The first book in this series, Hidden, was a keeper for me (you can read my review on my blog) and I’ve been looking forward to the next in the trilogy to be published. However, because I enjoyed it so much I did feel a little anxious to see if Boland kept the momentum going.
The story opens with Aelia in Cappadocia in 571AD. Collecting water we understand that she has broken one of the rules of her community but is confident that Lysus, son of the village leader, will marry her. On her return, half the village are waiting outside her home. Her father is shouting at the village leader.
Chapter Two finds the reader in present day. Maddie and Alex, Ben, Leonara and Freddie and Isabel and Jacques are at Gloucester Cathedral ice-skating. Maddie goes off to buy hot chocolate for Ben and herself and doesn’t return.
Straight away, in both timelines, the action is about to start. As in Hidden, we alternate in these different timelines until they merge. From the Marchwood Vampires trying to rescue Maddie to the banishment of Aelia and being taken in by the widow Maleina (a hermit healer living away from society) there is plenty of crises and action. I loved the significance of the solstice.
This time we find out about the backstory to the time before the Marchwood Vampires met their fates in the Cappadocian underground village. I loved the way it all tied in and how Aelia held the key to events that were still being played out in present time.
New characters are introduced by way of the Cappadocian Vampires and the arrogance and superiority came across really clearly. The characters we already know from Hidden are exactly the same (brilliantly portrayed if you read my review!)
The betrayal had me confused as the person all the evidence pointed to just didn’t make sense. Of course when we find out who it is and why it all makes perfect sense! I loved that I didn’t know.
At the end, we’re back in Tetbury at Christmas. Alex knows there is more to come with facing the Cappadocian Vampires and so this is just a brief interlude. However, there is also something else waiting outside those walls and in need of something they have… what a brilliant way to end! Not only do we have the final conflict between the warring vampires to look forward to but also the intrigue of the creature who is obviously intelligent and will also cause conflict. Can’t wait to find out …
Thicker than Blood does follow through. It had hooked me just as much as Hidden did.
You can read it as a stand alone but you will have continuity if you read Hidden to understand the importance of the Cappadocian thread running through the trilogy.