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review 2014-04-27 20:33
Bloodstone by Gillian Philip
Bloodstone - Gillian Philip

This book!  It was everything I had hoped it would be a more…and there was more than one twist thrown in that gave me shock face!

Bloodstone by Gillian Philip pretty much starts off where book 1, Firebrand, left off.  Seth and Conal are still in the mortal world in search of the coveted Bloodstone, under the demands of Queen Kate.  And what seems like an easy enough task, many mortal years pass and still no true sign of this Bloodstone.

Not only does this story follow the adventures of both Seth and Conal, but it also follows the lives of  Finn MacAngus (daughter of Stella and Aonghas), and of Jed Cameron, son to Seth’s mortal lover.  Finn’s life is anything  but perfect in the mortal realm.  Being picked on at school by her classmates, Finn’s true Sithe side comes to light as she begins to develop her magical skills…a skill which can cause people to do whatever she wants them to do by simply using her Jedi mind skills.  And of all the people to notice her and take an interest in her, it just had to be Jed.

Jed, a small time thief, can’t seem to get Finn out of her mind.  Because of his fascination with her, and perhaps her fascination with him, a friendship is kindled.  But it seems Jed’s past has a way of catching up with him.  Especially when he has the unfortunate honor of meeting Finn’s Sithe family.  Jed has crossed paths with not only one of the brothers, Conal, but his life is also tied into the unapproachable brother… the one with the biggest chip on his shoulder, Seth.

Bloodstones, Faeries, and humans…on my!

I will admit that it took me a bit to get back into the swing of things, with having to get the names of the characters straight again, and trying to remember what happened in book 1.  Especially when it came down to having to remember the two (2) names of the characters…their Sithe name and their other given name.  But once you get past that little ditty, Bloodstone by Gillian Philip is amazing.  The author does a great job of reintroducing characters, and of re-telling the events that happened in book 1.

I still found myself completely enthralled by Seth…cranky mood swings and all.  Because you can clearly see that his words and actions all have an agenda…and underneath his tough unapproachable exterior, he is a definite sweetheart with a heart of gold.  I will admit that there were a few instances where my book crush swayed between brother, Seth and Conal.  But Seth won it out for me in the end.

There were various parts where I doubted his loyalties to his people/clan.  I thought on various occasions that he would go over to the dark side, thanks to that sneaky seduction skills of Queen Kate.  And perhaps that’s part of the charm.  He’s a sneaky bugger, that Conal.

AND OMG the last part of the book!  I felt as though my heart was ripped out of my chest and stomped on repeatedly!  I gasped aloud and couldn’t believe what I was reading.  I could go into greater detail over the events that transpired at this part, but that would be unfair to you, dear readers.  You need to experience this shock on your very own.  And trust me when I say, I was taken aback and felt lost for the characters in this book.  Oh. My. Heart.

If you have not yet started reading the Rebel Angels series by Gillian Philips, I suggest you get on it asap.  Fans of Faerie reads will come to enjoy these books!  Throw in a bad boy with an attitude that you can’t help but adore, and you’ve got a book that you won’t be able to put down.

Source: www.chapter-by-chapter.com/review-of-bloodstone-by-gillian-philip
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review 2014-02-17 00:00
Bloodstone (Rebel Angels Series)
Bloodstone - Gillian Philip Great sequel to Firebrand.
Again very glad I picked up this series as a spur of the moment read :)

I love the character development, and the new characters are great.
Quite a good twist in the story too :)
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url 2013-10-29 09:24
Cover Reveal: ICEFALL by Gillian Philip
Firebrand - Gillian Philip
Bloodstone - Gillian Philip
Wolfsbane - Gillian Philip
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review 2013-07-21 20:58
Firebrand (Rebel Angels Series)
Firebrand - Gillian Philip Seth MacGregor isn't really wanted by either his mother or father and this colours his life, he grows up as a half-feral Sithe, tamed only by his brother Conal. His parents are both powerful Sithe and he's caught up in the politics, politics that lead to him being exiled to the mortal realm, being caught up in the witchburning and finding love. It should have hit me more in some of my sweet spots, it just missed, it's not a bad read but there were times when it lagged or almost lost me, persistence pays though and I got through it and found parts interesting. Her faerie politics are interesting and well done, needs more work with the characters.
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review 2013-06-26 00:00
Firebrand - Gillian Philip It's been a while since I've come across such a difficult book to write about. Part of the issue involves the subject matter, themes, and ideas in Firebrand which all seem at variance with each other. This in turn gives me mixed feelings about the novel, because I struggle to even pin it down.

For example, at once it has the features of a historical fiction and yet also major elements of fantasy, specifically those pertaining to Celtic mythology. A big chunk of the book takes place in the Middle Ages, at the height of moral panic and mass hysteria over the devil and fear of witches. Unbeknownst to the humans, however, another world exists beyond the Veil, home to a race of beautiful immortals called the Sithe.

One of these beings is sixteen-year-old Seth, sent away from home by his insane mother Lilith who is adviser to the even more insane Sithe queen Kate. Seth grew up under the care of his father as a result, and became close to his older half-brother Conal. So when Conal is exiled to the other side of the Veil after a tiff with Kate, Seth follows voluntarily. The siblings are then forced to live amongst the mortals, attempting to hide their differences and Sithe powers in an atmosphere of danger, paranoia and superstition.

The book opens with a scene that tells the reader right away that the two of them have already failed. Caught up in a witch-hunt, Conal has been captured and is headed for the stake to be burned. I have to say it felt strange to have the climax of the novel presented to you in its first several pages, but it's also quite effective. Seth is left with not many choices, and you are left wondering what he might do and how the brothers got into this mess in the first place. The rest of the book tells that story.

It's entirely possible this is what made Firebrand feel so disjointed for me. At the same time, I also feel like there's not enough context given throughout the novel, certain sections giving me that strange sense I'm missing out on huge chunks of the story even though I know I'm not. It feels like there's an expectation for me to know everything that's happening around these characters, and even though Seth is the narrator, I often have trouble following his train of thought as he moves from action to action. It's like we're not always there with him in his head, perceiving or understanding things the same way he does.

Also, despite the ages of the main characters and the particular themes in this novel, I would hesitate to really categorize this book as Young Adult. This is just another one of those aforementioned contradictions I spoke of, because despite the nature of the marketing material and blurbs I see covering the dust jacket of my hardcover, it just doesn't read like YA. I can't really put my finger on why, as I wouldn't say it's inappropriate for the young adult audience either. I suspect the immortality of the Sithe characters may have something to do with it, as I see a stark difference between them and typical YA protagonists when it comes to their attitudes, way of life, and beliefs.

Whatever it is, somehow I just don't feel Firebrand fits the mold. For better or worse, I also think that about many other aspects of this novel. It was certainly a bit different, and the positive thing is I didn't dislike it -- in fact, I enjoyed reading this, but I don't think I can say I really loved it either. I think if its story and themes were more cogent, my thoughts and opinions on this book might have ended up less ambiguous.
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