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In the Blood

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The Warrior The war may have ended, but a new battle begins for disgraced prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister. But she may arrive too late... The Witch Lady Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she The Warrior The war may have ended, but a new battle begins for disgraced prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister. But she may arrive too late... The Witch Lady Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family's struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord hiding secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic and threats from a cruel blackmailer push her closer to disaster. Through it all, the Witch's Tree calls...


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The Warrior The war may have ended, but a new battle begins for disgraced prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister. But she may arrive too late... The Witch Lady Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she The Warrior The war may have ended, but a new battle begins for disgraced prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister. But she may arrive too late... The Witch Lady Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family's struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord hiding secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic and threats from a cruel blackmailer push her closer to disaster. Through it all, the Witch's Tree calls...

30 review for In the Blood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alina

    ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. I just love when I'm reminded from time to time to never judge a story by its book cover. Never. This book is an epic fantasy and its so well written that I couldn't put it down until I was done reading it. The characters are complex, you just can't help but fall inlove with the twins Ottilde and Oriabel . I liked them both. I liked Hito too and I was kind of wishing for Wilder and Ottilde. These two really fit together. Or eve ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. I just love when I'm reminded from time to time to never judge a story by its book cover. Never. This book is an epic fantasy and its so well written that I couldn't put it down until I was done reading it. The characters are complex, you just can't help but fall inlove with the twins Ottilde and Oriabel . I liked them both. I liked Hito too and I was kind of wishing for Wilder and Ottilde. These two really fit together. Or even with Kala. Yes, I'm weird. The plot is well put together and has shocking moments. Overall , this book puts you into a captivating, dark and mystic world, with witches,warriors and all kinds of bloodthirty creatures. A queen thirsty for power, a new lord who tries to protect his new village, a gifted noble girl who tries to help others and hide her most dark secret, and the other twin, the warrior who felt in disgrace I'm gonna keep my eyes on The Witchbreed Series and I hope to read a second book from it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Book Haunt

    This book really grabbed me from the beginning. It's not often you start a book with one of the main characters being in prison. Ottilde Dominax is a warrior for her country, yet a hated prisoner because she killed the prince heir. She lives day to day fearing for her life and hoping for reprieve. When she dreams that her twin sister Oriabel's life is in danger, she must devise an escape plan. Oriabel Dominax is a healer with the hidden secret of being witchborn. As newcomers descend on Oriabel's This book really grabbed me from the beginning. It's not often you start a book with one of the main characters being in prison. Ottilde Dominax is a warrior for her country, yet a hated prisoner because she killed the prince heir. She lives day to day fearing for her life and hoping for reprieve. When she dreams that her twin sister Oriabel's life is in danger, she must devise an escape plan. Oriabel Dominax is a healer with the hidden secret of being witchborn. As newcomers descend on Oriabel's village she struggles to keep her witch magic a secret but when a new lord is sent to preside over her family's estate her life hangs in the balance. Perfect for fans of Juliet Marrillier, this book is magical and spellbinding. A very quick and immensely enjoyable read. I can't wait to read the second installment. I want to thank the publisher (Lakewater Press) for providing me with the ARC through Netgalley for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heena Rathore P.

    Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book through and through. I picked up this book in hopes of reading a decent fantasy novel, but this book pleasantly surprised the hell out of me! It is an epic book with a brilliant plot, stunning characterization, and beautiful writing - all weaved together into a fantastic work that I was lucky enough to read. This book has everything a fantasy lover craves - A new world to get completely lost Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book through and through. I picked up this book in hopes of reading a decent fantasy novel, but this book pleasantly surprised the hell out of me! It is an epic book with a brilliant plot, stunning characterization, and beautiful writing - all weaved together into a fantastic work that I was lucky enough to read. This book has everything a fantasy lover craves - A new world to get completely lost into, characters whom you can love and hate forming unbreakable emotional bonds and a story that'll make you forget everything else. I was completely blown by the simplicity of this book and I'm eagerly waiting for the next part in this wondrous series. In this book, the author uses realism as her weapon. Not all tales of good witches and helping shapeshifters end happily, and I'm really glad to say, that this book made me realize that the world of magic is not something to play around with. R.L. Martinez uses her dark imagination to plow the fields of her war-wrought world with realism. It really made the entire witch breed concept interesting and mesmerizing. Now, I'm actually afraid of witches (which is something that is always missing in most of the fantasy novels.) The author's writing was really smooth and the pacing was exceptional. "The world is only so big and you can only run so far." The romance in this book literally swept me off my feet because of its simplicity and subtlety. At first, the timelines seemed a little jumbled, but once I got in sync with the story I was able to make out the timelines pretty clearly. In spite of all the raves, there was only one significant negative that stood out while reading this book, and it was the fact that most of the names (both of places and people) were odd and difficult to pronounce. It made it a bit difficult for me to enjoy the first few pages, but once I let go of my obsession of pronouncing the word right, I was able to get into the book easily enough. (Though I'm pretty sure I've got more than half of the names wrong, and to be honest, this book is so great that I don't even care about it anymore.) As I said earlier, the characterization is brilliant! I felt a really strong connection with the leading twin ladies of this book (I'm not gonna say the names as I'm sure I'll pronounce them wrongly.) The other characters were so good that I felt a bond with each and every single character (secondary as well as not-so-important ones.) This book ended on an excellent note with a smasher of a cliff hanger. After reading the last page I was literally pulling at my hair! I loved this book and I think that everyone on this planet should read this series as I really think that everyone will love it! You can also read this review at The Reading Bud.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diana Pinguicha

