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Posted May 17, 2014
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I received a free digital copy in return for an honest review. What a wonderful tale! I can’t believe that I have not read any of Christine’s work before. She writes in her own worlds just like Tamora Pierce and I know I will enjoy her other stories. This book talks about four kingdoms ruled by four species of dragons and people who band together to right the injustices that one of the species is committing by demanding human sacrifices. It is a beautifully written tale that sweeps you into a magical land where dragons, sprites, and magic all exist. The main characters and their traveling companions suffer from many issues so the reader will most likely identify with at least one. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of her works.
Posted April 29, 2013
I am honestly unsure what to say about this book. An ebook version was sent to me by the author for review and it has taken me far too long to get around to reading it, but I really wanted to love it. In fact, anytime I win or am given a book (either ebook or physical book), I desperately want to adore it. But I didn't. It came off as rather mediocre to me.
I did enjoy main story. I loved the selfish dragons who were sacrificing one girl every year, selecting a new girl for the sacrifice and forcing her to marry. Allowing the couple a year to produce a child and then slaughtering the entire family for nothing more than their own amusement was an interesting idea. Yay for sadistic dragons. The characters fell a little flat to me. The only ones I truly liked were Pan and Brydon. Crisilin and Chalom were too religious for my tastes. In fact, the whole novel came off a little to religious for my liking. I realize that the author has done a lot of Christian novels, but I was under the impression that this wasn't one of them. Either way, I cringed every time they praised/thanked/prayed to Usamah. Leaving my own personal Atheist views out of the picture, it still came off as rather fake to me. I also really dislike Mokuolu. I hate when someone calls everyone "brother" or "sister" and even more so when they pronounce it "brotha" or "sista". ::shudders:: My only other issue was the fact that you are never told Crisilin's age. In the beginning I thought she was 16 or so, but throughout the novel, she is always referred to as a child which implies younger to me. Since she is forced into marriage and expected to produce a child immediately, she can't be younger than 13 or 14. It wasn't a huge deal, it was just something that could have helped me in getting a better feel for the character.
Despite my complaints, I think that anyone who likes fantasy and doesn't have a problem with some religious overtones, will definitely enjoy this novel.
****Thank you to Christine E Schulze for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review****
Posted November 1, 2011
I have actually read this book twice now. There is so much action and depth of relationships throughout the story that I just had to read it again before posting my review. Characters you think you know at the beginning of the book, are full of surprises later on. I completely fell in love with Crislin and Chalom, and felt horror at their plight. I was amazed at their courage and determination to right the wrongs of their land no matter the trials that came their way. Their friends show great depth of character and loyalty.
This is a wonderful YA book, but I also recommend it to adults and teens as well. Definitely for ages 14/15 and up. The only thing that would keep younger readers from reading this book is the "marital" relationship of some of the characters. This is a clean book, no bad language or explicit "sexual" situations.
My Rating: solid 4 out of 5 - MUST READ!
Posted September 18, 2011
I received this book for free for review.
The genre of Christian Fantasy is an interesting one. I haven't read that many examples of it, but what I have read are pretty well done. I enjoyed this one, although I preferred the previous book I reviewed by this same author more.
The story is pretty unique, with lots of description, sometimes to a fault since they do seem to get in the middle of the action, therefore slowing the pace down. The plot is fun, with some moments of well-crafted tension that make the reader turn the pages all the quicker. I loved the riddles in the story. It's always a great detail to add to any book, riddles that make the reader use his or her brain to figure them out.
The writing is a bit uneven. Some parts are very well done, while others suffer from lack of editing, which is a shame since the story has real potential. It's not so much spelling or grammatical errors, but just plot planning that should have been a bit tighter.
I do still recommend it for readers of fantasy, especially those of you out there that enjoy stories that are just a bit different.
Posted August 13, 2011
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite
Bloodmaiden takes places in a realm called Sulamin. Sulamin is divided into four regions with each region ruled by a group of dragons. In three of the kingdoms, the dragons and people live happily together. In Tynan the dragons are cruel and demand much of the people, including blood sacrifice of the chosen one, the Quelda. The new Quelda of Tynan, Crislin and her young husband, Chalmon, have only one chance to live. They must escape Tynan and gain the assistance of the dragons in the other three regions. Their journey is not an easy one, nor is it without danger. Along the way they meet many friends, sprites, dragons and nymphs. Among the dangers they must conqueror are a frozen lake, mountain creatures that try to step on them and a sphinx that demands answers to riddles. The fate of Crislin's people is in her hands.
Bloodmaiden is a Christian Fantasy novel. It has all of the right elements for an excellent read: conflict, supernatural powers, and dragons with velvety wings, tears, and smiles. This book is very descriptive. I could see the dragons as they hung from the ceiling. I could see the beauty of the frozen lake, the mountains, and the caves. Author Christine Schulze took time to develop all of the characters including the secondary ones. She threw in some unexpected plot twists. Earlier I mentioned the riddles. They were fun. I could answer a few, but they were not easy. I thought they added much to the plot. I would recommend this book for 12 and up. I found this book fascinating and will look for more books by this author.
Posted July 6, 2011
In the land of Sulaimon, there existed four kingdoms, one in the east, the west, the north and the south. Each of them had protecting it a dragon. A different dragon type existed in a pact between the humans and dragons that either one, would bring bloodshed and death on the other. They existed to bring about order and harmony in their land.
