Novella Review: Blood Phantom by Rhiannon Hart

Blood Phantom (Lharmell, #0.5)

Title: Blood Phantom (Lharmell #0.5)
Author: Rhiannon Hart
Genre: Young Adult, Vampires, Fantasy, 
Publisher: Curtis Brown Digital
Publication Date: 9th December 2013
Pages: 15
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Life in tatters and far from home, Rodden Lothskorn struggles to cope with the harming menace and his own harming nature. When an offer of marriage reaches his friend, Prince Amis, Rodden discovers that the bride’s inhospitable homeland might contain one part of the harming poison he would dearly like to get his hands on. But if summoned northwards, will Princess Lilith bring something – or someone – he dreads most with her? Locked in a years-long struggle with the Lharmellins, Rodden senses the battle is only now about to begin.

My Review:

This short novella gives us a brief glance into Rodden’s life before Zeraphina. I’ve always liked Rodden and I’m so pleased that Rhiannon Hart gave us this short story from his point of view. From the castle as Amis’ best friend and advisor right up till finding Zeraphina and learning what she is – this is a great addition to the Lharmell series. Roddin is the same amazing character that I liked from Blood Song and Blood Storm but seeing the world from his eyes – just made him more well rounded and enjoyable for me.

At only 15 pages, Blood Phantom is just enough to whet my appetite and I am now eagerly anticipating the release of Blood Queen that much more! This remains one of my favourite series and I recommend this novella to all fans of Zeraphina, Rodden and Lharmell!

Note:

I have to say that I adore the new style of cover that Blood Phantom and Blood Queen (expected publication is April 15. 2014) have compared to those of Blood Song and Blood Storm. I feel like this darker theme are more fitting to the amazing story within their pages than the first two books – which whilst gorgeous never seemed to fit for me.

Blood Song (Lharmell, #1) Blood Storm (Lharmell, #2) Blood Phantom (Lharmell, #0.5) Blood Queen (Lharmell, #3)

 

Thanks to the author for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Book Review: Blood Storm by Rhiannon Hart

Title: Blood Storm (Lharmell #2)
Author: Rhiannon Hart
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Vampires, Romance 
Publisher: Random House Australia
Publication Date: 1st August 2012
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The rain wanted to be ocean; the ice in the mountain caps wanted freedom. I never knew that water held such longing. The clouds above my head rumbled like a growling wolf, impatient to release their burden. I held the rain there a moment longer. I turned to Renata, heard her gasp and knew my eyes glowed blue.

I spoke a single word. ‘Rain.’

In the Second Book of Lharmell, Zeraphina and Rodden must travel across the sea to find the elusive ingredients that will help them to win the coming battle against the Lharmellin – but shadows from Rodden’s dark past may come back to haunt him. And while she learns to harness her new abilities, Zeraphina still fights the hunger that makes her crave the north – not to mention avoiding her mother, who wants to see her wayward daughter married to a prince at all costs.

My Review:

Five months after Blood Song finished, Zeraphina is still in Pergamia and has been extremely busy. Training with her trusty bow and arrow – as well as her drain cat, Leap and loyal eagle, Griffin – Rodden has been trying to get Zeraphina prepared for fighting the Lharmellians. With her seventeenth birthday approaching, there’s more to worry about than just the Harmings – her mother, Renata, is finding potential Princes who would be willing to marry the somewhat wayward princess. Trying to fight both her destiny and the blood tie to Lharmell, Zeraphina and Rodden set out to collect supplies for a weapon deadly to all with Lharmellian blood.

Zeraphina is one of those heroines that make me like her more with every word I read about her. She’s fiercely loyal and smart. Her bloodthirstiness (and not just the thirst-quenching kind) is somehow admirable. I adored how she took care of Rodden, both physically and emotionally. She’s brave and even when things are at their most dire, she’s starting to behave like a potential queen and is looking out for those who can’t look out for themselves.

I loved the relationship that has been brewing between Rodden and Zeraphina since the first time we met the King’s Advisor in Blood Song. They have chemistry but with the class system and Renata so violently opposed to their relationship it feels like they are doomed from the start. Regardless of the potential (and probably) doomed ending, I love how these two interact. They’re not all rainbows and sunshine (however there is a cute fluffy bunny or two). Their world is hard and dangerous but throughout everything I love the way Zeraphina and Rodden treat each other – it’s not often kind but always considerate.

