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Blood of the Chosen

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Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, two siblings discover that not even ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two. Four hundred years ago, a cataclysmic war cracked the world open and exterminated the Elder races. Amid the ashes, their human inheritor, the Dawn Republic, stands guard over lands littered with eldritch relics and cursed by pl Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, two siblings discover that not even ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two. Four hundred years ago, a cataclysmic war cracked the world open and exterminated the Elder races. Amid the ashes, their human inheritor, the Dawn Republic, stands guard over lands littered with eldritch relics and cursed by plaguespawn outbreaks. But a new conflict is looming and brother and sister Maya and Gyre have found themselves on opposite sides. At the age of five, Maya was taken by the Twilight Order and trained to be a centarch, wielding forbidden arcana to enforce the Dawn Republic's rule. On that day, her brother, Gyre, swore to destroy the Order that stole his sister... whatever the cost. Twelve years later, brother and sister are two very different people: she is Burningblade, the Twilight Order's brightest prodigy; he is Silvereye, thief, bandit, revolutionary.


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Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, two siblings discover that not even ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two. Four hundred years ago, a cataclysmic war cracked the world open and exterminated the Elder races. Amid the ashes, their human inheritor, the Dawn Republic, stands guard over lands littered with eldritch relics and cursed by pl Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, two siblings discover that not even ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two. Four hundred years ago, a cataclysmic war cracked the world open and exterminated the Elder races. Amid the ashes, their human inheritor, the Dawn Republic, stands guard over lands littered with eldritch relics and cursed by plaguespawn outbreaks. But a new conflict is looming and brother and sister Maya and Gyre have found themselves on opposite sides. At the age of five, Maya was taken by the Twilight Order and trained to be a centarch, wielding forbidden arcana to enforce the Dawn Republic's rule. On that day, her brother, Gyre, swore to destroy the Order that stole his sister... whatever the cost. Twelve years later, brother and sister are two very different people: she is Burningblade, the Twilight Order's brightest prodigy; he is Silvereye, thief, bandit, revolutionary.

30 review for Blood of the Chosen

  1. 5 out of 5

    Django Wexler

    Release day! Excited to finally show this to everybody.

  2. 4 out of 5

    charlotte,

    On my blog. Actual rating 4.5 Rep: lesbian mc, lesbian, bi & gay side characters CWs: gore Galley provided by publisher Blood of the Chosen is a very solid sequel to Ashes of the Sun, a book which I highly enjoyed reading last year. Following the ending of that one, this book starts to let the world breathe just a little more, expands it, and leaves you desperate for the final book (2023 cannot come soon enough). The story continues from just a few days after the events of Ashes of the Sun. Gyre i On my blog. Actual rating 4.5 Rep: lesbian mc, lesbian, bi & gay side characters CWs: gore Galley provided by publisher Blood of the Chosen is a very solid sequel to Ashes of the Sun, a book which I highly enjoyed reading last year. Following the ending of that one, this book starts to let the world breathe just a little more, expands it, and leaves you desperate for the final book (2023 cannot come soon enough). The story continues from just a few days after the events of Ashes of the Sun. Gyre is making his way back to the ghouls, looking for allies in his fight against the Order, while Maya is back with said Order, about to be sent on another quest. Unlike the first book, the second opens up with a somewhat slower paced beginning. This makes sense—at the start, the characters are still processing the fallout of the first book’s ending. And, while it’s a slower pace, it doesn’t read any slower. I got through it quickly, and into the action. I also quite liked that it took the time to slow down here, and expand the world within which it all takes place. There were hints of it in the previous book, but it gets more pagetime here. This slowness is also combined with the fact that it’s busy building up to an ending that will blow everything right open. There are questions raised—and not (yet) answered—and mistakes made (looking at you, Maya). All of it gets drawn together towards the end, with the aforementioned mistake. Speaking of which, I think it would be safe to say I found Maya’s POV up to that point quite frustrating. Yes, her actions made sense in the context of her characterisation—she’s naive and trusting, particularly of the Order, because they’ve never given her reason not to trust them. Compare this with Gyre, who’s all but wired not to trust, and you can see why Maya makes a mistake that Gyre, in a similar position in book one, didn’t. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t frustrating to read Maya’s POV, partly because you do have Gyre’s POV. What I found was that I sided more with Gyre than I did with Maya and because I didn’t trust the Order, I was a little annoyed with Maya for doing so. But as I said, this is completely consistent characterisation for me, and I’m looking forward to seeing the fallout for it all in the final book. So, if you’ve been looking for a new high fantasy series to pick up, then let me point you in the direction of this one. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, and with characters that you can easily root for. And, in general, a whole lot of fun to read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Holly (The GrimDragon)

    "Gyre stopped dead, his sword extended. The centarch backed away a half step, cautious, but for a moment it was all Gyre could do to fight his way out from under a swirl of memories. Maya, screaming, the horrified eyes of his parents, the shiver as his knife bit into flesh, and then the pain. The horrible squish as he touched the ruin where his eye had been." Endless gratitude to the rad folks at Orbit Books for sending me a finished copy of this glorious beauty! Blood of the Chosen comes out tomo "Gyre stopped dead, his sword extended. The centarch backed away a half step, cautious, but for a moment it was all Gyre could do to fight his way out from under a swirl of memories. Maya, screaming, the horrified eyes of his parents, the shiver as his knife bit into flesh, and then the pain. The horrible squish as he touched the ruin where his eye had been." Endless gratitude to the rad folks at Orbit Books for sending me a finished copy of this glorious beauty! Blood of the Chosen comes out tomorrow! I've said it before & I'll most definitely say it again, MORE RECAPS WHEN CONTINUING A SERIES, PLEASE!! Django Wexler has a series recap after a reminder of the cast of characters as of the ending of Ashes of the Sun, which is especially helpful during the garbage fire that has been the last two years when it comes to remembering things other than ::tiredly gestures at ALL THE THINGS:: If you remember me passionately shouting about Ashes of the Sun last year (it was a top favorite for me) then you'll imagine that this was a highly anticipated read. Well folks, I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED! Blistering action, complex storytelling & vivid characters (Maya & Beq have grown in their relationship, fighting monsters & squishy emotional moments, ftw!) Plaguespawn & battles & arcanists & ghouls & elite warriors! Goddamn! Blood of the Chosen expands on the complex world of the first installment in what is quickly becoming an all-time favorite series!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Will

