Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Independently published
Pub date: 28 August 2020
The clouds of war gather over Hispania, and Antonio Perez continues on his path to knighthood, under the watchful eye of his lord, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar. A peculiar invitation sees Antonio and Arias in the den of their nemesis, Azarola, where they discover the truth of his marriage to Beatriz, Arias’s sister, and the years of suffering he has inflicted upon her. Arias vows to deliver Beatriz from the clutches of Azarola and restore his family’s honour – even if it means betraying Rodrigo, defying his king and threatening the future of his country.
Fresh from his victory over Navarre and Aragon, King Sancho of Castile sends his champion Rodrigo to Saraqusta, to treat with amir al-Muqtadir. His mission is to secure an increase to the parias tribute from the Moors and hasten preparations for a war with Leon. But an unknown evil stirs in the shadows of the city which, if allowed to fester, not only threatens Saraqusta itself, but the entire political harmony of Northern Hispania. It is up to Rodrigo and Antonio to root out the conspiracy before it is too late.
Blood Feud is the stunning second instalment of Legend of the Cid.
In the first instalment Rise of a Champion we follow Antonio Perez on his journey from his home following the death of his father, first becoming a slave then a squire to Arias the castellan to Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar.
Antonio has sworn vengeance for his father against Azarola and al-Baytar. Azarola also happens to be married to Beatriz, sister of Arias.
The second instalment is full of tension from the beginning as Antonio is faced with decisions which may see him lose his place and even his life.
As with the first there are incredible battle scenes when Antonio and his new friend Mas’sud uncover a plot by Antonio’s nemesis to overthrow the amir of Saraqusta. The battle sees Rodrigo and his men face hundreds of men and they have no choice but to fight for their lives as well as protecting the amir.
Further skirmishes occur throughout the book written in such a vivid manner I could almost picture them fighting in the sweltering heat and the fear they must have felt.
In the vicious battle, knights had charged as javelins, arrows and quarrels flew, and blood coated the ground as spears skewered and swords and axes rose and fell.
As the story unravels, Antonio isn’t the only one who wants revenge against Azarola and that list continues to grow.
There was one point on this book where I was genuinely sad, I won’t spoil it for others but I didn’t expect it! I can only hope Antonio or Rodrigo finally get their revenge!
New characters are introduced and they fit in to the story extremely well, i enjoyed how their characters developed and their relationships grew stronger. Rodrigo, Arias and Mas’sud are my favourites in this instalment, I like the humour and the banter between and how Mas’sud has become such a good fit to the band of warriors. I think the relationship between these characters helps them deal with the events they face but also brings them to life although I am aware some are fictional characters.
Rudge has blended history and fiction perfectly creating the perfect book to learn and enjoy the events of medieval Spain.
It was interesting to learn how injuries were tended during that time.
A surgeon tended to a nasty gash along his right forearm, stitched the wound closed with a thin bone needle and a length of catgut.
Sounds disgusting but amazing they had methods for procedures such as that.
I read this far too quickly and wish I could have stopped myself and savoured it over a longer period of time but I just couldn’t help it, I did not want it to end. I am genuinely looking forward to the next instalment!
Rudge provides a note at the end explaining which parts are based on history and where he has used his imagination which I found intriguing.
If you’d like to know more about Stuart Rudge you can find my guest post with Stuart here
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