Book Review: BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN by Django Wexler

Title in black on a white circle on a red background next to a greyscale warrior
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 3 stars
Series: yes - book 2

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for ASHES OF THE SUN*

Synopsis:

Book cover for BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN: title in black on white circle with read surrounding with greyscale warrior in a valley

Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, two siblings discover that not even ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

Four hundred years ago, a cataclysmic war cracked the world open and exterminated the Elder races. Amid the ashes, their human inheritor, the Dawn Republic, stands guard over lands littered with eldritch relics and cursed by plaguespawn outbreaks. But a new conflict is looming and brother and sister Maya and Gyre have found themselves on opposite sides.

At the age of five, Maya was taken by the Twilight Order and trained to be a centarch, wielding forbidden arcana to enforce the Dawn Republic’s rule. On that day, her brother, Gyre, swore to destroy the Order that stole his sister… whatever the cost.

Twelve years later, brother and sister are two very different people: she is Burningblade, the Twilight Order’s brightest prodigy; he is Silvereye, thief, bandit, revolutionary.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

BLOOD OF THE CHOSEN is one of those books where it’s all very interesting and engaging, and the ending feels like it just undermines a lot of the themes and ideas that have come before. The pacing is good, and I like the relationships in the book, but that ending just felt like it came from another book.

This book is adult, but the tropes used in the ending makes the book feel a bit more YA for that section. These are not plot ideas that you see in adult as much. However, they are VERY common in YA, to the point that I am struggling to think of a recent series that doesn’t use it, as they fit a very YA theme about authority and trust.

I couldn’t see it coming from the start, because it’s not the sort of thing you’d expect to see in YA. However, once Maya ends up on the path that you know is going to take her back into conflict with Gyre (because they’ve been apart so they have to end up in the same place but on opposite sides at the end), then the ending becomes very clear if you’ve read a lot of YA.

It just all felt a little too contrived – getting the siblings together and working together but not, and then it all going wrong. It didn’t quite feel like it was matching the “everyone is operating questionably, some for better ends than others, but not everyone’s willing to admit it” tone of the series so far. It was one of those “and now we’re going to dump a big bad in for everyone to rally together to fight” endings, rather than what might have been more interesting if there wasn’t a new common enemy, but instead something that altered the balance of the conflict.

Am I going to read the last book? Yes – but I am a little disappointed that it looks like the grating differences in outlook aren’t going to get the treatment they deserver – or could be so fun to watch – because there’s an external force now forcing them to unite, rather than having to confront their own biases.


Read my reviews of other books by Django Wexler:

Burningblade and Silvereye (this series):

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s