JP On Gaming

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

[Kinda Book Report] Bloody Rose by Nicolas Eames

So way back when there was traveling in 2018 if I recall. I was on my way out of Nashville airport when I realized there were but a few pages left on my current book. So I headed to the airport bookstore-ish and began searching for something. I had a few selection criteria:
- Nothing in an obvious series.
- Something historical or fantasy

Bloody Rose filled both criteria. So I paid for it and was on my way. It took me three years to finish this book because I forgot it my computer bag. Moved. Then found it recently so I decided to finish it.

I could not get into this world because it just made no sense. Imagine adventurers forming bands and traveling like rock stars, fighting monsters in arenas for money in a world where the monsters are confined to a section of the world. Prescient races that can never be hit in combat. Tour managers. Bards who don't participate but tell the stories of arena fights.

Said like that, it doesn't sound too bad.

Then you add the predictable weak love side-plots. The never-ending cursing and swearing.

Although the characters in the band start off pretty interesting with flaws, hidden motives, and unique abilities. In the end, their challenges are dealt with rather simply and without any real challenge. The drug-addicted Rose just says no to her drug of choice and she wins! The haunted ink-witch releases the tattoos of her nightmare, passes out and WINS! The bard does not stay a bard. AND WINS! Inter-species racism is mentioned, but no NPC ever challenges anyone about the group traveling with "monsters"... WIN!

And my favorite. They show up in a town and everyone obey them because... reasons. WIN!

There clearly is the spark of something nice here, but any hard questions or working through anything is just skimmed over and eventually avoided.

I would be remiss no to mention the cover. That art style is odd but really does it for me. I am a big fan of it and it represent the main characters very well. The cover is a big win.

2/5 without batting an eye. A 1/5 would be too harsh because there is something there that could've been. The characters - as presented originally - are the highlight. But from there it just goes downhill.

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