    DISCLAIMER: I did the map for this, and am listed in Lakewater Press's website as their illustrator. The editor provided me with an ARC when I asked. EDIT: I also made the new cover for In the Blood, as well as the cover of Beneath the Skin! That being said... I found IN THE BLOOD to be a fascinating fantasy, and one's not afraid to get dark when it needs to. I found the blood magic system properly two-edged (as blood magic should be), and the same can be said for the onkai (the shapeshifters in M DISCLAIMER: I did the map for this, and am listed in Lakewater Press's website as their illustrator. The editor provided me with an ARC when I asked. EDIT: I also made the new cover for In the Blood, as well as the cover of Beneath the Skin! That being said... I found IN THE BLOOD to be a fascinating fantasy, and one's not afraid to get dark when it needs to. I found the blood magic system properly two-edged (as blood magic should be), and the same can be said for the onkai (the shapeshifters in Martinez's universe). Each character is compelling in their own, different way, though my personal favorite was Oriabel (I have a weak spot for witches, OK?). The plot was intriguing, and I sort of loved how the ending was a "it kind of ended well, except where it didn't" situation. There were some typos and missing commas, but this was an uncorrected e-proof, and the editor told me they'd found those and will be corrected once the novel comes out. Bottom line: I'll definitely be reading book 2, and if you're into dark fantasy, chances are you'll say the same once you read book 1.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    In the Blood is a powerfully written story of a country in the wake of a war, and particularly of two sisters who were once nobility of the country that has just been conquered. One sister, Oriabel, is a witch - but there are old prejudices against witches in her country, so she struggles to help her people while keeping her own secret. The other sister, Ottilde, is a soldier. She served well until her sympathy for witches led her to object to the slaughter of a witch village - a situation that In the Blood is a powerfully written story of a country in the wake of a war, and particularly of two sisters who were once nobility of the country that has just been conquered. One sister, Oriabel, is a witch - but there are old prejudices against witches in her country, so she struggles to help her people while keeping her own secret. The other sister, Ottilde, is a soldier. She served well until her sympathy for witches led her to object to the slaughter of a witch village - a situation that left her a prisoner of war hated by her fellow captives. In the Blood started really powerfully for me, since it featured one of my favourite character types - the stoic female soldier. And Oriabel provided a counterpoint of morality of mages. The story swaps between their viewpoint, along with two members of the conquering army, who get caught up in the sisters' situation. This appears to be the start of a series, with two relationships growing as the plot progresses. Each sister also has to deal with a man who covets and wants to own her, and the story eventually grew into Not For Me. It's a well done story, but ultimately just not the sort of thing I like to read. I'll recommend it for anyone who has a higher tolerance for sexual violence than I do. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kate Foster

    As R.L. Martinez's editor, I can only say wonderful things about this book. From the first day I read it, I was absolutely hooked, and even now, after reading it multiple times and analysing each and every sentence, I'm still just as much in love with it. It's a fantastically rich, dark and addictive plot, with all-consuming characters and a vivid and believable world. If you are a lover of epic fantasy, with interweaving plots, shock moments, and disturbing storylines, then this will not disapp As R.L. Martinez's editor, I can only say wonderful things about this book. From the first day I read it, I was absolutely hooked, and even now, after reading it multiple times and analysing each and every sentence, I'm still just as much in love with it. It's a fantastically rich, dark and addictive plot, with all-consuming characters and a vivid and believable world. If you are a lover of epic fantasy, with interweaving plots, shock moments, and disturbing storylines, then this will not disappoint. With the sequel due out in 2017, I believe this is a series and author to watch out for. 5/5 stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve Bolin