    4.8 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... No need to reread or browse Ashes of the Sun just because you’re a bit foggy on the details! I mean, you certainly could—it’s still a damn good read—but should you not wish to, Blood of the Chosen comes with a series recap and character cast up front. Love these; even if you’re up on the series, I love them being there, so the author doesn’t have to spend the first few chapters intermittently setting the stage while recapping the previous. Where As 4.8 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... No need to reread or browse Ashes of the Sun just because you’re a bit foggy on the details! I mean, you certainly could—it’s still a damn good read—but should you not wish to, Blood of the Chosen comes with a series recap and character cast up front. Love these; even if you’re up on the series, I love them being there, so the author doesn’t have to spend the first few chapters intermittently setting the stage while recapping the previous. Where Ashes of the Sun was my favorite book from last year, Blood of the Chosen is a letdown—it’s not quite as good. This is pretty much like finding a golden idol buried in your backyard and complaining that unlike the last one, this one isn’t quite as shiny. Blood of the Chosen is an amazing read in its own right! (Just not quite as good). Fresh from the battle for control of Deepfire (and possibly the continent), Gyre returns to the ghouls a failure. Their leader dead; Kit mostly, pretty much dead; and the plans to overthrow the Order pretty much just as likely. But not only does he aim to spin this defeat off as a minor setback, Gyre thinks that he can even talk them into giving him a ton of ancient tech and weapons and money and turning him loose on the southlands to gain allies and blacken some Order eyes. He even may succeed in doing so, after a fashion. But even if he convince the ghouls, uniting the rebel factions in Khirkhaz won’t be so easy. And defeating the Order—less so. Maya remains with the Order, although she’s a bit unsure of her position there. Meeting with Gyre seems to have caused some cracks, however slight. These are only widened after Maya is sent on a mission to the Forsaken Coast, north and west of Deepfire, to find an Order archive long lost. Lost after the region was overrun by plaguespawn. What she finds here may yet renew her faith in the Order—or shake it to the core. For while she might doubt some of their policies, Maya knows the Order holds the world’s best interests—as well as her own—at its forefront. Unless of course, they don’t. Where Ashes of the Sun began this amazing journey of brother and sister, Blood of the Chosen continues it. Like Deepfire, Khirkhaz has its own share of ancient relics—both those with obvious meaning and others whose use has been lost to time. The backdrop (the setting) may be different, but is no less vibrant. A few familiar faces come along for the ride, too. In addition to Beq, Varo, and Tanax on Maya’s end, Sarah and Kit have joined Gyre as well. Along with these old characters come new ones—each carrying an interesting amount of mystery and depth as well. While the siblings remain center stage and the cast around them fluctuates, it’s still unclear as to just who may steal the show. It didn’t take me any more time to get into this than its predecessor, but unlike Ashes of the Sun, there was a small but noticeable lag in the middle. A minor side mission, for each character. While Maya’s did actually pertain to the overarching plot, I can’t say for sure that Gyre’s did. Instead, this stands out as the one baffling choice amidst an otherwise tremendous sequel. There are some heart-pounding moments in this entry, but some hilarious ones as well. I loved, I laughed, I… never cried, but I did have a lovely time regardless. The action, the romance, the… whatever Gyre and Kit have—all of it was interesting and immersive and exciting. There was a heavy dose of mystery in the air, and not all of it from Maya. While her turn through the archive did sort of steal the spotlight away from Gyre’s second revenge crusade, the two managed to share the focus more or less evenly otherwise. And with that ending…! (The ending was quite good) I can’t wait to see what they get up to in the third! Supposedly this is just a trilogy, but I’d quite like to see a bit more of the world. While Gyre and Maya’s story might be about to come to fruition, I hope the world itself will have more stories to tell. Unless it up and ends in the third book. In which case, if it’s anything like the rest of this series, it’s sure to be an incredible, bloody, steamy, heartwarming ride! I can’t recommend Burningblade & Silvereye enough—anymore than I an wait until Book #3 is out: at the moment titled Emperor of Ruin, release date TBA.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Excellent follow-up to an excellent book. I loved book 1 of Burningblade & Silvereye, *Ashes of the Sun*. It had a lot going for it. The two protagonists were both likeable, compassionate, and compelling; being both siblings and on opposite sides made it really something great. The worldbuilding was both original and deep, with lots of fun eldritch abominations and ancient ruins and all that good stuff. And the story was just plain *fun*. We get much the same in *Blood of the Chosen*. Gyre and May Excellent follow-up to an excellent book. I loved book 1 of Burningblade & Silvereye, *Ashes of the Sun*. It had a lot going for it. The two protagonists were both likeable, compassionate, and compelling; being both siblings and on opposite sides made it really something great. The worldbuilding was both original and deep, with lots of fun eldritch abominations and ancient ruins and all that good stuff. And the story was just plain *fun*. We get much the same in *Blood of the Chosen*. Gyre and Maya have gone their separate ways after the end of the first book, but still stick to their convictions. Maya believes that the Republic and the Centarchs (of which she is one) preserve civilization and keep people safe from plaguespawn. She’s still correct. Gyre views the Centarchs and the Republic as a tyranny, keeping humanity beholden to the vision of a race long dead and allowing no challengers to their power. He is also still correct. Things aren’t quite as perfectly balanced as in the first book, largely because Maya is on the trail of corruption within her order. Necessarily, things aren’t quite as even-handed when Maya is looking at the Centarchs askance herself. But the overall balance remains: Maya wants to deal with the corruption and keep the Order to its purpose, while Gyre still wants to bring it down. He doesn’t want to cause chaos and mass death while doing so, but his determination remains. Maya and Beq are still adorable. Varo is still hilarious. Gyre has the same goal, but a new plan to get it. (As an aside, I find the trope of rebel factions squabbling amongst themselves over the most petty things when they should be focusing their efforts on their collective enemy endlessly hilarious. How much Gyre wanted to tear his hair out over it just makes it even better). My only real complaint is the ending. Not that there’s anything bad about the ending - quite the opposite, it was awesome - but because I don’t have book 3 yet. Highly recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    The full review can be found here at The Quill to Live: https://thequilltolive.com/2021/09/14... I don’t like using gifs in my reviews, but I almost made an exception for this one; I nearly made a loop of Wexler just knocking a ball out of the park. Wexler has a few projects ongoing currently, but the one I am most interested in is his Burningblade and Silvereye trilogy. The first book in the series, Ashes of the Sun, was one of my top picks for 2020; so the sequel was highly anticipated. The sec The full review can be found here at The Quill to Live: https://thequilltolive.com/2021/09/14... I don’t like using gifs in my reviews, but I almost made an exception for this one; I nearly made a loop of Wexler just knocking a ball out of the park. Wexler has a few projects ongoing currently, but the one I am most interested in is his Burningblade and Silvereye trilogy. The first book in the series, Ashes of the Sun, was one of my top picks for 2020; so the sequel was highly anticipated. The second book, Blood of the Chosen, comes out soon and it is everything I hoped for. In many ways, the plot of Blood of the Chosen is just a continuation of the story from book one. For those unfamiliar, the narrative follows two siblings, Gyre and Maya, who find themselves on opposing sides of a titanic conflict between god-like races. One side is made up of powerful magic users, called the chosen, and the other is made up of terrifying biomancers called ghouls. Neither side is particularly black and white, and Gyre and Maya find themselves embroiled in a complicated conflict with a lot of nuances. If you want a more detailed breakdown of the story, read my first review. As for Blood of the Chosen, it’s mostly just follow-through from book one (in a good way). Ashes of the Sun is a book that is heavy in worldbuilding and foreshadowing, setting up a wonderful canvas and plot to entertain and delight. Maya and Gyre both go through their own character journeys in isolation and it’s not until the end of the book that we really see them start to cross paths. As I mentioned in my Ashes review, one of the most powerful aspects of this story is that Maya and Gyre actually feel like siblings who care about one another and struggle to reconcile their burning ideals with their love of their family. It avoids melodrama and tropes in order to tell a more organized, grey, and believable story that enhanced my enjoyment greatly. Blood of the Chosen expands upon this greatly. From page one we begin to see both Gyre and Maya grapple with the fact that their bubbles have been breached and they need to consider new alternative ideas to their political identities. While the literal narrative is slightly predictable, the character growth from Maya and Gyre is an emotional rollercoaster that filled me with adrenaline from start to finish. The end result is the realization of the excellent foreshadowing from book one and a setup for book three that has me watering at the metaphorical mouth. Wexler if you are reading this, I literally cannot wait for book three. In addition to all of this, Blood of the Chosen continues in Ashes footsteps with killer action that brings the excitement. Gyre and Maya’s completely different power suites add creativity and variety to the awesome action sequences. The magic and world continue to feel refreshing in the current fantasy landscape, despite its dystopian nature. This is definitely a science fantasy for those of you looking for the books that slip between the genres. Finally, the humor of book two continues to be great, which adds levity to balance out the more emotionally draining moments. The balance of horror and comedy enhances both and I am always a fan of the combination. I have absolutely no complaints about Blood of the Chosen. It was a top anticipated read for 2021, and it lived up to that expectation with ease. Wexler has managed to crack the code on familial dramas and present something new and creative that I love. The cliffhanger ending of Blood of the Chosen is already killing me, I need the third installment as soon as possible. Rating: Blood of the Chosen – 10/10 -Andrew

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate (BloggingwithDragons)

    I received this book for free from Orbit Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Actual rating: 4.5 stars Blood of the Chosen is the scintillating follow-up to Ashes of the Sun . Some novels suffer from sequel syndrome, but I foundBlood of the Chosen to be even better than its predecessor. With most of the world-building and foundations firmly laid in the first novel, Blood of the Chosen was freely able to focus on the ac I received this book for free from Orbit Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Actual rating: 4.5 stars Blood of the Chosen is the scintillating follow-up to Ashes of the Sun . Some novels suffer from sequel syndrome, but I foundBlood of the Chosen to be even better than its predecessor. With most of the world-building and foundations firmly laid in the first novel, Blood of the Chosen was freely able to focus on the action. Blood of the Chosen was so riveting that I had a lot of trouble putting this novel down to do anything else.  Like Ashes of the Sun, Blood of the Chosen follows a brother and sister on the opposite sides of a war. Gyre, the older brother, seeks to overthrow the Order, of which his sister Maya, is a flourishing member. What I love so much about Blood of the Chosen is that author Django Wexler does such a great job of making both characters and their causes sympathetic. Even though their beliefs are in direct opposition and conflict to one another, I can easily see things from both Gyre's and Maya’s perspectives, which I think really adds to the drama of their decisions and confrontations.Blood of the Chosen easily makes me as invested in the relationship and the conflict between Gyre and Maya as I am in say, the Skywalker saga in Star Wars.  “He couldn’t help but think about his sister, as much as he tried not to. Someday, it’ll be her they send after me.”  And just like Star Wars, Blood of the Chosen takes place in a fantastical world. I absolutely love the lore of the ancient Chosen, the ghouls, and the Order. I love that characters are essentially living in the dregs of what was lost after the Chosen were destroyed by the Plague, and are just trying to survive in a world riddled with horrifying creatures known as plaguespawn. Much of Blood of the Chosen asks, what is worse, the monsters that riddle the earth or the humans with supernatural powers who strive to protect it as part of the Order? Add in two long-lost siblings on different sides, and readers can delight in a spicy family drama with potentially devastating ramifications. In Blood of the Chosen, stakes are higher than ever before, as Gyre seeks to ally the ghouls with the rebels and Maya seeks out answers about the truth of the Order in a hidden library. Maya is joined on her quest by her girlfriend, arcanist Beq, and her eccentric scout, Varos Plaguewalker, and even Tanax, her fellow Centarch. Gyre, on the other hand, is joined by Kit, his ex-lover and now construct, Elariel the ghoul, and Sarah the Rebel. I really love everyone in the eccentric cast of characters, and feel invested in every single one of them. Their bond feels so authentic, their ribs at one another’s expense humorous, and their knowledge of one another’s abilities exactly what you want in a party off to change the world for better or worse.  The only things I did not like quite as much in this novel was that Maya makes a pretty significant and dumb decision in Blood of the Chosen that I saw coming a mile away. I realize that this decision, which has epic and massive consequences, is really gonna heat things up in future entries of the series, so I am not too upset about it, but I definitely lamented that it was the main heroine who had to make such a catastrophic mistake. Though Gyre made a pretty huge error in judgement himself in Ashes of the Sun, he was almost immediately able to correct his poor decisions, and before the novel even ended, Maya is not given the same opportunity afforded to the male protagonist, which made me a little disappointed. However, I have no doubt that Maya will be working toward correcting her mistakes in future entries. I was just disappointed that it seems to always be the female character making earth shattering mistakes out of naivete.  Also, it seems that because Blood of the Chosen was so fast-paced, not as much time was available to give to the side cast of characters. Though I really love all of them, including the newly introduced characters, I can’t help but feel that they’re all more archetypes than actually fully-fleshed out, individual characters. For example, Beq feels more like Maya’s girlfriend and sidekick than anything else. I know very little outside of her relationship with Maya, other than that she grew up in the Order, that she likes reading and arcana, and that her father is also an arcanist. She doesn’t have any scenes independent of Maya, keeping her firmly rooted as a side character. In fact, this is the case for all characters outside of Maya and Gyre, and I would like to see the other characters get to act on their own in future entries of the series. In spite of the fact that these characters are more side characters than full cast members, they still manage to feel pretty dynamic, so it’s no wonder that I can’t help but to want to see them all come outside of Maya and Gyre’s shadow. Even with these nitpicky drawbacks of mine in mind, I was really blown away by Blood of the Chosen I am already fiercely anticipating the next entry in the series, which has honestly become one of my favorites. I cannot wait to see where Maya and Gyre’s journeys take them, and what it will mean for their world at large. *All quotes taken from an ARC and are subject to change at time of publication. bloggingwithdragons.com My Book Review Policy Connect with Me: | instagram | tumblr | twitter |pinterest | facebook | email |

