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When the world was new, the Great Mountain, Enlil, banishes his sister to the Netherworld for taking a lesser as consort. But Sumerian doctor-priest, Kurshram, fights a hard human way through Ereshkigal's flaming palace to trade his soul and life for the release of his great love. A thousand years later during a temple raid, the blood of slain priests washes into his crypt and reanimates his body while his memories remain locked away with his soul. Only half a man, he thirsts for the Water of Life that woke him and stumbles through darkness in walking half-life, dreaming on she who he cannot recall, forgotten by time, and left without place or purpose...
Richard has problems - perennially unsettled, curmudgeonly, immortal... He can't even remember his real name. Reinventing himself through several millennia while ducking pitchfork-wielding mobs, he finds use as an apothecary, though can't recall learning the trade. Riddled with guilt, he's compelled to heal in return for the human blood he steals. Sometimes, he craves ending the nightmare. Mostly? He just wants to be left alone.
That's not working out for him.
Eighteenth century Britain sees Maggie burst across his threshold as the mirror of painful self-examination that tears him apart while vicious pirate captain, Billy the Blackdeath, with a secret as old as his own, tangles them up in an inhuman, rage-fuelled vendetta that burns down his world.
Richard still nurses his wounds in the solitude of a remote Canadian forest three hundred years later, but to his undying exasperation, everyone is looking for him - the living and the undead. And fate seems determined to serve him up existence in unexplainable harmony with people he doesn't know.
When the truth comes out, it smacks of supernal collusion and though Richard protests he's nobody's hero, a manic, all-consuming need to protect human and not-so-human explodes into a fiery five-thousand-year-old destiny of epic, mythological proportions.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful mythological romance by AMAZON Review
I love reading mythological fantasy books, especially with a romance component, so when I found out that this was a Sumerian myth based story I was immediately interested. Plus there are Vampires, with a twist. Pirates. Witches. Thousand year grudges. The balance of good and evil in the world. And love, of course. Not the light, frivolous kind... but the deep, agonizing, soul-wrenching kind. It's set in modern times, but there's so much mythos and history being referenced that it almost feels like a historical fantasy romance.
It took me for an emotional ride. There were times when I was angry with the main character, and other times when my heart was breaking for him and I was in tears. This isn't a fluffy, light read. It's a serious story, filled with deep characters who have had some really bad things happen to them. But it's also about a love that crosses the centuries.
Absolutely, without question, would read more books about these characters.
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Blood Runner by J.D. Stanley revolves around the story of Richard, who is a blood runner and has been struggling with it for a long time. Things change when he meets Maggie, who also has problems of her own to sort out. Richard is hell bent on protecting her. Things are not going to be easy as long as Captain William Blackthorn, the pirate, is around. The story then moves to modern times to a forest in Ontario where Alan, the leader of modern vampires, tries to find out more about Richard's past to take revenge on Captain Billy the Black Death. From magic to vampires to blood feuds, this book is for all those readers who enjoy vampire stories and are also looking for some excitement.
The story is gripping and has many layers to it that will keep readers glued till the end. The ending is unexpected and, with a good combination of history and modern day, the author does an excellent job that makes it a wonderful read. The characters in the story are strongly portrayed and they remain in the minds of readers for a long time after they finish the story. The narration is descriptive and detailed, bringing the characters and story alive. The transition from olden times to modern day has been handled well and effortlessly, though the book has a lot of cursing in it. The ending leaves it open for readers to expect a sequel.
[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Blood Runner" by J.D. Stanley.]
4 out of 4 stars
J. D. Stanley's Blood Runner starts off in the ancient past, chronicling the beginning of the “blood runners” or vampires, as we know them. After the prologue, we jump forward a couple of milennia. Richard, aka Twitch, is a blood runner. Quite possibly the oldest in existence, he has no recollection of his beginning, or his life before the change.
Understandably, having been in existence for so long, he has lost any semblance of human emotions and prefers to keep completely to himself, shunning human contact except for the all-consuming need of sustenance. Then, quite inexplicably, Maggie burst onto the scene. Try as he might to get rid of her, Maggie simply won't go. On top of her infuriating stubbornness, Maggie is not in the least bit afraid of Richard. But Maggie has her own skeletons hiding in her closet, and one of those is Captain William Blackthorn. Captain Blackthorn, aka Billy, is bound and determined to possess Maggie in one way or another. Will Richard be able to protect her from the darkest force he has ever known? When it seems all hope is lost, this story takes a twist that you will never see coming!
Overall, this is a great book! The narrative style took a minute to get used to, as the time-line jumps around quite a bit. Once I became accustomed to the writing style, the story-line flowed smoothly. Honestly, I didn't want the book to end. Given the ending, I am holding out hope that there is a sequel in the works!
My only complaint with this book is the language. There is a lot of cursing, and I do mean a lot. I understand that it does fit the story and it most definitely fits the characters, but I still would have been happier with a little less language. I thought I had Richard pegged but was completely thrown for a loop about two-thirds of the way through the book. He seemed a different person in the second half of the story. By the end of the book, everything came together nicely. Thankfully, all of the questions that are brought up throughout the book are answered by the end of it.
Blood Runner doesn't end on a cliffhanger, but it does seem to be open for a sequel. There are some slightly unresolved issues, but nothing overly dramatic. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys vampire books (although this is a spin on vampires that I have never read before). I would also recommend Blood Runner to anyone that enjoys mythological stories.
All in all, I am giving this book a 4 out of 4 stars! Great job, J.D. Stanley! I look forward to reading more of your work!