    Disclaimer: I received an eARC (Advanced Readers Copy – electronic version) copy of this book in return for an honest review. Since I have read and thoroughly enjoyed R. L. Martinez’s previous book, Wild Horses Don’t Stop at Whoa, I jumped at the chance to read this. While there is no connection between the two books, it is apparent after reading this that Ms. Martinez’s writing has continued to improve over time. In the Blood begins with twin sisters, separated by several years and a vast distanc Disclaimer: I received an eARC (Advanced Readers Copy – electronic version) copy of this book in return for an honest review. Since I have read and thoroughly enjoyed R. L. Martinez’s previous book, Wild Horses Don’t Stop at Whoa, I jumped at the chance to read this. While there is no connection between the two books, it is apparent after reading this that Ms. Martinez’s writing has continued to improve over time. In the Blood begins with twin sisters, separated by several years and a vast distance, who are bound together by love and magic. Oriabel is a witch that uses her magic to heal and to help those in her community, at the cost of her own blood. This same community fears witchcraft so deeply that it hung many of them less than a century ago at a Witch’s Tree located in the center of town. It is for this reason that she keeps her magic a secret, however, it is a secret that someone else has already discovered. She is also the rightful heir to a struggling estate that is trying to rebound from a recent war between nations. Unfortunately, the estate is kept from her through the manipulating efforts of two cruel overseers. When word arrives that a new lord will soon take leadership of both her house and her town, she is uncertain whether it bids ill or well for her. Ottilde is the warrior, trained as a knight from a young age and finds herself imprisoned for actions she committed during a time of war. Further compounding her situation are dreams of her sister, which warn of impending peril. When a stranger creates an opportunity for her to escape, she takes advantage of the situation, knowing the stranger may well have his own agenda. Despite this, her escape provides her the means to save her sister from the dangers foretold in her dream. Her journey across such a vast distance won’t be easy, however, especially when the prison sends a man to pursue and bring her back at all costs. As the story unfolds, Ottilde flees across the globe to save her sister from unknown danger. The journey turns deadly one night when she confronts a legendary feline predator. Because of their magical bond, Oriabel senses that her sister is in trouble, despite the vast distance. As a result of her aid, each sister is transformed in some way. Ottilde’s change is physical and readily noticeable by the reader. Oriabel is changed mentally, something not as immediately obvious. Although Ottilde seemingly embraces the thing she has become, Ottilde fights it for fear of what she might become. It is an interesting parallel that Ms. Martinez has drawn between the sisters. While there are romantic plots woven throughout the story, it would be a mistake to think this as just another typical romance novel. Each sister develops a love interest, but the difference in the development of each relationship is as unique as the sisters. This is as it should be, but none of it means a smooth path for either of them. There were several moments when I wondered just how bad things could get, only to see them become worse. Ms. Martinez does not take the easy road for her characters. She has created flawed individuals who sometimes make choices they later regret. These are the kind of men and women I enjoy reading about; vivid people that easily jump from the page and come to life in my imagination. While the book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, it does leave several plot lines unfinished. For readers, such as myself, who finish the novel and still want more, fear not. The editor of the book, Kate Foster, has stated that a sequel is already scheduled for some time in 2017. This is the good news. The bad news is that I must wait until that time before I can get my hands on it. I highly recommend In the Blood by R. L. Martinez. I thoroughly enjoyed her well written prose and I think you will too. Despite having received an eARC, I plan to purchase a physical copy of the book as soon as it becomes available in March 2016. This is the highest praise I can give it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    James Weaver

    Let me admit something right from the start – I’m not a huge reader of the fantasy genre. The genre authors of these epic tomes usually dump fifty million characters with weird names you can’t pronounce in the first two chapters who all have allegiances to some made up kingdoms and gods. There’s usually witches and wizards, dragons and ogres, vampires and werewolves, hybrids of all of these and some creatures that are conjured from the author’s imagination that I must then piece together from me Let me admit something right from the start – I’m not a huge reader of the fantasy genre. The genre authors of these epic tomes usually dump fifty million characters with weird names you can’t pronounce in the first two chapters who all have allegiances to some made up kingdoms and gods. There’s usually witches and wizards, dragons and ogres, vampires and werewolves, hybrids of all of these and some creatures that are conjured from the author’s imagination that I must then piece together from mediocre descriptions. I have to track and process all that which usually ends up with my head pounding. Now, I get that it’s a new world and we must be indoctrinated to the players and roles, but typically, it’s way more effort than I want to put in and unless the writing is superb, I don’t make it past chapter two or three. Some I’ve even deleted off my Kindle without slugging through the first chapter. I finished the upcoming fantasy novel In the Blood by newcomer Robin L. Martinez and did so quite rapidly once I received the eARC from Lakewater Press. Martinez does many of the things above that usually keep me from finishing such books, but her superb writing kept me going. Her writing flows like the blood of Oriabel Dominax, the Witch who uses her powers to secretly heal those who would burn her if they knew what she was. The writing makes you want more like Oriabel’s warrior sister Ottilde who longs to be free of the stone walls imprisoning her for killing a prince, and to be reunited with her sister by means other than the heartstone she wears around her neck that binds them together. Martinez’s writing throws you headlong into a war torn fantasy land where those who have, shall we say, extraordinary gifts must keep them well hidden if they don’t want to be burned at the ominous Witching Tree. The scenes flow effortlessly together in a well-paced and engaging story of love, betrayal and the quest for power. In the Blood employs a wonderful and rich cast of characters. Though I could have done without the names and roles of some of the smaller players who are interjected and have little to do with the story, the main and supporting cast members in this saga are well-developed, engaging and by the end you cheer for them or vehemently want one of the novel’s fantasy creatures to rip their throats out and gorge on their bones. Kester, I’m talking to you, you loathsome, vile bastard. In the spirit of honesty, I must admit that I am a fellow Lakewater Press author whose book drops the same day as Martinez’s In the Blood, but it was readily apparent within the first couple chapters why Lakewater signed Robin Martinez to their stable. She is an extremely talented writer who paints a scene and weaves a story with an enviable touch. In the Blood is an excellent read and I can’t wait for the next book in the saga to find out what happens to these characters I grew to love, admire and, oh yes, hate with every fiber of my existence.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tony Lavely

