This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
Blood and Honor
Series: Forest Kingdom #2
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Something From the Nightside, Mean Streets, Agents of Light and Darkness, Nightingale's Lament, Paths Not Taken, Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth, Hell to Pay, Just Another Judgement Day, The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny, A Hard Day's Knight, Hex and the City, The Unnatural Inquirer, The Bride Wore Black Leather, Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Hex Appeal, Man with the Golden Torc, Daemons are Forever, The Spy Who Haunted Me, From Hell with Love, For Heaven's Eyes Only, Live and Let Drood, Casino Infernale, Blue Moon Rising, Tales of the Hidden World, From a Drood to a Kill, The Dark Side of the Road, Dead Man Walking.
Second in the Forest Kingdom fantasy series, and this story revolves around the most horrible family.
Nope, it doesn’t appear to be your usual Simon Green, for it is a more fantastical fairy tale than urban anything with its monsters in the castle — both the ghostly, other realm ones and the human ones. But Green shines with the horrifying descriptions of all the awful, vicious, cruel, disgusting!, nightmarish creatures he creates and the betrayals that abound. Only one of those betrayals rebounds, lol.
This series seems to be loosely held together in that it refers back to the Forest Kingdom from the first book, Blue Moon Rising, 1, but without the same characters. From the horrors of the people Jordan must deal with, the story quickly includes then increases the horrors of the monsters as battle after battle is waged attempting to save the unimportant, save the castle, and provide the princes with amusement.
Jordan was really desperate or else he would have been much more suspicious of how easily they offered him more and more money. I’m surprised he didn’t lash back at Argent about his comment about “a dozen just like you”.
I can’t imagine why anyone would want any of the king’s sons to inherit. The king sounds like he was the best of the lot and that’s not saying much. He was an idiot carried away with delusions of grandeur and not the welfare of his people. Nor can I blame Brion for wanting some respect, but he has a lousy way of going about it.
Interesting that the Regent who is depicted as such an honest man has his own ambitions to be the new king’s advisor. With what he knows about the brothers, why would he think he’d be allowed to live?
Whoa…I think Elizabeth deserves what she gets, but still…
It’s a clean slate in this one, and I’m looking forward to Down Among the Dead Men, 3.
It’s the greatest role Jordan will ever play — and the money they offer is out of this world.
But when Jordan arrives at Castle Midnight, he must wonder if even that is enough. For the Castle has been without half of the restraining hand with the king dead, and Catriona is hard pressed to keep the Unreal on its own side. Monsters are melting through and taking people, rooms.
To win the right to rule, the princes must find the crown, the seal and the will, and they’ve taken too long. The Regent has thrown the hunt open to any with the Blood. The Rite of Transference will allow anyone powerful enough to take the throne.
The more Jordan gets to know the man he’s impersonating, the people who surround him, and the others involved, the more he wants out. For none of them are worthy. And it’s a new hero who steps forth.
The Great Jordan is a down-on-his-luck actor, once acclaimed throughout the land, but no more.
Count Roderik Crichton is an advisor to King Malcolm of Redhart. Robert Argent, a trader, and Sir Gawaine of Tower Rouge are his accomplices. Sir Gawaine’s brother is Vivian Hellstrom (I think he’s the Lord Vivian in Blue Moon Rising); they were the only two who survived the siege at Tower Rouge. Lady Emma is Gawaine’s wife.
Castle Midnight is…
…very old and a place of power. What is Real or Unreal is a matter of opinion. It’s the king and the steward, Catriona Taggert, a.k.a., Kate, who keeps the balance between them. Damon Cord is her apprentice. Brion DeGrange is in charge of security. A former bandit leader, Roderik has him under a geas, forced to serve.
Prince Viktor of Redhart is too ill to appear and undergo the rituals, but he must to inherit. Weak, capricious, arrogant, and vicious, his talent is with fire. The ambitious Lady Heather Tawney is Viktor’s current love.
King Malcolm is dead, which has upset the balance of power. Until the rituals are undergone and the heir chosen, the Regent, Count William Howerd, leads the kingdom. He’s married to Lady Gabrielle, the king’s daughter with an air power. Count Richard Penhalligan, one of the Regent’s staunchest supporters, and his family were not safe in their chambers. Jonathan of Virbrook is the son of Michael and Clarissa Trelawney of Virbrook, only not.
Prince Lewis is the oldest and has a gift for earth magic. He’s a master with a sword and viciously cruel at everything else. He employs the sorcerous Monk and Ironheart, a knight who gave up everything for immortality and is now Lewis’ pet murderer.
Prince Dominic is the youngest brother with a gift for water. He’s also, as Gawaine puts it, barking mad and too interested in the darker magics. He’s married to the cold, calculating Lady Elizabeth, who played Viktor off against Dominic to the point that Viktor was banished for some years. Dark John Sutton works for Dominic with forty-seven kills to his credit.
A sanctuary is a person who radiates peace, ease, and comfort against the darkness of the world. Grey Davey is one of the best, and Mother Donna is another, one of the most powerful, with an aura of peace, calm, and genuine love and caring. Captain Matthew Doyle is one of the reliable guardsmen. Captain Timothy Blood had been a spy for most of his life, now he treasures the trust he has in his fellow guardsmen.
Access to the Stone is dependent on there being a king; it also imparts power to the king and to the steward, who is running ragged with her efforts to defend against the Unreal. Geordie is one of the ghosts in Castle Midnight. He’s looking for his mother, Lady Mary of Fenbrook. The bloodhound came with Viktor’s room.
The High Warlock saved the Forest Kingdom in the Demon Wars. He also made Gawaine his magic ax. Bloody Bones is one of the old creatures, a Transient Being who lived on blood and has been bound to his barrow. A Gateway is High Magic and allows the Unreal access into the castle. A lich is a walking dead man.
The Cover and Title
The cover is, well, it is fantastical in its bright colors. The monsters and Jordan are accurate enough, but don’t count on reading of any almost nude, pointy-breasted women in this.
The title is a conundrum, for both Blood and Honor are important, but only one is respected.