94 points, 4 ¾ stars.
Continuing the struggle she began in Into the Dark Lands, Erin—newly dubbed Sara—is forcefully put to sleep for 300 years while her Lord finishes overtaking his enemies—and Sara’s kinsmen. After conquering and slaughtering the last of the Bright Heart lines, he awakens an amnesia-ridden Sara and assigns one of his slaves, a fellow “child of the blood,” to comfort her. As Sara’s memory slowly returns and her rage intensifies, the Servants of the Dark Heart and the Dark Heart itself become increasingly dangerous to both her and her caretaker.
When the last stronghold of the Bright Heart is betrayed, and the Forces of Light are put to the test, young Darin is kidnapped by the evil powers and forced into slavery.
“If you can love her, you can love. If you can love, you can be touched by the Light of God, even if you are blooded by the Enemy.”
Goddamn. So good. This was so, so good. So much of this is what I have been wanting for ages.
I was a bit thrown off by the beginning of the book. Into the Darklands ended up on such a big cliffhanger, and the beginning of Children of the Blood was just following this random kid with a shit life in the same world. It wasn’t until about a third of the way through the book that we even catch up to where we left the cliffhanger off on. I was also a bit annoyed at this beginning because it was very similar to the beginning of the previous book – learning about the childhood of a character.
However, this book also got me real good. I just had tears streaming down my face for a while there while reading. And I was happy for the crying. It was a slow and silent sort of tears, the kind you barely notice as you watch the atrocities on unfold on the page. It was beautiful.
In a way I liked the new character, Darin, and in a way I also didn’t. He was young and everything, still growing and everything, but his personality seemed to completely change midway through the book. And it changes exactly when the author needed it to, with very little hint of the changes before they happened. In fact, I really liked the Darin of the first half of the book, while the second half just didn’t work for me. In the first half, Darrin was just trying to survive, struggling against the injustices. In the second half… well that wasn’t a problem anymore.
The highlight, of course, was Sara/Erin and Stefanos. They both changed, but in completely understandable ways that made sense. Sara/Erin is without her memories of the past, and Stefanos is playing Dark Lord, but not First of the Dark. Yet their love for each other is 😍 perfect. I loved it. I loved seeing it. It is horrifically problematic, yet it is so…them. You can see the love so clearly.
Children of the Blood is a bit of an interim book. Not a lot of happens, and that is okay. We have to piece together the past and put together the future in this book. It isn’t about moving forward, yet. It’s about Sara/Erin and Stefanos, and the betrayals that have happened.