Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Secrets of Blood and Bone - by Rebecca Alexander -

4 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Rebecca Alexander is the author of The Secrets of Life and Death. She has worked in the fields of psychology and education, and has an MA in Creative Writing. She lives with her husband on the coast of England.

Jackdaw Hammond (Jack) calls herself a "borrowed timer." In The Secrets of Life and Death there was a near death experience with Elizabeth Bathory. Jack is alive today only because of her friend, Felix Guichard, who willingly fed her his blood.

A good portion of the book is spent trying to learn what side effects may come with such a feeding.  Jack doesn't feel any different, but so much is still unknown.  At one point Felix meets with Madame Ivanova leading to this quote..."For those who have crossed over from mortal life, blood is energy, joy, warmth.  It is immortality."

After Ellen Ratcliff, the owner of Bee Cottage, dies tragically, Jack and fourteen-year-old-Sadie move in.  Sadie is in a bad way, being kept alive by magic.

There's another family with a son who is dying of a muscular dystrophy type disease.  They believe the recipe for a cure is somewhere on the Bee Cottage property and will go to any length to get their hands on it.

There is also a parallel story of Edward Kelley set in Venice in the 1580s.  Edward is a Protestant, influential in the field of magic, and on a quest to learn more about Alchemy. He's also being hounded by a member of the Inquisition.

The Secrets of Blood and Bone is a literary work filled with complex and interesting characters.  It's a work of fantasy and horror with magic, witches, werewolves and vampires, of a sort. I found the book to be well-written and entertaining.  It was refreshing to read a work with substance.  It might have been even better had I read book one, but it certainly was not necessary.

There is a lot going on in this book, but it does all come  together in the end, although I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a third book in the series.

The Secrets of Blood and Bone is published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.  It's available now both in paperback and e-book formats.

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