Want to read my book review of Talia, Book One of the Talia Series first? Just click the link.
Ancestral Blood, Book Two of the Talia Series, plunges the reader into passion and conflict from page one. Author Christy King’s dark fantasy romance series addresses complex social issues and individual growth forcing its ardent heroine, Talia, to evolve yet again. As a continuation to the sinister dealings and doings of the characters and creatures in Christy King’s nightmarish world, Ancestral Blood raises the stakes and delivers a rich tale to follow up neatly behind its prequel, Talia.
I recommend both books as a Halloween treat for new-adult readers looking to explore mature themes in a shadowy, supernatural fantasy setting.
Ancestral Blood picks up not long after its prequel ends, in the castle of the kingdom of Aerie. Queen Talia is newly married to the man she has loved since her youth, she possesses mystic powers, and she has a worrying secret she does not understand yet must keep from her people. Threats to Talia’s safety and to her kingdom’s safety still loom; addressing the threat of the secret vampire king of neighboring Wyeth, Arden, is immediately apparent. Defying the concerned recommendations of her spouse and her closest companions, Talia chooses to re-enter the dangerous world of werewolves and vampires beyond Aerie’s borders. Once away from the safety of her castle, Talia is swept into an adventure which reveals many startling and terrifying truths about her past, her present, and her future.
Christy King develops Talia as a character across both books and within each book. The intense, heartbreaking journey Queen Talia endured in the first book of the series (Talia) has clearly matured her from adolescent to young adult. I wasn’t a fan of the titular character’s melodramatic personality in Talia; I like her much better in Ancestral Blood. From the first sentence of this novel, Talia’s evolution is obvious and sensible. Ancestral Blood makes me appreciate Talia even more: The odyssey of an immature, petulant queen in Talia established the main character’s depth and motivation in Ancestral Blood. Though still driven by a passion that often seems out-of-control, Talia again matures through self-discovery over the course of the novel. I anticipate that the main character’s experiences in this second book of the series will set Christy King’s Talia as a powerhouse for In Between Gods (Book Three of the Talia Series).
Ancestral Blood‘s casual storytelling style makes it a conversationally intimate read. It’s not pretentious like some fantasy genre offerings; the language is approachable even to the young adult audience—though the content makes Ancestral Blood best-suited for a more-mature, new-adult audience seeking to slip into a shadowy and macabre world of blood, sex, monsters, and magic. The dark horror-fantasy world fueled by ambition and aphrodisia is painted expertly, and author Christy King explores disquieting emotions and grim experiences.
Personally, I had a rough start reading Ancestral Blood. Recalling the supporting cast of characters from Talia was challenging; I wanted a series character glossary on my first read-through of the first and second chapters. Since Christy King writes beautifully tight expository whenever she does reach back to Talia, I think a bit more reintroduction to supporting characters and to world-specific concepts wouldn’t have harmed Ancestral Blood. In time, I was deeply engaged in Ancestral Blood‘s story and completely back in the world. So nothing gets lost or missed in the overarching epic adventure, I recommend Ancestral Blood be read just after its prequel, Talia.
The relationship intrigue and emotional intensity still fatigued me as a middle-aged reader. I had to step out of my current mindset a few times to consider how I would react to Ancestral Blood at twenty years old or even at thirty years old. I would have loved Ancestral Blood and would be anxiously awaiting the release of In Between Gods: the Talia series’s third installment. Ancestral Blood held my attention better than its prequel; I was captivated by its shocking revelation and denouement. This is a world which grew more vibrant from Talia to Ancestral Blood, and I highly recommend it to readers looking for macabre mysticism with a side of steamy sensuality in this high fantasy offering.
Ebook: Amazon (Kindle)