    A gripping beginning In the sense of both the story in this book and the larger story this book’s a part of. Although the middle and end of the story are riveting as well. The story of twin sisters who have more differences than similarities; In the Blood focuses on their love and need to protect one another, no matter the distance between or the hardships involved. It’s hard to get into any details without becoming spoilerish, so I’ll try broad-brush strokes. Ms Martinez’ characterizations are spo A gripping beginning In the sense of both the story in this book and the larger story this book’s a part of. Although the middle and end of the story are riveting as well. The story of twin sisters who have more differences than similarities; In the Blood focuses on their love and need to protect one another, no matter the distance between or the hardships involved. It’s hard to get into any details without becoming spoilerish, so I’ll try broad-brush strokes. Ms Martinez’ characterizations are spot on. While some may occasionally tend toward cliche, I didn’t find them overly so, but a little more balance, especially in the ‘villains’ might have made the contrast sharper. I liked the descriptions; the scenes were nicely set with enough detail for me to see what the characters saw and at the same time, not overwhelm me. I was allowed to use my imagination to fill in details, and that’s important to me. For most readers these may be technical things, not of great interest in the buy-move on decision. Let me add one note about the story itself. While the story ends with “The End” I certainly hope a follow-up book or two is planned. The major story line is resolved, but there are others, and I think it delicious to contemplate where they might lead. I don’t believe a trigger warning: cliffhanger is appropriate, but threads are left unresolved, sufficient to justify at least an additional book. I anxiously await that book. Part of my interest is the question: how will Ms Martinez resolve the remaining conflicts, important ones in the world she’s created, and of course, what new ones will flare up in the telling? But the other thing I loved about In the Blood: the characters. Ottilde and Oriabel especially, as befits the dual protagonists, but also the major supporting cast members (although ‘love’ in those cases may mean ‘admire perseverance and single-mindedness’ rather than, you know, affection). I want to see how they grow, survive and hopefully prosper. Or are defeated, in some cases. Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, which you are reading here. I read In the Blood using my Kindle for Mac app on my MacBook Pro. In color, the cover is entrancing. I found a few errors, but hope that those will be corrected before publication. In any event, none were so bad as to make me stop reading. Formatting and the like were exactly as I expected. In the ARC, there was no Table of Contents; I missed it. I believe that four stars are appropriate (where stars are used). I recommend In the Blood to YA and older audiences who seek a well-told epic fantasy fraught with wild things, danger, deceit, family, romance and love.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    ‘In the Blood’ by American author, R L Martinez is a fantasy novel set in a fictitious pre-industrial civilisation where superstition and fear are prevalent. The story alternates between twin sisters who have lived apart for many years. The pace is well-balanced, giving the reader a contrast between the action-packed adventures of Ottilde, the warrior, and the threatening menace that surrounds her sister Oriabel, the witch. The witch’s tree is a sinister ever-present symbol of impending doom, shou ‘In the Blood’ by American author, R L Martinez is a fantasy novel set in a fictitious pre-industrial civilisation where superstition and fear are prevalent. The story alternates between twin sisters who have lived apart for many years. The pace is well-balanced, giving the reader a contrast between the action-packed adventures of Ottilde, the warrior, and the threatening menace that surrounds her sister Oriabel, the witch. The witch’s tree is a sinister ever-present symbol of impending doom, should Oriabel’s secret powers be discovered. The underlying theme is the unconditional love between the twins and Martinez has cleverly woven in a supporting cast, or foils, for each sister with a variety of twists, turns and surprises along the way. Her descriptive passages work well and I particularly liked: ‘The approaching winter had half-undressed the trees and bushes of their leaves’. Whilst there is some violence, it is not excessive and remains relevant to the plot. The alchemy is fascinating and used as a device to allow the author licence to make extraordinary concepts plausible within the context of the story. This work has been well-conceived but I struggled a bit at the beginning with the unfamiliar names and took a while to differentiate between the various characters and their roles, so I re-read the first few chapters. After this, I was able to suspend reality and became totally immersed in the imaginary world created by Martinez. I thoroughly recommend ‘In the Blood’ to anyone who enjoys light-hearted fantasy and award it a richly-deserved five stars. Reviewed by Julie at www.whisperingstories.com

  11. 4 out of 5

    Claire Semonin

    So I have just finished In the blood by R.L Martinez (provided through netgalley for an open and honest review) To be quite honest I couldn't wait for this to end yet I was desperate for it never to finish. Initially I started reading it and immediately thought...yes something to get my teeth stuck into and it didn't disappoint. You were in the thick of it from the get go, how Martinez describes the surroundings and characters really draw you in and once your finished you feel a crushing sense of s So I have just finished In the blood by R.L Martinez (provided through netgalley for an open and honest review) To be quite honest I couldn't wait for this to end yet I was desperate for it never to finish. Initially I started reading it and immediately thought...yes something to get my teeth stuck into and it didn't disappoint. You were in the thick of it from the get go, how Martinez describes the surroundings and characters really draw you in and once your finished you feel a crushing sense of sadness because you want.. No need more. I love the supernatural aspect to this but also you see the other side of war, how people are quick to turn and judge without proof or reason, how people bay for blood and persecution because of them being narrow minded. You see self sacrifice and kindness turn sour with self loathing because of one regretful act that you can't take back, committed in the heat of the moment. You feel the deep connection and love 2 sisters have for each other and their own personal demons and internal struggles and you see how even the most clever, intelligent people can be manipulated and molded into something unrecognisable. I really truly enjoyed this book and I am ever so excited to read the next one (surely there must be another in the pipeline because of how this ended on a cliffhanger!?!?) Definitely 5 star

