Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames


My Rating: ★★★★☆
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Goodreads Link

Up for an adventure? Bloody Rose, the sequel to Kings of the Wyld, follows Tam Hashford who becomes the bard for Bloody Rose's infamous mercenary group, Fable.

Despite the impeding war that could mean the end of all civilization, you'll find yourself laughing and coming to love the characters in Bloody Rose. Nicholas Eames does a wonderful job in creating flawed characters that you would want as friends and balancing a book from being too depressing.

If you enjoyed the first book, you'll enjoy this one as well.

As you can see from my previous post, I fell in love with Kings of the Wyld. It was such a fun book where I completely fell in love with all the characters so when I finished it, I had to continue to the sequel.

This time around, we are following Tam Hashford, the daughter of two famous mercenaries. Unfortunately, her mother was killed by a monster attack and because of that, her father made sure to keep her close by. So when she auditioned for the part of Fable's bard and actually got it, she was more than excited to leave.

Watching Tam, an outsider from Fable's point of view, insert herself and become part of the band was a great way for us to get to know the band. We get to find out how Rose resents her father's fame and even more so after the events of the first book, how Freecloud loves Rose so much and gets himself into dangerous situations because of her recklessness, how Cura struggles with traumatizing events from the past and present, and how Brune struggles to find and understand who (or what) he is. It makes Tam, along with the reader, realized that all the heroes from the stories are just as human as we are.

I believe Bloody Rose, is not only a story of Rose coming to accept being the daughter of the infamous Golden Gabe but mainly the story of Tam Hashford realizing that the world is far more nuanced that stories led you to believe. Kings of the Wyld alluded to the mistreatment of monsters but this issue was far more pronounced in Tam's mind than it ever was in Clay Cooper's as she continued to witness the kindness and hardships of the monsters during her time with Fable.

What I Loved

  • The writing style. I am declaring myself a fan of Eames style now. I enjoy that so far, we've been in the point of view of characters that aren't the frontman of the group. In this case,  we're in Tam's point of view instead of Rose's. Sometimes I have a problem with that since these type of character's usually become self-inserts but with Tam, I didn't feel that was the case.
  • The characters. They all their own very distinct personalities, none of them felt like carbon copies from the first book. If you were to give me scenario, I can picture how each character would react and all of them would be different from each other.
  • The fight scenes. Unlike Kings of the Wyld, which skipped over some of the fight scenes, this book goes into detail about them.
  • Personally, I liked that it brought up the issue of the monsters more. It was obvious that Clay had felt some sympathy for the monsters in the first book and even mentioned how there were groups that were against monster treatment.
  • The callbacks to the first ones. If you read the first one, you'll seem some familiar names spring about.

What I Disliked

  • This time I around, I was able to predict some of things that happened. Without spoiling it, it was pretty clear to me that somethings were going to happen and I was not sure if it was intentional or just poor foreshadowing.
  • One of the relationships in this book felt like it came out of nowhere to me. While I did enjoy them together, their first intimate moment seemed almost out of character to me for one of them.
  • I wasn't too fond of the ending.
  • The antagonist of the story. I thought Lastleaf was a far more interesting big bad than the one in this book.

Final Thoughts

I liked this book. I would have marked this five stars but this book didn't keep me on my feet like the first one did. And honestly, that might be just a problem I personally have. I read this book right after finishing the first one so I probably came in with higher expectations than I ever did with the first one.

Would I recommend this book to someone? Yes! Of course. Even if you haven't read the first book, I think you can successfully get by the second one. You will miss all the callbacks to the first book but the book in itself is still good. Realizing that, the book might be even become better because you'll come to sympathize more for Rose and her quest to overcome her dad's large shadow.

Again, I came straight from the first book and I still enjoyed this book. You should definitely grab this book if you want to see Rose go from Golden's Gabe's daughter to Bloody fucking Rose, the leader of Fable.

Warning! Spoilers ahead!

A quick little section:

My Favorite Character(s): Brune and Cura. Reading how these two characters overcome their personal struggles was amazing. I remember feeling so happy when Brune finally found his fain and Cura finally stopping from letting her past define her.

The Character I Hated: Rose. She's a wonderfully flawed character but some part of me could not get past how she put herself and others in danger. I could understand why she would hate to be in Golden Gabe's shadow (and how so many would bring up her rescue) but it irked me to read how unappreciative of her father's (admittedly, suicidal) rescue sometimes she appeared to be. I actually hated how she changed her tune once her dad got killed saving her--again. Abandoning her daughter to her father, made me really hate her. I get it by the end she accepted becoming a mother but I hate that it came at the cost of Gabriel and Freecloud's lives.

Favorite Moment: Cura summoning all her ink creatures. It was such an epic moment that I kept commenting how amazing it would be to see this animated.

Favorite Quote: "The bard? And you're still alive? Good for you!" from Moog. Such a wonderful callback to Saga's horrible luck with bards.