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Innocent Blood
The Order of the Sanguines Series #2
James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

HarperCollins Publishers
December 10, 2013
Fantasy / Horror /Adventure

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


Authors Rollins and Cantrell have provided a fast action thriller based upon a totally unexpected theme: that Christ wrote a “blood gospel” (the foundation of the first release in the series) and that a “trio of prophecy” must bring the book to the "First Angel" for his blessing in order to secure salvation for the world. This trio consists of Father Ruhn Korza, (the Knight of Christ), army sergeant Jordan Stone (the Warrior of Man) and archaeologist Dr. Erin Granger (the Woman of Learning). It’s up to them to discover the identity of the First Angel and deliver the “blood gospel” into his hands.

The book starts off in 1099 Jerusalem, with Bernard, a knight from the Order of the Sanguines, who searches for the holy weapon that would purge all evil from the world. These Sanguines were once strigoi, unholy beasts who fed on man’s blood at night. Sanguines vowed to serve God and Christ, and sustain themselves on consecrated holy wine. The vampiric strigoi are plentiful and are truly frightening, and the blasphemare, monstrous incarnations of natural animal forms, add a great deal of eeriness to the plot. The biggest surprise for me was Judas Iscariot, damned by Christ to immortal life, and whose blood can kill both the Sanguines and the strigoi.

I haven’t read the first release in this series, but the authors provided sufficient backstory to allow this novel to stand on its own as a great read. I loved the action packed adventure and the blend of horror, mystery and religious concepts. The characterization of Jordan, Erin and Ruhn provided realism and emotion, and I felt as though I knew them. The fast paced mystery and ingenious plot had me glued to the story, wondering what would happen next. Definitely an outstanding read.

Reviewer Note: Blood Gospel is the first release in this series; mass market paperback of Innocent Blood releases May 24, 2014
Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2014