Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Juno Books
Running from the remorseless Mor, from the doomed battle at Gamth's Pass, Kirin draws on her forbidden powers to protect her love, Jazen Tor--but too late to save him, too late to retract her "sweetlings," the things she has "birthed" of the spirits of the dead.
The story of Kirin, blood magician, scout, mother, bear-killer, "abomination," starts at a relentless pace and never lets up through skirmishes, political turmoil, prejudice, deadly encounters with the Mor, and the challenges of controlling powers she doesn't understand. In alternate chapters, Cook skillfully guides the reader through Kirin's past, growing up in the shadow of her demanding twin sister, haunted by a marriage gone bad and her sister's brutal murder, but empowered by the teachings and the hidden books of wise old Edena.
When Kirin is saved by the beautiful Lia Cho and suspicious Brother Ato, her life takes on a new set of difficulties and hard lessons to learn, mourning her old love, fostering the possibility of something new. Lia, a runaway student with the extraordinary power to summon lightning, is taken with the mysterious Kirin, in defiance of the priest of Shanira who openly declares Kirin an abomination--damned, someone who manipulates the dead, and draws her power from the blood of the living.
Matthew Cook's Blood Magic is a dark feast of loss and blood and love, a fast paced fantasy in a world reminiscent of Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion, compelling characters with the ability to draw on otherworldly powers, who push the boundaries of life and death. I look forward to reading the sequel next year, exploring Cook's world further, and discovering where Kirin's tale takes us.