cover image Amaskan’s Blood

Amaskan’s Blood

Raven Oak. Grey Sun, $12.99 trade paper (451p) ISBN 978-0-9908157-0-9

The first volume of Oak’s Boahim series, a large-scale saga of fathers, daughters, and sisters in the well-worn fraying-kingdom mode of epic fantasy, strains the limits of suspended disbelief. Adelei is the daughter of King Leon of Alexander, who thrust her into the assassin cult of Amaska in the hope that they would loyally protect her from the king’s enemies. The cult provides a surrogate father who trains her into an accomplished killer. Adelei is hired by Leon to protect her whiny sister, Margaret, and finds herself hip-deep in palace intrigue on the eve of Margaret’s arranged wedding to dastardly Prince Gamun, who’s eyeing Leon’s throne. Loaded with flashbacks and adolescent dialogue, this complicated plot lumbers along, hamstrung by unconvincing characterizations. In an extended denouement following a predictable revelation, Adelei undertakes to save the kingdom, protect Margaret, and discover what truth, loyalty, duty, and family really mean—a tall order for any heroine, and especially for one hampered by clumsy writing. [em](BookLife) [/em]