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Mysterious. Hidden. Sacred. Erabel is the beating heart of Dorcha Wood. And its heir has come home.
Fleeing the man who betrayed her, Fiadh returns to her beloved forest, into its heart, to discover her people. And herself. With the aid of Veren, an Aos Sí warrior, she explores her birthright, a world safeguarded from the corruption of mankind. There, she learns the history of a mighty race and the vastness of the power coursing through her blood.
But beyond Erabel’s boundaries, men are flocking, rallying to an evil lord who covets the strength flowing in Fiadh’s veins. They have their eyes fixed on the lost kingdom of the Aos Sí, and it’s only a matter of time before they breach those borders and come for Fiadh and all who protect her.
All around her, the world is closing in, as some plot in shadows, and others in the stark light of day.
Thank you to The Write Reads, the author, and the publisher for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review may contain spoilers for the first book in the series.
At the end of The Girl of Dorcha Wood, Fiadh fled back to the forest on the back of Krulan, heartbroken over Gideon’s sudden vehemence toward her. As they make their way to Erabel, Fiadh begins her journey of self discovery in Blood of the Lost Kingdom. Once in Erabel, Fiadh slowly learns about her family’s past and the power that runs through her veins–a power coveted by more than one faction clamoring to harness and wield it.
Like the first book of the Daughter of Erabel series, I very much enjoyed reading the second installment. My favorite chapters by far involved Fiadh. The author includes a lot of magic system- and world-building in these sections. New characters come to life and with them their stories. Learning about Fiadh’s family was both heartwarming and tragic, bittersweet, if you will. (Let’s just say someone was chopping onions near me during one particularly sad scene.)
Most interestingly, the story evolves from a game of checkers to chess. In The Girl of Dorcha Wood, man’s prejudice about the Aos Sí is clear. After Fiadh and Gideon discovered that the Aos Sí had massacred the people of Belfirth, another war between man and the Aos Sí seemed inevitable. However, the stakes increase in the Blood of the Lost Kingdom in which other invested parties bide their time in the shadows and play the long game. Lord Darragh and Haegna remain despicable, but learning about their history sure perked me up.
Gideon…is still on his character arc (I hope?) journey. He latches on to rage and revenge as his motivators, vowing to avenge his family and Belfirth. His hate of the Aos Sí grows with each unsettling discovery. But events set into motion by invisible hands pulling the strings will inevitably cause Gideon to soul search.
At this point, I’m fully invested and will definitely read A Storm of Wrath and Ruin, the third book in the series. The further development of Erabel, Dorcha Wood, and the kingdoms of men made me eager to read more about the clash of cultures and culmination of decades of plotting.
Content warnings: As a dark historical fantasy, this series contains graphic medieval battle scenes in addition to passages containing violence, blood, and gore.
Reading format: Kindle e-book
About the Author
Kristin Ward is an award-winning young adult author living in Connecticut. A science and math teacher for over twenty years, she infuses her geeky passions into stories that meld realism and fantasy. Kristin embraces her inner nerd regularly, often quoting 80s movies while expecting those around her to chime in with appropriate rejoinders. As a nature freak, she can be found wandering the woods – she may be lost, so please stop and ask if you see her – or chilling in her yard with all manner of furry and feathered friends. Often referred to as a unicorn by colleagues who remain in awe of her ability to create or find various and sundry things in mere moments. In reality, the horn was removed years ago, leaving only a mild imprint that can be seen if she tilts her head just right. A lifelong lover of books and writing, she dreamed of becoming an author for thirty years before publishing her award-winning debut in 2018. Her first novel, After the Green Withered, is one of many things you should probably read.
Kristin Ward’s website and social media sites can be accessed here.