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris Eells

    I received In The Blood from GoodReads in return for an honest review. I recently read a review that, somewhat unfavorably, compared In The Blood to Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice trilogy. While I feel that the comparison is apt, I completely disagree that it should be seen in an unfavorable light. Granted, Hobb's work has grown by leaps and bounds since her Apprentice series but it set the stage for one of Fantasy's greatest world builder. Martinez, in my opinion, has accomplished a similar I received In The Blood from GoodReads in return for an honest review. I recently read a review that, somewhat unfavorably, compared In The Blood to Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice trilogy. While I feel that the comparison is apt, I completely disagree that it should be seen in an unfavorable light. Granted, Hobb's work has grown by leaps and bounds since her Apprentice series but it set the stage for one of Fantasy's greatest world builder. Martinez, in my opinion, has accomplished a similar feat. Martinez's character/world building comes along at a steady, but not rote, pace. She manages to successfully provide enough of a past to flesh out the main characters while not using "information dumps" to overwhelm the reader. Secondary characters, for the most part, were a little thin, but I would hesitate to have the author flesh them out for fear of becoming distracted from the core story. The story was fairly tight, even while jumping between the twin main characters who were on opposite sides of the world. I was a bit disappointed in how quickly and easily two of the main character's most guarded secrets came out. I felt it was a bit rushed and took away from a potential major conflict in the story. All in all, In The Blood is an excellent introduction into Martinez's world. I very much look forward to seeing the conclusion of this storyline!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book in return for an honest review. I think that the events of this book feel like the characters won the war, but then lost the battle. In the Blood is the story of twin sisters who are separated by a great distance. Ottilde is locked in a prison camp after being captured during a war which took place before the start of the novel. Her sister Oriabel is locked in a castle with a group of odious captors. Oriabel is a witch, masquerading as a person with Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book in return for an honest review. I think that the events of this book feel like the characters won the war, but then lost the battle. In the Blood is the story of twin sisters who are separated by a great distance. Ottilde is locked in a prison camp after being captured during a war which took place before the start of the novel. Her sister Oriabel is locked in a castle with a group of odious captors. Oriabel is a witch, masquerading as a person with healing powers in a society which has a Salem-esque fear and paranoia about, and general love of the burning of, witches. In spite of the apparent danger, she seems to go out of her way to do obviously witchy things in front of people. Ottilde is a famous (or infamous) warrior who for all intents and purposes may as well be genderless, and after a few brief action scenes at the start to demonstrate her badarsedness, proceeds to be extremely passive for the rest of the novel. The story is split between the two locations, and I didn't feel like they were all that connected. The characters seemed to be somewhat-psychically aware of things which were happening to the other, but I felt like the story lacked connectivity. And then there's the romance. Now I am a bloke, and pretty blokey, and so some of this I might write off to me just not 'getting it' but I really didn't buy the romance between the main male protagonist (Hito) and Oriabel. I'm sure that every girl who gets sexually assaulted, and then raped by a powerful male is just DYING to jump into bed with the next vapid nobleman who wanders along. (spoiler, not spoiler, this IS romance fantasy) Oh how she lovingly tends to the wounds of the injured nobleman, stroking his kneecap lovingly. And now she's drugging him - for his own good of course - so she can tend to his needs better. (what?) And then just when I thought the author was building more of a relationship between them, BAM! Hito turns into an animal, discovers his beloved is a witch, discovers she's being blackmailed by her rapist and loses his shit. But never fear, the conquering hero will ride to the rescue... from himself. Erm... ok, that escalated quickly. I... in spite of these gripes did actually enjoy - for the most part - this novel. I thought the world was well-described, and the different characters felt distinct from each other. I did however think that the author took a bit too tight of a lens on the small events in the world, rather than dealing with more of the grander world events, like more of the fallout from the war that just happened. It's a competent, if un-spectacular beginning to something, which reminded me of a lot of other books in this genre that I've read. It was somewhat reminiscent of Robin Hobb's Assassin trilogy - which I disliked immensely - and a little of Gail Carriger - whose works I love. In spite of the things I may have disliked about it, it kept me interested until the end, and am willing to give any further books a chance.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ju Transcendancing

