I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo
Cover art illustration by: Patrick Foster
Bloodline by Will Wight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Cradle (Book #9 of 12)
Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia
Pages: 378 pages
Published: 6th April 2021 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)
I am not sure whether this is an unpopular opinion or not, but Bloodline is the best of the series so far for me.
I want to say thank you so much to Christine Sandquist from Black Forest Basilisks; the detailed summaries of the entire Cradle series to date provided by Christine were super helpful to me. You can check out the summaries here if you need some refresher: https://blackforestbasilisks.com/crad…
As for Bloodline, the ninth book in Cradle series by Will Wight, I will just immediately claim that this is my favorite installment of the entire series so far. Lindon is coming back home to the Sacred Valley, and without going too much into details on what the plot is about, almost the entire novel revolves around Lindon trying to accomplish what he sets out to do in Unsouled. In both power and mentality, Lindon has come a long way from home. However, attaining great powers doesn’t mean things will proceed as easily as he expected. Why? Because humans can be stupid, selfish, and ignorant.
“Ah, yeah, but wounds can be deeper than you realize. Even when the healing is done exactly right, sometimes time is still the best cure.”
If you haven’t read Bloodline, I assure you that this book will definitely infuriate you, and that is not a bad thing; it’s good. Convincing a group of thick-headed ignorant people that we genuinely want to help them can be one of the most challenging tasks to do sometimes. This isn’t uncommon; I’ve experienced it, and I’m totally sure a lot of people in the world as well. The first half of this book was intentionally designed to be infuriating. Lindon and his friends genuinely want to help the people of the Sacred Valley, but they were prevented by the ignorance and uptightness of the civilians. And I loved all of these so much. Bloodline explore this issue in a merciless—and realistic—manner, and I do believe the first half of this novel displayed Wight’s most mature plotline in the series so far. But it’s not all infuriating content; we still get heartfelt insight into Lindon’s psyche, and the staple banter and interaction between the characters were still evident.
‘Lindon let out a breath of relief, but responded lightly. “Apologies. I’m afraid your hair is done for.” Eithan wilted against the tree. His eyes slowly closed. “Put me out of my misery. Make it quick.”’
There’s so much satisfying payoff in Bloodline. I’ve mentioned that I had a bit of a difficult time connecting with Lindon’s character for the first five books. I get why he’s obsessed with pursuing advancements quickly, and I also understand the motivation behind it, but I don’t think I ever really felt his kindness until this book. Also, it was immensely rewarding to read the developments that the characters have accumulated throughout the series. The first half of Bloodline consisted of Lindon and his friends flexing their strengths, and I had a bloody great time reading these moments, but that’s not the best part of the book. The second half of the novel was superior; a non-stop barrage of intense action scenes that, in my opinion, exhibited the finest action sequence within the entire series so far. It was epic, high-stakes, and the actions were breathtaking. Plus, seeing a group of loyal friends—after going through a lot of hardships together—putting all their strengths to face one deadly villain is something I’ll never get tired of. People frequently say that blood runs thicker than water; family is blood, and friendship is water in this context. The problem with this saying, however, is that humans literally need blood and water to survive. And Lindon won’t be able to survive without his friends and vice versa.
“He could have set himself up like a king in some corner of the world. Could have scooped you three up, set fire to Heaven’s Glory, and left. But he stuck around for people who treated him like their least-favorite whipping boy. Don’t know who he was before, but that’s who he is now.”
Bloodline is a bloody fine volume; as much as I enjoyed reading Cradle, Bloodline is the first time a book in the series earned my full 5 stars rating. It seems like I will always be at an odd with the general reception. Somehow, the books in the series that the fans of the series often consider as disappointing/the weakest ended up becoming my favorite volumes of the series. For example, Skysworn, Uncrowned, and now Bloodline. I also think of Wintersteel, what many fans of Cradle think as the absolute best, as the third weakest book—still great, though—of the series so far. But do note that weak or disappointing in Cradle frequently means that it’s still a great book overall. And fortunately, I guess we can all agree that Underlord was awesome, and Cradle in its entirety is an incredibly engrossing series. There’s only three more books to go; we’re almost at the end of the line here, folks. And more than ever in the series now, I can say that I cannot wait for the next installment. Will Wight is creating history in self-published fantasy right now, and I’m glad to follow its journey.
“The legacy you inherit is nothing compared to the legacy you leave behind.”
Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!
My Patrons: Alfred, Alya, Annabeth, Ben, Blaise, Devin, Diana, Dylan, Edward, Ellen, Gary, Hamad, Helen, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Luis, Lufi, Melinda, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Sarah, Seth, Shaad, Summer, Wendy, Wick, Zoe.