Blood Ties

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Pub Date 12 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 02 Dec 2022
Greenleaf Book Group, Greenleaf Book Group Press

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Description

At the heart of an ancient prophecy is young Lucas, who has the sole power to save two medieval kingdoms from destruction . . . but will he discover this ultimate secret before it’s too late?

Lucas has been raised as a blacksmith’s son; an outsider ostracized by the other village children. One night at a nearby monastery, a mysterious black stone whispers a haunting premonition to Lucas. When his father is murdered, the monks take Lucas in, convinced he is an extraordinary hero foretold by destiny. However, a restless Lucas runs off to join a circus where he draws the attention of the powerful King Itan, who believes Lucas is one of “the chosen”—a group of boys who are descendants of great warriors. The king will stop at nothing to compel Lucas to join his chosen army, all while the soldiers who killed Lucas's father are closing in. Before long, Lucas is embroiled in a plot to defeat the king while an unseen enemy begins planning to bring the young man down before he learns of his remarkable power.

This first novel of L. Waithman’s richly imagined fantasy series will leave you eagerly awaiting Lucas’s next adventure.
At the heart of an ancient prophecy is young Lucas, who has the sole power to save two medieval kingdoms from destruction . . . but will he discover this ultimate secret before it’s too late?

Lucas...

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781626349223
PRICE $20.95 (USD)
PAGES 344

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Average rating from 16 members


Featured Reviews

An enjoyable MG/early YA fantasy book set in a medieval world, following the life journey of Lucas.

From son of a village blacksmith to trainee of warrior monks, circus performer and one of "the chosen", Lucas' life is full of adventure, hardship, betrayal but also mentorship and friendship.

Blood Ties is also a coming of age book, as we watch Lucas grow up and his experiences shape him accordingly. It's the first book of a series, so a lot of questions remain answered and the true face of several characters is still a mystery.

For me the book was kind of a slow starter, picking up the pace in the middle and later part and keeping me glued to the pages. I will definitely buy the sequel books in The King's Chosen series by Leonie Waithman!

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Thanks, Netgalley and Publisher for the opportunity to read and review!
I enjoyed the story. The plot moves fast and the narrative offers vivid descriptions of this magical medieval world and allows you to get engrossed with the story the more you read. Lucas' journey and growth is presented very well. His story is relatable and filled with difficulties, challenges and obstacles with the ultimate goal for him to find himself. I definitely recommend the book.

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fans of coming of age fantasy will love this book!

Secret sect of warrior monks, swords & Sorcery, love & loss and a genuine good time book.

A page turner that kept me reading!

Highly recommended!

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Blood Ties is a solid middle-grade fantasy book about a kid named Lucas who becomes one of the chosen. army. It starts when he is 11 and follows him through age 15. I think kids will enjoy the story of a lonely orphan who is more than he seems. The cast of characters is just the right size for kids to keep a handle on and the situations Lucas finds himself in are interesting. I look forward to finding out what becomes of Lucas in the next book.

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Thank you NetGalley and publisher for the ARC.

‘Blood ties’ is an action packed middle grade fantasy suitable for readers of all ages. The story follows a young boy named Lucas in a medieval fantasy setting.

Lucas is a fleshed out heroine with immense capacity for growth. His characterisation and story are very endearing. Readers will fly through every chapter of the book.

Waithman’s writing is equally driven by plot and characters however, the world building could be expanded upon.

Overall, I found this book to be a solid start to a series. The ending poses quite a few questions for the readers and I hope to find these questions resolved in the sequel.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️(4/5) stars.

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Review of King"s Chosen
This is a novel of a debut author and it is pretty enjoyable. I enjoyed reading it.
First of all, I want to thank the publisher to provide me an Advance Reading Copy of the novel.
The cover of the book attracted me. And when I read the premise of the novel, I requested it.
Plot is pretty nice. There is only one main POV and that is Lucas. The characterization of Lucas is great. I could clearly understand his motives behind his actions and decisions. Apart from Lucas, there are other POVs- Officer Verron, King's Guard Egon, Elite Born Eli.
I should point out that the world building could have been better.
At the end of final chapter, the author has left me to know more about Lucas and who he really is. I like this because now I will have to pick up second installment in this series as soon as it is released.

