Epics usually have long-winded and convoluted plots with stories within stories. They are also not supposed to be read at one go. So, attempting to write one is quite a feat!
The Bonds of Blood is rather like a quest where Jovian, Angelica, and Joya go in search of their kidnapped sister Amber. They are provided with invaluable weapons and gifts, that once belonged to their mother, to help them succeed on their quest. But quests are never as straightforward as that so, they also have a mysterious guardian in the form of Grace, an elderly scholar, powerful and ancient spirits who test them at every step. The Neferis children also discover hidden gifts within themselves which they were quite unaware of. Rather a nefarious plot don’t you think? (pun intended).
As an epic fantasy the Bonds of Blood is a commendable attempt and Simmons’ imagination and creation of this vivid alternate world is remarkable. His detailed descriptions have created an alternate reality with different beings, races and creatures, which further removes the Wyrd saga from being a simple adventure in a fantastic world.
However, just as Simmons’ descriptions are brilliant he has sometimes gone overboard with it. Too many adjectives and adverbs clutter a page and distract the reader from clean lines of prose and plot. Every character in the story has a point of view. Which is quite natural. Different people do have various perspectives! But when all these versions are thrown at the reader, the reader gets confused. I confess, that I did have a hard time continuing with the book at certain points of time. I even skipped a few pages to find out what happened and then went back again to follow the plot. So, I think too many perspectives is not a good thing. A good story should be read and the job of the storyteller is to make it as appealing and as smooth as possible.
As much as I like Dickens I do not like the speed at which his stories move, similarly Travis Simmons needs to find away to speed up his stories. If the people on a quest are slow they might not reach their holy grail in time. Simmons has a lot of potential, he has a good story to tell and he has already created a captivating world. All he needs now is a fast paced fantasy and that is what I would like to see in The Mirror of the Moon.
In the world of Saracin, the Goddess damns the earth that killed her two beloved angels and tears it into six realms. As a reminder of their transgression, each person is branded with a stigmata on their palms as testament of their home realm and their separation from the Goddess.
Thirty years later, in the Holy Realm, Jovian, Angelica, Amber, and Joya, quadruplets whose mother died in childbirth, have just reached their 21st spring and are now adults. When terrible visions depicting the downfall of their family stir within Jovian and Angelica, they struggle to make sense of what they have seen while trying to live a normal life.
After Amber is kidnapped in the night, her three siblings are drawn into a dangerous pursuit across the Great Realms to find her. With every step they uncover more mystery surrounding their families past, and something far worse–an ancient enemy that could threaten their hope of ever seeing Amber alive again.
Will this enemy grant the answers they seek, or will she fray the tenuous threads binding them to their old lives? Buy The Bonds of Blood today and enter a dangerous world of magic!
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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.