Synopsis: Live fast, die young.
Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.
When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.
It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.
“She never sang about what happened beyond that threshold, nor spoke of it to anyone who wasn’t present themself. What was obvious, though, to those who knew her before and after that morning, was that the woman who emerged was distinctly changed from the girl who’d entered.
Her smiles were shorter. Her laugh was louder. She became distracted at times, and would stare at nothing with a look of shattered sorrow that passed like a cloud the moment someone spoke her name.
She loved less quickly, but more fiercely, and made certain that those she cared for knew it well.
Sometimes she wept when it snowed..”
Oh my gods, I fucking LOVED this!! I’ve waited almost 1.5 years.. & it was so worth it! Because of the (seemingly) long wait for Bloody Rose, I truly took my time with it. I forced myself to move it around my mouth, rather than devour it whole. Enjoying all of the gorgeously nuanced details.. & believe me, there were many! For instance, when Tam noticed the tips of another characters ears had gone red because of the chill in the air. Those moments that could get lost in the grand scheme of storytelling.. but which are sometimes what causes the most meaningful impact on a reader as a whole.
Bloody Rose is the kind of story that is so provocative to my senses.. to what I like. Battles, banter, BAWLING MY GODDAMN EYES OUT.. it’s so gratifying, reading something like this. This gloriously developed tale.
Nicholas Eames grew as a writer through this story. He was already showing his genius with Kings of the Wyld, but I feel like this is written even better – which is what you desperately want with a sequel. There is something so enthusiastic about the way he writes, dangling the most gorgeous writing in front of the reader. It’s like a goddamn dreamscape & I was standing in the middle of each scene. Just so bloody brilliant!
Bloody Rose truly has it all. Naked battles, intense battles, internal battles! There are gut-punchy moments, diverse characters, even MORE monsters! Owlbears, goblins, gremlins, gargoyles, golems, kobolds, gibberlings, ogres, centaurs, wyvern, wolfbats, flying monkeys.. ALL THE GODDAMN MONSTERS! There’s adventure. There’s feelings. There’s feelings & adventure! Isn’t that amazing, when a book can provide all of those emotions? Oof.
These books are mentioned as fun a lot. Which they are. I loved stumbling upon the music & gaming references throughout. Eames does this seamlessly! Not to mention the stellar comedic timing. It was so on point with ensuing hilarity! However, these books are oftentimes overlooked as anything else, when that just isn’t true. There are deeper elements throughout. Addiction, complex relationships, loyalty, knowing what truly matters in life. These books spoke to my soul. So fucking much. Humor & tragedy. GIVE IT ALL TO ME!!
Buy it. Smell it. Stroke it. Ram it into your eye holes! Whisper sweet nothings to it any chance you can. Roll around with it. LOVE IT FOREVER!!
This is good. This is so fucking good!
And the tour rolled on..
(Major thanks to Orbit Books for sending me a copy in advance to flail & gush over!)