Yet in the land of Tynan, those ancient pacts have been forgotten. High above in the cold, icy and barren mountains, blood has continued to flow. A new Quelda has been chosen and within a year, she too will pay the ultimate price. Forced to spend an hour each day of her year spinning straw into gold for the dragons, she will marry one chosen for her as her husband. Not getting a choice in the matter, Crisilin hopes above all that within a years time she will grow to love her husband, that he will at least care for her with love and kindness and that in time he can grow to love her too.
When she is presented in the traditional ceremony, she finds that the man on the other side of a blood red and gold door is the love of her life, her childhood friend, Chalom. At least having one of her prayers answered by Usamah, the one who watches over all from the heavens above, she prepares for the worst day of her life, witnessing the death of the previous Quelda at the hands of the dragons who ask for a yearly sacrifice, one in which the fields of gold will now run filled with the blood of the humans.
In the book Bloodmaiden by Christine Schulze, we are taken back into a time of ancient dragons who were sworn to protect the people that lived in their land. Now it seems that the dragons of Tynan have gotten greedy and selfish and wish to remind the humans living in the land just how powerful dragons really are. Armed with the stories of old, Crisilin and Chalom strive to find a way out of the terror that has seize their home and will attempt to restore the home that has been robbed from them for the last sixty-six years. If they can make it across the icy, frozen lake, they will be considered unpure to dwell within Tynan as the reigning Quelda.
Along the way, the will enlist the aid of some unusual beings, from dragons, sprites and nymphs to locate the songs of the dragons that will remove the evil and restore the blessings on their home once more.
I received this book on my Kindle compliments of Pump Up Your Book tours and Old Line Publishing for my honest review. Being a huge fan of the fantasy genre, this one was such a wonderful way to get lost in a land of magic once again and see how pride, greed and arrogance can ruin things until love and harmony are once more restored along Usamah's blessings to reign once more. Caught in a time period much like Narnia, this one will delight and entertain the reader in a magical way. I highly recommend this book to those of you looking to get lost in beautiful, fictional place and rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.
Posted May 20, 2011
Bloodmaiden is a good, quick read - only 200 pages. Chrisilin and her husband have been chosen to be the sacrifices for the dragon rulers of their dynasty. The book starts out with Chrisilin not knowing who her husband is going to be, but knowing that they will be killed within the next year. It's a sad, yearly tradition that the people of this dynasty have to endure. The author did a really good job at making you feel the terror and sorrow that Chrisilin feels, being that it is written in 1st person.
I personally thought that the book was a mix of beautiful descriptions and being overly descriptive. I understand the extent of the descriptions though, as this is based in a fantasy land that people have never seen before so the need for being descriptive is important. It's a beautifully written book, and the storyline was strong. I didn't feel like the characters were as strong. I think I connected more to the secondary characters, and knew more about them which is really odd considering the fact that it's written in 1st person. I don't know - maybe it is just me. I also would have liked to see more romance between Chrisilin and her new husband. Of course, instead of having a honeymoon - they are risking their lives to flee their homeland so the opportunity for romance isn't great. Being the romance lover that I am though, I still would have liked to see more in that department.
Fantasy lovers will really like this book. It also has a lot of suspense and adventure incorporated with their journey throughout the different dynasties. Also, this book is Young Adult friendly.
Posted September 8, 2010
This book was beautifully written and I really enjoyed reading it.
Bloodmaiden is set in the mystical land of Sulaimon. It's four kingdoms are ruled and guarded by four dragon dynasties. The humans and dragons all live in harmony and help one another, all except the kingdom of Tynan. It's dragon rulers require a human sacrifice to be made to them each year. This year, Crislin and her new husband, Chalom, have been chosen for sacrifice. Rather than face their impending doom, they decide to flee and seek help from the other kingdoms. Crislin and Chalom meet friends along the way to help them on their quest
Posted August 6, 2010
In the mystical land of Sulaimon, if the brave young couple of Chalom and Crisilin have any chance of bringing an end to a cruel, longstanding tradition, they must rally the support of their three peaceful neighboring kingdoms - all guarded and ruled by powerful dragon dynasties. Faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, the intrepid husband and wife team contend with a host of increasingly dangerous challenges - including everything from deadly blizzards to the arresting power of disbelief - as they strive to rid their beloved land of evil and reunite the four dynasties of Sulaimon into a peaceful, harmonious whole once more. With only a handful of unlikely "warriors" to help them, though, the unsung heroes must ultimately derive their strength from a source more robust than mere numbers...
Crafted in vibrant, visionary fashion, Bloodmaiden is an all-engrossing fantasy thriller. On par with the likes of Tolkien and Herbert, author Christine Schulze has created a compelling world of epic proportions, populated by mystical figures who find themselves swept up in the throes of a momentous, fateful fight for their very lives. In Chalom and Crisilin, Schulze successfully conveys the selfless valor of heroism while simultaneously depicting the underlying vulnerability that gives rise to such bravery. Realizing that their greater battle isn't for themselves - but rather for the survival of the land they hold so dear - is all the motivation the young warriors need to hold fast to their cherished cause - even at the expense of their own lives.
Highly imaginative and entertaining, Bloodmaiden is a solid new addition to the world of fantasy fiction. A standout debut from a promising young literary talent.