In Pain and Blood (Spellster and the Hound #1) - Aldrea Alien

"A well round fantasy novel filled with magic and adventure ..... and not what you'd expect." Says Miki.J about In Pain and Blood.

From the blurb:

2nd Edition Releasing September 2022

He's unleashed. Unprepared. And thoroughly screwed.

Dylan’s life in the spellster tower has everything he should want: magical knowledge, safety from the King’s Hounds and frequent clandestine affairs with women. All at the cost of his freedom. So when the chance to leave the tower—even as a leashed weapon for the King’s Army—arises, he seizes it.

When his first scouting mission goes awry, Dylan is left alone in a hostile world with the tower a distant beacon of safety. Only the flirtatious Tracker, an elven man whose very presence awakens Dylan’s long-repressed desire, can help him return to his old life before the crown discovers his unleashed status.

But the risk of being branded a deserter may be the least of his concerns as whispers of an armed presence in the North threatens his home. Dylan must rely on Tracker to protect him even as everything he thought he knew begins to unravel around them.

*This second edition shares the main storyline with In Love and Death and has additional content from Tracker’s pov.*

Miki.J's Review:

It's a good fantasy novel with plenty of world building, storylines, plots and twists. The characters are on point as well and I loved the new take on the classic human, elf & dwarf characteristics.  

Dylan is sweet and na├»ve, but also stubborn, who finds his whole world turned around - he has hit after hit but finds the strength to continue, even though he's struggling with everything that he has been taught and how/what he's supposed to be. And then Tracker - 'bad' guy with a heart of gold....even when situations don't actually work out the way he plans. He's a cheeky one and quite fun.  

The only drawback for me was the story is quite looooong and just seemed to plod along in some parts.  Also, this is a very slow burn ....but to be fair, Dylan has to work through his "teachings" regarding relationships/pairings and fair warning - it's more MF action in the story.  

But overall, a pretty good book to read - I'll just add that I haven't read the previous book (prequel from Tracker's POV) or the others in the same universe but didn't feel the storytelling was lacking in any way.  

Also, TW's - regarding children.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

In Pain and Blood is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.