by Christine Schulze
Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties...They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for. For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan.
These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel. Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon—but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumored as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynanian brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet, any hope at all is valued in Tynan...
If they are to stand a chance of bringing cruel tradition to a permanent end, Crislin and Chalom must brave the constant, consuming blizzards of the Ever-white. They must brave the three dynasties and the challenges awaiting there. Together, they must convince the dragon emperors to allow them access to the shrines which house the sacred Aria - protective strands of music which may be able to disperse the evil from Tynan and unite the four dynasties of Sulaimon as a whole once again. Their only aid stems from a sprite whose moods are as unstable as her magic, a young minstrel, and a mysterious fox. Despite the odds, such plans are daring, dangerous, unprecedented, but fully possible - if they can escape the Wall first.
I have actually read this book twice now. There is so much action and depth of relationships throughout the story that I just had to read it again before posting my review. Characters you think you know at the beginning of the book, are full of surprises later on. I completely fell in love with Crislin and Chalom, and felt horror at their plight. I was amazed at their courage and determination to right the wrongs of their land no matter the trials that came their way. Their friends show great depth of character and loyalty.
This is a wonderful YA book, but I also recommend it to adults and teens as well. Definitely for ages 14/15 and up. The only thing that would keep younger readers from reading this book is the "marital" relationship of some of the characters. This is a clean book, no bad language or explicit "sexual" situations.
My Rating: solid 4 out of 5 - MUST READ!
About the Author:
Christine E. Schulze has been creating books since she was too young to even write them in words. Bloodmaiden is only a small part of her vast, twenty-seven book collection, The Amielian Legacy. She hopes to inspire readers throughout the world with these books, publishing in both traditional and electronic formats to make them available to all readers. Christine has published several stories with Calliope and Kalkion and is an active member of Webook, an online writing community. She has also published several Christian/fantasy books and is publishing several ebooks via Writers-Exchange. Among these is Bloodmaiden: A Fantasy Anthology, which contains excerpts from her larger works, including Bloodmaiden. She currently lives in Shiloh, IL with her Mom, Dianne, three dogs—Honey, Oreo, and Tootsie—and rabbit, Thumpy.