Old Blood by Nick Jameson

Lindsay

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An intense trial of hope, bloodlust, and new beginnings

Brave warriors of the Wolf Clan of the land of Aria set off on a treacherous passage to the New World, through harsh travel conditions, to seek resolution of their great prophecy in Old Blood. They want the clan to begin anew, to spread their influence and authority: “whomever successfully [navigates] the North Gate passage [will] found the greatest civilization of all time on the other side.” But upon arrival, they quickly learn they are not the first inhabitants and must contend with the present tribes—and their already existing prophecies and beliefs—if they want to achieve their goal, or else descend into violence and war.

“Stopping, she looks deep into his eyes, and only there does she see that her path isn’t to embody rage and fly at the traitor, but to fortify herself and prepare for the future fight, for this fight is over.”

Old Blood tells the spellbinding tale of the Wolf Cub of Aria and Zande of the Mahwah people, both first-born sons of their respective clan’s leaders. Nick Jameson presents readers with a subject matter rife with opportunity—creationism and origin stories. The imagery and descriptions are exceptionally vivid and lively, and the characters are purposeful, and strong-willed, adding wonder, mystique, and fire to the reader’s intake of the New World. The sense of “othered, but similar” can be challenging to show through dialogue, but Jameson does a nice job of it, even describing through characters’ language barriers. Kylen and Kezlan are such interesting personalities; I was excited to know more of their backstory.

“Is this why he came to this place? To sacrifice his men to the inglorious insanity of a wilderness whose beauty belies its brutality, its promise of endless resources making a mockery of those who come to claim them?”

The author is also very conscious of socioeconomic issues, with some discussed concepts very clearly mirroring present-day American society. However, the worldbuilding does stand in the way of the plot at times. While extremely descriptive, some scenes, such as some of the characters’ visions, go into a lot of detail despite not adding much to the overall story. Additionally, many times when women are mentioned, they’re portrayed as only wildly beautiful or special in some way, raised almost as objects to serve men or objects of desire across every culture mentioned, and usually described nude. This feels off-putting and definitely a little distracting from the story.

The writing is quite verbose, almost always using compound-complex sentences with a number of commas. This style lends itself very well to descriptions, but the scarcity of varied structures makes it a little difficult to follow at times. The plot isn’t always overtly clear, especially when the character isn’t sure where they are.

In this book, the word Earth is mentioned as well as Odin. While readers are not told if this story does take place in our Earthly realm, or that the Wolf Clan worships the same Odin as we would know him, it is intriguing to think about elements from other cultures being mixed together, how it happened, and for what reasons.

Readers will enjoy the passion of this story and will appreciate the striking scenery and resilient peoples of this world.

“ ‘The elders say that what matters most isn’t the specific words spoken, but the spirit in which they’re spoken, and the firm possession within one’s heart of the sacred intention to connect with and remember and pay homage to everything the Great Mother gives to us.’ ”

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