Blood and Bile

Blood and Bile

“Before the world came to be, there was nary beginning nor end, nary sky-shield nor night-wheel, nary war-garb nor shield-foe, nary fate-heeder nor fate-weaver, nor any thing living or dying or dead.”
Ranvir ripped meat from bone, the dew of deep wounds dribbling between his fingers. He packed the flesh into his teeth-house, chewing happily.

His wife gaped at him, word-land soundless, forehead-stones devoured long ago, and wound-necklace torn from ear to ear.

She had never looked more beautiful.

His hands probed into her blood’s-seat for another bite, nails scraping against cartilage, fingers squeezing organ and fat, seeking a tasty morsel.

Ranvir heard the rasping of his tent flap open, but did not turn from his meal. Snaer’s brisk breath briefly touched his back. and then he felt it no more. He swallowed another mouthful and pulled at his wife’s skin to gaze at the glossy remains.

A voice, light and feminine, spoke.


   The title of this excellent dark fantasy book by Joshua Robertson and JC Boyd should give you an idea of what is in this book. An extra warning, don't read it around pets that like to noisily groom themselves. I had to kick mine out of the room after reading this. Totally worth it too. If you are a fan of Salvatore then you will almost certainly love this book as much as I did. 5/5 stars from me.

*crunch slurp crunch squelch*

   These are the sounds that mark the change of an entire world. It all starts with Ranvir. Or does it start with Runa? Or maybe Hunfrith? If Haki told the truth would it have stopped the apocalypse?  Would the calamity have been adverted if Wisaric had gotten back sooner? Could Buri have saved them all if he had passed judgement sooner? Or can all the blame be placed squarely on the First who refused to listen to his brothers? And what, or who, is Stjarfi? It is a tale literally as old as time on this world, and it will shape the rest of the world and all it's peoples. Once it is done changing them into something new and terrible.

   As with all tragedies it takes the actions of everyone involved to bring about the fall. In the greatest of tragedies all of the actors are doing what they think is best. Runa wants to protect her family. Hunfrith wants to protect their ways. Haki wants to protect his wife. Wisaric wants to protect his people. Buri wants to set a better course for his tribe.

   Stjarfi... What does he want? Is he even still a he? Or has his need made him into something else?

   In this carefully and wonderfully woven story of ancient legends and magic come back to life you'll find yourself wondering "who is the bad guy?" Sadly not every story has a true villain. Sometimes it's just a person trying to find their own path in life without any malicious intent that pushes things out of control.

She gasped in surprise. “No.” The wind whistled almost threateningly. “He has a wife, and…” Her hand trailed up her chest to her lips. “I have never…It is forbidden.”
 Even with the words slipping from her mouth, she understood what the whispers demanded. Tears touched the corners of her eyes, her chest tightening as though the muscles might still her heart. She was Runa Ragvisdottir. If she wanted freedom from Thursi’s Law, she must not heed it. She would pass beyond her people and her brother would be freed.
She had promised.
She wiped the wetness beginning to drip from her nose, and reached slowly for the moonflower again, and then the black henbane. She shook her head frantically. Thoughts that were not her own filled her head, reassuring her of the path she traipsed down.


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