By: Raye Wagner & Kelly St. Clare
# 1 in the Darkest Drae series | 322 pages | Pub. 2017
Blood Oath At a Glance
- Overall Rating: ★★★★
- Dude Ranking: Can Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde be sexy?
- Steaminess: A hot spring, but a warm one, not the lobster pot.
- Emotional: Coca-Cola Polar bear commercial feels
- Brutality: Hundreds of paper cuts on the bottom of your feet
Pairs Well With
- 1/2 oz sour mix
- 2 oz cranberry juice
- 2 oz Jameson whiskey
Beware. Spoilers are coming…
I read too much. It’s a real problem. So I had to do a skim to finish this review. My skim turned into a reread, which turned into me absolutely LOVING the second read. The torture scenes really grab you and are hard to see past on the first go around, but his second read gave me so many feelings. I was totally on board with Ryn because this bitch is STRONG. She holds up through mental and physical torture for weeks. She is loyal to a fault with her friends and those scenes with her mom brought out the waterworks. I need to hug my mommy and insist she call me lady-baby for the rest of the week. Also, this girl is hilarious. Her sarcasm is just what you need to get through the rough scenes.
“First rule of torture club, don’t talk about torture club.” – Ryn, pg. 102
The book is fairly predictable in its many twists and turns; however, there were a few that I did not predict, which truly paid off in the reread. Dear Ryn, you know you aren’t a normal person if you have purple eyes. Are you truly surprised that you are some magical creature? Nope, not buying it.
Ryn is arrested/kidnapped by the evil (read: sexy) Drae, Irrick, just after witnessing her mother commit suicide. Mommy dearest was accused of being a rebel against the evil king, when, in fact, Ryn was the rebel. **gasp** In the castle, she is subjected to copious amounts of torture which are, thankfully, not excruciatingly detailed. During her imprisonment, she meets another prisoner, Ty, and a savior of sorts, Tyr. Witty banter and pining for a mute/hooded man ensue.
I fell in love with Tyrrick (Irrick), which is what I will insist on calling him. Sure he has a little multiple personality disorder, but he does everything in his power to help Ryn survive. On the reread, Tyrrik stole my heart through Ty and Tyr. I found this gem:
“I am bound by oath, sire. And I would never lust for a human.” – Lord Irrik, pg. 79
Too cute because he obviously likes her and she isn’t human, but she doesn’t know that yet. On the first go around, I wasn’t fully on team Tyrrick, but after the second round, i’m all about the sexy dragon man.
Dragon books can go wrong so easily, but are really fun when done correctly. Wagner & St. Clare did an excellent job keeping you guessing and the focus away from just another dragon book.
I am a huge fan of St. Clare’s series, the Tainted Accords, so obviously I was excited she was releasing another series and St. Clare and Wagner did not disappoint with this new book because the world building is pretty solid. If you can handle the brutality, this book is witty, captivating, and unique. The torture scenes kind of gave me flashbacks to Theon and Ramsay Bolton but the authors were able to bring in humor and make it somehow more bearable.
I am a little iffy on the main character Ryn though. Yes, she is badass and survives weeks of mental and physical torture and yes she is loyal and caring, but…. Girl is really oblivious. It was obvious to me two seconds into her meeting both Ty and Tyr that they were the same person and that person being the big bad dragon, Irrick (hottie). *gasp*… JUST KIDDING EVERYONE SAW THIS COMING EXCEPT YOU RYN. Ryn was so dense, I pitied her and spent the whole book going “bless your soul” in my most condescending southern accent.
I like the subtle romance budding between Ryn (bless her soul) and Irrick. I loved that this wasn’t your typical dragon romance where the male is in your face possessive and obsessed with the heroine. This was a uniquely subtle, yet sneakily intense love story.
I got major ick factor from the fact that Irrick has had to basically whore himself to create little half breed drae soldiers who it turns out are awful humans. Ew. And he has to kill his spawn, that was brutal, too. I could’ve done without this part.
I’m seriously so sick and tired of books in which multiple characters plot against the heroine/hero to keep a life changing secret from them. IT NEVER WORKS OUT! Can we please stop doing this?!? If Ryn’s mom could’ve just been up front with Ryn about that fact that she is only remaining “healer of the earth” and part drae too this whole book would’ve been better and she could’ve avoided being captured and tortured. And yes part of the blame here lies with Ryn being too dense to notice she was clearly magical but still. This girl could’ve been trained to use her powers and protect herself and not be blindsided and betrayed. I vote for a new genre of literature that bans the pointless keeping of life-changing secrets for stupid reasons. Let’s get creative with some plot lines, guys!
Let us know what you thought of Blood Oath in the comments!