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Chains of Blood

(The Chaos Cycle #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  34 reviews
He thought he was born Rylan Marshall…until he found out he wasn’t.

He was born the son of a demon.

Does that mean he is destined to follow in his father’s footsteps?

Rylan was attacked, his young son murdered, his baby daughter taken. But his assailant left him with two gifts: the gift of magic…and an oath to darkness. Rylan blamed himself, even though he knew it wasn’t hi
Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Published October 31st 2019 by Stoneguard Publications
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  149 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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C.T. Phipps
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grimdark, fantasy
"History is written by the victors, unless it is written by the survivors."

I've always been fond of fantasy that picks up years, decades, or even centuries after the events of a previous book's story. It's why I'm fond of the old Star Wars Legends universe and the current sequel trilogy (even if both had flaws). My favorite "popcorn fantasy" in the Dragonlance novels did an excellent series based around the Heroes of the Lance and their successors up until the events of Dragons of a Summer Flame
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All he had left was a boundless guilt and a terrible power he didn’t understand. He was a prisoner of both, and there was no escaping either.

Chains of Blood is the first installment in ML Spencer’s newest dark epic The Chaos Cycle, and is a tale of cunning demons, broken heroes, and the brutal and catastrophic realities of war. This book also marks my first descent into the war-torn lands of the Rhen and beyond, a battered world that swiftly sunk its claws in and refuses to let go. This story is
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A strong tale and a great start to this new series from M.L. Spencer, who has become one of my favorite authors. I think my enjoyment was enhanced by having read the author's previous series, but it's not entirely necessary if you haven't read that and want to start here. In this new series, The Chaos Cycle, we move forward in time to follow a generation after The Rhenwars Saga. I don't want to mention anything that would spoil that series, but there is a welcoming blend of new and familiar char ...more
Rob Hayes
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story about the chains that bind us, both physical and emotional.

Chains of Blood is the newest book by ML Spencer and it's set in the same world as her best-selling Rhenwars saga. In fact it's set after the events of that series, but fear not you do not need to have read the Rhenwars to enjoy this one. I know this, because I've only read the first book in that series so far. Yeah, I know, I'm jumping ahead of myself, but I was offered an ARC and I took it! Turned out to be a pretty good decisi
The Scribblings
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s been twenty years since the Well of Tears was closed and the lands of the Rhen were freed from the spectre of Chaos. A new generation of mages are in training at the rebuilt Lyceum and people are coming to terms with their new world. But now a new enemy is approaching and the sons of past heroes must fight to keep their loved ones safe.

This review is based on a beta copy I received from the author.

Following on from the author’s Rhenwars Saga, Chains of Blood picks up long after the conclu
S A M | The Book in Hand
★★★ 3 Stars.

While this book wasn't really for me I can understand why folk will and do like it. It is a story of Rylan, a broken man, and his journey to get his daughter back while facing demons, mages and personal trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, I didn't click with this book though still appreciate it for what it is, hence the three stars. Spencer is a fine writer, while her world-building is heavy and massively descriptive (not my cup of tea as I prefer a more moderate level of world-
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chains of Blood is the first book in the new dark epic saga full of sword and sorcery, massive battle scenes, treachery and betrayal, courage and perseverance, and a fight of good against evil. Rylan Marshall was just a farmer’s son wanting nothing more than to return home to his family but he is waylaid on his way home by evil and his life seems to be taken out of his hands from thereon. He discovers who he really is, but not what is expected from him nearly till the end of the book. He discove ...more
Al Burke
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another grimdark special from the author - ...more
Deana Zolinski
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The characters were wonderful! The story is so intense and interesting I couldn’t put it down! Definitely a must read!
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A sprawling and gripping story filled with action, interesting magic, and difficult choices. I was caught up in Rylan’s arc, and I’m very curious where Spencer will take him in book two.
Sarah Hays
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent new addition ML Spencer!

ML Spencer brings a great new storyline with Chains of Blood. If you loved the Rhenwars saga, you'll love this book! Characters we love continue and new characters emerge. I highly recommend it!
Janelle Garrett
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 stars

This was my first introduction to ML Spencer, and certainly won't be my last. Chains of Blood follows the story of Rylan Marshall, a suffering, poor soul whose son was killed and daughter kidnapped by demons. He's haunted by the incident, and is determined to rescue his daughter no matter the cost. The plot is straightforward, and my initial impression was "Yeah, we've read this before." But I'm never one to be off-put by a common plotline, so
S. D. Howarth
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this as a arc e book from the author for my laptop. I enjoyed reading it. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. It took me longer than normal to read it as some of the chapters are long.
Jouko-Tapani Torkkeli
I read almost whole book at one go; it's absolutely amazing. Characters are better made than in any other fantasy series nowadays, story is interesting and it's otherwise very well written too.
Alyssia Cooke
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie
Not having previously read The Rhenwar Saga that precedes this novel, I was coming into the world entirely blind, but that didn’t impact on my enjoyment of this novel. I suspect I would have picked up a lot of nods to previous events if I had, but even with those references flying straight over my head, I still found this to be an immersive read.

