cover image Bloody Rose

Bloody Rose

Nicholas Eames. Orbit, $15.99 trade paper (544p) ISBN 978-0-316-36253-5

In this hard-hitting, action-heavy follow-up to 2017’s Kings of the Wyld, set six years later, a young woman joins the world’s greatest adventuring band as their bard, only to discover her new heroes come with their own sets of flaws and emotional baggage. For 17-year-old Tam Hashford, raised on tales of heroism and monster slaying, it’s a dream come true to tour with Bloody Rose and the rest of Fable: tattooed sorceress Cura, shape-shifting Brune, and druin warrior Freecloud. They’d rather tour the arenas instead of heading north to fight a new horde of monsters, but when their final gig—the one on which they plan to retire—goes horribly awry, it’s up to this group of misfits to overcome their inner demons and save the world from a cataclysmic evil. As with the previous volume, Eames joyfully mashes rock music elements and epic fantasy tropes to create the equivalent of a 500-page heavy metal guitar solo: loud, frenetic, unpredictable, and gripping. He perfectly depicts the pressures of the younger generation struggling to escape the shadows of their predecessors and establish their own identities, even as times change and the world demands more in return. This is a messy, glorious romp worthy of multiple encores. Agent: Heather Adams, HMA Literary Agency. (Aug.)