my attention with its first few
Evie Manieri
Jan 03, 2013 Evie Manieri added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Excerpt of the prologue and first chapter is available on

Note from the author: "Blood's Pride is the story of an epic rebellion told on a very personal level. If you like character-driven fantasy, epic fantasy that steers away from convention, strong and varied female characters, emotional depth, and unique societies not even loosely based on the civilizations of medieval Europe, then I encourage you to check it out. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.
Milo (Bane of Kings)
“A great new voice in fantasy that’s not to be missed.” ~The Founding Fields

I had the opportunity to read Blood’s Pride late last year through NetGalley – but held off writing the review until closer to the publishing date in the USA even though it had already been released in the UK. But needless to say, Evie Manieri’s debut novel is a strong one, character focused despite having the backdrop of an epic rebellion. If you’re a fan of Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones, I stro
I really loved this book. I have read my share of formulaic fantasy, and don’t get me wrong – I love a great Naive Hero vs. Big Bad Evil formula book as much as the next guy. A few new names, a new ‘code’ of magic, then you pretty much know how the story is going to go without working too hard. Hey, who doesn’t want to believe that the little guy can’t just rise up and defeat pure evil? I do. That’s why it’s fantasy.
Alex McGilvery
Mar 04, 2013 Alex McGilvery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evie Manieri does a fantastic job of creating a fascinating world for the action of Blood’s Pride. In a series, the world becomes a character in the story and is shaped and reshaped by the action. There are some really wonderful things happening here. We are given hints of odd magic. There are old gods who watch and care about what is going on. The single thing that caught my imagination the most was the idea of a people who lived in darkness and at night, who burned in the sun. What was best wa ...more
Oct 22, 2012 Mieneke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2012
An interview with Civilian Reader first made me aware of Evie Manieri's debut novel Blood's Pride. It sounded really good, plus I saw several people be very complimentary about it on Twitter. So when I had the chance to review it, I jumped. It turns out that the people of Twitter spoke truly when they said Blood's Pride was a wonderful debut. It is a wonderful epic fantasy tale, with a close personal feel. On the book jacket there is a quote from Fantasy Faction that says "Combine Trudi Canavan ...more
Oct 25, 2013 Deniz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-no
1.5Stars rounded up

Struggled through this one!

A totally frustrating read. While it seems to have all the ingredients for a good book. It totally fell short in the delivery.
Not epic fantasy - just a long book with a couple of good ideas added to the usual same old and rather tedious writing.

I had high hopes for this Blood's Pride. It sounded like exactly my kinda book. So I was rather pleased when I got approved to read the ARC.
After reading the prologue, this impression was confirmed. I was sur
Evie Manieri describes herself as a fan of intricacies. I would describe the plotting of The Wire as intricate, where certain actions don’t pay off for 1 or maybe 2 seasons. Blood’s Pride must be a whole other sort of intricate, most likely meaning cramming as much as possible into a single story.

The story of Blood’s Pride takes place a generation after the city state of Shadar is conquered by the seafaring Norlanders. The Norlanders have come in order to control magical ore which can only be fo
Blood’s Pride, in the end, left me incredibly frustrated. The world and cultures show incredible potential, but the plot and characters are completely lacking. Awkwardly paced, with events that never seem to stop happening and characters that you’ve probably read about in a hundred other books before, Blood’s Pride never really surfaces. Too many events, too many battles, uninteresting characters, and a clunky plot bog down this book, which is unfortunate because juxtaposed to that is some great ...more
May 07, 2013 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most authors shy away from having so many main characters for fear of losing the interest of readers or lack of skill in creating so many unique voices. This was skillfully done though. Each character was well developed, and the interwoven stories were gracefully written in such a way that not only did I not lose track of who was who, I was drawn even deeper into the overall story by following the various perspectives. Overall this book was a joy to read and had one of the best first book in ser ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Jaclyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, net-galley, arc
Blood’s Pride is a debut epic fantasy series. Blood’s Pride begins with the Norlanders’ invasion of Shadar and the conquering of the Shardari people. A generation since the invasion has passed and the Shardari want to be free from the Norlanders so they have hired the Mongrel, a scarred mercenary, to overthrow the Norlanders. When the Mongrel steps in it is unclear what side of the rebellion she is on. Does the Mongrel have a legitimate reason to support the Norlanders or has she given all of he ...more
I first heard of Blood's Pride right around the time it came out, on It fit right in with my plan to read more fantasy novels by women*, but I never got around to reading it. Turns out, the second book in this trilogy is coming out this month, so it was time to get going on this series at last!

