Blood, Monks, and Marco Polo

Blood Assassin by Alexandra Ivy

This book is one of the books in the Sentinels series all entitled with ‘Blood’.

There were, according to the book mater, two groups of Sentinels – those with high magic and heavily tattooed with symbols to prevent them being attacked and to enhance their magic; and those who were hunters, the policemen of the race. All had come from Valhalla (is this the Nordic Valhalla or another city/building/enclosed environment?) and all were non human but hunters could pass as being human when needed.

The Sentinels with magic had been trained by monks (think Jackie Chan and those films about the mysterious monks and Chinese fighting skills – see also Marco Polo as being shown on Netflix for the blind monk who trains and can beat all warriors in the army of the Great Khan). Therefore they were mighty warriors and ever inclined to the way of the Tao and silence and meditation. But the skills were kept secret and the monasteries remote in the high mountains and very very mysterious.

So in this book we are confronted with good and bad and the necessity to hold to belief systems under extreme personal pressure.

Sentinels were used to protect those with special and singular skills such as being able to read the soul of another person – whether good or bad, light or dark. And also to fight with Necromancers who of course are the users of dark and ‘bad’ magic.

A new enemy had appeared – called The Brotherhood they were the usual anti-anything unlike themselves type of fanatics who disliked anyone with these singular skills or who was a Sentinel or called be called a mutant by them – ie non-human. Zealots is the word used in the book for them.

In the book there are some romances with complications and women who are extraordinary in their appearance (wish fulfilment fantasies) who fall for Sentinels with bad results, as well as a kidnapping of an innocent for the Sentinels to deal with.  In between there are fights and mistakes and nasty events.zena

So basically, the plot is very similar in many ways to the type of films (with added romance for female readers but with women we definitely can’t identify with… too much like Zena Warrior Princess, but nice for the male readers) that usually star Chinese style Kung Fu/ walk up walls/jump off high buildings and not get hurt/walk on the ceiling type of events with mysterious monks and monasteries in remote mountains.

Did I enjoy it and was the writing readable and interesting?

Well both yes and no.

Yes in that it kept its focus and style and although the plot was thin it found ways to add to it. marco-polo-episode-10-fight8

No in that it had not real depth and I came away thinking it would make a good fantasy style game or film – but I required more depth of character and writing to encourage me to read more of this series.

This was my first book by Ivy and I doubt I shall read more by her. 2.5 stars.

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