  8. 4 out of 5

    Xerxes

    Blood of the Chosen is a solid sequel to the first book and impresses itself upon the reader in spades of rip-roaring action, infallible characters and humour that fits perfectly with the theme this book is going for. It is a triage of politics, bickering, chosen, corrupted, arcana, and much more. If anything the characters of Gyre and Maya drive the story often forward, at the expense of sacrificing some parts of the worldbuilding which is in my opinion, a good thing. The prose is good in many Blood of the Chosen is a solid sequel to the first book and impresses itself upon the reader in spades of rip-roaring action, infallible characters and humour that fits perfectly with the theme this book is going for. It is a triage of politics, bickering, chosen, corrupted, arcana, and much more. If anything the characters of Gyre and Maya drive the story often forward, at the expense of sacrificing some parts of the worldbuilding which is in my opinion, a good thing. The prose is good in many areas, but sometimes I felt the pacing was a bit slow. Some scenes could have been shortened to quicken up the pacing around some parts of the novel. In a nutshell, without spoiling too much, one sibling fights to destroy the Twilight Order, and the other fights to preserve it. Add in a bunch of rebels, add in people trying to form their own splinter Kingdom, add in Barons and rebels such as the Greens, the Whites that can't agree with each other on anything. I have to say that the action scenes are really well written in this book that resembles something out of a Hollywood movie if they made fantasy dungeons and dragon movies. That being said, sometimes I did feel there were some emphasis on characters' gestures more than their feelings in some regards. As an example, I often felt Gyre was handled unfairly by the women in his life. He needs a real woman that'll love him and bring him solace to his broken heart. He has the makings of a very potential leader. This story has a ton of drama, a ton of political conflicts that would be too hard to summarise in one go. All I know is that you have to read the first book in order to understand the events of the second. It is, a very well written book, and many characters such as Maya and Beq get more scene time which allows us to explore their relationship well enough. This added a lot of character to the story and I liked Elariel's descent into humanity. This is a sequel that triumphs on all fronts. It's a solid 8/10 from me on this one. I cannot wait to read book 3 and thank you to the Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy. I can't wait to read book 3!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    Django Wexler, you master storyteller, you have out done yourself once again. Blood of the Chosen is an exhilarating sequel that improves on it's predecessor in every way. There were some wild and intense action sequences that got my heart racing, in a good way. We got so much more info on the world and the lore throughout this story. Nothing overbearing, it was delivered to you when it was needed. Where Blood of the Chosen really shines is in its outstanding cast of characters whether it be our Django Wexler, you master storyteller, you have out done yourself once again. Blood of the Chosen is an exhilarating sequel that improves on it's predecessor in every way. There were some wild and intense action sequences that got my heart racing, in a good way. We got so much more info on the world and the lore throughout this story. Nothing overbearing, it was delivered to you when it was needed. Where Blood of the Chosen really shines is in its outstanding cast of characters whether it be our two leads or the colorful side characters. I will say though that Gyre and Maya are probably my favorite characters in an ongoing series at the moment. If you have not read the first book then you need to know that these two are brother and sister who were separated at the start of the series and fight on opposite sides of an ongoing war. Now I know what your probably thinking, yeah that has been done before, but what you really need to know is that Django Wexler gives this sibling rivalry, humanity. Gyre and Maya, although spend most of the time separated, have these internal struggles when it comes to trying to reason with one another when they are forced to come face to face. It gives them this naivete about them. Even though they don't really know one another, the bond between blood and family is strong. And while I love that relationship, each of their side relationships are just as strong, especially Maya's and Beq's relationship. Blood of the Chosen picks up pretty much immediately where Ashes of the Sun left us and it wastes no time getting the story started. It might just be me but I hate when there is a sequel that takes the first like 100 pages or so to wrap up book one and then also lay the foundation for book two. Not BotC, this sequel within the first few chapters gets the ball rolling. BotC takes a more exploration approach as we get to see more of the world. Book one we only really got to see Deepfire and the Order, here we take a journey all over the place. This sequel is so fast paced and enjoyable that I fond myself wanting to never put it down. And I didn't unless I was busy with work or dance or sleep. Blood of the Chosen is a terrific sequel and solidifies why Django Wexler is one of my favorite authors. I say, if you have yet to pick up anything by Wexler consider doing so, it is so worth it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Traveling Cloak

    Blood of the Chosen is book 2 in Django Wexler’s Burningblade & Silvereye series, and the follow up to Ashes of the Sun (the first in the series, published in 2020 – a book which I also enjoyed. Read that review here). Blood of the Chosen does a great job of upping the stakes and keeping the tension high. I loved this book. I really love with Wexler is doing with this story. If you read my review of book 1, you will see I was a pretty big fan of it. The story elements are layered and intriguing. Blood of the Chosen is book 2 in Django Wexler’s Burningblade & Silvereye series, and the follow up to Ashes of the Sun (the first in the series, published in 2020 – a book which I also enjoyed. Read that review here). Blood of the Chosen does a great job of upping the stakes and keeping the tension high. I loved this book. I really love with Wexler is doing with this story. If you read my review of book 1, you will see I was a pretty big fan of it. The story elements are layered and intriguing. My favorite part of the narrative has not changed from the first book to the second: the drama that comes with the sibling relationship between Maya (Burningblade) and Gyre (Silvereye). Whatever happens in the story, this situation is always hanging in the background, influencing every decision either character makes. There is so much subtext that comes along with it, the and added depth takes the narrative to another level. And that is just the thing about this book: it would still be a really good book without the family drama. There was already a lot of history baked in to the story elements, but Blood of the Chosen really ups the ante in this area. I do not want to say too much because I do not want to venture into spoiler territory, but this book takes a deep dive into the past. That not only comes through in the active narrative, but it also has a big effect on the ending, too – which was phenomenal, by the way. This book could not have left things in a more intriguing place for book 3 and the finale of of the series. I am really looking forward to it. As with the first book, I am still enjoying the magic, the way it is conjured and its uses. I think it is a really unique setup, and the fact that it is steeped in the remaining story elements makes it that much better. Ashes of the Sun was really good, and Blood of the Chosen is even better. In my opinion, Wexler took what was a really good foundation for a story and successfully turned it into a must-read series. I am excited to see how it all ends.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Swords & Spectres