* Then and now, it seems like the gents constantly get the spotlight in fantasy: for example, 90% of the recommendations goodreads provided off my reading this book were by men.

The prologue and fi
Mar 12, 2014 Celine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

When I was fourteen, I absolutely loved fantasy books. I read Terry Goodkind's tomes back to back, and basically finished all epic fantasy books in our library. Enter Goodreads and blogging. I fell in love with urban fantasy, then with paranormal romance, and then with YA. Fantasy books went forgotten and gathered dust. Blood's Pride is the first straight up fantasy book I have read in years.

Blood's Pride is set in the Shadar, a desert city next to the sea. Towering over the city is
Ryan Viergutz
Jul 12, 2014 Ryan Viergutz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
How did I forget to ramble about this? It was AMAZING. It's ... surprisingly hard to describe. The big picture is easy to describe, it's about a group of rebels fighting against an empire, yay, right? But at its heart it's about the /people/ and Mein Bog is it one seriously bonkers character story.

It's one of those books that's almost too fast so it's hard to remember how it all goes together. But the characters are the real point of the book. Some of the POVs...

-> A pregnant woman adventurer
Apr 11, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
The book had me hooked after just a few chapters, and I powered through it, easily reading 100 pages a day and still wanting more. At first, after reading reviews on here, I was a little worried... "complicated names" and "multiple POV" and "POVs are all the same", etc? Please, anyone who wants to read this book, do yourself a big favor and ignore those negative reviews!

Well, Isa, Frea, Eofar - such complex names, I know! Multiple POVs made me worried, I love bonding to a certain character for t
Whew! Ok. So the 3 stars are specifically for the audiobook. Here's why:
While I enjoyed the reader...come to think of it, I probably would have stopped with another reader...this is not the kind of book I can listen to successfully. There's just too much going on, too many similar-sounding names, everyone and everything has at least two separate names and the whole thing was a cluster in my mind. I got lost so many times because I wasn't fully concentrating on the story, I kept getting one perso
Nov 03, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harotha and her brother Faroth were just children when the Norlanders attacked Shadar. They wanted to precious ore of the region and enslaved the Shadari as servants and miners. Now the Shadari has banded together to hire the Mongrel, a legendary mercenary who just might be able to help them overcome the Norlanders. But she has an agenda of her own.

BLOOD'S PRIDE is the first in a trilogy and that definitely became clear by the time I finished reading - there's no true cliffhanger ending but the
Mostly a three star book to me, but since this is the first book in a while where I said "No!" out-loud, that's a four star book right there. I actually cared about several of the characters, including ones that grew on me throughout the book. I loved the different types of family interactions as well. I liked the fact that this wasn't a book focused on one character for the most part; I tend to like ensemble-y books, and this didn't disappoint in that. Also, the author didn't linger too long on ...more
Shehreyar Khan
Note: This is the author's first foray into fantasy--a debut novel. With that in mind, I have to say it was a good one.

