Having read, and loved, Sue Bentley’s previous novel, We Other, earlier this year, I leapt at the chance to take part in the blog tour for her latest book, Second Skin, the first Bridge of Fire Novel. Many thanks to Sue, and Anne Cater at Random Things Tours, for inviting me to take part and for providing me with a copy of the book.
The moon was being devoured.
Estranged from birth and raised on tales of the great mountain castle of Idrith-Core, where her distant father serves as Lord Commander and confidante of the King, Aledra Jewel-Wing was now going there to court.
As one of the Drakkoni, a race of powerful shape-shifters and conquerors of a wild land, she joins her stepmother at the festival for all peoples. But when in attempting to save a life, Aledra shifts into her Drakkoni Secondskin – her beautiful second soul: a giant flighted lizard with flaming breath – she breaks an ancient oath, and the tremulous peace between the Drakkoni and Esrans is shattered.
Branded a fugitive, hunted by her father, and aided in escape by the master-mancer who raised her, Aledra begins a journey for survival across a war-torn continent.
Having long been a fan of shapeshifting characters in all manner of books, I thought I knew what to expect, but in the Drakkoni, Sue Bentley has created a far more complex race than your average shifter. She weaves a rich tapestry throughout Second Skin, allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in the world that she has created, giving a full and detailed understanding of clan rivalries and bitter grudges.
Alongside many endearing characters, including one who I hope you will love as much as I do (let me know your thoughts on who this might be), the villains of the piece seem completely bereft of redeeming features making it possible to take a real pleasure in any bad luck that falls their way. As much as I enjoy a bad guy that you love to hate, and sometimes even just love, I am also partial to the occasional character that you can just seriously dislike!
Although this book is something of a slow burner, it is well worth sticking with as the drama intensifies steadily throughout. It is a great introduction to a new world and I look forward to returning to these characters for the sequel.
You can order your copy of Second Skin here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sue lives in a house surrounded by a wildlife hedge so she can pretend she lives in the countryside. She enjoys reading, walking, cinema, researching her books, and painting and printmaking, when she’s not writing – which isn’t very often!
Make sure you pay a visit to the other blogs taking part in this tour.