Blood Ties had a lot against it in terms of my own particular taste.
First of all, the name SCREAMS vampire, but its not.
Second its full on fantasy with its own world and magic and history.
Third, the narrative structure is such that while you are following two main character’s journey, you also get backstory from minor characters. It even switches from third person POV to first person POV for gosh sakes.
How did an agent and editor ever approve this book?
But, you know, they must have approved it for the same reason I couldn’t stop reading despite almost putting it down after reading the first few chapters.
It works. For some crazy reason you’re drawn into this land where a thousand years earlier invaders conquered and basically took over the land. A world where stonecasters regularly foretell the future, and where ghosts walk among the living.
I like how the story doesn’t make easy choices. Romantic fool that I am, when the main female character, Bramble, gets told by the gods that a man will never tame her and she starts a romantic relationship with a soldier, I almost hoped the gods would be wrong, but without being tragic or maudlin, the story takes the non happy ever after choice.
Recommended. I don’t know why. But its recommended.