Today I’m excited to join the blog tour for Blood, the sixth book in Tara Maya’s The Unfinished Song series which is set in a fantastical Neolithic Age. You can buy Blood and all Maya’s other books via Amazon and other book retailers. Tara Maya’s blog has lots of information about writing in general in addition to her book info.

Publication year: 2013
Format: ebook, Kindle
Publisher: Misque Press

The previous book in the series, Wing, ended in a very exciting cliffhanger and I was anxious to continue the series. Blood continues immediately where Wing ended.

Dindi has been captured by Umbral who is a Deathsworn. The Lady Death commanded Umbral to kill Dindi, her love Kavio, and all of the remaining Aelfae. Umbral has already killed Kavio but now he and Dindi face a common enemy, the Bone Whistler who is secretly one of the two Aelfae left in the world. The Bone Whistler has a plan to kill all of the humans and to resurrect the Aelfae who were killed in a war with humans. Dindi and Umbral reached an uneasy truce to kill the Bone Whistler before he can set his plan into motion.

However, a part of it is already working. Six Aelfae have been resurrected, brought forward in time from the past. Also, because of the resurrection magic the other remaining Aelfae, Vessia, has lost her memories of the intervening time. Vessia married a mortal man and had a son with him but now she doesn’t remember that. All she wants is to rid the world of humans because her last memories are of the brutal war between the Aelfae and the humans.

Meanwhile, Finnandro the champion of the Green Lady had been forced into uneasy truce, as well. His tribe and another fought each other but now Finnandro is forced to work with the enemy tribe in order to kill Umbral. Unfortunately, the leader of the enemy tribe, the Orange Canyon, is no other the Bone Whistler himself and he manages to charm Finnandro into a willing ally.

However, the resurrected Aelfae don’t know that there’s a traitor among them. Their greatest enemy, the Lady Death herself, has disguised herself as one of them and plans to kill them all.

Blood is just as good as rest of the series. The plot has twists and turns which I, at least, couldn’t see coming. We get to know a lot more about both Umbral and Finnandro in flashbacks about their past.

Deception seem to be this book’s theme. A lot of people are deceived in this book. Not only has the Lady Death disguised herself and deceiving the Aelfae but the Bone Whistler uses his powers to charm other people to trust him, while he’s advancing his plan. He’s also an accomplished liar and can turn any event to his advantage when given enough time to either explain or let other people draw their own, wrong, conclusions. Vessia has lost her memory and is convinced that she couldn’t possibly have married a human. Umbral has the Obsidian mask which can make anyone who looks at him see the person they want to see.

I continue to be fascinated with this Stone Age world. Most of the tribes don’t have a king or nobility but are instead lead by elected leaders. The one exception is of course the Bone Whistler who uses his charm and power to keep his people in line. The Orange canyon tribe has the Raptor Riders and their slaves who can change their shape into huge raptor birds. The Aelfae are a bit puzzled by this and claim that the Riders have also shape changing magic. The tribe is pretty cruel towards their own members, too.

The new element in the book are the resurrected Aelfae. We get to see how they lived during the war and presumably before it. They seem to be pretty self-centered, tormenting Dindi for their own amusement. They’re also dismissive of humans because they see the humans as enemies. When the Bone Whistler revealed to them that he lives among humans as their war chief, the Aelfae were shocked and dismayed. However, they agree to live as guests in the human village and even take part in their celebrations.

A word of warning, though: the book has pretty gruesome torture scenes. The torture is seen both from the eyes of the tortured and the torturer, and it’s quite disturbing.