Book Review ~ “Blood of Requiem” by Daniel Arenson

This post was first published in November 2014

Book 1 of Song of Dragons series

Description for visually impaired readers: Book Cover of “Blood of Requiem”: A menacing looking dragon on grey background with a whitish aura around it. On bottom title of book.

Publisher: Daniel Arenson
Publishing date: May 2011
Genre: fantasy, shapeshifters, dragons
Formats: paperback, e-book
Source: free copy via signing up to Daniel Arenson’s author page

Bees: 5 out of 6

About the story:

At Lanburg Fields the kingdom of Requiem and its King Benedicturs has been defeated. King Irae of Osanna, Benedictus’ brother, who rules the griffins made sure, all evidence of the Vir Requies, shapeshifting inhabitants of Requiem, have been destroyed and the remaining Vir Requies are hunted as beasts and demons.

But there are some left. One of them being young Kyrie, who has been saved at Lanburg Fields by Mirium. When she gets killed by Irae, Kyrie flees in his dragon form. But can he escape the long arms of Irae and his daughter Gloriae and will he be able to bring back Benedictus with the help of the real dragons of Salvandos?

About the author:

On Twitter Daniel’s bio goes like this: “More hobbit than elf, more Stark than Lannister, more Ravenclaw than Hufflepuff. Author of fantasy series Song of Dragons, Dragonlore, The Dragon War, and Moth”. Amazon, Goodreads and his author page do not give a lot more information either: He writes successful fantasy novels, is married in Canada and has pet birds. (This was in 2014. Today it goes like this: Bookworm. Geek. USA Today bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction. Visit my website to download three free books: http://DanielArenson.com )

A little research though revealed some more: Young Daniel moved a lot with his parents and loved to watch cartoons until he started reading and got into comics. His parents pushed him to try out books which he refused at first and then he could not stop.

Funnily he did not read fantasy novels until he was invited to play dungeons and dragons at school. A little later he started writing his first story which was supposed to be 2 or 3 pages long but ended up with 50. And thank goodness he has not stopped writing.

His first novel was published by Five Star before Amazon’s e-book revolution and the like. Once they arrived in Canada, Daniel could not be stopped.

Honey bees in the book:

“Blood of Requiem” is skilfully written in different perspectives. It starts with Benedictus’ flashback of the fight at Landburg Fields just to turn to Mirium and her story with Irae. The novel then develops from the points of view of all important characters involved: Kyrie an orphaned Vir Requis, brothers Irae and Benedictus, Lacrimosa, Benedictus’s wife, his daughter Agnus Dei and Irae’s daughter Gloriae. The changes are easy to understand as the chapters are named after the characters whose point of view is used.

I really like changes in points of view because it gives you a multifaceted reading experience. You can easily understand the feelings and opinions of different characters. This is one reason why I love “Lord of the Rings” even though that story is not parted as much as “Blood of Requiem”.

The characters in “Blood of Requiem” are not one-sided. One can feel the longings of their lives as well as their failures. We all know situations that we feel guilty of and we all harbour hopes which makes it easy to connect with the characters here.

“Blood of Requiem” includes a doomed kingdom and young survivors who feel the need to change the situation no matter the cost to their own lives. Against all odds, they fight and that is one secret of great storytelling. It kept me reading all night to find out if the dragons of Salvandos really exist and if: would they help?

So many conflicts keeping the story going: Benedictus who does not want to go back to his responsibility for his kingdom and the guilt he feels for the lost lives of his people. Kyrie who has nothing to lose and Lacrimosa who’s secrets may break her husband to name just a few. A real epic read

Stinging bees in the book:

I found the search for Salvandos and the description of their culture a little short-handed. I would have liked to learn more about them. “Song of Requiem” though is a second dragon series. There might be more information in the first “Dawn of Dragons”.

And the mead of it all: At last I have found another fantasy series that took me in as much as Robin Hobb’s dragon novels. Certainly books I will keep reading.

