Helen Lowe's brilliance in plotting, character building and
writing shines through in DAUGHTER OF BLOOD, the third
installment in her epic fantasy series, The Wall of
Lowe introduces a slew of new characters, but at least for
this reader, they never overwhelm or confuse. For some, it
might be easiest to create a list as you read rather than
searching through the glossary for answers. Lowe's world of
Haarth is spectacularly well-developed considering its
complex and labyrinthine scope.
Malian and Kalan both plan to return to the Wall, the
question is if they can accomplish what they need to before
the Darkswarm overpowers all of Haarth. Kalan returns to
the House of Blood to try to win a place in the bride honor
guard for the daughter contracted to marry the Earl of
to further her family's ambition. Myr, or Lady Mouse as
she's known to those who adore her, doesn't have the
weapons ability of her family and is disparaged by most of
them, but she has a talent for healing and courage and
strength all her own.
Malian searches for the Shield of Heaven and flees from
Darkswarm threats on all sides. And we learn more of her
traveling companion as well. An orphan boy in Grayharbor
has an encounter with dark forces of his own and may not
survive to play his role. Lowe also lets us meet members of
the Darkswarm, getting a look at things from their side
which is intriguing.
I'm definitely prejudiced when it comes to this epic
fantasy series as it's one of my favorites of all time. I
will say that if you're going to read it, you need to start
with the first book and read through. Starting with
DAUGHTER OF BLOOD
will leave you confused and frustrated. Lowe's story grows
as the series progresses with layers of knowledge, secrets
and betrayals. The story contains a lot of different
threads and twists and surprises, but all of the puzzle
pieces fit together and nothing is out of place. And that's
just one of the reasons she's a master storyteller.
Lowe's prose has a haunting, lyrical quality, which
naturally emerges from her ability as a poet. She draws
readers into her world in a way that it feels more like
experiencing things along with the characters rather than
reading about them. My only quibble is how long I'll have
to wait for the final book in this transcendent series.
Malian of Night and Kalan, her trusted ally, are
to the Wall of Nightâ€”but already it may be too late. The
Wall is dangerously weakened, the Nine Houses of the
fractured by rivalry and hate. And now, the Darkswarm is
rising . . .
Among Grayharbor backstreets, an orphan boy falls foul of
dark forces. On the Wall, a Daughter of Blood must be
married off to the Earl of Night, a pawn in the web of
family's ambition. On the Field of Blood, Kalan fights
place in the bride's honor guard, while Malian dodges
pursuers in a hunt against time for the fabled Shield of
Heaven. But the Darkswarm is gaining strength, and time
running outâ€”for Malian, for Kalan, and for all of Haarth
. . .
Orth surged to his feet, roaring, as a small thief
the half-eaten pastry from his plate, while the server and
other patrons cursed and grabbed at darting bodies. Those
who sat further back, or had already eaten, laughed and
called encouragement to either side, only swiping out if
urchin came too near. The vagabonds twisted and dodged
clear, racing away with their booty.
Safety, Kalan saw, was a tangle of godowns at the town end
of the dock, and the raiders took full advantage of wharf
traffic to make their escape. All, that is, except the
ragged lad who had snatched Orthâ€™s pastry. His swerve to
avoid one of the alejack drinkers brought him too close to
Tawrin, who stuck out a foot and brought him down flat. The
boy sprang up again immediately, the pastry still clutched
in his handâ€”but it was too late. Orthâ€™s giant hand had
closed on the tattered tunic and now hoisted the thief
his other fist poised to smash into the dirty, terrified
â€śStand!â€ť Kalan ordered the horsesâ€”one of Jarnaâ€™s
painstakingly inculcated commandsâ€”and sprang forward,
intercepting Orthâ€™s blow. The giant snarled and tried to
hammer the fist into Kalanâ€™s face instead. Checking the
strikeâ€™s momentum felt like trying to prevent a mountain
toppling, and Kalan called on the combined strength of five
years working in the Normarch forge, and training in full
Emerian armor with sword and lance, battle-axe and mace.
arm and shoulders were rock, his mind cool as his eyes met
Orthâ€™s. â€śHeâ€™s just a child,â€ť he said, keeping his voice
The Sword giantâ€™s expression was almost comical as he
from Kalanâ€™s hand, locked on his wrist, into his face.
a sniveling Haarth thief!â€ť
â€śHeâ€™s hungry,â€ť Kalan answered, countering Orthâ€™s shift in
weight and alert for a head butt, or knee to the groin.
â€śLook at him.â€ť
Orth glared, his head lowered. â€śA thief!â€ť he roared, and
shook his captive so violently that the boyâ€™s head snapped
back, his teeth jarring together. But the threadbare tunic,
unequal to such treatment, tore apartâ€”and the boyâ€™s body
dropped clear, leaving Orth with a handful of fabric.