We return to the land once ruled by Dragons and under the threat from the growing cult of the Spider Goddess. The land is on the brink of a civil war and our characters are picking sides in the upcoming struggle for survival. The slow burn pacing of the Dragon’s Path is quickly turned on its head in this sequel as we get betrayals, political intrigue, pirates, and war. The King’s Blood is a step up in every way for this series, but the best is yet to come. This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching upon events in book 1.
Marcus is leading the guard at the Medean bank in Porte Oliva and comes into contact with Cithrin. Marcus feels it is his duty to protect Cithrin like a daughter and his loyalty is his most endearing quality. Eventually, Marcus and Master Kit (the Apostate) will go on a quest to uncover a legendary item that will turn the tides of the war ahead. Cithrin has established a new bank in Porte Oliva, but has lost some of her power. Cithrin decides to visit the owner of the bank and she is sent on a mission to Caminpol where civil war has broken out. Cithrin will find herself in the most unlikely company and it will change the landscape for the rest of the series.
Dawson Kalliam leads the Antean army of Asterihold, which was responsible for the plot against prince Aster. Dawson realizes the growing influence the Spider Goddess priest have gained among the citizens and something must be done to stop them. Clara Kalliam is struggling to keep her family afloat in light of the civil war and the layers of factions, politics, and family drama she has to unwind was at times heartbreaking to read. Clara will be a fan favorite moving forward. Finally we have Geder who has successfully put down the plot against Prince Aster and has exposed the nobles responsible. The king has taken notice of Geder and makes him his Regent, but Geder is taking advice from Basrahip (a Spider Goddess priest). The nobles are unhappy about this development and civil war breaks out as a result.
Character development continues to strive forward in The King’s Blood. Cithrin continues to show her intelligence and desire to show what she can do even if it can seem rash. Although Marcus doesn’t have many interesting chapters in the book, his character begins to take shape and the mission he goes on will have ramifications for the next book. Geder has gone from a poor soldier to Regent in such a short amount of time and we see that he is taking advice from nobles and priest with ulterior motives. Once again the writing style is very descriptive but I feel the pacing is much better in this sequel especially once you reach the half way point.
If you enjoyed The Dragon’s Path, The King’s Blood is better in conceivably everyway. This is a pure political thriller with the threat of war and how our characters choose to deal with it. There isn’t a great deal of magic in this series, but that makes Daniel Abrahams work that much more impressive giving how much these characters are loved. This series deserves more recognition in the SFF community and this can’t be overstated.