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This is a very good book for an older middle school ago or even older. The story is very well paced but I will say that the world building needs to be more flushed out. The reader never knows more then the main character which is fine but just not something that I love. You can really tell that the author really did they research when it comes to the sword fighting and horse back. It was exciting enough to keep me engaged but also wasn't overly complicated.

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What worked:
Lucas has special abilities that may make him a pawn between good and evil, but he also possesses admirable character traits. He’s respectful of his elders and isn’t afraid to work hard for what he wants. He can become angry and stubborn, but he learns humility and is willing to admit when he’s wrong. His father was a respected blacksmith, but the vagueness of his parents’ heritage makes his future unpredictable. He’s targeted and singled out which creates conflict with others and endangers his life. There’s an underlying mystery about his true identity and a couple of unknown factions are secretly monitoring his life.
With the deaths of his parents, Lucas searches for guidance and parental figures. He first finds a monk who is almost certain there are people in the world who will be searching for Lucas and his skills. Lucas has a vision of becoming a warrior for the king and only wants to pursue activities that he perceives will help him toward that end. He balks at some of the tasks required of him, but he eventually appreciates the discipline and wisdom he’s gaining. He later meets characters that treat him like a friend and family member, although he must discover how to detect honesty and good intentions from others. Nevertheless, there are enough empathetic characters to keep Lucas from being killed or dying from other causes.
Lucas’s quest to become a warrior creates its own conflict. His upbringing as a virtuous character seems an ideal fit to become a defender of the king and his realm. However, the king doesn’t possess those same virtues, and his leadership style is a large contrast to his predecessors. Farmers and townspeople are overtaxed, and their concerns and complaints are ignored. The king’s word is law, and citizens discover his dissenters languish in prison or are never seen again. Elite warriors are identified by their bloodlines, while the Chosen are identified or nominated at the age of ten and then brought to the castle to pass the Test. Both groups present formidable warriors, and it’s unclear where Lucas might fit in, or if he even belongs with the king’s army at all.
What didn’t work as well:
A plot about an orphan destined for greatness isn’t unique, so that affects perceptions of the book’s creativity. However, there’s a reason so many books follow the format, so is it right to question when authors use it? This book features a praiseworthy, likable young boy who is conflicted by his experiences with the world. The story chronicles his challenges and struggles, but the main attraction is the uncertainty of his past and his destiny.
The Final Verdict:
Listen to your heart. The book seems to offer another story of a child prodigy, but it goes far beyond that. The author's debut novel is able to describe Lucas’s emotional journey which will allow readers to experience his joy and despair. I’m looking forward to the sequel, and I highly recommend you give it a shot.

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A copy of “ The King’s Chosen”, by L. Waithman came to me via Net Galley free in return for an honest review. My thanks to the author, publisher and to Net Galley.

