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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

She Dreams in Blood by Michael R. Fletcher

 


Official Author Website
Pre-Order She Dreams in Blood over HERE (USA) & HERE (UK)
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Black Stone Heart
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Smoke and Stone

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Michael R. Fletcher is a science fiction and fantasy author, a grilled cheese aficionado, and a whiskey-swilling reprobate. He spends his days choreographing his forklift musical (titled "Get Forked"), and using caffeine as a substitute for sanity. Any suggestions that he is actually Dyrk Ashton in disguise are all lies.

FORMAT/INFO: She Dreams in Blood is 487 pages long is the second entry in The Obsidian Path series. The author self-published it in April 2021. Cover art by Felix Ortiz. You can pick it in paperback, ebook and audiobook (narrated by the author himself!) formats.

OVERVIEW: As the title suggests, She Dreams in Blood is a lighthearted and uplifting novel about the power of friendship, rainbows, and unicorns.

Got you, right?

“War is the natural state of all things. Wars between ant colonies. Wars between men. Wars between nations. Wars between realities.”

If you loved Black Stone Heart, She Dreams in Blood will give you more thrills and twists. It’s an amped-up trip into madness fueled by Fletcher’s dark imagination. Khraen tries to make sense of the world and his place in it while hunting for shards of his obsidian heart. His search leads him to the islands that became a refuge for the unwanted of the world. Necromancers and sorcerers rule warring tribes haunted by the ghosts of savage and primal gods.

She Dreams in Blood is in equal parts nauseating and fascinating. Khraen’s narration and inner monologues kept me invested in the story. He asks a lot of questions, like why does he possess a jagged heart of cold obsidian or is he human at all. He doesn’t fully understand his relationship with Henka, but love is in the air guys. Only, you know, Henka is a perfectionist, and she needs fresh blood and body parts to sustain her body and improve any imperfections. 

Would I offer some pathetic argument that Henka was a predator, blameless like one of the great hunting cats? My love needed blood and flesh to maintain herself but butchering scores to achieve perfection was gluttonous. With blood to maintain herself, a single body should last years, decades even. She was never happy, never satisfied. I’d become so accustomed to the way she slowly changed over days and weeks, eyes a little larger, a little darker, skin a little smoother, I’d long stopped noticing.
Fletcher spends plenty of time on such inner monologues while simultaneously showing readers how Khraen is on a way to becoming the monster he doesn't want to be. Sensitive readers will find a lot of problematic content here (violence, physical destruction of the body, and the pain accompanying it). Fans of dark stories, on the other hand, will be thrilled with full-blown balls-to-the-wall action with horror elements. And gorehounds will get their gore here, as well.

In a way, She Dreams in Blood is slower than Black Stone Heart. Khraen's brooding gets repetitious but never ceases to entertain. We learn more about his past but less than I would love to. I can't say more about the plot but it feels narrower, less adventurous, and more brutal than in the first book. I admit there were moments that felt like too much for me.

The final plot progression made the experience worthwhile and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. Fans of dark fantasy will find plenty to enjoy here. It’s bloody, it’s nasty, and hard to put down.


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