Bloodline Rising

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Overview

A story of loyalties tested, secrets exposed, and one boy’s search for identity amid the tangled political intrigue and deception of the Dark Ages.

A young thief known as "the Ghost" roams seventh-century Constantinople, tangling in political feuds and petty theft, using his eerie gifts of persuasion and stealth. With his father away at war and his mother devastated by his little sister’s death, Cai would rather be anywhere than at home. But when a rival ambushes and sells Cai ...

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Overview

A story of loyalties tested, secrets exposed, and one boy’s search for identity amid the tangled political intrigue and deception of the Dark Ages.

A young thief known as "the Ghost" roams seventh-century Constantinople, tangling in political feuds and petty theft, using his eerie gifts of persuasion and stealth. With his father away at war and his mother devastated by his little sister’s death, Cai would rather be anywhere than at home. But when a rival ambushes and sells Cai as a slave, he begins to regret his choices. Aboard the slavers’ ship, Cai travels far from the warmth of Constantinople into his parents’ homeland — the forbidding land of Britain, where war is brewing between tribes. Bought by a clan head, Cai finds a new life as a tribal member, and using his uncanny talents, is put to work as a spy. The secrets he discovers, however, kindle doubt and disloyalty in his heart. Adrift in a society he still feels apart from, Cai seeks truth and revenge, throwing his life to the wind with startling results.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Katie Bickley
With an intriguing premise and a well-received companion novel, Bloodline Rising is a book with a lot of potential. The premise, however, is fleshed out with flat characters and a muddled plot, especially in the latter part of the story, making this a distinctly unsatisfying read. While it may find an audience with die-hard fans of the likes of Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley, it is unlikely to become a classic in YA fantasy. Reviewer: Katie Bickley, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Heather Christensen
This companion novel to Bloodline (Candlewick, 2009/VOYA April 2009) tells the story of Essa's son, Cai (not to be confused with Essa's father—also named Cai), who at thirteen runs the streets of seventh-century Constantinople as a gifted thief. Known as the Ghost for his uncanny ability to disappear into the shadows, Cai wins the favor of the Emperor of Thieves, and finds himself smack dab in the middle of a political intrigue at the highest level. Unfortunately for Cai, things go horribly wrong, and before he knows it, he is on a slave ship bound for the homeland of his parents. There, he joins up with Wulfhere of Mercia and, like his father before him, becomes involved in the power struggles of the various warring tribes and factions of Britain. Compared with her first book, Moran does a better job of incorporating magical elements into this mostly-historical novel. Whereas Essa's abilities with animals felt awkward and forced, Cai's talents seem an extension of his character and flow naturally with the narrative. Character development, however, is still weak, and Cai's relationship with his father changes from hatred to longing without a believable transition. The historic components remain the novel's strength, particularly those dealing with the conflict between pagan beliefs and the new Christian religion. Readers will discover a divisive and violent England not yet unified under one king and culture. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Cai is known as The Ghost, the best thief in seventh-century Constantinople, but he cannot escape the dangers of the life he has chosen or get past the death of his sister. Betrayed by a fellow thief, he is sold as a slave and arrives in Britain, the birthplace of his mother and father, Essa, whose life was explored in Bloodline (Candlewick, 2009). Cai soon finds himself in a very different world and begins to unravel the mystery of why his parents left Britain. Saved by a golden ring given to him by his father, Cai is kept as a hostage, but treated well, forming a strong connection with the family of Wulf, political rivals to his family. Feeling responsible for the supposed death of his whole family in Constantinople and making some unwise political alliances, Cai never feels truly comfortable or able to trust anyone, even his adopted brothers. In the end, he proves his bravery in battle and makes a surprising discovery. Moran creates the feel of both Constantinople and early Britain with accuracy and vivid description. Her characters are well developed and, like Cai, readers are not sure who should be trusted entirely until the end. This book introduces a period not often focused on and gives an exceptional analysis of the complex structure of early Britain. This well-researched, impressive historical novel will keep readers turning the pages.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews

A boy becomes entangled in his family's mysterious past in this stand-alone sequel to Bloodline (2009). Despite his barbarous British parentage, Cai thinks of sophisticated seventh-century Constantinople as home, using his semi-magical powers of stealth and cajolery to gain renown as a thief. When betrayal sends him in chains to his parents' remote homeland, he is ensnared by the bloody heritage his father strove to keep hidden. Adopting the roles of slave, hostage, foster-son, witch, spy, warrior and even prince, Cai struggles to determine who he truly is and where he belongs. While the austerely elegant prose skillfully evokes two very different vanished worlds, readers unfamiliar with the minutiae of Anglo-Saxon history may find themselves lost in its convoluted politics; others may be disconcerted when memorable characters and intriguing plot threads are introduced only to disappear. No matter; the narrative is propelled by Cai's acutely observant voice and vibrant personality: cocksure, scheming, dishonest, sullen, passionate, painfully insecure and utterly irresistible. At its heart, this is the story of a boy's turbulent relationship with his father, torn between resentment and admiration, rivalry and respect, which renders the tale both as intimate as heartbreak and universal as hope.Grim, lyrical and unforgettable. (Historical fantasy. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763645083
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/22/2011
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Katy Moran, author of the critically acclaimed novel Bloodline, lives in Shropshire, England.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo

    Cai can blend in anywhere - making him the perfect thief. He's known as the Ghost. He moves through the shadows and has amazing balance. He gives his loyalty to the King of Thieves, hoping one day to rule his world. Now, his King gives him an impossible task. Cai does his best to retrieve the information requested. However, he hears more than he's supposed to. This information concerns his family, and he races back towards them. In Cai's line of work, there's always a rival wanting to take you down. It happens at the worst possible time for Cai, and before he can figure out what's happening, his world goes black. When he awakes, he finds himself on a ship. He's headed to the very place from which his parents fled. Cai knows that he can't go back home, but he has to create the best future for himself. Could the people his parents fled from be part of his future? This companion novel to BLOODLINE takes place twelve years after that first title. Cai's strong, bold, determined, stubborn, and impulsive. He has a unique sense of honor and loyalty. I loved the time period and the historical aspects of BLOODLINE RISING, but I couldn't quite connect with Cai in this story, which slightly lowered my enjoyment.

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