Split between two apparently unrelated perspectives, the novel begins with an atrocity as Rylan comes home to find his son brutally murdered and his dau
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good story with plenty of twists and well written characters.
Chains of Blood: The Chaos Cycle is book one in M.L. Spencer’s fantasy series. This book starts off a bit slow for me, but once I got into it I found myself truly intrigued and eager to learn what was going to happen next. The author weaves a story of danger, magic, mystery, and a quest for power. A man suffers loss when he experiences the loss of not just one child, but two and then goes on to learn of the darkness that shadows his past and legacy. The question arises…will he allow the past of ...more
Mark Din
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Robert Jordan. These are the names that come to my mind when you’re thinking of GREAT fantasy authors. News flash: You can add ML Spencer to that list. From the classic Rhenwars Saga, ML Spencer has brought you a new literary classic. Set in the same world as the aforementioned saga, this work of art will keep you turning the page with eager anticipation.

Among the best fantasy authors of our time, this book is right up there with all the other classics that you love. You
Amanda Sagen
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recieved this arc as requested.
I'm not entirely sure what I made of this book to be honest. I've given it 5 stars as the story, the writing and the overall concept is great and I feel that it deserves the 5 stars.
I think I found it a little bit heavy and perhaps not my style I would usually read.
I'll give the next book a go to see if I can get into it as the storyline is definitely intriguing.
John Pepe
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Chains of Blood by ML Spencer is a the first book in a sequel series to her Rhenwars Saga series. It follows the children of two of her main protagonists (so to speak-Spencer does a great job of making her character’s morally ambiguous) Darien Laughlin and Kyle Archer.
It starts out quite ominous and sad with Rylan (son of Darien) returning from his military obligations to find his son has been murdered and his daughter captured. He embarks on a quest to get her back at any and all cost, even to
Angel Haze
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-fantasy
OMG! This was utterly amazing!! Its gripping action and characters draw you in and take you down a dark path of magic, betrayal, and mayhem, through bloody battles, and on a quest for power. It was so amazingly intense, I don't know how I haven't read ML Spencer's books until now!!

I kept hearing people RAVE about ML Spencer's bestselling books and now I see why!! If you like George R. R. Martin, Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Peter Brett, Nicholas Eames, and Andy Peloquin, I highly recommend c
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel captures your attention from the moment you read the first chapter. As the series title indicate, Chaos ensued from the get-go. The protagonist, Rylan Marshall was unaware of his true lineage. On his return home, he was attacked, his son was murdered and his daughter taken. He was left with the gift of magic and an oath to darkness. Chains of Blood, an amazing Kindle Unlimited read, but wishing Chains of Legacy in Audible form. I think I’ll go back to where it all began, with The Rhen ...more
Cynthia Russo
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Strong characters

I really enjoyed reading about each of the characters. The storyline was well developed and opened my mind to the culture that was in this time frame. A very enjoyable read.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Eight out of ten.

Well worth the read. Story links to dariens story both flawlessly yet stands on its own. Definitely recommend for fantasy lovers
Roberto Flores
Jun 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Got a third of the way through.

The characters are flat, their actions are forced. They seem completely ineffectual in comparison to their grandiose titles. It is a forced plotline with poor story telling.
gordon musgrave
Nov 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Waist of time

This book from the intro sounded good but it was a lie did not even have a main character !! Kept switching back and forth !!..
Lance Lund
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written

Good book, it would be nice if the good guys had some success before being handed victory by the attackers, other than that I liked the characters and magic.
Marie Reed
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by this author. It was very good, but there was a lot of background information I feel like I was missing out on because I have not read The Rhenwars Saga. Be prepared for a dark epic with lots of bloodshed and no happy ending in sight, but a very well written and enjoyable novel. I will be revisiting this book after reading the previous series before continuing this one.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in awhile you run across an author that just grabs you, tells a great story, develops great characters and enjoys the weaving of that story. That is definitely ML Spencer. This book took off from the Rhenwars Saga and did it so gracefully that if you didn't read the series you would not miss anything in this book but if you did it is weaved in the new series perfect. There is no hero or villain in the book because there is a bit of both in each character. I am so glad I found ML Spenc ...more
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M.L. Spencer grew up on the works of Steven R. Donaldson, Stephen King and Frank Herbert. She wrote her first novel-length manuscript at thirteen. Her debut novel Darkmage won the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award for Fantasy. She was also awarded 1st Place Prose in in the San Bernardino County Writing Celebration.

Ms. Spencer lives in Southern California. By day she works as a biology teacher; by n

Other books in the series

The Chaos Cycle (2 books)
  • Chains of Legacy (The Chaos Cycle Book 2)

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