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Book one of this series, Ashes of the Sun, was my first taste of Wexler's writing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was hoping for the same kind of greatness but taken to a new level due to new developments in the story. What I got was pretty much just the same level of greatness. I know, I know, how can it be a negative if it was great, I hear you ask? Simple: Blood of the Chosen was essentially the same as Ashes of the Sun just an op I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Book one of this series, Ashes of the Sun, was my first taste of Wexler's writing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was hoping for the same kind of greatness but taken to a new level due to new developments in the story. What I got was pretty much just the same level of greatness. I know, I know, how can it be a negative if it was great, I hear you ask? Simple: Blood of the Chosen was essentially the same as Ashes of the Sun just an opposite/mirror image. I know what you're thinking now. Still not made much sense with that explanation. Essentially, what it boils down to is that book one was very much Gyre's stage to shine and book two is Mya's stage. In the first book, Gyre discovered some pretty cool things about the big aspects of his story line and the people that would be helping him. In book two, Mya discovers some pretty cool stuff about the big aspects of her storyline and the people that will be helping her. Book one saw Gyre get new tech and understand it and, in a slightly different twist, book two simply saw Mya understand tech she already had. There are other aspects that essentially mirror book one, but that's all I'll say on the matter. I don't want this review to be just about how both books are essentially the same. There's so much goodness to talk about now I have the negatives out of the way. Like how, if you forgot what happened in book one, Wexler provides a recap at the start so you can dive right in without feeling like you've missed a beat. Or how the world he's created is easy to dip in and out of. It's a very inviting world to the reader that doesn't require insane amounts of remembering to get the most out of it. And how everything that happened in the first two books has set things up so that book three should be absolutely awesome. Everyone has been put on a pedestal, stakes are high, discoveries have been made and characters have been altered in ways that will have some seriously juicy impacts on the story. I very much look forward to book three. I very much look forward to seeing what Wexler will do now the 'he had this book, she had this one' format has pretty much run its course ... unless we have four books and they each get a mirror image again to showcase the exact same story progressions? Hopefully not, though. The writing is very good and, for the most part, incredibly filled with banter. This is both a good and a bad thing. It makes it an easy, quick and enjoyable read, but it also has the drawback of feeling somewhat unrealistic. When things are getting very grave and serious, it's hard to actually feel like it is when none of the characters take anything seriously. I also feel like they all have the exact same sense of humour. It comes across as more as 'this is the author's sense of humour' rather than any particular character's. But, try as might to find nuggets of negativity, I found myself not only devouring this, but being very into it. Into it to the point where I finished it and was frustrated that the next was yet to be published. So, despite the drawbacks I came across, Wexler has done something to keep me hooked. As mentioned earlier, I'll be watching for book three with excitement and a little higher expectation. 

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    3.5 stars Blood of the Chosen is the next installment in the Silvereye and Burning blade series from Django Wexler, following siblings Maya and Gyre as they continue on their adventures. I enjoy this series as a fun steampunky fantasy and the second is just as adventurous and enjoyable as the first, however was suffering a bit from middle book syndrome. Maya and Gyre are on opposing sides as Maya is part of the republics chosen, fighting for the defense of innocents and Gyre is trying to take dow 3.5 stars Blood of the Chosen is the next installment in the Silvereye and Burning blade series from Django Wexler, following siblings Maya and Gyre as they continue on their adventures. I enjoy this series as a fun steampunky fantasy and the second is just as adventurous and enjoyable as the first, however was suffering a bit from middle book syndrome. Maya and Gyre are on opposing sides as Maya is part of the republics chosen, fighting for the defense of innocents and Gyre is trying to take down the republic. It is interesting to see both their POVs as both raise some very interesting points and you end up rooting for them both despite them having opposing goals. The side characters in this series are also great, I really love Kit whose role has changed slightly in this book but she is still as iconic as ever. Also Maya and her girlfriend Beq have such an adorkable relationship and I loved seeing an established wlw couple just being supportive and cute. The last 30% of the book really stepped up in terms of plot and enjoyable. Things came together in a great way with some great payoff of plot threads leading to a very enjoyable ending. I especially loved seeing Maya and Gyre's storylines coming together and seeing their dynamic as a big group and their interactions with each other. Overall I think this is a fun fantasy series which is pretty lighthearted and is very easy to read, with some great and loveable characters but sometimes has a slightly repetitive plot and medicore writing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)

    I finished Blood of the Chosen, book 2 of the Burningblade & Silvereye trilogy a few days back and, I have to say, these books have become some of my favorite sci-fantasy that I have ever read. Or...actually...listened to. Imogen Church does the audio narration and my god they knock it out of the freaking park. I love the character dynamic, the world-building is sublime, the writing is tight, cheeky, and easy to follow along with and the action...well...the action explodes off the page and right I finished Blood of the Chosen, book 2 of the Burningblade & Silvereye trilogy a few days back and, I have to say, these books have become some of my favorite sci-fantasy that I have ever read. Or...actually...listened to. Imogen Church does the audio narration and my god they knock it out of the freaking park. I love the character dynamic, the world-building is sublime, the writing is tight, cheeky, and easy to follow along with and the action...well...the action explodes off the page and right into your face. I gave the first book 5 full stars and I am happy to say that book 2 gets a full 5 as well. Easily one of the most enjoyable books (for me) in 2021.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Mendez

