Series: Ustari Cycle
Author: Jeff Somers
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Lem has ethics in using his magic. Therefore Lem is hungry and broke most of the time.Ethics in the world of blood magic, however, is a gray area. While Lemwill grift his way through life by using small glamours to make $1 bills appear as $20s, enabling him and his none-too-bright pal Mags to eat, hewon’t use other people's blood to cast. Stronger spells require more blood, and hardcore magicians use Bleeders or “volunteers” to this end. Not Lem.
So when these down-and-out boon companions encounter a girl kidnapped and marked with magic rune tattoos, it’s not at all clear that they’re powerful enough to save her…or themselves. Turning to his estranged Master for help, it quickly becomes clear to Lem that not only is this beautiful, strange girl’s life all but forfeit, but that the world’s preeminent mage had big, earth-shattering plans for her—and he and Mags just got in the way.
This was definitely an interesting read if nothing else. The use of blood magic and using bleeders isn't exactly new but Somers used it well.
Our main character is a guy, which was a nice change of pace from all those 'kick-ass chicks' out there. I liked his quick thinking and taking action. He always had something to use or do. He always had at least one next step. He has morals as well which of course come to bite him in the ass and has to finally bend a little to really do anything. He is talented but his very strict moral code would have never allowed him to accomplish much of anything.
I didn't see the need to portray all bleeders as big fat dudes. Just cause you are fat doesn't mean you have more blood nor are you healthy enough to be able to recover that blood faster. That kind of bothered me. Mags was an interesting character. I still don't know what to really make of him and I'm sure there will be some secrets regarding him that will start popping up. Then there is Claire. Now there is one kick-ass chick. She had no magic but she was a fighter through and through. Maybe a little too much towards the end and just bails on Lem. Understandable but doesn't mean I have to like it.
Plot wise and in regards to world-building it was all done well and pretty straightforward. I'm not 100% clear still on the Words but I can live with that. The whole plot was obvious. Interrupted the end of the world spell and then fighting to keep it that way.
Now the language...It didn't exactly bothered me, but I in my opinion I thought it was a little too over used. I know everyone curses, I sure do, but not that often and not everyone does either. It seemed like every time we came across someone they would be cursing a lot as well.
In the end, this was an entertaining read, but I don't think I'll be reading the squeal.Tweet
*Thank you to Edelweiss for a copy*