This book developed Rodden’s history fantastically. As he and Zeraphina travel the lands gathering supplies for their secret weapon we get to see just who Rodden was before he became Prince Amis’ best friend. The view of the country and the people who live there added an extra something to this novel and the world in which it exists.

Blood Storm is a fantastic fantasy novel set in a world where the blood-sucking creatures are so much more than your typical vampires. The characters are interesting and the plot gets thicker and more fascinating with every twist. After the way this book finished I am on the edge of my seat with anticipation. Blood Queen will be released sometime in 2013. I can not wait to get my hands on a copy!

 

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart

Title: Blood Song
Author: Rhiannon Hart
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Vampires, Romance 
Publisher: Random House Australia
Publication Date: September 2011
Pages: 304
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
I wanted to turn but I was held captive by the song on the wind. I’m coming, I told the voices. Please, wait for me.

When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated.

Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more.

Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she’s to uncover the truth – but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares?

My Review:

From the first few pages – and you see that Zeraphina has a craving for blood – it would have been easy to dismiss this for yet another vampire story. But you’d be wrong. This book is so much more than that.

I loved it. I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel.

Zeraphina’s homeland is freezing to death. Their winters are getting colder and their people are starving. The only solution the Queen (Zeraphina’s mother) can find is to marry the heir to the throne off to a wealthy prince. Zeraphina’s sister, Lilith, is fine with the decision as she’s fallen in love with her wealthy groom-to-be. Only tragedy strikes when the prince is killed in a hunting accident.

And that’s where this story really starts. Broken hearted and in mourning, Lilith doesn’t want to marry anyone if she can’t have her true love. The country is still starving and the Queen needs to do something quickly so she arranges another wealthy groom to wed her eldest daughter and help pull her kingdom out of its financial turmoil. Zeraphina, content to spend her days with her loyal pets (an eagle and a cat) and practice her archery, is seemingly uninterested in the matters of the kingdom. Except when she starts to feel the urge to go north. She sees a Phantom with blue eyes trying to force her to go north and when the incorporeal spirit steals a piece of jewellery from the young princess, she knows she has to investigate. So she convinces her sister to marry the wealthy prince (who coincidently resides in the north) and together with their mother in tow, the princesses go north.

After a long journey, the royal family finally make their way to the kingdom of Lilith’s intended. Everything seems to be going perfectly – the Northern prince seems besotted with Lilith – but the King’s advisor is instantly suspicious of Zeraphina. Her colouring is different from her sister and her mother and Zeraphina is worried that her secret of desiring blood is going to be discovered…

I loved this book. I know I already said that but I really enjoyed it. The characters are interesting – Zeraphina’s sister and the Northern Prince + family are all a little flat and two-dimensional but in a way I didn’t mind that. It meant they were less distracting from the main story and the only one I was really interested – Zeraphina and the Lharmellians. I thought the creatures were fascinating and I loved the world that Ms. Hart created. You can have blood-sucking creatures that aren’t vampires!

Rodden (the king’s advisor) was my favourite character. I enjoyed how he was equal parts villain, hero and love interest. He perplexed Zeraphina and that amused me greatly. She deserved to be confused! Rodden is such an interesting character – he’s multi-faceted and there was so much about him and his past that I’m eager to find out. I hope the second book in the series delves into his background a little. And as much as I want  to know more about him, I liked being as clueless towards him as Zeraphina was. It added a little extra mystery and suspense to the novel.

The world that this book exists in is an interesting one. You start off in a fairly standard fantasy world – crumbling castles and princesses – and then we’re brought into a very different and exciting magical land. And unlike most magical lands that I’m acquainted with this one is toxic. I loved it. I thought it was new and original and intriguing.

There is so much I could (and want to) say but I’m trying to hold myself back from any huge plot revealing spoilers. I really enjoyed this novel. It started off a little slow for me and I wasn’t really into the story until we met Rodden – after that I was hooked. It’s an original story that has a lot which sets it apart from other fantasy vampire novels.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository