Blood of the Innocent: Blood Scrolls Trilogy Book 2
Author: Poppy Reid
Publisher: Quest Publications
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
"Villid's journey continues as he braces the freezing mountains in the north. With the power of the Darkma growing stronger every day, Villid has no choice but to leave behind his companion, Aya, and travel alone to ask the isolated Vrana tribe for their soldiers' help in the Red Wars. But when he receives devastating news about the woman waiting for him hundreds of miles away, fighting in the war becomes the last thing in his mind."
This is the second book of the Blood Scrolls trilogy. The first one “Blood of the Fallen” is already published by Quest Publications.
As I am a reviewer (most of the time) of things Japanese so, it is interesting that author, Poppy Reid lives in Nagano, Japan where she works as an English teacher. Originally from Wick in Scotland, Poppy already has two books published by Quest Publications, the third in the trilogy, I imagine will be highly anticipated.
In Blood of the Fallen, the seer had hoped Villid would help him save the village and aid in the war, but when he had been framed for a crime he had not committed, Villid found he had to do what was right to avoid punishment and still save the people.
Considered weak by many of the villagers, Villid desperately clings onto the hope that he will become a better warrior for his sake as well as his mothers as it may get back to the Elders that he isn't a decent enough warrior. And he needs to as the Red Wars draw ever near. Shade is the boy who stands between him and the achievements he needs to prove he can be the warrior everyone would follow. At the moment, Shade is the equivalent of the school bully, huge, dangerous and without pity. Villid has to beat him if he is ever to get rid of him and his cronies, or he risks being hurt again.
Unlike the other villagers, Villid goes by his own code of ethics. He won't hurt or kill anyone from his own clan, yet doesn't think of the consequences that Shade might try a sneak attack to kill him or any of his friends. He must bear in mind what a cruel and nasty boy Shade is, or come out worse. It isn't enough for him t win against Shade, he must deal the final death blow that would end the rift between them. The first part of the story is about Villid's fear of the bully, Shade and how he overcame that fear to defeat him in combat, and once he had, he got sent on a mission to ask the Vrana for their aid in the coming battle. At this point, ViIlid defeating one boy makes him ready to fight in a war. Although it sounds like a good plot idea that takes the story forward to another level, Villid still has a long way to go development wise as he refuses to kill an enemy that would most definitely kill him.
The story starts out with humans ad their lives, then Villid's journey takes him to the other tribes , the half-elves and dwarves. They discover the Vrana believe the humans to be greedy types who desire without giving in return. As a kind of ambassador for the humans, Villid has to change their opinion of them to show the humans' better qualities. What Villid notices from his journey is interesting as the Vrana aren't that far removed from the humans. They have a leader, but no belief in mages or gods, and their food is not as palatable as Villid hoped. Namel's daughter, Pearla has her own method to test the power of earthquakes using wind chimes to measure their sometimes devastating ability.
Here Reid has taken a modern idea and used it well in a tribal society where it would be needed. One of the many things I liked about this book was the setting and the flora and fauna of the region. As they are tribal people, they don't have access to the sort of food Villid would have, so they make do with what they can successfully forage. Footz are the sort of berries I would love to see even though they are best placed in water so that they can peel the flesh, but fish eggs aren't exactly a delicacy of the region, though they do fill a hungry belly. Though the people are alright, they are kind enough to Villid as he is alone, but there are many drawbacks to living and working there. One bonus, however is the Fyrne horses who haves special hooves that are able to easily scale the harsh rocks.
What is different about this novel is that the font is large enough to give the reader the impression it is meant for more adult readers than children or teenagers. A main niggle of mine is the size of text for most teen books tends to be almost minute, so this was an impressive book to get into as you didn't have to worry about squinting your eyes to read it.