    I enjoyed this book. This is book 2 in the 'Burningblade and Silvereye' series by Django Wexler. Book 1 was 'Ashes of the Sun.' Book1 was one of my favorite books of the year I read it. If you want a TL;DR of this post, I suggest you read 'Ashes' and then 'Blood.' This book 2 improves upon what book 1 accomplished, in my opinion. Spoilers Below! You've been warned. Also, all reviews are subjective. My opinions are my own. I'm writing this review as an author critiquing another author's book, in I enjoyed this book. This is book 2 in the 'Burningblade and Silvereye' series by Django Wexler. Book 1 was 'Ashes of the Sun.' Book1 was one of my favorite books of the year I read it. If you want a TL;DR of this post, I suggest you read 'Ashes' and then 'Blood.' This book 2 improves upon what book 1 accomplished, in my opinion. Spoilers Below! You've been warned. Also, all reviews are subjective. My opinions are my own. I'm writing this review as an author critiquing another author's book, in an attempt to improve my own writing. ________________________________________ BIASES STATED To put this review/study in proper context, you must know my starting point. This is book 2 in this series. I would now be reading book 2 if I didn't enjoy book 1. As a result, as you read this review bear in mind that I am inclined to enjoy it based upon the fact that I enjoyed book 1. ________________________________________ WHAT IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE? • High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy. • Lots of female characters in the adventuring parties. The ratio of male to female is 2: 5. • People who want to see some of the themes of Star Wars explored- namely the potential corruption of the Jedi Order. One of the protagonists (Maya) is a part of the Twilight Order (this setting's version of Jedi) and she's come to realize that evildoers have infiltrated her Order. • People who want to see a fascinating deconstruction of a rebellion story. In this book 2, the heroes must team up with the rebellion against the corrupt Twilight Order... but that rebellion fights with itself more than it fights against the Order. o This struck me as a realistic take on the 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' trope. Sometimes you're just enemies. • Magical swordfights (think Jedi swordfighting duels) • Gross biopunk magic, where the heroes must fight against cobbled together frankenstien's monsters made out of people and random animals. • Adults, with some YA crossover (16+). • There is some fairly gross violence and body horror in this novel, which would not be safe for all audiences. One protagonist incinerates (relatively) innocent soldiers in combat, while the other ambushes and kills (relatively) innocent town guards as a part of a rebellion. • There is no sexual violence. • LGBT friendly, with around half of the main cast being somewhere on the LGBT spectrum. ________________________________________ READER'S EMOTIONAL RESPONSE/ FUN FACTOR I am in this book's target audience. As a result, I am predisposed to enjoy this book. This grading is entirely subjective as a result. If you are like me and in this book's target audience, you might enjoy this. If not, then maybe not. Overall, I give the story's Emotional Resonance: (4.5/5 Stars) (5 Stars= Perfect, 4=Great, 3=Good/Average, 2=Fun but Flawed, 1=Not Recommended) ________________________________________ CONCEPT AND EXECUTION This book's concept is tied up with it's dual narrative. It has two POV protagonists: Maya and Gyre. Maya is part of the Twilight Order. In normal circumstances, the Twilight Order defends mankind from the things which go bump in the night; but in recent years the Order is as much a threat to mankind as the monsters themselves. Maya wants to purge that corruption. Gyre is a rebel against the system, and tries to bring down the entire Order. As brother and sister who care for one another, their conflict has innate tension to it. In this book, Maya is sent on a wild goose chase, working for conflicting factions in the Order. She can't tell for certain which faction is good, and which is corrupt. With her trusted mentor out of commission, she's all alone in the Order, save for her three remaining friends. Whereas Gyre, being a rebel, has lots of agency in deciding on a new path for his rebelling. He makes takes a bunch of new and old friends, and travels to a new city to rebel there. (The city from book 1 being under heavy guard after the events of book 1.) Their story eventually converges. In book 1, Maya was the more prominent protagonist, but I felt that Gyre was the more compelling protagonist in book 2. This isn't to say Maya's plot arc was bad; I was simply more interested in Gyre's. I liked how the author explored the somewhat messier side of managing a rebellion. Overall, I give the story's Concept and Execution a rating of: (B) ________________________________________ CHARACTERS AND CHARACTERIZATION: THANK GOD, the author fixed the Kit problem from book 1. In book 1 I unapologetically HATED the character of Kit. Kit was supposed to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, which is a personality trope I despise reading. Going into book 2, I was dreading the return of Kit. But the author managed to redeem Kit as a character while staying true to her Manic Pixie character type. How, you ask? By adding additional characters to Gyre's adventuring squad. In book 1, for a majority of the book Gyre's squad was just Gyre+Kit. And as Gyre's personality is a lot less forward than Kit, Kit's personality dominated vast segments of Gyre's storyline. I got frustrated because there was just too much Kit. Too much salt spoils the soup. In book 2, the author added 2 more characters to Gyre's squad, so it's Gyre+Kit+Sarah+Elariel. Due to the addition of these two characters (plus Kit being forced to remain in hiding for large segments of the book), Kit's dominating personality is diluted. She became a comic relief character, instead of a main driver of the plot. And to cap it all off, Kit acts a lot less toxic in this book. She and Gyre had a relationship in book 1, but Kit died in book 1 and had her brain downloaded into robots. In book 2, instead of insisting Gyre remain faithful to her even in death, instead robot-kit actively acts as Gyre's (slightly pervy) wingman with the other women in his adventures. In book 1 she was emotionally toxic and demanding upon Gyre, but in book 2 she's (arguably) emotionally healthy towards Gyre. That's character growth as a character. Besides that, I enjoyed the characters in this book just as much as I enjoyed them in book 1. See my book 1 review for details of what and why I enjoyed them. Overall, I give the story's Characterization a rating of: (A-) ________________________________________ PACING AND STRUCTURE As this book contained 2 narratives, I'm going to analyze both of them. Beware spoilers. Gyre Act 1: In The Ghoul Mountain and a Return to Deepfire • This section of Gyre's story was reminiscent of the prior story. Gyre returns to the Ghoul Mountain and Deepfire, which were settings in book 1. • I enjoyed this section, because it rapidly brought me back into the setting and story. It re-introduced characters, new and old, without needing to do a lot of work. I liked the re-intro of Sarah and Elariel, because it quickly re-established their personalities. Act 2: Dissension among the Rebellion • Gyre's squad gets allies and buys resources, and then sets out to the Lightning Barons' barony to join the rebellion there. They smuggle black market materials through the splinter kingdoms, nearly get caught, but finally arrive. • When they get there, they are ambushed by their own allies. The rebellion in the barony is splintered into 4 factions: loyalists, Greens, Whites and Blacks. I liked this development, as I said above. Act 3: Defending Against the Order • To unite the factions, Gyre shows how over powered his cybernetic enhancements are, killing some legionaries of the Republic- including a corrupt member of the Order. • In retaliation, Maya and 2 other Twilight Centarchs (aka Jedi) attack Gyre's crew and the rebels. Using cleverness, and overpowered cyber enhancements, Gyre and crew hold them off. Act 4: Adventure with Maya • After Gyre holds of Maya, Maya and Gyre team up to complete her mission. Maya Act 1: A Hike Through Abandoned Lands- and the Abandoned Village • Maya and her crew are sent on a mission to go to a long-lost Chosen vault. The problem? It's surrounded by eldritch abominations made out of dismembered human parts. • When they arrive, they find a human village. A mad scientist spider wizard has 'domesticated' the people of the village and raises them from birth to grave to use as a source of dismembered human parts. Maya and co. defeat the spider wizard, free the village, and enter the vault. • In the vault, they are introduced to 2 new plotpoints: the radio, and Maya's power dampener. • I liked this section, because it echoed book 1, where Maya and Tanax traveled together and saved a small town from plaguespawn. once again, they save people from plaguespawn. Act 2: Returning to the Forge, and the Bankrobbery from the Vault • In the Forge, the team reports in to their boss, telling him about the radio. He orders her to go steal the radio from a bank vault in the middle of town. • They go steal the radio from the bank vault, with the help of Tanax from the first book. I liked Tanax in this section. I wish he traveled with the crew for the rest of the book. • I enjoyed this section, but I thought it could have been better. For example, the heroes could have made a daring escape from the bank under fire or something. • Listening to the radio, Maya receives instructions from a Chosen. Act 3: Saving the Lightning Barons • Maya and 2 other Centarchs go attack Gyre's rebels, saving the Lightning Barons. However, they fail because Gyre is over powered. Act 4: Adventure with Gyre • Both protagonsits team up, and go complete her orders from the Chosen. • They complete her orders, curing a plague. By curing a plague, they free the Chosen from captivity, because he's no longer afraid of getting sick and dying. • Oops! The Chosen was the antagonist at the heart of the Order's corruption. Not only that, he was the father of the mad scientist spider wizards from books 1 and 2, and all the other plaguespawn. This structure worked. I liked how the protagonists had two different stories in the first half of the book, but in the second half their stories blended together. The author did something similar with the first book, and it worked well there too. The book was well paced. I never got bored. (Additionally, another thing I liked was the fact that this book was a full 100pages shorter than the first one. It felt much tighter, and better edited. Kudos to the author/editing team. No series bloat with this one!) Overall, I give the story's Pacing and Structure: (A-) ________________________________________ PLOT, STAKES AND TENSION While I enjoyed the ultimate twist ending of Maya's plotline, the plot up until the twist end just didn't feel cohesive enough. While I was reading the book, it felt as though Maya was going from one random plot point to another, with nothing connecting them. The twist connected the random plot points, but until the twist I wasn't sold. The twist worked, but until the twist I was disengaged emotionally from her narrative. I wasn't bored with her plotline, but I also wasn't enthralled. I enjoyed Gyre's story more in this book. His frustration with Deepfire felt real, and his decision to take agency and pull up stakes and move felt legitimate. I liked how his smuggling journey nearly went haywire in the splinter kingdoms. I liked how even when he successfully reached his fellow rebels in the barony, he was confronted by yet another problem, this time being the dissention amongst the ranks of rebels. The author successfully used the 'Yes, but/ No, and' storytelling technique. The 'Yes, but/No, and' style is basically when an author ends one story beat and introduces another in the same scene. • For 'Yes, but', if the protagonist successfully does X, they will suffer a setback in the next story beat. As an example in this book, Gyre successfully arrived in the barony, but upon arriving he had the new problem of dissention amongst the rebels. So the success was arriving, but the fail was dissention. • For 'No, and,' of the protag fails to do X, they will move on to the next story beat and have an unexpected windfall. As an example, when Maya and crew entered the bank vault and discovered the radio, they realized they couldn't steal it without letting the people who owned the bank realize they'd broken in, meaning they had to leave the radio behind even if stealing it was their goal. That's a fail. But when upon turning on the radio they made contact with the Chosen, an unexpected boon. The Chosen teaches them to make their own radio, and they escape. I enjoyed the story's stakes, but it was somewhat flawed. In retrospect, I wanted to know more about the Chosen Empire, before they freed the Chosen Corruptor. We know vague things about how Chosen rule was bad/socially repressive, and the Corruptor was bad, but it's all very vague. Vague stakes aren't great stakes. Some more worldbuilding would have been nice. The book's tension was good... but not as good as the first book in the series. At the end of the first book, the two heroes didn't kill one another. I had confidence in this book that once again they would not kill one another. I hope the author changes up the storytelling format for book 3- perhaps by having Gyre and Maya fighting on the same side from page 1- so we can have other sources of tension. I hope the author doesn't use 'will the siblings kill one another?' as the source of tension yet again, because it didn't really work in this one. Overall, I give the story's Plot: (B) ________________________________________ AUTHORIAL VOICE (TONE, PROSE AND THEME) I enjoyed this book's tone. In particular, I liked how both Maya and Gyre are good people who very much so regret killing the soldiers who fight for the opposite sides in their war. This regret served to make the tone feel dark, BUT ALSO helped add nuance to both characters, making them seem like better people. This book's themes included deception and betrayal. The Twilight Order has been infiltrated by corruption, while Gyre's rebellion is filled with dissention and backstabbing. Even honest Maya is forced to double-deal and tell white lies by the end of the story. Similarly, I think this series is developing another theme of the stagnant past being replaced with a new future, where the old deat vs dhaka dialectic is being outmoded and replaced. The antagonist uses both types of magic; Maya's power-dampening crystal uses both types of magic; Elariel (a traditionalist dhaka mage) changes her mind and sees the virtue in crude, modern magic like quick-heal; and Bek (a traditionalist deat arcanist) admits the utility of learning more about dhaka. The world is changing, and the old dialectic isn't holding up to scrutiny any longer. Gyre makes a good point that using dark magic/dhaka is considered illegal by the Republic and Twilight Order because they don't control it. I liked when the author included this. Yes, dark magic can be used for evil- but as we see in this book, so can light magic/deat. I give the Authorial Voice: (B+) ________________________________________ SETTING, WORLDBUILDING AND ORIGINALITY I enjoyed the setting and worldbuilding in this one. I'm not going to be discussing it in depth because this is book 2, but suffice it to say I'm a fan of any setting that has both plasma rifles and crossbows in the same fight and have it not seem anachronistic. I give the Setting: (A-) ________________________________________ AUDIOBOOK NOTES I loved the audiobook. The narrator was Imogen Church, who brought a lot of texture to the various characters. She gave the different people distinct accents; I particularly liked Gyre, Elariel and Kit. She successfully brought out Kit's Manic Pixie Dream Girl, hyper energetic personality forward, as well as Elariel's reserved fish-out-of-water personality. The narrator has great range. I have to imagine was hard work. The narrator's performance probably increased my enjoyment of this book by a solid 5%->10%. I give the Audiobook: (A+) ________________________________________ LESSONS LEARNED • The author uses a very good strategy of employing two protagonists who are opposed to one another for philosophical reasons. Both sides have good points behind their arguments, making the conflict between them more compelling. When they cooperate against a greater evil, it makes the cooperation feel earned. • Have a good idea, and implement it. In this case, the author wanted to explore the ethics of the whole 'Jedi stealing infants' thing from Star Wars. That worked well here. • Get a good audiobook narrator. This narrator was good. • After book 1, I was dreading the return of Kit. I personally wanted the author to write her out of the series. He didn't write her out, and instead found a way to both stay true to her innate characterization while also making her less annoying. Lesson: the author stuck to his guns and made a character who annoyed the audience (or at least annoyed me), and made her one of my favorite characters in the book. ________________________________________ SUMMARY This series is good, go read it. While I'm giving this a bunch of B+ and A- on my technical grading, I think I'll round this up to a 5 stars on my enjoyment index. I enjoyed this read a lot, which is really the only score which matters. Good job for the author.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sifa Poulton

    BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN is one of those books where it's all very interesting and engaging, and the ending feels like it just undermines a lot of the themes and ideas that have come before. The pacing is good, and I like the relationships in the book, but that ending just felt like it came from another book. This book is adult, but the tropes used in the ending makes the book feel a bit more YA for that section. These are not plot ideas that you see in adult as much. However, they are VERY common in BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN is one of those books where it's all very interesting and engaging, and the ending feels like it just undermines a lot of the themes and ideas that have come before. The pacing is good, and I like the relationships in the book, but that ending just felt like it came from another book. This book is adult, but the tropes used in the ending makes the book feel a bit more YA for that section. These are not plot ideas that you see in adult as much. However, they are VERY common in YA, to the point that I am struggling to think of a recent series that doesn't use it, as they fit a very YA theme about authority and trust. I couldn't see it coming from the start, because it's not the sort of thing you'd expect to see in YA. However, once Maya ends up on the path that you know is going to take her back into conflict with Gyre (because they've been apart so they have to end up in the same place but on opposite sides at the end), then the ending becomes very clear if you've read a lot of YA. It just all felt a little too contrived - getting the siblings together and working together but not, and then it all going wrong. It didn't quite feel like it was matching the "everyone is operating questionably, some for better ends than others, but not everyone's willing to admit it" tone of the series so far. It was one of those "and now we're going to dump a big bad in for everyone to rally together to fight" endings, rather than what might have been more interesting if there wasn't a new common enemy, but instead something that altered the balance of the conflict. Am I going to read the last book? Yes - but I am a little disappointed that it looks like the grating differences in outlook aren't going to get the treatment they deserver - or could be so fun to watch - because there's an external force now forcing them to unite, rather than having to confront their own biases.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin G

    Gyre Silvereye may not have found what he was looking for in the Leviathan’s Womb, but it’s given him an idea for another way to destroy the centrarchs and their hold over the Republic. Gyre plans to arm a rebel faction in the southern city of Khirkhaz with banned arcana items so they can overthrow the Republic’s tenuous hold and establish a foothold against the Twilight Order. But the only way to get sufficient arcana is to convince the ghouls to aid him, and the ghouls would rather kill a huma Gyre Silvereye may not have found what he was looking for in the Leviathan’s Womb, but it’s given him an idea for another way to destroy the centrarchs and their hold over the Republic. Gyre plans to arm a rebel faction in the southern city of Khirkhaz with banned arcana items so they can overthrow the Republic’s tenuous hold and establish a foothold against the Twilight Order. But the only way to get sufficient arcana is to convince the ghouls to aid him, and the ghouls would rather kill a human than trust them. Meanwhile Gyre’s sister, the centrarch Maya Burningblade, has recovered from her confrontation with her brother just in time to be assigned a new task: travel to a plaguespawn infested region to access a Chosen archive. One of the senior centrarchs has discovered a new arcana device they think may be key to fighting back against the plaguespawn and their masters. Maya’s all to eager to find answers about the mysterious new plaguespawn that have appeared, but she’s also increasingly aware that there are traitors within the Twilight Order. If she manages to discover what this device does, who will she even tell? BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN is another excellent adventure in this fantasy/sci-fi hybrid world. Its setting is a change from previous book, ASHES OF THE SUN, which spent much of its time in more urban areas like Deepreach. This outing is much more about journeys to the remote areas of the continent, beyond the borders of the Republic. This results in more episodic adventures than the first book as our two heroes travel to their respective destinations, encountering even weirder plaguespawn and new pockets of humanity. While I miss the rebellious city adventures of Deepreach, I liked seeing how the rest of the world has adapted to plaguespawn in the last few hundred years, including repurposing arcana our heroes have never encountered before. I also really enjoyed the two very different views Gyre and Maya have about the Twilight Order. Gyre sees the powerful warriors as lording over the land, ruling only because of the magic in their blood and taking whatever they please in the name of defending humanity. Maya, on the other hand, having had an actually morally decent teacher, sees the Order as a force of good who only interferes where necessary. Even as she acknowledges the insidious corruption that has wormed its way into the organization, she still believes the Order is necessary to keep the world safe. It makes for some rather emotionally charged moments when Maya and Gyre face each other once more, each desperate to convince the other to give up their fight, lest they have to kill a sibling in the process of achieving their goals. Whenever I review or talk about the BURNINGBLADE & SILVEREYE series, I’ve tried to avoid mentioning the obvious parallels to STAR WARS. I hate doing comps that make it appear as if the author just copied and pasted a story, which is not remotely the case here. BURNINGBLADE & SILVEREYE has its own mythology and stands on its own. But what became increasingly clear to me in BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN is that this is a series very much in conversation with STAR WARS and the idea of the Jedi Order. (And that was before I found a piece Django Wexler wrote that flat out explains how STAR WARS gave him the idea for this story). BURNINGBLADE & SILVEREYE isn’t ripping off STAR WARS, it’s examining the ideas put forth in that story in a new context. By and large, Jedi are beloved by fans as noble defenders of good in the galaxy. By creating a new super-powered caste of warriors in a new setting, Wexler forces readers to take another look at the concept they buy into in STAR WARS: how would you really feel about magical warrior monks who could tear you apart with but a thought? When they get to enforce their own views of right or wrong on the world without input from anyone else? Turns out, you really can’t read BURNINGBLADE & SILVEREYE without considering STAR WARS, and I kind of love the books even more for that. Suffice to say, if you enjoyed ASHES OF THE SUN, you’ll find more to enjoy in BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN and it is largely a highly successful adventure. That said, there were a few minor things that bugged me this time around. Kit, who had been a favorite character last time out, is back in a new form after the ending of the last book. Unfortunately, while her new form is endlessly useful, the character herself is largely reduced to complaining how bored she is about staying out of sight and bemoaning that she can’t have sex any more. I also struggled with an end beat that I saw coming a mile away; it was still a well done moment, but being so far ahead of the characters took a little bite out of the scene. All that aside, I am still absolutely in love with this series and will be counting down the days until the final book in the trilogy is released, particularly with the stakes the author set up in the final moments. I also want to shout out the extra steps the author took to make it easy for readers to come back to this series; the opening of the book features a cast of characters (including their fates by the end of book one) and a summary of ASHES OF THE SUN. The glossary in back not only defines objects or locations, but reminds you of where in the plot that item was important. These features are just the cherry on top of an already fantastic book, and I recommend jumping on board before the final book in the trilogy. Note: I was provided a free ARC by the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason Aycock

