Blood of the Delphi – M. E. Vaughan

Release date: 28 November 2017
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★ – 9/10
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Blood of the Delphi (The Harmatia Cycle #2) blurb:

Rufus Merle is a wanted man.  After twelve years on the run, raising the infant Prince Joshua in secret, the last of the Delphi lie now stands in grave peril.

Sick, friendless and out of places to hide, Rufus and Joshua are hunted by dangerous alchemists, a deranged assassin, and a powerful faerie goddess, who will do everything in her power to turn Rufus into a living weapon.

With the net closing around them, and the sparks of unrest and rebellion igniting across the Kingdom, Arlen Zachary is forced to question his own allegiance between the Crown, and the people he swore to protect.

As the gods play their hands, and the ancient Sidhe prepare to settle a century old feud, Harmatia trembles under the tyrannical rule of a King, whose only commitment is to the dead.

I think that M E Vaughan may possibly be one of my new favourite fantasy authors.  I am spellbound by this series, and I need the next book as soon as possible!  Like, I don’t care if it’s ready, I just need it now.

Blood of the Delphi is the sequel to The Sons of Thestian (TSoT) and I loved it just as much.  The story begins twelve years after the events of TSoT with Rufus and Joshua on the run with the help of the Delphi Knights, Jionat imprisoned in the catacombs under the spell, Arlen and his brothers questioning the decisions that led them down this path, Far returned to the Neve, and Sverrin in his place as King.

Despite being set so far forward, I don’t feel that any of the in-between story is lost.  As the characters reconnect we find out the key points of the last twelve years, and the story is all the richer for it.  I mean, really, there’s only so much traipsing around that you can watch Rufus and Joshua do before it becomes monotonous.  I will say that I am semi-devastated that Rufus and Luca didn’t spend the last twelve years chasing each other through an apple orchard and producing little magi babies that are fluent in six languages and violin experts but, realistically, I knew it was never going to happen (and it wouldn’t be realistic if it did).  But a girl can dream!

Once again, my heart broke in this story.  Just for a very different character than I thought it would be.  Which I really liked!  I am a sucker for a good plot twist (in case you hadn’t noticed) and this delivers in spades.  There is definite set up for the next novel, as there are introductions to characters that have very little to do with this story (that we can tell for now); however, unlike in King’s Cage (*shudders*) there was an actual point to this story and it wasn’t just filler.  Which is kind of what you want from a book…

The characters absolutely grow and change in this story.  In fact, we see very minor characters from TSoT become more significant here, creating this whole additional depth to the original story.  There are definitely things coming together, like a Kaz-Brekker-plan unfurling, but I just can’t see where it will go yet!  Enough hints without giving away all its secrets… I love it!

Suffice to say, I am hoping Vaughan releases book three soon – and she should know that I would be happy to receive an unedited ARC, you know, to help her with the process… 😉

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