Blood of the Gods (The Ascension Cycle #2) by David Mealing

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Did you see my review for the first book, Soul of the World? If you didn’t, check it out here!

I own a paperback Blood of the Gods, the same edition as the first book. Blood of the Gods was published by Orbit in 2018. The book is about 736 pages, and I finished it in (don’t judge me) just under two months (it was Christmas and a stressful time and I’m terrible and I know it).

Synopsis

Blood of the Gods continues to follow Sarine, Erris, and Arak’Jur, as well as introducing a new protagonist, Tigai. Sarine is plagued with visions that make her kaas sicker after each one, and she searches for answers. Erris goes on conquering and preparing for an even bigger war that she believes is imminent, before realizing she needs to control more than just the military of New Saressant. Arak’Jur is exiled from his tribe, and goes in search of the tribe that wants him killed, only to be put on a different quest. Tigai tries to pull his family out of debt and becomes entangled in the schemes of the magical Houses.

Review (sans spoilers)

I found this book to be really great actually. I felt a little more lukewarm towards the first one, but this one far exceeded its predecessor. The introduction of Tigai’s character added a completely different continent and character into the mix, with its own magic and plot. I wish it was included in the first book! Blood of the Gods is personally more exciting than Soul of the World, with more plot twists and tense scenes that really keep you engaged. It also goes further into the ascension process, and what it really means – and what those who ascend are meant to do. Each character faces external and internal conflicts, taking separate journeys that ultimately connect their storylines once again. Aspects that I liked from the first book – the mysterious characters and settings we catch a glimpse of between parts – didn’t have the same oomph in this book, however this doesn’t bother me too much, because this second book is just significantly better overall. I would still like to dispute the labeling of the kaas as dragons (lizards!), but otherwise Blood of the Gods was stronger, had a more intricate plot and more emphasis on the fight between good and evil, complex character development, and very good writing.

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 on goodreads (add me!), but I would give it a more precise 8.5 out of 10.

Review (with spoilers)

Okay – review with spoilers. I can’t stress enough how much I truly enjoyed Tigai’s character. His character development was subtle and was realistic given the torture and stress he endured because of the magical houses. Towards the end, choosing not to assassinate Sarine (good call by the way dude) was a culmination of his whole development and I really enjoyed it. The starfield, in which Tigai and Sarine can enter and beam themselves to other places, was especially interesting to me. The magic on his side of the divide felt significantly more graceful and complex to me, and I really wish it had been introduced in the first book. To segue, Sarine’s character is interesting as well. I wouldn’t say she was my favourite, but I enjoyed the introduction of her new kaas, and her decisions in regards to the Veil inhabiting her body.

One of the things I found especially enjoyable was trying to discern who out of those on the path to ascension were on which side, as well as the physical divide between continents. I wish there was a bit more backstory and depth into the evil homie in the darkness, but that’s just my lore geek coming out. I also really enjoyed the darkness-infested creatures he fought, as well as his journey to ascension. I wasn’t especially into his romance and child and such, just because it almost felt out of place – there wasn’t much in terms of romantic themes outside of his character. My final comment – I hate that the veil found a new body. I’m upset about this, but I’m mentally steeling myself for her in the next book.

This book featured so much more complexity that made it feel High Fantasy and I really enjoyed it. Given how this book has been compared to the first in the series, I am really looking forward to the next. It’s unclear when the next book will be published, but I know I will most definitely be purchasing it.

Has anybody else read these books? Any thoughts or feelings.

Started reading: November 8, 2019

Finished reading: January 5, 2020

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