This review was written by: B
Received: Blogging for Books
Publication Date of Book: September 2015
Official Summary (Paperback Edition)
"The Grail is a story. A myth! It didn't exist on your world! It can't exist here!"
The city-state of Varuz is failing. The capital is crumbling, and his enemies are poised to invade. Duke Aurelian is preparing to gamble everything on one last battle. So when a holy man, the Doctor, comes to Varuz from beyond the mountains, Aurelian asks for his blessing in the war.
But all is not what it seems. The city-guard have lasers for swords, and the halls are lit by electric candlelight. Aurelian's wife and his trusted knight seem to be plotting to overthrow their Duke, and Clara finds herself drawn into their intrigue . . .
Will the Doctor stop Aurelian from going to war? Will Clara's involvement in the plot be discovered? Why is the enemy's ambassador so nervous? And who are the ancient and weary knights claiming to be on a quest for the Holy Grail . . . ?
Doctor Who is an amazing force that has swept into thousands of people's hearts worldwide. To be honest, Doctor Who, in both its show and its novel mediums, is fairly new to me, but I have been curious about this adventurous, galaxy traveling man for some time. One of my sisters has a deep love for this show and eventually convinced me to give it a try. Now, I have seen several episodes but honestly wanted to try Doctor Who out in book form. So . . . here I am! Royal Blood seemed extremely fascinating because of its given premise and high-tech medieval atmosphere, and I decided to start here. The setting and delicate details of Varuz were as breath-taking as they were despairing. Even though this majestic land was only words on a page, I felt as if I was witnessing Varuz's strange, warped city-state for myself right alongside the Doctor. The idea alone of a decaying, ancient civilization riddled with advanced technology was enough to keep me going.
Una McCormack had a rich writing style that pleasantly surprised me. The beginning of Royal Blood made me feel as if I was reading a poetic work, and McCormack clearly has the capability of taking on sentences as if they each have a beauty of their own. On top of that, what really made this novel unique was the split narrative. One moment I was reading in third person about Clara or the Doctor, and the next I was reading from the perspective of Bernhardt, a trusted friend and knight of Duke Aurelian. I feel as though this gave the story a much needed element of diversity so that the audience was kept interested. The length of this novel also worked as an advantage, even though it would have been nice if certain elements were slightly fleshed out in greater detail. The short length is able to keep younger readers interested, while a slightly older audience will feel as if they still read a worthy story.
As a newcomer to the Doctor Who world, I feel as though I have learned quite a bit. The characters were fairly developed, and I love the relationship between Clara and the Doctor himself. Hardcore fans of Doctor Who, especially the twelfth Doctor, are sure to devour this story while new ones will have the chance to fall in love with this crazy and clever duo for the first time. Even if you're not a huge fan of this series, I would definitely give this book I try. It unexpectedly exceeded all of my expectations, and left me desperately wanting to watch more of the television series!
Please note that I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
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