March 03, 2011

Review: Hugo the Vampire - Bloody Kingdom by Gabriel Arruda Burani

** May contain spoilers of Hugo the Vampire - Lights on Dark Ages **

Well, it's always a pleasure to write a positive review for a book written by an author we love.

Last year, around August, I reviewed Hugo, the Vampire - Lights on Dark Ages and, despite some details - very short book, very heavy - I believe I made it clear that I liked it a lot. But now I can clearly say Bloody Kingdom overcomes it's predecessor on all points.

Starting on the "too short" factor. Bloody Kingdom is over 200 pages. Following with "too heavy", as the first book was short, it ended up having too much information on every line and getting heavy, hard to read, while Bloody Kingdom is much better on that issue, the author managed to extend just enough to explain what's necessary, no stolling, but not having "too much information at once".

We have, again, Hugo. But most characters are given as dead or at the end of "Light on the Dark Ages" or right at the beggining of Bloody Kingdom. Hemillia, the vampire, baroness, still shows up on this book and some other characters, but the most interesting adition is Sarah of Lyzonn - a female characte, but with attitude and authority like any other man on the story.

It's clear the writer's evolution and I'm glad to follow and help it, because Gabriel sent me a manustcript, actually, guys, I felt so important that way, receiving the book before everyone else ;) Both on the text construction and the plot evolution and time passages you see an incredible improvement.

The story talks about Hugo, after Hegon's death (see, spoiler), ruling as king. He rules with harmony, love and justice, but other people drag him to war and it's that war the book talks about the most. The battle descriptions are very well done, bloody enough and exciting without dragging for pages and pages with armies descriptions. Some questions about Hugo's family are answered, some aren't but we get to know more of the reality, geography and life of Beznã-Ateriza, we know more of Hugo, his wishes and personality... And his weaknesses.

The book is almost a "part 1", it ends with a hook, with no proper ending and drives me insane for the next one - and that is the major issue with reading things even before publishing, if, between the publishing of one and the other you wait several months in agony, imagine if you read it months before it gets published?

Stay tuned, those of you who haven't read Hugo, Lights on the Dark Ages, keep your eyes open, we're looking into ways of taking it the international ways ;)  I'll let you know.