I'm hosting a blog tour this week for Blood Ties, by Hazel B. West - lots of good stuff here! Synopsis, review and links - thanks to Hazel for the review copy, and good luck with the book!
In an Ireland that mixes high kings, faeries, and modern warriors who drive fast cars, Ciran, a descendant from the famous warrior Fionn Mac Cool, bands together with a company of young warriors from the legendary order of Na Fianna to go on a quest to recover their missing family members who were captured by the Goblins in a shaky peace between the two kingdoms. Ciran and his companions must figure out not only how they are going to rescue the prisoners, but how they are going to complete their mission without killing each other. Through trial and error, running battles, unexpected friendships, and daring escapes, Ciran and his company come face to face with the Goblin King himself in a final battle that will decide the fate of all involved and of Ireland itself.
The first book in a new series, Blood Ties takes the traditional Irish legends and puts a modern spin on them with a heavy helping of friendship and the love of family.
Title: Blood Ties (The Modern Tales of Na Fianna #1)
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Alternate History
About the Author
Hazel West lives in Purgatory, er, Florida, with her books and her hedgehog Horatio. When she’s not writing, she’s reading other people’s books, studying folklore, or binge-watching something on Netflix—drinking coffee is also a given.
This is a prettily presented YA adventure set in a romantic fantasy Ireland inspired by legends, but in which goblins and mobile phones can co-exist, not to mention fast cars. The story is narrated by Ciran who despite his father’s fears leads a band of warriors to seek his missing elder brother, kidnapped by goblins, and also the brother of the High King. Relations between brothers and friends are keenly examined in a rather male chauvinist world where the women stay at home to cook up feasts and make perfect apple pies, while the men go out to battle – the exception being Caitlin, the warrior maiden, who is one of the band of warriors on their mission, though even she does most of the cooking and laundry. The YA element creeps through amusingly – Ciran is mildly obsessed by his rival’s use of hair conditioner and cologne and Caitlin’s fetching tunics, as well as his fast cars, while he learns about the perils of leadership. I particularly liked Riordan, the slightly older certified berserker who practises yoga and knits while he waits for the battle to begin. There are good action scenes, particularly the main battle, and quirky expeditions into enemy territory (geographically Northern Ireland, interestingly) where they go to the trouble of percolating their coffee in their makeshift camps. The ending is slow but satisfactory, setting up the conditions for the next book rather than leaving us with a cliffhanger. There are also notes on the legends and two recipes! I made the one for sausage and cabbage soup (no, really, it’s delicious – very warming. I used red cabbage and green lentils, and because I couldn’t find sausagemeat in a hurry I went for Lorne sausage broken up. It was lovely!).