Blood's Pride is perhaps the most tumultuous story I have ever had the pleasure of reading. From the first hundred pages to the very end, it is a single, prolonged battle. Loyal men are turned traitors, cowards become heroes, alliances are forged and broken, a great deal of world building is accomplished, and, above all, the characters are each distinguished from the other throu
I have mixed feelings about Blood's Pride. Well written, sucks you in, and breaks the heart at every turn. My mothering sensors raged. My empathy feelers tingled. My disappointment in a couple of the characters was overloaded. And the futility in some situations was downright... well... despairing. This is not a "romance" or a "fairy tale" and one should not anticipate it being such. This is, for a dark fantasy, very realistic in how things would most likely go if Murphy's Law were but child's p ...more
Fantasy Literature
Aug 22, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bill
Blood’s Pride is a debut fantasy from Eve Manieri that unfortunately reads not so much like a first novel, with all the usual attendant issues of a first novel, but more like an early draft of a first novel. There’s the very strong opening scene that one could see perhaps sparking the whole idea, a few intriguing “what if one character did this to another character” plot points to create both internal and external conflicts at the outset, and several neat background ideas concepts with regard to ...more
May 30, 2013 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Blood's Pride. I loved the uniqueness of the world Maniri made for her story, and the characters made it real. The character development continued though out the book, and I was good to not only see them fleshed out, but to grow as well. It's been hard to enjoy a book since I burned through what is currently written of A Song of Ice and Fire (it being of such a high caliber), but Maniri provided just such a book. I was lucky for the impulse that persuaded me to pick up Blood ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evie Manieri has birthed a new world where three tribes with radically different customs exist. She begins the series with intrigue and an uprising while developing rich characters.

She left me wanting more ... I guess that is where book 2 and 3 come in. Really can't want to see what happens next to the Mongrel, Jachi and the baby, Rho and Dramash and if there can be peace with all the tribes.

I also love the original work since there are so many books of this genre that follow a formula.

Kudos! W
Jacob Patrick Torres
Good. Dark. New Fantasy when I needed some.
Tom Lloyd
An odd one this, I certainly enjoyed it but had a few issues too so it fell short of my high hopes.

The setting was interesting and different, but not fully explored, the characters well fleshed out yet somehow left me a little cold, the plot possessing promise but feeling like it rather kept well within itself. The idea of the imperial swords was the crux of why everyone was there, yet barely used let alone any fun had with it. The book was set in a city-state overshadowed by a huge temple-fortr
Craig Sieracki
May 19, 2015 Craig Sieracki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is rare that I am so captivated by what is going on in a book this long that I find it impossible to put down. I finished this 500+ page monster in Three Days. I found it to be packed with intriguing characters and a driving plot that kept me guessing as to what would happen next. It also had complex history and cultural practices for the different peoples represented, making for a realistic and full feeling world. The only thing I can be critical about is how many "forbidden/star-crossed lov ...more
Jeremy Preacher
Before I say anything about Blood's Pride - which, on the whole, I liked - I need to admit that I just don't love traditional epic fantasy the way I used to, or at least I'm getting increasingly picky about it. So there will be some grumping, and it's probably just me.

Blood's Pride has some interesting things going on. There's some strong elemental conceits - there's a race of people who are literally cold to the touch and can't stand the sun, a person who was sort-of-accidentally dedicated to t
K.J. Russell
Mar 10, 2015 K.J. Russell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book succeeded at many of the things that are prerequisite for Sword and Sorcery. The setting is interesting and involved, and the conflicts are knit into it so strongly that they magnify each other very well. I loved the characters and their interactions, though it was true that there were a great number of them vying for the "main character" slot and some of them were forgettable to the point that I got them mixed up with one another.

The main failing of the book is that the author was not
JJ DeBenedictis
Despite my lacklustre rating, this novel does some things well, so let me start by talking about those. The world building in this book is quite neat, provided you replace the word "world" with "people". It's the characters who are interesting.

For example, the novel opens with some seriously freaky creatures invading a city, and then in the next scenes, the story humanizes those creatures. Yes, they're white-skinned, blue-blooded, telepathic humanoids who do not emote, who burn in sunlight, and
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Evie Manieri graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Mediaeval History and Theatre, disciplines that continue to influence her work in about equal measure. She is enthralled by intricacy, and when not weaving together the threads of her plots, she can be found knitting airy lace shawls and singing Renaissance polyphony. Evie lives with her family in New York.
More about Evie Manieri...

Other Books in the Series

Shattered Kingdoms (3 books)
  • Fortune's Blight (Shattered Kingdoms, #2)
  • Strife's Bane (Shattered Kingdoms, #3)

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