Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Blood of the Spear’ by Mark Timmony organised by Storytellers on Tour.
I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).
Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.
Two brothers. One prophecy. A world in peril.
When Kaiel loses his chance to become part of the legendary Daemon Hunters, joining the Bronze Guard mercenaries seems like the logical alternative. It is an opportunity to put his training to use and, more importantly, as the company is currently in the employ of Prince Alesandr, it will allow him to keep an eye on his younger brother, Darien, who’s determined to follow his dream of becoming a Ciralys magic-user.
But the broken continent of Athmay still bears the scars of the war between the Summoners some three-thousand years ago, and an unexpected battle with a daemon – a remnant of that ancient war – reveals the brothers’ connection to a forbidden bloodline. Soon they find themselves on the run from the prince, daemonic hordes, and a prophecy that could break the world anew.
The Blood of the Spear was a book that I wanted to read as soon as I read the premise, as not only do I love Epic Fantasy – and this chonky book firmly falls into that category, but I also love the use of prophecy within fantasy. Especially, when the stakes are as high and complicated as here, and Timmony has used that element so well here. I also have to admit that I fell in love with the cover, at first sight, it has that classic feel combined with a slightly D&D-esque feel to it, and I immediately wanted to know more about what was going on. There is also a fantastic map at the beginning of the book (so an immediate bonus point from me!) and there is also a wonderfully detailed glossary at the back, which I did find myself referencing a few times, as there is a lot to learn about this world.
This leads me nicely into one of my favourite aspects of this book which is the worldbuilding. As you might have guessed from the need for a glossary, there is a lot of detail to this world – and I loved it. Timmony also does an excellent job of weaving the worldbuilding into the story alongside everything else, so that it never felt as though we were being bogged down in the details. Instead, it felt very organic, with the world expanding as the story and the characters’ journey did, giving everything the sense of forward momentum. It was also a beautifully realised world and combined with the writing, made everything so easy to envision – even the most fantastical elements were so vivid in my mind as I read, that it felt as though I was right there within the pages, and it was a disappointment to reach the last page and have to come out of the story.
This same vividness was very much present in the action, and Timmony knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat, especially during the battle scenes. It was a wonderful balance of details, description and a very real sense of threat – and I knew right from the trial at the beginning of the book, that I was going to enjoy the action in The Blood of the Spear and it felt as though it went from strength to strength as the book progressed.
Another strong point of the book is the characters. This is very much a character-driven fantasy, for all that it was the world and action that I have fallen in love with, and the cast of characters are just as well-written, and each one stands out as an individual with their own motivations, fears and arc. Kaiel stole the show for me right from the very beginning, but he certainly wasn’t the only one to shine, and I really enjoyed his relationship with his brother and how that was depicted, and how it changed throughout the story. Sim was another favourite, and I found myself always smiling when he was on the page just because of the sheer strength of his personality (and his inability to hold his tongue half the time). What really got me about these characters, is not just how well-written and unique they were, but that Timmony managed to reach out through all the fantastical elements and the ties of fate, and create a cast of characters that were wonderfully grounded and relatable.
The writing was fantastic, and Timmony manages to bring all the different elements together in a way that feels smooth and organic. The pacing did slip a little in places, with lulls that occasionally seemed to last a little too long and other places where it felt like a lot was happening within the space of a few pages. However, that did not detract in the slightest from my enjoyment of this book, and the writing, world and action were more than enough to keep me hooked by The Blood of the Spear, and I ended up devouring this one in the space of a couple of days because I kept picking it up to find out what was going to happen next.
The Blood of the Spear is a strong start to a new epic fantasy series that I will be eagerly following, and I am so glad that I picked this one up because I had so much fun reading this one, and I am already missing the world. You should definitely be adding this to your TBR if you love detailed, organic worldbuilding and epic character-driven fantasy, and want to be swept along by some truly fantastic writing.
I’m an Aussie, born and bred on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. I was never a sporty kid growing up, instead I developed a keen interest in reading and would spend every minute I could in the school library. Some might say I was ‘hiding’ in the school library, but to those people I say ‘ha!’. It was in the library that I first discovered ‘The Dragons of Autumn Twilight’ by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, which opened the doors for me to countless worlds.
So, while my contemporaries were running around kicking a ball from one end of the school oval to the other, I was a mage cursed with eyes that saw the passage of time upon everything thing they looked at, I was an orphan taken as a slave by an invading army only to become the most powerful magician of his age. I lived the life of a lost warrior, a cowardly prince, a messiah who was the result of a thousand years of genetic manipulation. I was peaceful ranger, born amongst a cruel and violent kin and struggled to find my place and a home in a world where the colour of my skin tarred me with the reputation of my race. I was even a young girl who had the mantle of rulership of her House thrust upon her, along with the responsibility of destroying the enemies that killed her father and brother.
‘Hiding’ in the library let me experience life in hundreds of different shoes – and have more thrilling adventures than I’d find on the school oval kicking a ball around. It also lit the bonfire of my passion for epic fantasy, and I knew from the age of 15 that I wanted to write and give other readers the same experiences I had while reading the likes of Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Raymond E. Feist, Anne McCaffrey, Frank Herbert, and of course, Robert Jordan.
After I finished high school I worked as a mild-mannered shop assistant in a large Australian department store, helping customers in menswear by day then battling dragons and saving kingdoms at night while I read and began to write my own novel.
But it wasn’t until I scored a job at Sydney’s oldest genre specialist bookshop that I really began to make headway on my dreams of becoming a writer. It was there that I was lucky enough to meet many Australian fantasy authors – Karen Miller, Tony Shillitoe and Jennifer Fallon, to name a few – and was invited to be a beta-reader for a number of them. This unique experience offered me a peek ‘behind the scenes’ of novel writing with professionals, and went a long way in giving me the hands-on experience I needed in how to compose story structure, develop characters and build fantastic worlds, as well as offering insights into the business side – publishing and retail – of writing.
It was during this time that I managed to complete the first draft of what is today ‘The Blood of the Spear’ – although the book you’ve read (or are about to read) is a lot different to what I originally had when I wrote ‘The End’! After many revisions, and just a tiny bit of procrastination (don’t @ me!) I finally published my debut novel in May 2021. These days you can still find me on the Northern Beaches, and when I’m not writing the sequel to ‘The Blood of the Spear’, or reading, I’m likely working at Australia’s local bookstore, or playing World of Warcraft.
Prize: The Blood of the Spear by Mark Timmony – International
Grand Prize (1): Hardcover Copy
Runner-Up (1): Paperback Copy
Starts: August 25th, 2021 at 12:00am EST
Ends: September 1st, 2021 at 11:59pm EST
You can enter here:a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.