    An eARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Every so often you come across a book that reminds you why you love a genre, and Into the Blood really reminded me why I love reading epic fantasy. This story has two female protagonists who are so very different from one another, but united by sisterly love. Their story involves struggles that are generally outside of their control with real elements of sacrifice. I couldn’t put this down once I started and I c An eARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Every so often you come across a book that reminds you why you love a genre, and Into the Blood really reminded me why I love reading epic fantasy. This story has two female protagonists who are so very different from one another, but united by sisterly love. Their story involves struggles that are generally outside of their control with real elements of sacrifice. I couldn’t put this down once I started and I cannot *wait* for the following book(s)! While reading this, I was reminded of Juliet Marillier’s writing and stories, the quality is lyrical, magical, mysterious and compelling. I particularly identified with Oriabel, but I loved how forthright and determined Otthilde was! By contrast, Oriabel is optimistic and has a steadfastness that serves her well in service to her community – even though they don’t appreciate her. Hito seems almost too good to be true as a character, but his flaw in rushing to believe the worst of Oriabel balanced that somewhat, and also shows the relative immaturity of their relationship at the time. I am also keen to discover more about the villain and their grand plan to lead Otthilde and Oriabel astray – the end of this book was quite the conclusion and it is self contained, but in that ‘first step in a journey’ kind of way. I am eager to see what happens next! While this book has strong characters and an engaging plot, the worldbuilding is a little sparse and I didn’t really get a sense of the realm in which Oriabel and Otthilde lived, or the distance the latter travelled. I have some understanding of the political context of the story, but not actually how the two realms are divided on a broad scale or on the scale of the local populace. Also, the war seems to be quite important but I don’t remember discovering what the point of the war at all was aside from a general urge toward conquest. I hope that over the next book(s) that the worldbuilding improves and becomes clearer – I can sense a potential for more that I don’t think was quite achieved in this book. I did get a much stronger sense of Oriabel’s community, it’s size and how it fit together. This was a great start to a series and is a great addition to the epic fantasy genre. (Reposted from my blog The Conversationalist).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    In the Blood is an onion. You peel one layer away thinking you have it all figured out when you’re faced with another layer, and another, and another. The characters are complex and surprising and every one of them well written. You won’t mistake one for another; not even identical twins Oriabel and Ottilde. They are all as individual as snowflakes. The author has gone to great length to ensure her characters fit their ‘character,’ and that the dialogue fits individual characters and the setting - In the Blood is an onion. You peel one layer away thinking you have it all figured out when you’re faced with another layer, and another, and another. The characters are complex and surprising and every one of them well written. You won’t mistake one for another; not even identical twins Oriabel and Ottilde. They are all as individual as snowflakes. The author has gone to great length to ensure her characters fit their ‘character,’ and that the dialogue fits individual characters and the setting -- simple at times yet complex at others. If you opened up at a random page, you’d be able to tell who was speaking. By that I don’t mean which of the characters is speaking, but rather the type of person they are. Her descriptions are vivid and there is nothing mundane about even the simplest thing. Each word draws you on to the next with inexorable power. Why simply say, “she watched him for a moment or two,” when, "she watched him for a handful of heartbeats," gives you a sense of the moment and you feel what the character is feeling. In the Blood is more than an epic battle of good versus evil. It’s filled with love and hate, joy and sorrow, fear and anguish, and…good and evil. The good is so very good and the evil…well, the evil is evil with all its subtleties of greed, lust, anger, selfishness and unforgiving revenge. Book 1 ends exactly where it should end…even if it makes you want to thump the living daylights out of the author for being mean

  16. 5 out of 5

    Osbian Night

    I can not rate this book enough. I absolutely loved it. Lakewater Press let me read an ebook copy of this and I once I started I couldn't stop. I've read some of the other reviews and if there were any errors I was too absorbed in the story to notice them. The only bit I was a bit unsure of was about why Ottilde was a prisoner of war. Trying to avoid spoilers but I understood the deed that led her there but it took me a while to work out who the other significant person in that dead was in relat I can not rate this book enough. I absolutely loved it. Lakewater Press let me read an ebook copy of this and I once I started I couldn't stop. I've read some of the other reviews and if there were any errors I was too absorbed in the story to notice them. The only bit I was a bit unsure of was about why Ottilde was a prisoner of war. Trying to avoid spoilers but I understood the deed that led her there but it took me a while to work out who the other significant person in that dead was in relation to the side of the war and then why both sides of the war hated her for what happened. Other than that I loved it. There was magic and mystery and a bit of a twist at the end. The ending itself left me wanting more, though strangely enough I don't want another book. I liked that everything wasn't cleared up into a nice tidy pile and I think I would end up disappointed if the diegesis' conflicts were all resolved in some way..... that and it could lead to some great fanfiction. The characterisation was well done, nearly going into cliches but thankfully just missing it. The description of the places was good as well- not going into too much detail, so you can use your imagination, but not too little either. It was more the feel of the place than the aesthetics. Overall I though the story was brilliant. I think it lends more towards older YA, purely because some of the subject matters. It is a fantasy book that while it does have magic it isn't the main driving force of the plot. It is character driven with magic thrown in and the author is not afraid for bad things to happen to the characters themselves.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Intoxicated by Books

    I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading this book. I didn't have much information about the book and had never even seen the cover! I was given an eARC of this novel for this HONEST review. It took me about 2 days to finish this one, I could barely tear my eyes from it long enough to sleep. The story is so enthralling. I loved every minute of it. I was constantly anxious to find out what would happen next. I finished this book hungry for more. I hope that the words "The End" ar I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading this book. I didn't have much information about the book and had never even seen the cover! I was given an eARC of this novel for this HONEST review. It took me about 2 days to finish this one, I could barely tear my eyes from it long enough to sleep. The story is so enthralling. I loved every minute of it. I was constantly anxious to find out what would happen next. I finished this book hungry for more. I hope that the words "The End" are NOT an indication that there won't be another installment. Ms. Martinez did an excellent job with the characters in this novel. While the two main characters are identical twins, they are in truth more different than they are alike. Ottilde Dominax is a soldier through and through while her sister Oriabel is a lady to the bones. The girls show their dedication to one another throughout the novel. They protect each other no matter the distance or trials in their way. I could sense throughout the novel that Mrs. Hugo had an ulterior motive but I was absolutely shocked when I found out what those motives actually were. I never saw it coming. The scenes in the novel were described beautifully. It was very easy to see, in my mind, what the characters saw. I did find some small errors in the novel, but seeing as this was an Advanced Readers Copy, I'm sure they will be fixed before publication. They were minor errors that did not affect the story drastically. They were not bad/frequent enough to make me want to throw my kindle across the room.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Boundless Book Reviews

