Katharine Kimbriel's Reviews > Blood Spirits

Blood Spirits by Sherwood Smith
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's review
Dec 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: alternative-timeline, contemporary-fantasy, book-view-cafe
Recommended to Katharine by: Read the first in the series, like Smith's writing
Recommended for: Urban fantasy lovers, kick butt heroine lovers, readers who like alternate time lines
Read on October 01, 2011

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 stunned by the detail Smith has put into her tiny country. Kim has matured from her first sojourn in Dobrenica, no longer the best and worst of an LA just-past-teenager, too trusting for her own good. Now she asks questions, and knows when she can’t ask questions, but must figure things out another way. A vision of her cousin Ruli, now the uncrowned queen of Dobrencia, calls her back to that tiny foreign country. Help me! Kim does not know what else to do but try.

The magic that is worked by the elders of the country – no matter what their religion, prayer, in any language, has a lot to do with magical power – is fascinating and given more force here. Complexities in language and culture are smoothly handled, giving us a travelogue even as the mystery advances.

And there will be mysteries, one on top of another, as this time Kim faces not only family politics, fiercely competing clans, and ghosts, but murder, still more secrets – and the presence of creatures both faerie and undead.

I can’t say much more without giving things away. Suffice to say that the book is intricate, at times bewildering, for we are seeing with Kim’s eyes, and yet it pulled me on, in small but complete packets, through a hard time in my life. I did not see coming some of the loose ends that were neatly stitched up. And so I recommend it to you. If you liked the first book, if you like Smith’s writing, give this one a try.
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Estara "Kim has matured from her first sojourn in Dobrenica, no longer the best and worst of an LA just-past-teenager, too trusting for her own good. "

So this! This was my biggest beef with the first book, personally.

Katharine Kimbriel My only problem here is that I wanted more Alec. But it was a book about her finding her place in this magical/real world, so Prince-As-Reward completed the 180 degrees turn of the traditional quest tale.

Estara Yes, more Alec would have been so tasty but would have detracted from her evolving self-confidence in her place in Dobrenica - but Sartorias has said on her LJ she's fiddling with ideas about a third Dobrenica book, so maybe? There is supposed to be time travel.

Katharine Kimbriel Ooo, I'd read a third one!

Estara So will I, especially since Kim has matured so much. I do wonder how much Alec we will get if it really is a time travel thing... but then he could travel with her after all, that would be a nice way to bond.

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