A Heart-wrenching, Gut-mangling Read
review by Maryom
For this, the second in the Rebel Angels series, we're back with Sithe half-brothers, Conal and Seth, exiled in the mortal world until they can find the Bloodstone with which their Queen Kate NicNiven seeks to control both Fairy and Mortal worlds. Don't for a minute though confuse these 'fairies' with gossamer winged creatures of children's picture books. They're rough, tough fighting men - and women - with an ability to enter, and sometimes alter, minds - mainly keeping to their own side of the Veil.
Centuries have passed in the mortal world since the events of Firebrand. Seth, the hotheaded rebellious youth of Firebrand is older, not necessarily wiser, more wary of committing his affections, not quite bitter but someone who has been involved in many of mankind's wars and seen too much of the dark side of man to remain unscathed.
There are new characters though for Seth to share the limelight with - Finn MacAngus has been raised in the mortal world, as a fully mortal child, unaware that her family are Sithe exiled from the Fairy Realm on the other side of the Veil. When she accidentally ventures through, she feels that at last she has found a home, a place where she truly belongs - unfortunately not all the Sithe are as trustworthy and honest as Finn believes. Dragged along with her is Jed Cameron, a full mortal strangely at home there and his baby half-brother, in whom manipulative Queen Kate NicNiven seems a little too interested..
Bloodstone is yet another powerful dramatic read from Gillian Philip. She's not an author to let her characters, or her reader, off lightly and there's no pulling of punches when it comes to making them suffer. When you think the characters have all the emotional and physical turmoil they can stand - there's more to come! There was one certain passage at which I called a temporary halt to reading - put the book in the freezer for a while, as Joey from Friends does - because it didn't seem right and proper to carry on without a pause, so much was I involved with the characters, their pain and grief.
I missed the scenery, the dazzling seascapes of Firebrand, but as this book is set in winter under dull leaden skies and horizontal drizzle that's perhaps to be expected.
A heart-wrenching, gut-mangling read, aimed at teens/YA but as the series develops I'm convinced it's one that will increasingly appeal to adult readers. Parents - buy it for your teen and 'borrow' it!
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Strident
Genre - fantasy, teen/YA /adult
Buy Bloodstone (Rebel Angels Series) from Amazon