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Heart Blade: Blade Hunt Chronicles Book One Kindle Edition
"Intriguing characters in a fresh paranormal world make for a devil of a good read!" - Gail Z. Martin, author of Vendetta (Solaris)
"Heart Blade is a fast-paced and exciting YA urban fantasy, a teenage Supernatural for the Snapchat generation." - Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Series (Angry Robot books)
About the Author
Juliana is the author of Heart Blade, Book 1 of the Blade Hunt Chronicles, a young adult urban fantasy series (Woodbridge Press 2017). Book 2, Night Blade, will be released Fall 2017.
Other recent work includes short stories in the anthology Aliens: The Truth is Coming (2016, Tickety Boo Press, UK) and the Journeys anthology (2017, Woodbridge Press, Canada). --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B01N22UGJT
- Publisher : Woodbridge Press (February 13, 2017)
- Publication date : February 13, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 1399 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 296 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1541358864
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,812,937 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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(So why only 4 stars? I do not ordinarily give 5 stars. I save 5 stars for a book that I feel is one of the best half dozen or so I've ever read. A story outside of my genre is very unlikely to receive 5 stars.)
Del is a half-demon, feeding off of sorrow and refusing to pledge to her clan and become a full demon. In her search for Sanctuary she encounters Ash, a descendant of angels in training to be a sentinel, an enforcer of the laws of the Covenant. Del's violation of those laws gives Ash the courage to defy his father to protect her. Together they set off into the world in search of the Guild, which will protect Del from her Liege Lady, who has unleashed her Hunters to find Del and bring her back.
At the same time Rose Grace, believed to be the girl to fulfill a thousand-year-old prophecy, is forced out of the Guild Sanctuary, and a second hunt commences to control her and the Heart Blade it is believed she will soon summon into existence, for Dark or Light. With control of that blade comes the power to remake the world, or destroy it, a prize for which even demons and angels will join forces.
Monica D. R. Mills
Top reviews from other countries
Refreshingly, both Del and Rose, the half-demon central characters, are independently motivated and not in romantic thrall to some immortal plank of wood. There *are* immortals, but they are presented with some depth (and in some unlikely-seeming partnerships, fleshing out their personalities further along the way). There's a lot of action too, rather than constant emotional angsting. Spink Mills knows when to dial up the torture though, with writing that recalls Jo Zebedee's ability to brutalize her characters.
The worldbuilding starts off being a bit confusing, and there's obviously a lot to explain, to lay out the groundwork, and that does slow the pace at the start of the book as we struggle to get to know Del. But by the end, with new dynamics in place, Spink Mills has shown that she can both finish a story and set up a sequel - and make me want to read it too.
In some ways the story is reminiscent of the set up for a YA novel, the main cast are all young, supplemented with a few ‘adult’ characters – I use the inverted commas, because adult does not begin to do them justice, some of them are centuries old. Del is a teenage girl, Ash is a teenage boy, coming from opposing factions, impossible to be together but have that attraction anyway, parents never going to approve...
But the author manages, as all the good ones do, to put her own spin on the common tropes and to invest the characters with enough of their own personalities to make it work and work well.
Del is a half-demon, Ash an Angel Blood, both feel constricted by the rules that govern their society and Del particularly wants out. She resents being turned from human to demon, and all that means, including the loss of her memories. She has reached the point of her transformation where she must cement her place as a member of the pack run by one of the most powerful demons in the area, Raven. To do this she must take a life, and not wanting to do so puts her on the run.
There is a third character, Rose. She is being protected by a neutral group, who want only to keep her safe. She is, however, considered to be the recipient of the Heart Blade, a near mythical weapon that can bring (in simple terms) good or evil. And everyone wants her and are willing to play dirty to get her.
It sets up a three pronged story, with a few other interesting characters added to the mix, as the majority of characters are after Rose, while one or two are trying to track down Del.
The story is told deftly, and with some perfect set pieces that keep the adrenaline flowing nicely for the reader. It is not over the top action, allowing for some interesting characters, their development and some interesting world building.
Points of interest include the supernatural elements are not all equal; some seem to be dying out, while despite the laws and agreements in place some are more than willing to twist the rules to the edge of breaking to get what they want. This leads to a level of feuding, animosity and half paid grudges, all that add fire to the flames.
One of the most important ideas, are the soul blades – weapons that are used mostly by the demons, forged from their discarded mortal souls and drawn from their hearts rather than a sheath.
There are some lovely twists and turns throughout, with a couple of really big ‘wrongfooters’ that do what they are meant to do, are logical and not just for shock. The fact that I got annoyed with the characters is another sure sign the Mills is telling a story that works, if you did not care for, or hate characters then there would be something wrong.
Finally, the book finishes with a twist that is so delicious that it makes it all the more special, and as with all good twists it is so logical in hindsight that you want to say that you always saw it coming.
But you didn’t.
The author has woven a complex tale with wonderful, three-dimensional characters who captivated me from the first page. Somehow she kept all the strands of the story spinning and brought them together in a finale that will spoil me for lesser books for some time to come.
Now I can't wait to get hold of the next one in the series (although this one happily stands alone).
This is such an exciting new author. After all the teen fiction involving vampires that flooded the market a few years ago, I didn't think I'd ever enjoy another book featuring vampires, werewolves, witches, demons and angels, but this author has created an original and fascinating world.
I loved that it turned a lot of urban fantasy I had read on its head. The main characters, Del, Ash and Rose were well formed. The threads that connected Rose and Del had me on the edge of my seat. Whilst I know this is a young adult I'd love a book with Ash's father as the main character - he's kind of eye candy for the middle-aged female reader.
I found Heart Blade an original, gripping, well written but also an easy read. Can't wait for the sequel. This was a book I could have continued to read well after the reasonably (for the first book in a series) conclusion.
It takes place in a world recognisable as our own except for one detail: preternatural creatures from myths and folklore such as demons not only exist but are also bound by a covenant, a fragile peace between factions living among regular humans. This, I think, is one of the book’s great strengths: a well thought out system that complements the characters and plot, working in symbiosis to deliver a great story that stands as a terrific debut.
Although the main protagonists are teenagers, Heart Blade transcends the YA umbrella and has much to recommend it to anyone who likes Urban Fantasy, but perhaps most of it it’s the well-drawn characters and tight plotting that make this such a great read and a fine opening to a series.