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Blood Ties
Book I of the Castings Trilogy

by Pamela Freeman

      A millennium ago, Acton and his men swept down and conquered the disparate peoples of the Eleven Domains and made them their own.  Now the original inhabitants are known as Travellers and tramp the road as gypsies, unpopular and unwelcome.  Warlords govern the domains apart from the Free Cities, and fight their wars with each other or with the Ice King’s armies.  But maybe this is about to change, as three forces are about to come together.  One is a necromancer, one a wild girl. and the other an apprentice assassin.

In short then, good fantasy stuff but nothing new?  Perhaps, but with this type of thing it is all in the way that it is done, and this story has the power to suck the reader in from the first page.  Ms. Freeman has a way with descriptions that brings the book to life, and it is hard not to care about two of the protagonists, the necromancer remaining more of a mystery deliberately.  This is not even a particularly long book, but there is plenty going on in it, even if most of it seems backstory to what is going to happen rather than the adventure itself.  I spent most of the book happily reading away, but thinking that the story lacked cohesion; you have to wait some time before it starts to become clearer what it is all about.  It will certainly be interesting to discover what happens next when the real story begins in the next book.

The Book

Orbit (Little, Brown)
5 June 2008
1841497010 / 9781841497013
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NOTE: Some violence

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008