Blood’s Pride by Evie Manieri

Blood's Pride

Blood's PrideThe first novel in the new Shattered Kingdoms series by Evie Manieri is a thrilling fantasy adventure. In Blood’s Pride, Manieri writes of epic culture clashes and a sibling rivalry for the ages. With distinct characteristics, the races of Blood’s Pride are fully realized and as opposite as fire and ice. The tale is a multi-layered journey among an intriguing cast.

Rising from their sea-torn ships like vengeful, pale phantoms, the Norlanders laid waste to the Shadar under cover of darkness. They forced the once-peaceful fisher folk into slavery and forged an alliance with their former trading partners, the desert-dwelling Nomas tribe, cutting off any hope of salvation.

Now, two decades after the invasion, a rebellion gathers strength in the dark corridors of the city. A small faction of Shadari have hired the Mongrel, an infamous mercenary, to aid their fledgling uprising–but with her own shadowy ties to the region, she is a frighteningly volatile ally. Has she really come to lead a revolution, or for a more sinister purpose all her own?

Relationships are the true core of Blood’s Pride and these bonds are tested in various ways. There are, interestingly, several interconnecting characters rather than one direct focus. With a set of four siblings, a caste of slaves, priests, a soldier class and a nomadic tribe, Manieri shows us a fully realized culture divide. Perhaps more importantly, the relationships which are highlighted throughout Blood’s Pride aren’t the average. Instead, Manieri uses her classes to the best advantage and shows the metamorphosis of relationships across classes and the impact this makes on conventional relationships such as brother or mother.

My favorite character is the King of the Nomas- a character who often gets caught between the divide between the war between the ruling Norlanders and the serving Shadari. It is how he shows love for his people, a compelling tribe– where men are desert dwellers and the women are sea farers meeting up only every six months, that is truly inspiring. Not only does he love his people, but he has respect for other cultures. Throughout the story, King Jachad plays the mediator and truly comes into his own. 

Two of the more subtle, but no less important, undercurrents are the elements of fantasy and tradition. As each race must interact with another, traditions and customs become that much more important. Manieri touches on several tough questions in her setting. These were expertly introduced and melded with the lore and world Manieri created. Many resonated with me– the struggle to maintain authenticity in one’s customs while still evolving and the lack of hope which comes when your efforts seem for naught. The characters even struggle with what segregation in the dark ages looks like and inspires questions about how many of their actions are not race based but class.  

Manieri’s attention to culture and lore create an immersive world despite the { sometimes} vague landscape. With great attention to certain architectural detail and specific rooms, yet generalization of broader outdoor space, the visual aspect of Blood’s Pride can often seem muddled. This aspect of Manieri’s writing is fairly inconsistent and carries over to action scenes which are seldom vivid and often times a blur. Despite this, Manieri manages to hold her own and continue to deliver a fast paced story.

Overall, Blood’s Pride reads like a great window into a fantasy world. Manieri shines in ways both small and large throughout the novel, creating a world that begs to be expanded on. Though there is a small lull in a place that otherwise might hold a climax, Blood’s Pride still delivers an entertaining read. Fans of world based fantasy that is light on fantastical elements are likely to love this book. However, anyone looking for a thrilling escape should certainly give Blood’s Pride a second glance.

Read Order:
Blood’s Pride
Fortune’s Blight (Mar 18, 2014)

About Natassia 143 Articles
I am a performer by trade and have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My bookshelves are full of many genres but I have a love of fantasy, SciFi and steampunk which have only spurred my performing dreams to help one of these fabulous worlds come to life. I tend to read books with a lot of edge and grit; if it's got zombies, space battles or fantastical steam inventions, I'm in. When I'm not reading or off making my own adventures, I can be caught watching movies of every era, gaming, and being scandalously political like any good steampunk heroine.


  1. I’ve been craving another good fantasy novel lately but have been having a hard time deciding just what it is that I want to read. I think I might give this one a try. I’ve heard some good things about it in the past, and it certainly sounds like what I’ve been in the mood for. Thanks for the recommendation!

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