Title: Bloodrush (The Scarlet Star Trilogy Book 1)
Author: Ben Galley
Release date: 16/12/2014 (ebook )
Synopsis: When Prime Lord Hark is found in a pool of his own blood on the steps of his halls, Tonmerion Hark finds his world not only turned upside down, but inside out. His father's last will and testament forces him west across the Iron Ocean, to the very brink of the Endless Land and all civilisation. They call it Wyoming. This is a story of murder and family. In the dusty frontier town of Fell Falls, there is no silverware, no servants, no plush velvet nor towering spires. Only dust, danger, and the railway. Tonmerion has only one friend to help him escape the torturous heat and unravel his father’s murder. A faerie named Rhin. A twelve-inch tall outcast of his own kind. This is a story of blood and magick. But there are darker things at work in Fell Falls, and not just the railwraiths or the savages. Secrets lurk in Tonmerion's bloodline. Secrets that will redefine this young Hark. This is a story of the edge of the world.
Review: This was a book that I'd been looking forward to for a loooong time, and one that I didn’t know what to expect of it. I think sometimes when we make books genre specific there can be a bit of a stigma attached to it, so when I saw that it was a 'Western Fantasy' I wasn't so much put off, as that thinking I wouldn’t like it because westerns aren't really my thing. But I'm going to be eating my words on this occasion...
As ever, I just want to take a moment to appreciate the cover. I've always liked Ben's covers, and this, although is completely different in scope and style, is no different. Its bold and striking, almost like a movie poster, so much so that I wouldn't mind one for my wall. The symbol on the front initially doesn't mean anything to us, but boy will it.
The book starts off in London and I loved the construction of London, giving me grim 'Ripper Street' vibes, and I'm looking forward to hopefully getting back into this gritty London in Blodmoon. We were alluded toward to some big powers and players and it'll be exciting to come back to these characters, that all throughout the book were peaking at the edge of my consciousness.
But then off we go with Merion and Rhin to the Frontier... I could see the dusty roads, taverns but it wasn't a cliché, it was rustic in a good way, and it wasn't overforced, hence me taking back my words and really appreciating the setting of the book. I also have to call him Merion because initially the name Tonmerion really grated on me, as did a lot of the names, but then before you realise you actually care they're their names and everything makes perfect sense! His character, and indeed all the characters were strong, I liked their differences, and their changes, I liked that you could really feel Lurker was troubled, and then there was the tree! What tree you ask, well read on and find out! Merion was a troubled angsty teenager, and you got everything a teenager of that age would go through from him, his poor aunt! And I love how Rhin was a feisty Fae (its important you don't use Fairy, because that just wrong, WRONG!) and the inclusion of the Fae world was integrated nicely, but I did want a little more of it, then the book would have piled on hundred of pages...
And now since we've hit the fantasy spectrum lets talk about the magick. That K is important, and best you remember that. I really like the concept of Blood rushing...suddenly the title made so much sense! No only that it was different to general magical abilities you read about in fantasy, it has a human connection in many ways, and that added a different feel to the book. I loved the idea of the spectrums, and how each different animal affects the rusher in different ways ( for a full list please see the back of the book - but don't skip ahead!). I also have a higher appreciation for electric eels! When reading I, I felt like I would have like more elements of the training of the magick, but when you think about it, its sort of self explicit and you get to really experience it, culminating in a fantastic battle, which when you have such a vivid imagination like mine looked AMAZING!
This was a fantastic start to a new series, (hopefully with some accompanying short stories because I clearly need more) and one that "thank the maker" I wont have to wait too long to read, as the second installment BloodMoon will be out next year with the third and final quick on its heals....BOOM! And that’s a Hoard in itself!