Published by Old Line Publishing on May 28th 2010
Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties... They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for. For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan. These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel.
Bloodmaiden is set in a world filled with dragons. In this world, three of the four kingdoms live in harmony with these creatures. However, the fourth kingdom, Tynan, relies on human sacrific. Enter our characters: Crislin and her husband Chalom. Sadly, they have been selected to be this year's sacrific. But rather than facing this horrific end, they flee all that they know in hopes of finding assistance in one of the neighboring kingdoms.
Bloodmaiden was not the novel that I was expecting it to be. Which, in this case, is a great thing. Usually, fantasy books are a hit or miss reading experience for me since most are either are too over the top, or too dry / slow for my liking. Bloodmaiden, surprisingly, fit into neither category. Schulze does a fantastic job with creating a evenly paced story that held my attention practically from page one.
As it is, Bloodmaiden is a beautifully written novel. The characters were interesting, and I actually found myself caring about what happens to them. The world was familiar, yet unique. The only downfall to the novel as a whole was its shortness. While the plot and action occurred at an even pace, most everything else about the novel felt like an overload. Just when I was absorbing one detail.. bam.. a new one is introduced. I believe that if Schulze could go back and give the reader a little breathing room, then Bloodmaiden would truly be the fantasy novel that I have been hunting for.