The Blood King: Book 1 of the Brighton Duology

Young Adult

DYSTOPIAN:  Living on the edge of Brighton, Reina’s future appears bleak due to an unbreakable cycle of poverty and despair. She stands out from her peers in regards to school simply because she actually wants to learn, so applies for the king’s KEY program in Brighton’s center. The king quickly takes a special interest in her, demanding she marry his son. Reina has no idea the torturous horrors that await her, her classmates, and even her family if she gets on the king’s bad side, nor does she know the dark secret the king and how close her demise truly is.

A strong novel with the capability to truly showcase the horrors of power hungry tyrants gaining too much control and wielding it in cruel manners. About half of the characters are well rounded and appear to be quite human while the other half of the book’s populace lack substance. The plot itself holds promise, it contains and deals with racial prejudice, and sexual orientation taboos but the story gets lost in a puddle of “could haves.” It is fairly predictable and ends with a cliffhanger. Those things are a strong part of the story and may  leave a sour note in the reader’s mouth. Even with these issues, curiousity for the next book is at its peak trying to figure out how it will conclude!

Yannie Sorensen/Lynne Bryant