I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Civil Blood by Mark Gelineau and Joe King
Release date: April 15th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
One city. Two worlds.
The King of Aedaron reigns in splendor, while far below, in the streets and alleys of the underworld, a different kind of king emerges.
Alys and Dax have always been caught in the middle. Once they fought for love, and their worlds tore them apart. But now as they are forced back together, they must choose whether to fight once again.
But for what? And against whom?
In the world of Lowside, nothing is as it seems.
Even each other.
Oh wow! I’m totally flailing and speechless. This. Book. It’s no secret that I am totally addicted to the Echoes of the Ascended series by Mark Gelineau and Joe King! I simply cannot get enough of their novellas. Why? Because they are just so good. Every novella is different, but they each fit together, kind of like a piece of a puzzle. As you read things fall into place and the bigger picture is revealed.
Civil Blood is set in the dangerous slums of Resa, known as Lowside. It is part gritty crime story and part tragic romance. In its predecessor Alys, a street-wise thief and assassin, is reunited with her former lover Dax Ellis, a Magistrate Inspector, to find out who murdered a noble born woman. In this story, their relationship and the factors that tore them apart is further examined. Alys has been accused of committing a crime that she didn’t commit and teams up with Dax to help clear her name.
While the first story focused on introducing Lowside and societal issues, this novella is all about the characters. Alys and Dax used to be romantically involved and they were torn apart because of where they were from, but it was actually much more than that. Delving into their pasts offers a better understanding of each character. You learn why Alys is so loyal to Pious Black, the criminal kingpin of Lowside, and it’s all quite tragic. I don’t know what will happen between her and Dax but it mostly likely won’t be good.
So, again I am blown away by how the authors can transmit so much in less than 100 pages. The world and characters are so vivid! Not a single word is wasted and the writing, which is fast paced and witty, keeps you completely engaged from start to finish. If you haven’t read the Echoes of the Ascended series I seriously suggest that you start!