    In the Blood is the first book of The Witchbreed Series, and it starts off in an absolutely entertaining way. The magic creates fantasy, the shifters add action, and characters’ beliefs express cultural diversity while adding adventure. This combination gives readers a suspenseful story of sisterly love, like none other. I found the characters to be introduced perfectly and easily related to all of them; I quickly loved some, and hated others, I also loved, hated, and loved a few. The suspense m In the Blood is the first book of The Witchbreed Series, and it starts off in an absolutely entertaining way. The magic creates fantasy, the shifters add action, and characters’ beliefs express cultural diversity while adding adventure. This combination gives readers a suspenseful story of sisterly love, like none other. I found the characters to be introduced perfectly and easily related to all of them; I quickly loved some, and hated others, I also loved, hated, and loved a few. The suspense made it hard to put down, making it a quick read; however, the unusual dialect used for most of the characters created several “bumps” in the story, so it was not a smooth read. I understand the need to share the social status of the characters when writing a story like this one, but, toning the “backwoods-type” language down just a little would make it easier to read. Despite that, I still loved the book; the story was so good, it’s hard not to love it. I rated In the Blood with 4.5 Boundless stars....Beth http://www.boundlessbookreviews.com https://www.facebook.com/BBReviews

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    What a great fantasy novel. I loved this from the beginning and I'm excited to continue on this ride. This was such a captivating book and it wasn't afraid to get brutal. There are moments that made me incredibly giddy and happy and moments that made me downright infuriated. I had such a fun ride, that I had to finish this book before continuing the books I planned for my read-a-thon. I can't wait for the next ones! Read the full in depth review here: http://thewordsoffthepage.blogspot.co... What a great fantasy novel. I loved this from the beginning and I'm excited to continue on this ride. This was such a captivating book and it wasn't afraid to get brutal. There are moments that made me incredibly giddy and happy and moments that made me downright infuriated. I had such a fun ride, that I had to finish this book before continuing the books I planned for my read-a-thon. I can't wait for the next ones! Read the full in depth review here: http://thewordsoffthepage.blogspot.co...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Fogle

    I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN! The characters grabbed me at the beginning and didn't let me go. The intense moments and strong characters lead you through a time unknown to some of us. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Must Read for anyone who wants to be taken away to another time and place. I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN! The characters grabbed me at the beginning and didn't let me go. The intense moments and strong characters lead you through a time unknown to some of us. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Must Read for anyone who wants to be taken away to another time and place.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Roberts

    In the Blood was an absolutely fantastic read! RL Martinez did a fabulous job in bringing this world to life following the lives of two sisters, Ottilde and Oriabel. The writing was excellent and completely brought me into the story. It was descriptive without being overly done and the dialogue was natural. I was sucked in. I admit, I was more curious and excited during Oriabel’s scenes, but Ottilde is still a wonderful, strong character. I just felt more for the ‘younger’ twin. There were a coup In the Blood was an absolutely fantastic read! RL Martinez did a fabulous job in bringing this world to life following the lives of two sisters, Ottilde and Oriabel. The writing was excellent and completely brought me into the story. It was descriptive without being overly done and the dialogue was natural. I was sucked in. I admit, I was more curious and excited during Oriabel’s scenes, but Ottilde is still a wonderful, strong character. I just felt more for the ‘younger’ twin. There were a couple moments that brought me to tears, especially when it came to Oriabel and Hito. Oh, does this woman suffer. I was furious with Hito. And Kester is a nasty piece of work. I’m excited for Book 2, Beneath the Skin, to see what happens next for Ottilide, Oribel, Wilder, Hito…and Artair!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Willms

    Wow! Great fantasy Witchbreed tells of a country embroiled in superstitions and fears of all things magical. The people have a special hatred for witches, never realizing their much beloved Lady is a witch. Her twin sister is a warrior imprisoned for treason. Filled with action, betrayal, and plot twists, this is excellent fantasy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Cahill

    It will bewitch you! Absolutely fabulous! Loved this novel... it has everything a girl could want. Love, betrayal, witches and other wonderful creatures. Sisters on their chosen paths, fighting for survival and falling in love. Will they make it? Who knows... read and soak it in; you won’t be disappointed 👍🏻☺️ TTFN... Enjoy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3 I guess... The ending was close to acceptable but then it added another chapter. It was decent otherwise. Intriguing. But dark and violent. Much unresolved. 3 I guess but with mixed feelings.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Texann

    It was a delightfully good read :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Volpot

    4 stars. Good story. But for some reason I'm not sure I want to continue reading the series. YMMV 4 stars. Good story. But for some reason I'm not sure I want to continue reading the series. YMMV

  27. 4 out of 5

    James (ObservantRaven)