Want more of Daniel Arenson and his books? Look here:

Author page: Danielarenson.com
Amazon author page: Daniel Arenson
Goodreads author page: Daniel Arenson

resources:

goodreads
Selfpublishing Roundtable
Twitter

SoCS bashes…

Linda has taunted us with a new prompt which is: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is โ€œabash/a bash/bash.โ€ Use โ€œabash,โ€ or โ€œbashโ€ as a noun or a verb. Bonus points if you manage all three. Have fun!

(Please head over and find other bashful Stream of Consciousness posts in the comments!)

It does sound like fun and here is my contribution:

I’m on the prowl again.
Hanged up my business suit at home and let the full moon do its thing. It has been so long since I let my nature manifest in full. The energy surges through my body when the fur appears. There is a call from afar.ย  The enraging odour of a bash of innocents infiltrates my senses when I lose consciousness and only hear my howl.

Minutes later this creature is on the road down a winding path into the woods. It has chosen her home well. A lonely hilltop hut which has an ancient flair about it. The wood was worked when settlers first arrived and hasn’t seen a coating of colour in years. Deep red flakes off the square walls but the roof is always taken care off well.

Years ago she has made an unlikely alliance with the little ones living in her woods. She saved one of them and as soon as she leaves for her business they come surging in to bring spells and wood and nails into the right position.

But I am losing track of her. She is already down the slope full of ancient pines. Some of the quickentree bushes are broken by her agile body but the ivy knows to get out of her way when she is in full prowl mode. There is a little brook that meanders along the valley at the bottom of her territory. She stops for a moment. She moves her elegant body backwards so her front paws stretch out. A sigh escapes from somewhere. She stands up and listens, her nostrils open to detect anything coming her way: Danger, lust or pure revenge. It does not matter now.

They know to stay out of her way when the moonlight enhances her prowess like this. It happened that she bashed the head of one of her mates against the rocks when she was too passionate in mating. But her mating days are gone. It’s just no one knows this yet. And today was another matter at hand.

She prowls again. Someone dared to violate one of her sisters. Awareness of domestic violence for decades but for some nothing changes. And she does not care which form her sisters have: Girl, woman, crone, human, shapeshifter or animal when one of hers is violated she hears the call she can not ignore. Someone dared to abash one of her sisters. She feels the little one cower in a dark corner. Shame and fear all over her. But not for long. “Not for long, sister” she whispers and starts running…

I wake up in the corner of the bathroom. I always do. Trained myself years ago so I just had to start the water and regain full consciousness and let he gore run down the drain. But I have already forgotten this matter. I leave the bathroom and put on the business suit and head for a cup of coffee.

 

Binging “The 100”

I don’t usually review TV-series. However, at the moment I am “forced” ๐Ÿ˜‰ to binge on “The 100” and what a hard task that is. LOL.

A little explanation at this point.

I have a market research app on my phone. I allowed the app to keep an eye on the pages I regularly visit, and I get points for it which translate into Amazon gift vouchers. A couple of weeks ago, I used parts of those points to get a headset for my TEFL teaching. At the same time, Amazon offered me a 4 week free trial of Amazon Prime, which meant, I could get the headset without shipping costs. “Fair enough”, I thought. The best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world likes the ex-Top Gear presenting team, so I decided it would be worth it to check out the second series of “The Grand Tour”. We did not like the first but the second is ok.

Oops I digress.

When they showed the trailers for “The 100” on Freeview I was quite taken. This sort of series is right up my street. It’s not up the best husbands street though. So I decided to watch it when he is not around. And then I forgot all about it.

Checking out Prime Video when I got the free access the series jumped right at me and here I am. Binge watching 4 series of “The 100” in 4 weeks. And that my dears is not all: I also got the first book with said Amazon voucher and on top, they show the 5th series on Freeview. Guess what? I truly binge.

