The Bloodprint

Let me begin by saying that I will read anything Ausma Zehanat Khan writes. I discovered her mystery series last year thanks to the Book Riot Read Harder challenge. I devoured all of the books that were available at the time, and then in October 2017 she released her first fantasy novel in The Khorasan Archives, The Bloodprint. She’s been incredibly kind and generous with her time, interacting with me on Twitter and Facebook, so I am definitely a huge fan.

I wrote a short review on Goodreads for this book when I finished it the first time. The sequel, The Black Khan, releases in the U.S. next week. It’s already available in the UK. To say I’m looking forward to it, is an understatement. The Bloodprint ends with one heck of a cliffhanger, so I’ve been biting my nails for a year.

The writing in this book is just beautiful. Khan paints a clear picture of the lands of Khorasan and creates a world that is richly detailed and vibrant, while also being harsh, bloody, and brutal. Her characters are not flat stereotypes. She gives them breath and life. I want to say more, particularly about Arian and Daniyar, but I also don’t want to risk spoilers. For me, this is epic fantasy at its finest, set in a Middle Eastern climate based, according to Khan herself, “in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan with nods to Iraq”. There are parallels between the Talisman in the story and the Taliban in reality, and I found that to be very interesting. Khan does her world building without large info-dumps, which helps the pacing, but the reader is left with plenty of questions by the end that are still unanswered. Hopefully, things will become clearer in The Black Khan.

Because I read so much, I decided to refresh my memory of the events of the first book with the audiobook version. It’s narrated by Jenny Bryce, who is a new audiobook narrator for me. I’ll be brutally honest here. I’m not a fan. I listened to her narration at 1.25 speed because I couldn’t take her voice and her pacing at normal speed, and the faster speed helped, but wasn’t perfect. If I had tried to listen to this book first, and if I had no other experience with Ausma Zehanat Khan’s work, I probably would have bailed and never looked back. What a tragedy that would have been! I highly recommend that you read this book yourself and skip the audiobook version if you can.

~ by Rachel on October 12, 2018.

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