Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties... They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for. For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan. These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel. Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon-but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumored as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynanian brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet, any hope at all is valued in Tynan... If they are to stand a chance of bringing cruel tradition to a permanent end, Crisilin and Chalom must brave the constant, consuming blizzards of the Ever-white. They must brave the three dynasties and the challenges awaiting there. Together, they must convince the dragon emperors to allow them access to the shrines which house the sacred Aria - protective strands of music which may be able to disperse the evil from Tynan and unite the four dynasties of Sulaimon as a whole once again. Their only aid stems from a sprite whose moods are as unstable as her magic, a young minstrel, and a mysterious fox. Despite the odds, such plans are daring, dangerous, unprecedented, but fully possible - if they can escape the Wall first.
Bloodmaiden is a good, quick read - only 200 pages. Chrisilin and her husband have been chosen to be the sacrifices for the dragon rulers of their dynasty. The book starts out with Chrisilin not knowing who her husband is going to be, but knowing that they will be killed within the next year. It's a sad, yearly tradition that the people of this dynasty have to endure. The author did a really good job at making you feel the terror and sorrow that Chrisilin feels, being that it is written in 1st person.
I personally thought that the book was a mix of beautiful descriptions and being overly descriptive. I understand the extent of the descriptions though, as this is based in a fantasy land that people have never seen before so the need for being descriptive is important. It's a beautifully written book, and the storyline was strong. I didn't feel like the characters were as strong. I think I connected more to the secondary characters, and knew more about them which is really odd considering the fact that it's written in 1st person. I don't know - maybe it is just me. I also would have liked to see more romance between Chrisilin and her new husband. Of course, instead of having a honeymoon - they are risking their lives to flee their homeland so the opportunity for romance isn't great. Being the romance lover that I am though, I still would have liked to see more in that department.
Fantasy lovers will really like this book. It also has a lot of suspense and adventure incorporated with their journey throughout the different dynasties. Also, this book is Young Adult friendly.