    Django Wexler invites us back into the story of siblings Gyre and Maya with another epic fantasy adventure story in Blood of The Chosen. I have to say I found this read just as engaging and fun to read as it’s predecessor Ashes of The Sun. If you’re looking for a solid fantasy series to dip into, you won’t go wrong with the Burningblade & Silvereye. Highlights Damn good action/adventure Added depth to worldbuilding Starting to feel for the characters My Thoughts In my review of Ashes of The Sun I ment Django Wexler invites us back into the story of siblings Gyre and Maya with another epic fantasy adventure story in Blood of The Chosen. I have to say I found this read just as engaging and fun to read as it’s predecessor Ashes of The Sun. If you’re looking for a solid fantasy series to dip into, you won’t go wrong with the Burningblade & Silvereye. Highlights Damn good action/adventure Added depth to worldbuilding Starting to feel for the characters My Thoughts In my review of Ashes of The Sun I mentioned that it didn’t blow me away but I did thoroughly enjoy it. More specifically I said: So, where to begin? I’ll tell you now and save the suspense, I was not blown away by this book. But I did thoroughly enjoy it. What I mean by that is it didn’t give me all the feels, it didn’t have grand poetic prose, and it didn’t leave me on the edge of my seat in suspense. But it was some damn good adventurous fun with great action and inventive world building. And sometimes when the world is a trash fire all around you and you need an escape, this is the kind of book you need! The same sentiment holds true for Blood of The Chosen. It picks up shortly after where Ashes of The Sun leaves off and carries the narrative forward while upping the stakes, extends the character arcs, and adds additional depth to the worldbuilding. This series really is some damn good action/adventure. It’s just the kind of story that I can pick up and enjoy from cover to cover; solid and without anything that pulls me out of the read, or that I just don’t like. That’s important to me as a reader. I like knowing I’ve found an author who I can trust to write a solid story, and whose books I can recommend to others. I’ve yet to read Wexler’s other series but I feel confident with what I’ve seen so far with Burningblade & Silvereye that I won’t be disappointed. In Blood of The Chosen we get what I always hope for in a book-two, some added depth to the worldbuilding and character development. In this installment Wexler explores more of the wider world in which the story is set, taking us on a journey into the various splinter kingdoms. In doing so the narrative digs deeper into the reasons why the Twilight Order isn’t as loved as it’s members would hope, fleshes out the make-up of various rebel groups, and delves into the history behind the conflict between the ghouls and the Chosen. In short the story gets more compelling and complex. I especially enjoyed the newly explored region of Khirkhaz with its history and background and the way it becomes central to the book. Going hand-in-hand with the worldbuilding is the character development. I enjoyed all the characters in Ashes of The Sun, but I didn’t really LOVE any of them. Maybe Bec is an exception there. But now I can definitely say I’m starting to really care for them. And not just Gyre and Maya, but the other non protagonists as well. Most notably among these for me is that of the ghoul Elariel who in Blood of The Chosen is going through some things. I also loved the addition of sisters Apphia and Nina among the rebels in Khirkhaz. Making me care for the characters is a sure way to make me invested…and now I really am. Blood of The Chosen ends with a good cliffhanger, one that increases the stakes for all involved and leaves the reader wondering who – if anyone – the characters can trust…even among themselves. I expect things to get really explosive in the next chapter of Burningblade & Silvereye, and I’m so very much looking forward to it. I was sent an ARC of this book by the publisher.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Corey (grimdark_dad)

    2020 was such a ridiculously amazing year for books. When I look at the Guide I made for my Bookstagram of my favorite reads of that year, I feel like I’m looking at not just favorites from the year, but some all-time favorites as well. ASHES OF THE SUN was for sure near the very top of the list for me. Django Wexler took some inspiration from Star Wars and turned it into one of the most thrilling & fun fantasy novels I’ve ever read. BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN is the second book in the BURNINGBLADE & SI 2020 was such a ridiculously amazing year for books. When I look at the Guide I made for my Bookstagram of my favorite reads of that year, I feel like I’m looking at not just favorites from the year, but some all-time favorites as well. ASHES OF THE SUN was for sure near the very top of the list for me. Django Wexler took some inspiration from Star Wars and turned it into one of the most thrilling & fun fantasy novels I’ve ever read. BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN is the second book in the BURNINGBLADE & SILVEREYE trilogy, and it’s every bit as epic & amazing as the first book! This is truly shaping up to be one of my very favorite trilogies OF EVER! This one takes on something of a quest fantasy vibe, but with the story’s dual POVs, we get two distinct groups of characters. At the request of a charismatic older centarch named Prodominus, Maya is tasked with a dangerous new assignment: travel to the Forsaken Coast, a land riddled with plaguespawn, and gain access to The Archive, an ancient Chosen facility. Beq & Varo are, of course, along for the ride. On the other side of things, Maya’s brother, Gyre, continues to try to bring down the Twilight Order, enlisting Kit, Elariel, and Sarah to help rally the proper help to do so. What’s so endlessly compelling about this story is just how diametrically opposed Maya & Gyre seem to be, while still hanging on to just…some shred of hope that the other will come around to their way of thinking. And even then, you start to see these little cracks in the walls, where Maya begins to question things about the Order. She knows full well that there is corruption within the Order. The question is how deep does it run. There are times when both of these characters can seem somewhat single-minded & naïve in their views, and so there’s this really intense push & pull thing that happens when their paths cross & intertwine. Both books in this trilogy have featured some truly mind-blowing action sequences, grotesque monsters, weird technology, and above all else, some phenomenal characters. Maya & Beq are truly a delight together, one of my very favorite couples in fantasy. Their relationship grows & evolves quite a bit in BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN, while still maintaining some of the endearing awkwardness we saw when they first got to know each other in ASHES OF THE SUN. I really enjoyed Varo a lot in this one…it seemed like he had a lot more time on the page than he did in the first book. He has this sort’ve grounding/stabilizing effect on Maya, while also providing some pretty funny moments. His insistence on telling horrifying disaster stories at the absolute Worst Possible Time is fucking hilarious to me. BURNINGBLADE & SILVEREYE is kind of a perfect blend of sci-fi & fantasy, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these books to fans of either genre. These books are fast-paced & fun, but also super gut-punchy & emotional at times. I’ve grown extremely attached to these characters, and Django Wexler puts them in some serious fucking peril in BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN. I read this one in just a few days because honestly, I couldn’t get enough of this story. Goddamn. This book was just so badass & amazing, and I love everything about this world & these characters! Massive thanks to Orbit for the copy!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Bennett

    One feature I particularly liked in this book is there is a précis of the first book at the beginning which was very useful. The second book in this series then gives us much more background on the times before the current setting. Two races wielding inhuman powers nearly destroyed each other in a conflict known as the Plague War and the consequences of that war still affect the humans who remain. A brother and sister from the Dawn Republic end up in different factions, the sister, Maya, as part One feature I particularly liked in this book is there is a précis of the first book at the beginning which was very useful. The second book in this series then gives us much more background on the times before the current setting. Two races wielding inhuman powers nearly destroyed each other in a conflict known as the Plague War and the consequences of that war still affect the humans who remain. A brother and sister from the Dawn Republic end up in different factions, the sister, Maya, as part of the Twilight Order which tries to protect the republic from monstrous plaguespawn. And the brother, Gyre, who saw his sister stolen away by the Twilight Order, and has gravitated towards criminal elements and rebels. This book reveals more about the Chosen and the Ghouls who were the opposing Elder races. Their names suggest their characters, but those names were given by the republic which arose in the ruins of the Chosen civilisation so might not be so unambiguous as they sound. Both the main characters travel outside the republic and encounter other factions which shed light on the benefits and the harm which emanate from the republic. The author is excellent in describing battles both on the individual scale and involving military and guerilla forces. This gives added vividness to the second half of the book where more obvious objectives are fought over. But at the end the destruction comes from the past to power the plot to another unearthly level which presages a world where opposing forces may need to ally in order to fight a new peril. This is another story by this author where the relationship between a separated brother and sister is key to the storyline which is an aspect that particularly appeals to me. (My brother and I have not had any traumatic separations, but I guess I just like reading about the bonds of family – whether blood or found.) Another feature of this author′s style is really great world-building and character work, and I′m looking forward to reading the next book in this trilogy. I had a copy of this book early through Netgalley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heron

    Blood of the Chosen by Django Wexler is the second book in the Burningblade and Silvereye series. With a few caveats, I greatly enjoyed the continuation of this series. The stakes ratcheted higher, the world deepened, and the drama unfolding between the two factions Gyre and Maya represent became even more far-reaching and nuanced. This book does what I want a second book in a series to do, which is layer in complexity to the world while raising the danger and issues the characters face. It avoid Blood of the Chosen by Django Wexler is the second book in the Burningblade and Silvereye series. With a few caveats, I greatly enjoyed the continuation of this series. The stakes ratcheted higher, the world deepened, and the drama unfolding between the two factions Gyre and Maya represent became even more far-reaching and nuanced. This book does what I want a second book in a series to do, which is layer in complexity to the world while raising the danger and issues the characters face. It avoids the dreaded second book slump by being well-paced and keeping the action freely flowing throughout. Gyre and Maya continue to be interesting, compelling protagonists with agency and flaws that make for entertaining reading, and the secondary characters we are introduced to throughout in this book stand on their own as well. It was also, frankly, much hornier than the first book in more ways than one, which will work for some folks more than others, but it definitely worked for me. As much as I adored the additional worldbuilding and expanding upon existing relationships, the thing that knocked this down from a five to a four star for me was the treatment of a returning character from the first book. All of Kit’s complexity and potential in this novel was reduced to non-consensual voyeurism and bemoaning her lack of a sex life; if this had happened once or twice, I would have let it slide, but since these jokes persisted from beginning to end and made her previously compelling arc flat and lifeless, it did impact my rating. Still, this was a great read and has a whammy of an ending that promises an utterly chaotic and dramatic third book to look forward to. If you’re interested in what a thoughtful, steampunk-fantasy conversation with a lot of elements found in Star Wars would comprise, the Burningblade and Silvereye series is one to put on your TBR. Thank you to Orbit and Edelweiss for an advance reader copy. All opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    I was so thoroughly delighted to receive a copy of this book from NetGalley, with thanks to the publishers. I loved loved loved the first book in this series and devoured it last year. Could not wait to read the next in the story of Gyre and Maya. Django Wexler is so skilled in creating a complicated, yet immersive world. I did have a bit of a panic when I read the first chapter as I just couldn't remember all of the details and the words for all of the nitty-gritty and it all felt overwhelming. I was so thoroughly delighted to receive a copy of this book from NetGalley, with thanks to the publishers. I loved loved loved the first book in this series and devoured it last year. Could not wait to read the next in the story of Gyre and Maya. Django Wexler is so skilled in creating a complicated, yet immersive world. I did have a bit of a panic when I read the first chapter as I just couldn't remember all of the details and the words for all of the nitty-gritty and it all felt overwhelming. Fortunately, reading the first chapter of Ashes of the Sun again was enough to jog-start the old mind-tank, and the excellent summary of characters and story so far meant that I was quickly back on board. I think it is definitely worth familiarising yourself with Ashes of the Sun before hopping into this because it is so delightfully dense with detail - in a good way! This book continues on from where we left Maya and Gyre and their companions, who are the best. So much happens and like the first book, the two separate stories canter along until Maya and Gyre are reunited for the conclusion. The characters are spiky, interesting and feel real. The only bad thing about this book is the final page where it says the third in the series is not due until 2023. How will we survive the wait?!?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Raykoda1 .

