Bound by Blood and Sand
Review & Give Away!!
Jae is a slave in a dying desert world.
Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn’t mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she’ll be free.
Lord Elan’s family rules the fading realm. He comes to the estate where Jae works, searching for the hidden magic needed to replenish the Well, but it’s Jae who finds it, and she who must wield it. Desperate to save his realm, Elan begs her to use it to locate the Well.
But why would a slave—abused, beaten, and treated as less than human—want to save the system that shackles her? Jae would rather see the world burn.
Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the kingdom’s slaves are freed. Then Elan’s father arrives. The ruler’s cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change—and that Jae will remain a slave forever.
Bound By Blood and Sand
Written by Becky Allen
Published by Delacorte Press October 11th 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
My first impression of the cover was WOW. I haven’t read many book set in the desert, so I was excited, and it set a tone right away; beautiful and harsh. That tone was written into every line and the world was described vividly. I could feel the hot sand and parched land of Aredann and it really helped me understand the main character Jae.
“The future was chaos, war and blood and thirst, ending with everyone’s bones bleached in the desert” (Page 110)
Jae is a Closest, cursed long ago for her people’s betrayal. The curse was genius on Allen’s part. I immediately felt so much for the Closest, to have to do everything your superiors told you. EVERYTHING. To not be able to speak unless spoken to. To not be able to keep any secrets. It was unthinkable. Then Jae discovered her elemental magic and I LOVE elemental magic so I was all in at this point. This didn’t suddenly make her life easy though, instead she faced further conflicts as a gifted Closest. I really liked the way Allen wrote the magic system, the legend, the discovery; it had all the elements fantasy readers will love while feeling fresh and new. The story’s relationship focus was between Jae and her brother Tal, rather than a romantic interest which was also a nice change. It really put the focus on the curse and Jaes fear of discovery.
“If you die, the world can turn to dust for all I care” (Page 284)
The reader starts to get the idea that maybe not everything Jae and the Closest have been told is true. Allen didn’t dump the truth on us like a bucket of water instead like the opening of a desert flower the truth was reveal slowly, piece by piece. I enjoyed this because it kept me intrigued and the pages turning. And man can she write a good villain! On page 183 I was about ready to kick some Highest butt myself, Elthis was unbearable! Thankfully his son Elan did not follow in his footsteps. I wasnt sure whose side he was on but when he chose Jae I was cheering “Go Elan!” as I read. Together Jae, Tal and Elan are racing against time to try to save the Well and the Closest from the Highests greed and lies. Jae isn’t so sure that she’s the good guy though. Once she discovers her powers she doesn’t always do the most noble thing. She could destroy the world or save it and after all she has been through, which will she choose?
“..the first thing she’d done with her freedom was kill. But she’d grown flowers too” (Page 206)
Honestly I thought she might let the world burn, some of its inhabitants had it coming. The ending was a bit of surprise to me though. The sacrifice that is made, the choice, is so powerful because for the closest being able to choose anything is a big deal. Not going to lie I teared up right here.
“You said it was a sacrifice, coming from me its a gift” (Page 283)
The ending wrapped up nicely but left so many possibilities open and a long journey still to come. I’m excited to see if more Closest find their magic. I’m also interested to see if there is a potential love interest between two of the characters in the future? Maybe? I look forward to finding out in book two!
Meet The Author:
Becky Allen grew up in a tiny town outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the website director of TheBody.com, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism. Becky lives in New York City.
Check out her full bio at http://www.beckyallenbooks.com/about-me/