Book – Blood in Snow (Riddle in Stone #3)
Author – Robert Evert
Star rating – ★★★★★
Plot – brilliant
Characters – as good as ever
Movie Potential – ★★★★★
Ease of reading – very easy to read
Cover – Perfect
Suitable Title – Yes
Would I read it again – Yes
Coming into Book 3, straight after book 2, I can say that I was thrilled by the progression of the story. Again, we go into the action straight away and don’t have a complete retelling of the previous books in the first few pages, as often happens.
The progression of the plot was fantastic. Again, there’s no attempt to give them a reprieve from the action. That doesn’t happen in real life, so it shouldn’t happen here and it doesn’t. That’s great.
The idea of having the outlaw from the previous book become an aide to the King is brilliant; with Ed being a magic user and Lionel dead against them, is even better. What they do together and the plans they see through are a brilliant twist to the story. I didn’t expect them to decide that, but it just shows how Ed’s mind works and how much Vin really helped him, by opening up his world view.
I absolutely love the continuation of Pond and Ed’s friendship. It grows, changes, but somehow always stays the same. They’ll always be Pond Scum and Filth, from down in the pits, helping each other survive just one more day. And that’s beautiful. I do think that Pond’s fate in this story was unexpected and – yes – unwanted. I would never have wanted that event to take place, but I think I can see why it did, now that the book is over. If Pond’s storyline hadn’t happened as it did, the book would never have ended as it did and Edmund would have made different choices. Smarter choices. And that makes total sense.
I was really sad about Vin’s part of the story. He was a great new character and I had high hopes for him, especially regarding Ed. He’s finally found a home, safety, friends and was helping a whole town, as well as Ed. But it just wasn’t meant to be, and I can see why. Because, again, Ed would have made different choices and not make the mistakes that came at the end of the book.
Though not surprised by the change in Abby, I was disappointed in her. She was less vivacious in this book and more…selfish isn’t the word, but maybe vapid? She became a flake, only interested in winding people around her finger and adventure. Like Molly, in many ways. I read most of this book with the idea that I’d be perfectly happy with Ed and Pond remaining bachelor’s together, until their dying day.
The action continues, throughout this series, from page 1 to the very last page. Unlike other books, that spend a block of pages introducing characters/adventure or recounting the events of previous books at the beginning, and sometimes the entire last 10 or 20% winding down the story for a ‘complete’ ending, this one doesn’t do that. Not a page is wasted.
So that I don’t give too much away, I’ll have to be a little vague. So, here are a few points that I really loved:
Vin. I love that he’s teaching Ed and that he’s there for him, to help and guide him, in the same way that Pond has been.
I’m not surprised – but happy – that the magic users were having trouble from old Yellowhair.
Gabe. I really like him and I love the progression of his story, in this book. It’s a great little twist that I didn’t see coming.
I love the idea of Rood being a safe place for magic users and that it’s a little ray of shining light, in a dark world.
I really, really love Edmund’s plans for old Yellowhair. Very sneaky.
Okay, going into detail.
I loved Ed a little less in this book than the previous two, but Pond even more. Why? I think Ed was a little too oblivious and stupid, in places and at times when he shouldn’t have been.
I kind of loved seeing old Yellowhair, Lionel. Though he was really nuts, he came in useful for something, which was more than I expected. He was actually quite funny, too, and desperate to get at those goblins.
There really isn’t much more I can say about the characters, without giving major plot points away. Needless to say that it answered most of my questions – and yes, only most – about the fates of old/present and future characters.
This series is logged as a trilogy, however I expect we’ll find that there are more trilogies or just one more, to come. The story is not finished. There are loose ends, hints at more trouble to come and I know that the author is planning a novel about Kravel, which will be great.
I know that Ellie is going to have a really big part and that it won’t be pretty. I know that Ed will have some harsh truths to face, at one point in the future, if he lives that long, and that Abby’s going on a new adventure for him. I also know that the story of Iliandor’s diary and the formula is not over.
Honestly, I’ll be first in line for any book that continues this series, especially if Ed in the main character. I can’t get enough of him, as a hero. Maybe he could even have a real love interest, next time? Who knows. With Ed – in Rood – anything is possible. And I want to be there, to see what’s next in his story.
“You don’t have to fight at all if you don’t want to,” Edmund said. “I’m sure you have other things you’d rather be doing. Needlepoint, perhaps.”
Pond considered Edmund sitting in the snow next to him. “You like her, too, don’t you?”
Edmund thought about lying, but his former pitmate would see right through him.
“Yes, I like her. B-b-but, but I like you better. So don’t worry about me, okay?”
“Thanks, Ed. I can always count on you!”
“Just like in the pits.”
Pond might have been crying; Edmund couldn’t tell. Patting him on the back, Edmund pulled away. “It’s good to have you home. I missed you.”
“Thanks,” Edmund said, arm still around his friend’s shoulders, “for everything you’ve done for me.”
“Thanks to you, my life’s much better because you’re in it,” Pond replied.