Brian Ruckley lives in Edinburgh. You can find out more about him and his work at www.brianruckley.com
Following his fantasy debut, Winterbirth, this middle book of the "Godless World" trilogy reimmerses readers in the Clans-and-Indians atmosphere of Ruckley's heroic fantasy world. The titular "bloodheir" could refer to any of three candidates. Orisian, newly minted as thane of the Lannis Blood, searches for a positive direction in which to lead his staggered people. Aewult, the Haig prince and Orisian's ally, commands a huge army, but his arrogance and greed for glory may doom them all. And Orisian and Aewult's mutual foe, Aeglyss, channels the rejections of his youth into a horrible magical vengeance as his strange powers mutate, raising him ever higher in the fatalistic ranks of the Black Road as they bring war deep into Haig lands. Or it could be that the bloodheir is actually the reader, who will learn that no secondary character is safe in Ruckley's cruel, icy world. This grim, sometimes gripping martial epic will leave those who have come this far anxious for the final chapter. A solid fantasy choice, especially for libraries where Winterbirth found an audience.--Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Scottish author Ruckley's outstanding fantasy debut, the first installment of the Godless World trilogy, introduces a sprawling realm abandoned by the gods after two races united to destroy a third. The peoples left behind struggle with centuries-old prejudices and unresolved conflicts that threaten to destroy them all. The start of winter is traditionally a time of celebration, but when the elflike Kyrinin and religious fanatics called Inkallim interrupt the festivities at Castle Kolglas with a masterfully planned attack, the bloodshed is just the first move in an apocalyptic war that won't end "until the world itself is unmade." As Ruckley chronicles the plight of numerous characters through an increasingly chaotic landscape, he develops unsubtle allegories to recent world history and some of humankind's more obvious shortcomings like bigotry, greed and apathy. The author's unapologetically stark yet darkly poetic narrative displays a refreshing lack of stereotypical genre conventions, ensuring a fervent audience of epic fantasy fans looking for something innovative in a genre that can be anything but. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.