Book Review

Blood Requiem

The Nitty-Gritty Details 

Title: Blood Requiem
Author: Christopher Husberg
Publisher: Titan Books, June 2018
Blurb: The Nine Daemons are on the rise.

Once believed dead and gone, Daemons have found a way back into the world. But the only people who can withstand their assault are spread across the face of the Sfaera. Free at last from the influence of assassins and emperors alike, the psimancer Winter sails back to her hometown—only to find a new trouble stirring. Meanwhile, the heretic sisters Jane and Cinzia Oden are beset by supernatural attacks. And soon their allies, the vampire-girl Astrid and the former assassin Knot, must face the terrifying Black Matron.

As new battles are fought, the Daemons creep ever closer to freedom, and the legend of the Chaos Queen may soon be made anew.

The Experience

I have…so many feelings, right now.

You’d think, after going through two books in this fantastic quintet, that I’d be more prepared for all the emotions that these books put you through. Like, this isn’t my first Husberg rodeo. I know how these books go down. I know how invested I am in these characters (read: really invested). I know how high these stakes are (and they just keep raising).

I know all of that, so you’d think, going into reading the third book of the The Chaos Queen quintet, Blood Requiem, that I’d be a little more prepared; that my heart wouldn’t hurt nearly so badly, after going through that rush there in the last, eh, I’d honestly say 150 pages or so. That I wouldn’t literally be covered in chills right now from those last five chapters (and epilogue). How I wouldn’t literally go and check when Fear The Stars is supposed to be released and then be disappointed when I have another year’s wait ahead of me (since, you know, this book just came out a few weeks ago). You would think, by now, I would have learned.

I have not learned.

Shit, this book, though, dear readers

First, let me tell you a quick story about my epic quest I underwent in procuring this book. It’s been my most anticipated release of the summer (although it might be tied with Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames, if I’m being honest), so when June 5th hit, I was super, super, super stoked. Made special plans with the boyfriend to drive an hour to the nearest bookstore (I know, the fact that there are no bookstores within an hour of where we live is both a travesty and completely and morally wrong) and pick up this gorgeous copy–because Husberg is always going to be on my immediate “to-buy” list, damn what my bank account says. We arrive, I fly up the stairs, ready to hold this book in my hands and wondering if my boyfriend will actually stay with me if I just immediately start reading and he’s forced to drag me through the rest of the store so I stop running into everything and anything within 15 feet in front of me; when, suddenly, I arrive on the top floor, only to discover:

The book isn’t there.

Go downstairs, ask very nicely to the person working, where this book is. Have they already sold out truly within three days? For whatever reason that still isn’t super clear to me, they don’t have any copies. So, I turn to my boyfriend, tell him of another bookstore I know 30 minutes away. It can’t hurt to try, right?

Heartbreak number two.

We go home, crestfallen and downtrodden (okay, was), carrying even more books than I planned to buy to compensate for the fact that apparently no one has a copy of the book that I’ve been waiting a year for.

A week goes by.

We’re out shopping and I realize something: this outdoor mall outlet thing we happen to be frequenting at that very moment? They have a bookstore. Dragging the wonderful boyfriend in tow, we begin the quest anew!

And leave once more with books that don’t have Blood Requiem on the title page and Christopher Husberg on the spine.

30840263Friends, I quested for a copy of this book to call my own. I quested and I journeyed and I failed, multiple times, shaking my relationship with bookstores everywhere for what I feel will be years to come. I’m not even sure if I can trust them, at this point. Sure, after that failed trip, I resorted to the online buying option with free two-day shipping, but that’s not the same as going to a bookstore and being surrounded by shelves upon shelves of your favorite things in the world while you pick up the book you’ve been waiting months for and finally getting to smell it and cradle it in your arms and call it ‘my precious’ and…

Ahem.

So, you can see, this book had a lot of expectations from me: from the year-long wait after finishing Dark Immolation to my epic quest to procure my own physical copy of one of my favorite series of all time, it had a lot to live up to. Could this book truly be good enough to be worth that wait, be worth all those miles driven and my now shaky relationship with all my favorite bookstores?

Oh, friends.

Like he always does, Husberg surpassed all my expectations.

I couldn’t ask for a better third installment to this incredible series. An incredible series that, I’m really surprised I don’t see more hype for? Like, how is everyone not reading this series yet? I seriously don’t get it. This book has everything you want in a classic epic fantasy. Hell, I have no doubt it’s going to become a classic for future generations like Tolkien has for us (and always will be, Professor, don’t you doubt that; your books are eternal).

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Nicole, this review told me nothing about the book. It didn’t mention the intense battles and growing political unrest (and uprisings and rebellions that has me rooting for the death of almost every human ((wait, what??))). It doesn’t describe the fantastically detailed battle scenes. It doesn’t point out that Winter is starting to grow on me, even if she annoyed me in the first couple of books. It doesn’t detail how, 3/4th of the way through, I thought I had the ending pegged, because [SPOILER] did [SPOILER] and called it, only to have all of my expectations be completely twisted and now I’m left wanting for book four even more. It doesn’t talk about how fantastic these characters are and how much they’ve grown and how real they feel–let alone how invested I am in them. It doesn’t talk about–

know.

It’s the third book in a quintet, dear readers. This book is spoilers for the main course with spoilers for sides, sauce, drink and dessert. I can’t give you details–even though I desperately need to talk these details out to somebody, please send help–without spoiling the entire book for you. And, dear readers, I just care too much about you to subject you to that kind of fate.

What I can do is recommend with every fiber of my being that you read these books. You read them and you become ensnared and fall in love with them like I have. You read them and finally catch all my sneaky references in these reviews and feel like a badass for doing so. You read them and then come back and thank me after you have, because each book only gets better than the last–and we are not done yet.

So, go.

Read on!

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