4 out of 4 stars
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Blood and Roses by Jordan Petrarca is a science fiction crime thriller. The story is set on the planet Exodus where the seven most powerful families are blessed. This blessing is provided by seven magical relics (one per family) that are passed down from generation to generation. The blessing also provide those that posses it, with incredible magical powers, though each relic provides the blessed with powers unique to itself.
All of these seven families are gangsters, like from the early 1900’s, complete with suits and fedoras. The Rose family acquired the most powerful relic and so, they are the most powerful family. There is a loose alliance between the families ensuring an uneasy peace. With the magical powers they posses they are untouchable by anyone, even the president and his forces.
The story kicks off with Don Meretto Rose, the head of the Rose family, going to the theatre for his birthday. While enjoying the play, the theatre is attacked by Zasso Cicello. The Cicello family is the second most powerful and Zasso is the heir apparent to the family. This is the opening move by the Cicello family to acquire all seven relics, and thus alter the balance of power irrevocably.
When I first started reading I thought this was going to be a typical gangster story, and in a lot of ways it was. However, the addition of magical relics, giving the family members magical powers, gives a wonderful twist to the story. The use of modern day technology, including flying cars, adds even more to the unexpected quality of the story. I especially love the scenes where they use magic for a variety of attacks and defences.
The plot, which at first, seemed to be very straight forward, was twisted out of shape by the inclusion of not just one, but several different players. This kept me guessing to the very end of the story about what was happening. Even at the end there are questions left unanswered, leading nicely to the next novel in the series, which I’m dying to read.
I found it very difficult to put the book down whilst I was reading it. So, even though there were several instances of the wrong word being used, e.g. “waste” instead of “waist” and the wrong tense being used. I have no hesitation in giving this novel 4 out of 4 stars. I think this novel will be enjoyed by anyone who loves gangster stories, as well as anybody with a love a fantasy stories. I don’t think it is suitable for a younger audience due to the graphic scenes of violence that are described in several parts of the book.
Blood and Roses
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