Sun of Blood and Ruin by Mariely Lares, expected publication 28 September 2023.
The cover is stunning, was one of the first thoughts I had about this book. The blurb was promising. The final product wasn’t at all what I had hoped it would be.
The first half of the book was hard to get through and made me put it off several times. The story starts right away, no initial explanations and hence hard to follow for someone who has only had limited contact with indigenous cultures of Mexico (quite frankly, all of the Americas). Yet, some explanations were inserted later on, and here I want to point out the word inserted; the info-dumps felt like they were copied from an encyclopaedia and didn’t gel with the general style of writing.
Throughout the book the more two dimensional characters were difficult to distinguish from each other, which was especially vexing when reading pages of stilted dialogue. It got a little better in the second half of the book, though.
Sun of Blood and Ruin is a gender reversal Zorro retelling with a lot of fantasy elements that will certainly gain fans. Unfortunately, I had the impression the core story was actually the latter part of the second half of the book and the first half was later added to create a novel out of a novella.
2/5 Harpy Eagles