    Firstly, is it me or is this installment excessively horny? Just me? Ok. I found this installment lacking. Everything good about the last book carried over: The worldbuilding in particular scratches one of my biggest personal itches. But the plot, the events that take place in the story just wasn't as engaging this time around. Maybe the honeymoon period is over after the previous book Ashes of the Sun blew me away, but there's a few good tangible reasons. The mysteries and foreshadowing curdled Firstly, is it me or is this installment excessively horny? Just me? Ok. I found this installment lacking. Everything good about the last book carried over: The worldbuilding in particular scratches one of my biggest personal itches. But the plot, the events that take place in the story just wasn't as engaging this time around. Maybe the honeymoon period is over after the previous book Ashes of the Sun blew me away, but there's a few good tangible reasons. The mysteries and foreshadowing curdled after being left out to long, and maybe this book just needed a better denouement. This book definitely too short. It's shorter than the last one, a pretty uncommon trend in fantasy. But this book felt half baked, incomplete, leaving me hanging. I don't know how long this series is, but I assume given the pace of the last two it's gotta be at least five total, and that It'll all read better in a a binge. I don't think that even counts as a point of criticism; I can't even imagine what reading all of the Wheel of Time books as they came out was like. But in ten years when this series is one of my favourites, I can see myself barely remembering what was in each individual book. Is that damning? I don't know.

  23. 4 out of 5

    KC

    This was an excellent sequel. I often find the middle book in a trilogy a little long and meandering but this was extremely well-paced and exciting. There is a lot more world-building and development in this one and a lot of things that were mentioned in the first are expanded on and a few additional primary characters are added (mostly in Gyre's chapters). The world of Burningblade and Silvereye is a very interesting one, and there is a lot going on in terms of magic systems and history but it' This was an excellent sequel. I often find the middle book in a trilogy a little long and meandering but this was extremely well-paced and exciting. There is a lot more world-building and development in this one and a lot of things that were mentioned in the first are expanded on and a few additional primary characters are added (mostly in Gyre's chapters). The world of Burningblade and Silvereye is a very interesting one, and there is a lot going on in terms of magic systems and history but it's never overwhelming and the information is spread out throughout the novel in a way that makes it easy to understand. I much preferred Maya as a character in Ashes of the Sun and that remains the case here although some of her choices and character development were a little irksome. I did like Gyre more than in Ashes and overall the cast of characters was interesting and engaging. The writing as always in Wexler's novels is engrossing and of high quality. I really enjoy his way of writing character dialogue and it was top tier in Blood of the Chosen. I look forwards to reading more about Maya and Gyre. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rekov

    I have to say, this was a fairly strange book to read. I ended up rather enjoying it, but I fear Wexler is forever doomed to have his other works compared unfavorable to "The Shadow Campaigns." The weirdness of this books comes from the feeling that it was written for a YA audience, but has fairly blunt and crude depictions of sex. The YA feel comes from a whole bunch of things—the age of the characters, the nature of their plots, the rather peripheral romance elements, the appeal to the new relig I have to say, this was a fairly strange book to read. I ended up rather enjoying it, but I fear Wexler is forever doomed to have his other works compared unfavorable to "The Shadow Campaigns." The weirdness of this books comes from the feeling that it was written for a YA audience, but has fairly blunt and crude depictions of sex. The YA feel comes from a whole bunch of things—the age of the characters, the nature of their plots, the rather peripheral romance elements, the appeal to the new religions found predominantly among the youth, etc. And the book is tagged Adult, and probably needs to be given just the sex aspect of its content. If you pulled out maybe six sentences, this book would be entirely YA. It makes for a fairly bizarre combination. All of that having been said, the book does come together and ends up being fairly entertaining. In particular, Wexler does a good job disguising who the villain is, making it impossible for our protagonists, and consequently the readers, to tell friend from foe.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    The adventure continues with my new favorite adult fantasy characters! Maya, Beq, and Varo team up to investigate more mysteries, while Maya's silvereye brother Gyre schemes with his crew on the opposite side of the war. Dark secrets are discovered, fantastic contraptions are flown, and there's a healthy dollop of magic, tech and monsters. The first book in this series, Ashes of the Sun, was the kind of book I both wanted to rush through because I couldn't put it down, and wanted to savor so the The adventure continues with my new favorite adult fantasy characters! Maya, Beq, and Varo team up to investigate more mysteries, while Maya's silvereye brother Gyre schemes with his crew on the opposite side of the war. Dark secrets are discovered, fantastic contraptions are flown, and there's a healthy dollop of magic, tech and monsters. The first book in this series, Ashes of the Sun, was the kind of book I both wanted to rush through because I couldn't put it down, and wanted to savor so the adventure would last as long as possible. The same energy is carried over in Blood of the Chosen. I especially like the dynamic between Maya, Beq, and Varo, but Gyre's chapters were just as compelling. An enjoyable adventure indeed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Mills

    Ignore how long it took me to read this book as I sadly lost my dog during this time and hit a reading slump. However, this book distracted me for short periods of time as I became completely immersed in the author's incredibly rich world-building. I love every imaginative aspect of this world and was gripped by every new bit of information. It's the characters that shone for me though. The push-and-pull relationship between siblings Gyre and Maya was beautifully portrayed and it's rare to enjoy Ignore how long it took me to read this book as I sadly lost my dog during this time and hit a reading slump. However, this book distracted me for short periods of time as I became completely immersed in the author's incredibly rich world-building. I love every imaginative aspect of this world and was gripped by every new bit of information. It's the characters that shone for me though. The push-and-pull relationship between siblings Gyre and Maya was beautifully portrayed and it's rare to enjoy each POV chapter just as much as the other. The side characters are brilliant and I'd love to read a book simply about Varo's many misfortunes. The ending is a huge cliffhanger but it's one I won't soon forget. If only I could summon the third book into my hands though!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amba Kumar

    I loved the previous book in this series and couldn't wait to find out what happened next! Django Wexler serves up another exciting story in a world where magic and technology somehow co-exist, and where everyone,. even the ghouls, are figuring out who the bad guys are. Wexler tells his story through Maya and Gyre, a brother and sister separated as children and now on opposing sides in a magical war. Accompanied by a variety of friends and odd companions, each is on a quest that might mean their I loved the previous book in this series and couldn't wait to find out what happened next! Django Wexler serves up another exciting story in a world where magic and technology somehow co-exist, and where everyone,. even the ghouls, are figuring out who the bad guys are. Wexler tells his story through Maya and Gyre, a brother and sister separated as children and now on opposing sides in a magical war. Accompanied by a variety of friends and odd companions, each is on a quest that might mean their side wins. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the previous book as it doesn't disappoint.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Fun world! I like that it leaves the reader wondering if it’s magic or tech from a fallen colony world. It really could be either one, though with this book I’m leaning towards fallen multi species colony with everything that isn’t misunderstood tech being psychic powers. I also particularly like the conflict between the siblings where neither wants to harm the other but both are certain they are in the right side of the conflict. Excellent series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    Ashes of the Sun was an excellent fantasy and this one is even better. It starts slow and it slowly brings to turn pages, becoming faster and a page turner you can't put down. It's gripping and entertaining, the world building is even more fascinating, and the characters are well developed and their evolution well done. I can't wait to read the next book by this author. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine Ashes of the Sun was an excellent fantasy and this one is even better. It starts slow and it slowly brings to turn pages, becoming faster and a page turner you can't put down. It's gripping and entertaining, the world building is even more fascinating, and the characters are well developed and their evolution well done. I can't wait to read the next book by this author. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mina

    Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this eArc. Wow! I loved this, wonderful continuation of story we got to see in book 1. And it gives you all you can hope for: world so complex, the rebellion, good vs bad, if you can tell which one is which, compelling, amazing character growth, and a stage set for an epic conclusion! Can't wait to see how this ends!? Who is on the right side?! Oh my! Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this eArc. Wow! I loved this, wonderful continuation of story we got to see in book 1. And it gives you all you can hope for: world so complex, the rebellion, good vs bad, if you can tell which one is which, compelling, amazing character growth, and a stage set for an epic conclusion! Can't wait to see how this ends!? Who is on the right side?! Oh my!

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