Title: Bound by Blood and Sand
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Author: Becky Allen
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Summary: Jae is a slave in a dying desert world.
Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn’t mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she’ll be free.
Elan’s family rules the fading realm. He comes to the estate where Jae works, searching for the hidden magic needed to replenish the Well, but it’s Jae who finds it, and she who must wield it. Desperate to save his realm, Elan begs her to use it to locate the Well.
But why would a slave—abused, beaten, and treated as less than human—want to save the system that shackles her? Jae would rather see the world burn.
Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the realm’s slaves are freed. Then Elan’s father arrives. The ruler’s cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change—and that Jae will remain a slave forever.
Fave Cinnamon Rolls: Elan, Tal
Needed BROTP: Tal x Jae
Actual Review: This book was one that pleasantly took me by surprise of how much I liked it. The plot was different and compelling. The idea that a life source we all take for granted is based on magic and a magic that needs to be sustained.
It opens up on Jae, a Closest, aka a slave that is bound by a Curse to never speak unless asked a question by any one . The only time they can speak ‘freely’ is around other Closest’s. They are the slaves and majority of the staff at the Aredann Estate. The Curse was brought upon their bloodlines because of the great War of the Well that their ancestors apparently caused by rebelling and attempting to seize control of the mystical Well from the Highest (rich/elite).
You know how they say that History is written by the Winners/Survivors. Well that’s actually a key quote to the plot of this book. Because of course History is not as the Highest and legends foretold when it comes to the War of the Well.
But nonetheless, now the Well is dying and water is running dry in the lands. The Grand Warden & Son of the Highest, Elan is visiting Aredann and searching out a way to save the Well.
This book does not do romance, like at all. Seriously. I am hoping against hope that the sequel, which there is to be a sequel sometime next year, carries this to the end. I think their dynamic is just fine without romance and it would feel like Romance for romance’s sake.
All of the characters were really well-rounded and easy to engage with. I don’t know if i would call Jae an unreliable narrator but it is quite obvious that she is flawed. While I wouldn’t say Elan is perfect either, he just comes off as a calmer narrator and MC than Jae does.
I quite enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the sequel. Highly recommend. It is said to be fans of Tamora Pierce so perhaps I should go read one of hers soon.