I am reading the book, am at series 2 on Prime and I watch series 5 on Freeview!

It’s a bit confusing I admit. The book seems to be different than the series. I am not very far yet, but I like the characters and the story so far. However, I think I like the series better and that does not happen very often.

What I really like about the series is the fact that all the characters are so controversial and multilayered. For all those who do not know “The 100”: Earth was destroyed by a nuclear war. There were 12 satellite stations in space at the time and they connected and created the Arc. However, their resources are ending and so they send 100 juvenile “criminals” down to earth to figure out if it is still inhabitable. Of course, it is and, of course, there are survivors of all sorts there too. They are not particularly happy that the “sky people” come down, and want their share of earth’s sparse resources.

To me, the scenario sounds rather believable. Also, the different fractions who inhabit the earth look rather realistic to me. There are the “Mountain Men”, people who cannot live outside because their bodies are not adjusted to the high radiation. There are different tribes of “Grounders” which are humans whose bodies have adjusted to the radiation. The Grounders though are “harvested” by the Mountain Men as they need blood infusions to keep surviving. And guess what? Of course, they kept the “old” culture and “saved” paintings and other artefacts. They are power trippers too. Their technical development matches that of the “Sky People”. The Mountain Men try everything to keep the Sky People at bay.

The series, in a way, is about one question:

“What is the right thing to do when I need to survive?” & “Is it ok to kill other humans to keep my people and me alive?”

But it also shows the effect that that sort of decision has on a person. There are parts of the series which are rather tough and I can’t watch them. But these parts build a postapocalyptic world that is believable.

To me, the series just seems to show our reality in an exaggerated version.

What fascinates me most are the women in the series. They are all kick-ass in their own way. None of them follow that stereotype that says women are “nurturing” “peace-loving” and “non-violent”. My goodness, we are and we are not. I have come to believe, that women are as aggressive as men are and men are as nurturing as women are. It all depends on what conclusions the individual has chosen when growing up and dealing with life. It also depends on in what sort of environment the individual grows up. And of course, what society expects from the individual.

These women take very controversial decisions. These women fight with all they have. These women survive and they are in no way less than the men at their side. That is one reason why I started to like “The Hunger Games” too. Those who fight in the Arena are of the same making.

I am very curious if the book goes the same way or if the makers of the series have taken many freedoms to make a great TV experience. It is very strange to read and watch a story at the same time. Also to watch the beginning and the current storylines at the same time. But I love it.

I love it because the conflicts between characters take me in not only emotionally but also logically. It makes me ask what I would do in a similar situation. It makes me wonder where humankind as a whole is heading, and how much “culture” and “civilisation” can change in the blink of an eye.

I have another two weeks left of my free trial of Amazon Prime. Should be just enough to get series 3 & 4 done. And after that, I keep watching series 5 on Freeview. And probably get the other books of the series. Cool!

Video Resources: IGN on YouTube

Do you watch “The 100”? And if “yes” what do you make of the series? And if you read the book: How do you feel about the story? I am so curious!

 


 

The most important factor in survival is not intelligence or strength but adaptability ~ Charles Darwin

 


Fellow Bloggers write about “Survival”:

Sue Vincent: More than Survival

 


 

Suggested Reading:

The 100 Complete Boxed Set
A Paperback edition by Kass Morgan in English

All four thrilling novels in The 100 series, now available in a paperback boxed set!

Ever since nuclear war destroyed our planet, humanity has been living on city-like spaceships hovering above the toxic surface. As far as anyone knows, no one has stepped foot on Earth in centuries–that is, until one hundred juvenile delinquents are sentenced to return and recolonize the hostile land. The future of the human race rests in their hands, but nothing can prepare the 100 for what they find on this strange and savage planet.

Read the series that inspired the hit TV show. The 100, Day 21, Homecoming, and Rebellion are gathered together for the first time in this striking box set, perfect for fans and series newcomers alike.