    In The Blood is the first book in R.L. Martinez’s The Witchbreed Series, this is also her first foray into Epic Fantasy. When I first heard that this was an epic fantasy series I was sceptical, this is due me believing that epic fantasy is one of the harder fantasy sub genres to write in but what I got was something that from the first few pages had me intrigued and interested in its world and characters. In The Blood has us follow four main characters the sisters Ottilde and Oriabel, Hito and Wil In The Blood is the first book in R.L. Martinez’s The Witchbreed Series, this is also her first foray into Epic Fantasy. When I first heard that this was an epic fantasy series I was sceptical, this is due me believing that epic fantasy is one of the harder fantasy sub genres to write in but what I got was something that from the first few pages had me intrigued and interested in its world and characters. In The Blood has us follow four main characters the sisters Ottilde and Oriabel, Hito and Wilder. I don’t want to say too much about Hito and Wilder as I believe finding out for yourself more about these characters is part of the joy I experienced when reading this book. So all will say is that Wilder is a Prison Chief and Hito is a Lord from another land. With regards to the sisters Ottilde and Oriabel what I can say is that from the outset it is very clear that they are very different when it comes to how they treat people and view their actions. Ottilde is a disgraced prisoner of war who is being held at the same prison where Prison Chief Wilder resides. Ottilde has a very aggressive personality towards most people apart from her sister, this is shown in many scenes when you see her going to great lengths to return to her sister. Oriabel is a Lady who is loyal to her subjects and likes to help people in any way she can but at the same time she harbour’s a magical secret that would have her entire city turn against if it was ever discovered. Even though Ottilde and Oriabel are very different they are book very strong people but in their own way and this becomes more evident as you progress through the book. One reason why this book had me so intrigued and interested was the characterisation as we are always left wanting to learn more about the characters and their history. The emotion that has been put into these characters is very clear and over the course of reading this book I too grew emotional bonds towards the characters. There isn’t a great deal of world building but this helps towards the books progression as I sometimes find that books can do too much world building and in turn it can do more damage to the book than good. But this book I find has the perfect balance as it only occurs when the characters are in a new area and you experience what they see. The only downside I found to this book was that I wanted to learn more about the magic in the world but it could be this will touched on in future books. As well as that I feel that this book could have done with more actions scenes, that’s not to say it didn’t have any as it certainly did and I feel they were done very well, but in my opinion more drawn out action scenes or more of them could helped towards the excitement of the book. It could be that this series of books isn’t going to be that type of fantasy and if so I have a lot of respect for the author for trying something different in a genre that is usually filled with action. With all of the above in mind I feel this is a very enjoyable book that holds your interest and intrigue throughout and would highly recommend it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Estibaliz79

    Well, this is never easy to do, specially when the author is so kind as to provide you with a copy of her book for you to read and enjoy, and puts a real effort in sending it along with some really nice goodies and message... but since the point of it was also to get an honest review, here we go. My biggest problem with this novel is clearly related with expectations and personal taste. I was expecting to read some hight fantasy, as much as I'm not fond of romance fantasy, when the romance has no Well, this is never easy to do, specially when the author is so kind as to provide you with a copy of her book for you to read and enjoy, and puts a real effort in sending it along with some really nice goodies and message... but since the point of it was also to get an honest review, here we go. My biggest problem with this novel is clearly related with expectations and personal taste. I was expecting to read some hight fantasy, as much as I'm not fond of romance fantasy, when the romance has not what I consider the right development and it's all based on rushed mutual attraction. Think of something like 'Outlander'... yes, people do love that, but not me (and then I have to say 'In the Blood' was very well written, which is something I can't say about the aforementioned, at least for me and based on a translated copy). The beginning of the story was really engrossing and very promising. The onkai element and the fact female characters are so crucial for the story, as well as Oriabel and Ottilde being so different but equally strong personages, made me have high expectations about the book. Sadly enough, the plot started to diverge to a path I couldn't relate to or enjoy that much and I got the impression some of the more original elements were kind of wasted. So no, I won't keep reading this series... I'm not interested enough about what's coming next :( My final rate are 2 stars. The quality rate are 3.5 stars. For some people with a more lustful romantic taste, this can easily be a 4 stars. Thanks a million and always, anyway, to R.L. Martínez for being so nice as she was.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anne Martin

    Readers of epic fantasy, you may love this book. It is not my first category off reading, mostly because it implies creating a new world and it is impossible in 300 or 400 pages to detail the complex links behind it. Why are witches hated so much in the author's creation? How did the sisters grow up to be so different? Of course, Oriabel is a witch and Ottilde a warrior, but there could be some traits shared by the two of them, no? Then, the next question would be about the amount of violence, whi Readers of epic fantasy, you may love this book. It is not my first category off reading, mostly because it implies creating a new world and it is impossible in 300 or 400 pages to detail the complex links behind it. Why are witches hated so much in the author's creation? How did the sisters grow up to be so different? Of course, Oriabel is a witch and Ottilde a warrior, but there could be some traits shared by the two of them, no? Then, the next question would be about the amount of violence, which scared me. It feels like as soon as humans enter a world, real or imaginary, hurting others takes first place. It makes me sad... Many characters in this book had strong opinions, for which they were willing to kill or be killed. It is the first tome of a series, I don't know how long it will be. But one of the women is pregnant, meaning it could last a couple of generations. The book is not uninteresting. I just found it quite harsh and it bothered me. So many deaths, so much pain...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Kendig

    There's a huge class of books now with great world-building and setup, but mediocre writing and character development. I wish I could give this book more stars, but when the character development is of the "she turned her eyes to this object, experienced an unnecessary physical reaction, and thought about its relevance to reveal backstory" variety and the plot hinges on "I'm telling him the truth today! Oops, the truth got revealed before I got a chance and now he doesn't believe me," I just can There's a huge class of books now with great world-building and setup, but mediocre writing and character development. I wish I could give this book more stars, but when the character development is of the "she turned her eyes to this object, experienced an unnecessary physical reaction, and thought about its relevance to reveal backstory" variety and the plot hinges on "I'm telling him the truth today! Oops, the truth got revealed before I got a chance and now he doesn't believe me," I just can't. It's not all that bad. (The 3 stars come from averaging out a very 2-star beginning and some decent 4-star moments later.) I thought Ottilde's storyline had stronger characters and occurrences, and I don't think this author is untalented. I just think we need to stop letting authors fall into these terrible grooves of description and action set by the books that have come before them.

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