by Gail Dayton
BOUND BY BLOOD…
More than two hundres years after the last blood sorceress was burned at the stake, her magically bound servant, Jax, has found her successor. When Amanusa unleashes her newfound magic upon those who harmed her, she and Jax must flee across a troubled Europe in an effort to escape their ruthless enemies.
Their journey from Austria to France takes them through zones where everything – including magic – has died, and only threatening mechanical creatures remain. Those possessing magic cannot survive int he magical voids, but Jax and Amanusa quickly discover that by merging their abilities, they can cling to life.
Needing each ohter for their very survival, Amanusa and Jax arrive in Paris eager to discover what’s causing the mysterious dead zones. But more important, they’re eager to explore the connections – magical, emotional, and physical – between them.
Review: A good start to, I’m hoping, a new series.
Jax has been looking endlessly for the previous blood sorceress’s successor, one who would unleash the knowledge Yvaine had stored in his mind, the magic in his body.
Amanusa lost her family at a very young age, was raped and beated repeatedly since, and has lost a huge chunk of herself. When Jax approaches, she doesn’t believe him and sends him on his way, for a woman in Romania is forbidden to perform any sort of magic. Jax has to find a way to convince Amanusa that she is a blood sorceress, and when she unknowingly uses the biggest of spells against the men who hurt her, killing them, she has no choice now but to flee to France with Jax.
Between “dead zones” and having to dodge those would wish them dead, arriving in France should be a means of safety. But none of it ends there. From performing magic to contain a “dead zone” from becoming bigger, to being face to face with the one man, above all others, who want her dead, Amanuza and Jax face their biggest threat and challenge yet.
I’d have to agree with new_user’s review (to read her review, click here.) The relationship between Jax and Amanusa builds slowly, with Amanusa needing to learn how to trust a man. Period. Jax learns that Amanusa is in no way like Yvaine, who treated him as most treated servants. Amanusa treats him with more kindness than he even believes he deserves.
Watching their relationship grow was, I think, the highest point in the book. They learn about themselves as well as each other, and it grows from trust, grudgingly to love, until both realize they can’t live without the other, regardless of a blood bond. What they feel is incredibly much deeper, and both deserve to feel that way. And Amanusa teeters on that fine line between justice and revenge.
I did find that the scene at the rebellion camp to be a bit much – it lasted way too long, and I feared that the entire book was going to play out there. While I could understand that their journey through “dead zones” were played out to keep themselves alive, I wished there was more sexual tension between Amanusa and Jax, especially on her part. Knowing what had happened to her until Jax came along, I wanted to see a bigger fight of her feeling towards Jax in that aspect, not just her heart and mind.
And while I could understand that, in the past, women had a much bigger fight to being equal to men, in all aspects and not just magic, I thing her speach at the end was a little overdone. I think the story would have been just as good with a shorter speech.
And the “dead zones”. I really liked that twist. How not just magic, but life, seems to be sucked away until there is nothing left except mechanical machines that want to destroy everything that crosses their path, and that seem to be created by something other than man; no bolts, nuts, soldering are keeping them together. They are seemless . While all sorts of magicks and spells are worked to contain the zones, it took Amanusa’s blood magic to combine them, to make the containment spell work.
All in all, I enjoyed the story and I sure do hope that this is the beginning of a series. I’d snag the second book, just to see what else Amanusa learns of her magic and more about the “dead zones”, like who, how and what created them. Ms. Dayton, I look forward to reading more from you!