New Blood

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New Blood

Book 1 in the steampunk blood magic universe

Amanusa lives in Transylvania during an era where women are not allowed to perform magic. To do so could cost her life. This is fine with Amanusa, as she doesn’t want to do any more than is allowed by law. She doesn’t want to draw attention to herself. She’s happy making small charms and doing a little healing on the side. She lives is a cabin far from town as to not to be bothered though the local band of revolutionaries thinks that she is their healer and comes to get her when her services are needed. So, when a strange man named Jax appears in her clearing declaring that Amanusa is the next blood sorceress, she isn’t impressed and only wants him to go away.
Jax has been searching for the next blood sorceress for years. The last one was burnt but prior to her death she magically imprinted her blood servant, Jax, with her spells and knowledge. His mission, which he was bound to do, was to find her successor. Once found, Jax cannot leave her. Magic will keep bringing him back no matter what he tries. So, though Amanusa orders him to go, he cannot. When the revolutionaries show up on Amanusa’s door and she has to go to their camp, Jax has to come also.
How is she going to hide a male servant from ruthless men? Can she come to accept that she is the next blood sorceress? With it against the law to practice magic in Transylvania, what will Amanusa do?
Across the world there is a growing problem. There are places that are dying. Everything in these zones is dead, including magic. Those possessing magic cannot survive in them and yet they can’t stop them from growing either. A special meeting of the world’s representatives of magic is gathered to try to figure this deadly problem out. Now, they find that there are strange machines roaming the dead zones. What are they? How do they work? Can anyone capture one for study?
Things really heat up during this gathering when it is made know that there is a new blood sorceress. Rumors fly about what a blood sorceress can and cannot do. Other men are outraged that a woman would be allowed to practice magic with their inferior minds. Blood sorcery is seen as evil but is it? Are those rumors true or are they just made up like so many of the myths that surround magic? 
This book slowly seduced me into its world and wonders. It started out a bit slow and by page 30, I was thinking that it would take me forever to read this 500-page book. As I continued with this story, the next thing I knew was I was up to page 100 something and couldn’t put it down! This story draws you in slowly but surely, capturing your imagination. Storylines intertwine making the reader knowledgeable about several things going on at once and how they interrelate as no man is an island nor do characters act alone. This book defies classification. Is it a fantasy romance with some science fiction or a romance set in a fantasy with some science fiction? Does it matter? This book has enough of each to please the reader of either genre and those that read both will be thrilled.
The characters are extremely well developed and interesting. As the story unfolds, the history of most of the characters is reveled in such a way that the reader is not bogged down in details but is teased into getting to know them. Jax doesn’t remember all of his memories and as they come to him and he shares them with the other characters, the reader also gets to learn them. Of course, when you are over 200 years old, there are a lot of memories! Even minor characters are introduced in such a way that they have some depth to them and are just not there as a filler.
The story is set in 19th century Europe and uses some real history. There were revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire. Travel was mostly by train or boat. Descriptions of the cities were within this time period. This seemed almost to be a historical novel with a magical overlay! 
My biggest complaint was after getting me so involved with this story and its characters, after reading 500 pages and getting some information about the dead zones the story ended and I wanted more! This from a book that had me wondering about reading it at page 30! There are still unanswered questions and characters who stories demand to be heard. I sincerely hope that a sequel is in the works as I want to know about the blood sorceress’s tower, if the dead zones get reversed, if women are able to start practicing magic openly and so much more. This is a world and a time that I’m reluctant to leave but I’m sure Ms Dayton will be back to weave some more magic into her stories.

Book Blurb for New Blood

In 1636, the last blood sorceress was burned at the stake. More than two hundred years later, her blood servant Jax has found her successor. Amanusa at first turns down the opportunity to learn what she perceives as an evil art, but she craves justice.

When Amanusa looses magic on those who've harmed her, she must flee for her life across a devastated Europe with Jax, who is inescapably bound to her by blood and magic. Their journey takes them through zones where everything--including magic--has died. Zones populated with strange creatures cobbled together from things left behind by the dead.

Needing each other for their very survival, Amanusa and Jax grow ever closer on their journey to discover answers--about magic, blood sorcery, the dead zones, and even love.


Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2009 5.00