The Blood King is the second book in The Chronicles of the Necromancer.
Gail Z. Martin has a decent writing voice, but the book as a whole really left me wanting. Perhaps it was the combination of good characters who were too good and bad characters who were too bad that I just didn’t quite feel comfortable with.
The first book, The Summoner, took us through the overthrow of the Kingdom of Margolan by the eldest son who is evil and selfish and cruel and lecherous and impatient… see where I am going with this? No redeeming qualities whatsoever, and his magical ally makes him seem nice by comparison. So, the bad guys are really out and out bad. The hero and his friends are willing to die for their friends and sacrifice themselves for the kingdom and to risk everything to stop the super-evil-bad-guy who the major-bad-guys are planning to release into the world. Ok, so I am being a bit sarcastic, but that’s my major gripe with The Blood King. Even the rebel-bad-guy is really a good guy who just has had so many hard experiences that he is not respectful enough of authority to be considered a real good guy.
The story of The Blood King seems to take a long time getting started and then moves kind of ponderously through the series of events that leads to the final confrontation. It might have felt more exciting and interesting if I hadn’t been so overwhelmed by the over-the-top characters.
I would like to see Ms. Martin write some more and I would like to see her get an editor who can help her to tone some things down. She shows a lot of promise and has a good command of the essential fantasy elements, but George R.R. she ain’t.