Original Title: Blood of the Delphi
Year Published: 2017
Published by: Mag Mell Publishing (an arc was kindly provided from the author in exchange for an honest review)
Number of Pages:
Goodreads Rating: 5/5
“Praise Harmatia, it is a city of gold and light. Praise it until it crumbles to dust.”
Rufus Merle is a wanted man. After twelve years on the run, raising the infant Prince Joshua in secret, the last of the Delphi line now stands in grave peril. Sick, friendless and out of places to hide, Rufus and Joshua are hunted by dangerous alchemists, a deranged assassin, and a powerful faerie goddess, who will do everything in her power to turn Rufus into a living weapon.
With the net closing around them, and the sparks of unrest and rebellion igniting across the Kingdom, Arlen Zachary is forced to question his own allegiance between the Crown, and the people he swore to protect. As the gods play their hands, and the ancient Sidhe prepare to settle a century old feud, Harmatia trembles under the tyrannical rule of a King, whose only commitment is to the dead.
This was a superb sequel to The Sons of Thestian. Sequels have a tendency to be disappointing but this one did not disappoint at all. In fact, it was even better than the first book which I thought would be an impossibility. I absolutely loved the first book, it is definitely one of my favourite books and you can find my review of that here. But if the first book had me shook, then this book absolutely killed me with its awesomeness. Not sure if I will survive a third book to be honest.
Most characters from the first book return for this one. Rufus, despite having gone through hell, is still the same old Rufus from the first book. He is fun, sarcastic and overall lovely. You can’t help but love him and wanting to coo at him, tuck him in and keep him safe from the world. I love how he isn’t made out to be perfect and even is called out by other characters on his sometimes childish behaviour. But he is willing to learn which is all we want, and he definitely goes through a lot of character development.
Joshua is one new character and he is the baby brother of Jionathan and Rufus. I love how he seems to be a combination of both his brothers, which was such a lovely thing. He had the best characteristics from both which managed to turn him into a very compelling and interesting character. I absolutely adored him and the gif below is an accurate representation of him as a character and my feelings towards him (and Rufus).
Arlen Zachary, villain in the first book, came out and sucker punched me in this book. My feelings towards him in the first book were pretty complex and I couldn’t decide whether I liked him or absolutely hated him. This book had me totally re-evaluating him as a character. He does not redeem himself in the sense of going from villain to hero, but you realise that things here aren’t just black and white, they are far more complex than that, just like Vaughan’s characters are.
There are of course many other characters that are absolutely amazing in this book but if I write about them all this post will be massive. Instead, I will say that we got a lot of diversity here. We have several LGBTQ characters, strong female characters, and to certain extent ethnic diversity as well. With that said, let’s move on to the plot. It is fascinating and so much fun. It definitely keeps you entertained from start to finish, and is pretty much perfectly paced. It has several twists and turns that keep the plot fresh without making it overly complex. Instead, it brings you several aha-moments, which was bloody fantastic. And the ending, oh the ending. I have a feeling Vaughan was sitting like this whilst writing this ending:
Or perhaps not. Maybe she was sobbing as much as I was. Just know that the ending of this book will have you screaming “WHY?” at the top of your lungs. I almost threw my Kindle out the window. In this case, that is a very good reaction. It is an ending that will break you but also have you desperate for more.
Trigger warning: This book does contain some elements that can be triggering. It deals with dubious consent, abuse (both physical and mental) and to an extent, rape. However, there is no actual rape described, but be aware if any of these subjects are triggering for you.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, I really do! And pssst, if you have Kindle Unlimited, then the first book is on there and the second will most likely be on there as well.