I was hesitant to read Blood Kin. It wasn’t that I was afraid the book wouldn’t be any good but rather that it wouldn’t be as good as Shadow Kin, the book it follows in the Half-Light City series by M. J. Scott. Why’s that? Because Shadow Kin was one of the five best books I’ve read in the past year. Hands down.
Maybe top three…
The two lead characters in Shadow Kin – Simon DuCaine and Lily, a shadow wraith assasin – were so strong and so vibrant when together on the page that there was almost a fear that any other combination of characters would pale in comparison. Well now instead of Simon we have his brother Guy DuCaine, a templar, and Holly, a Half-Fae thief, who end up in each other’s life as simply as Newton supposedly discovered gravity. She fell into his arms.
From there and across other rooftops and dangerous situations, the story of Guy and Holly unfolds and shows itself to be equal to all I hoped and more than I dreamt. Not only was this book just as entertaining and immensely readable as Shadow Kin, it sang in harmony with it and spun its own story all the while continuing the grander symphony that is slowly becoming the Half-Light City story.
Simon’s brother Guy shows himself to be much more than a one-note act. A strong and devout templar, he fights to save his city and family from the encroaching darkness of various alliances threatening the treaty that has kept the city safe, or at least as safe as possible.
Instead of the simple and one-dimensional “knight in shining armor” that he easily could have been portrayed as, we see Guy struggle with his own choices and emotions when confronted with the necessity of Holly not only being key to his mission of protecting all he loves, but also his own struggle of whether or not he can allow himself to believe the things he finds himself feeling for Holly
And as for Holly, while I thought that M. J. Scott would have a difficult time ever writing a female lead as vibrant and alluring as Lily, I’ll be damned if Holly isn’t just as bewitching. Strong, deadly, sensual and more fully realized than many female characters in even the very best of this literary genre, Holly fairly leaps off the page and into the reader’s imagination and digs her heels there to stay for long after the story is completed and the book put down.
Blood Kin and its predecessor Shadow Kin – and pretty much any and everything written by M. J. Scott – is why I dared to ask whether or not it might be possible to review books in the first place. Ordinarily my reading tastes and habits are staunchly rooted in the things I loved as a child and teenager and the world of urban fantasy would never have otherwise been something I’d have opted to read… and my life would have been the poorer for it.
Smart, funny, dangerous, addictive and seductive in its languorous sexuality, I can think of no better book to recommend anyone to read this summer. I loved every single page except the last one, and that’s only because it meant the story was done… for now, at least.