Taliesin Ascendant – The Children and The Blood #2 – Megan Joel Peterson
The war isn’t over.
And new enemies await.
Life on the run hasn’t been easy, but so far, Ashe has survived. But now Carter has ordered her to leave the Hunters and find her family’s people – an order she can’t refuse, no matter how much she wants to stay.
Following his command will bring her into an unknown world, however – a world filled with new enemies and old prejudices that will demand more of her than she can imagine, at a cost higher than she’ll ever be willing to pay.
I was a fan of the first book in this series: The Children and the Blood, so when the author asked me to read and review the next two books, I was more than willing to put them on my TBR pile. Taliesin Ascendant is the second book in The Children and The Blood series and I think it’s one of the best self-published/indie series I’ve read so far. It has lots of exciting plot twists and is full of action, the characters are interesting, flawed and easy to relate with. It has all the qualities to become a very good Fantasy series.
Taliesin Ascendant picks up where The Children and the Blood left off. Ashe has left the hunters and is carrying out Carter’s last wish: to find the Merlin, the wizards her family were a part of and convince them that the Blood are real and that there is a war coming. When she does find them she is thrust into a new role she doesn’t want and she’s not sure who she can trust. A hunger for power and manipulation have found their way into the leaders of the Merlin and Ashe has to find a way to be heard and to warn them, before it’s too late.
Cole is still on the run with Ashe’s little sister Lily. They find refuge with a lovely couple who own a farm and give them food and a place to sleep in return for helping around with a few chores. But when they are out doing an errand for them, they get captured by people they would never have suspected were even in the vicinity.
Yet again this was an action-packed novel with the story moving on at breakneck speed, throwing you from one surprise into the other, keeping you guessing about who’s on their side and who’s not. This all made for a very thrilling read. The constant suspense, the magical fights, the fear, it gave me goose bumps while I was reading. But it’s not only the action and the fast pacing that make this a good book. The characters are also really fleshed out and are very believable even though there is a heavy Fantasy element in this book. Ashe is the troubled teenage girl who just wants to do good, but can’t always rise against the adults trying to control her life and her situation. This leaves her frustrated and angry. But she’s also very smart and cunning, which gives her a little bit of an advantage. There are times in the book when Ashe faces injustice and such unfair treatment that I made me growl with frustration. You know that feeling when you want to shout at the people in the book: “Are you dumb? Can’t you see that she’s telling the truth and that other guy isn’t? You will all regret this further on in the book!!” Yeah, that. When a book gets me that invested, it must be good.
Cole is still the loving, protective, but insecure guy from the first book. All he wants to do is protect Lily and get her to safety. But that doesn’t seem all that easy. Cole is such a sweetheart, I loved his interactions with Lily and the way he was so protective of her, even though she’s was a stranger to him only a few weeks ago.
I’m really impressed by this series so far and I look forward to reading the third book very soon. The story is complex and there were a few twists there that I totally hadn’t seen coming. The different wizard ‘clans’ and the war between them may be a bit confusing at first, but when everything fits together it’s really interesting to consider all the consequences this brings with it. A very entertaining book!