Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 stars)
Faron never wanted to be a thief. But after his home burned down and he was given a choice between life and the gallows, he finds himself the property of a crime lord known as Dageran. But being a criminal is no life for him, and after years of struggling with his own morality, he is ready to end it. That is, until an old bar keep tells him taht his sister is still alive. Set with a vendetta, Faron is determined to escape Dageran and his lackey, Jakal, and find his sister Hadria. Or die trying.
In a fascinating debut to the Growing Veil series, we venture with Faron through Bloodlet as we uncover the secrets of the dead gods, a secret slave trade, and continuing number of missing children. At first it all seems unbelievable, even to Faron. An immortal ruler using children to extend his life? His father was involved? And his own sister could have been taken as well?
But on a bout of hope, he decides to chase after her. With no leads, no clues, he ventures across the country. There is something admirable about Faron’s love for his twin sister; he is determined to save her, no matter the costs. His plight is relatable and well-written, so most everyone should be rooting for him along the way.
I do wish there was a tiny bit more in this story overall; Faron exhibits a switch from fear to vengeance pretty quickly, and while there is a moment of uncertainty, I would have loved to see that explored more. On top of that, not much happens in this book: it’s merely an introduction to the world, and the inflection point for the mission. Which of course, was enough to keep me wanting more…so it’s not too big of a deal! In fact, I’ve already downloaded the sequel, Bloodlines!
T.S. Howard is definitely an author to watch, and I cannot wait to see if Faron gets reunited with Hadria in the next book…or if he continues his ongoing plight against slavery, death, and crime. I guess I’ll just have to read to find out.
What’s it about?
After losing his family in a devastating fire, Faron finds himself in the captivity of the slaver and criminal lord, Dageran. Forced to commit awful crimes in order to survive, Faron grapples with his conscience and morality until he hears whispers that an archaic society is stealing the blood of children to fuel their immortality, whispers that mean his twin sister, Hadria, might not be dead. Death would have been kinder.
With the help of an orphan-thief and an aged tavern-keeper, Faron must blur the lines of morality to escape his slavery and follow a trail of kidnapped children to find his sister. But will Faron find her before her nameday, and what will he find when he does?
Whispering subtle hints of age-old myths, The Growing Veil series is an epic gothic fantasy with elements of paranormal, mystery, and horror. This coming of age story dives deep into themes of the true meaning of family, the weight of guilt, the blurred line of morality, and the terrible cost of doing what’s right.
A suspenseful literary work, Bloodlet is the first book in The Growing Veil series, which continues in Bloodlines and Bloodlust.