Review of ‘Bloodring’ by Mildred Gail Digby
I really enjoyed this! This is only my second book read by Digby but I am already a fan. I like her writing style and I love that she changes up genres so much. When I saw that she was going to tackle a WLW fantasy-romance novel, for the first time, I knew I had to read this. In my mind, we need as much good WLW spec-fic as we can get and I’m happy to say that I had fun reading this.
This was an interesting world Digby thought up that is actually hidden away from ours. In this world, you have three main types of magic users: Crystalgazer’s who use crystals to make magic, Wanderer’s who use wand magic, and Ringsworn that use metals like rings. After a big war that pitted Crystalgazer’s and Wanderer’s against the Ringsworn, tensions between the two sides are still high. But when humans in the “Outside” world get their hands on powerful banned relics of the Ringsworn, The Ringsworn and the Wanderer’s must work together to stop the danger before it permanently damages their hidden world.
This story revolves around Lark who was adopted into a Crystalgazer family but knows that she doesn’t really belong. Crystalgazers are country folk, mostly farmers that tend to get married young and have children. Lark knows that’s not for her so she trains to become a Guardian, one of the magical protectors. This book actually starts when Lark is 15 and continues until she is 19, if I remember correctly.
I did have a little bit of trouble getting into the story at the beginning. Lark is what she would call a country bumpkin so there were a lot of “Aw dags” and “nah Mah” so it took me a bit to get used to this country slang. Once Lark is away at training and she loses her hayseed-ness, I found I could connect with her character much more and she was a real sweetheart.
My only other issue was I wished for a little more info from the world-building. I think Digby was trying to not info dump, and she didn’t, but I wished there was a little more info about the different groups near the beginning and how their magic differs. You do learn more as the book goes on, but it took me two-thirds of the book to realize a Wanderer was named for their wand magic. I thought it meant a magician that traveled all around working and helping people. That kind of thing needed to be better explained earlier even if Digby needed to do a little info-dumping. For me, a little is okay in fantasy books.
While I enjoyed the adventure of the plot, I have to say I was even more blown away by the romance. It is an age-gap romance. I believe it is ages 19 and 30, so at least 11 years if not more. It is also between Lark and an ice queen character. One of the old enemies, the Ringsworn and Lark are on a mission to thaw her ice. Violet, the Ringsworn, has lived in an abbey sheltered all her life. So while she is scary and completely dangerous, she’s very sheltered when it comes to love just like Lark is because of her young age. They end up being on a similar page emotionally so you forget about the age gap, or at least I did. I could not get over the chemistry of these two! The sparks were flying for pages. Digby was able to write such clear and in your face chemistry and I loved every second of it. The story was nice, but I was really here for the romance.
If you are looking for a good WLW fantasy book, with a very strong romance, this book is for you. Digby, has hooked me in after only two books and she’s turning into an automatic read for me. I can’t wait to catch up on some of her back catalog and I can only imagine what she might write next. This book has potential for a sequel and I would absolutely read it if it did. 4.25 Stars.
A copy was given to me for an honest review.