Blood and Bile tells a compelling story of ancient magic and undying curses. The magic system is complex, but well defined. The giant-like Thursar have a rigidly patriarchal society. As offensive and outdated as this stereotypical cultural structure is, Boyd and Robertson successfully use this to frame the psychology of their characters and layer their conflicts and motives. Although Runa and Hunfirth’s individual desires set them against each other early on, they both remain relatable. There’s merit in both character’s logic, and evil in both their actions, making it impossible to label either as villain or as hero. There are vivid depictions of cannibalism in Blood and Bile but gore is to be expected in Dark Fantasy. A tense, character driven plot propels the tale down ever more winding roads until the shocking conclusion.
Reviewed for Reader's Favorite