“ The King’s Chosen” is the first book in a proposed trilogy. It’s theme is that of a heroic fantasy/ coming of age novel located in the Young Adult subcategory. Accordingly, there is nothing offensive to concern any reader.
Lucas is a teen boy who spends his time he helping his father , a blacksmith , as he forges iron into steel for swords which he sells to the local monastery of warrior monks. In Lucas’s spare moments he dreams of being a warrior, fighting off the feared intruders called “Hunters” whose raids are designed to erode the king’s defenses. The other village youths in the village often see Lucas playing at sword fighting, and make fun of him . One day the older boys start a scuffle , surrounding Lucas, swinging sticks and throwing stones. In the middle of it all, Lucas realizes that he can suddenly sense the the direction of their attacks,. The awareness allows Lucas to dodge and hit back hard enough to knock the attackers down until they run away in fear.. So it is established that the boy is special. His father knows that already, and warns Lucas not to attack any more attention to himself.
Following a day when his father delivers some new swords to the monastery, Lucas glimpses the monks at sword practice. This prompts the boy to sneak off in the afternoon, climb the high monastery wall , watch the monks practice and learn how they use a sword. Soon his pastime is discovered by the monks and his father. Both the head monk and his father already know that Lucas is special and he is allowed to enter training.
The author writes in a clear unaffected, meaning not over-elaborate , way. Lucas’s story is an entertaining one as he slowly grows into his power, without even realizing it. He spends time traveling with a small circus doing sword tricks that delight the country rubes,
. But his feats also get him noticed by the King’s soldiers, who begin surveillance. Eventually Lucas enters service with the king. This happens after Lucas riding his along with the circus wagons, sees a coach careening out of control. Lucas takes off after the coach, and stops the coach in time before it crashes. This scene is right out of “Stagecoach” with Lucas, instead of John Wayne, leaping from his horse to control the panicking coach horses. It is an iconic scene, used in many westerns since, so it w works here too. In the coach is the Queen and princess, of course. The cards fall Lucas’s way.
As noted, “ The King’s Chosen” is book one of a promised series, so that is pretty much a set up for more to follow Lucas’ growth to power.
It is a pleasing , quick read, not too deep or complicated . As such, and as one who tends to read deeper , darker, heroic, i.e., bloodier, harder fiction and fantasy, it was a bit bland. But it has clear appeal to a younger audience and one who shies away the hard-edge tales. I am sure that in subsequent books, as the author feels her power with story-telling grow, her books will get a bit more bite to them.
Summing up: A good YA ,novel a boy with a fate to power.
( One quibble, and a minor one: The author doesn’t have to hide the fact that she is a woman by using only her first initial. She is good enough to wield her sword proudly.)

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Blood Ties was an enjoyable read. I would probably consider it aimed more towards middle grade readers than young adult, however I think it is suitable for all ages. I loved following the main character, Lucas, on his adventure to pursue his destiny as well as seeing how he grew and changed overtime based on the obstacles he faced. There were a lot of interesting aspects of the world as well, but part of me wishes they were expanded on more.

Other than the worldbuilding, the main reason for my somewhat lower rating is that I had this nagging feeling while I was reading that I was just being dragged along for the ride. The book covers a lot of different events but I never felt as invested in the plot or the characters as I wanted to. I still enjoyed my read but the sense of immersion I tend to look for just wasn't there.

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I truly enjoyed BLOOD TRIES!
I loved the setting, the characters, and the plot.
My only problem was the pacing, for me sometimes it felt a bit slow or off. But this may be duo to my personal preference since I usually read shorter books.

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Lucas is different. When he starts training with an order of warrior monks this difference only becomes more marked. As Lucas embarks on his quest to join the King's army, it soon becomes clear that he is more than just different. There is something special about him and his abilities and there are many who notice. Some try to guide and protect him but others want Lucas out of the way. Can he be the one prophecy speaks of?

'Blood Ties' is a beautiful coming of age adventure. As Lucas grows older, he grows so much in character and maturity, learning to accept who he is and to make peace with his past. The worldbuilding is fun and gives a lot of the medieval era feelings. While this might not be to everyone's taste, I really enjoyed the slow reveal in terms of all the hints about who Lucas really is (even though the full reveal will probably only come later!). The political intrigues and court etiquette were very detailed and intricate (which I loved) in a way that really adds to the story. Lucas' adventures have something for everyone; fun, adventure, action but also depth and growth and a lot of emotion. I can't wait for the rest!

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At the heart of an ancient prophecy is young Lucas, who has the sole power to save two medieval kingdoms from destruction . . . but will he discover this ultimate secret before it’s too late? Lucas has been raised as a blacksmith’s son; an outsider ostracized by the other village children. One night at a nearby monastery, a mysterious black stone whispers a haunting premonition to Lucas. When his father is murdered, the monks take Lucas in, convinced he is an extraordinary hero foretold by destiny. However, a restless Lucas runs off to join a circus where he draws the attention of the powerful King Itan, who believes Lucas is one of “the chosen”―a group of boys who are descendants of great warriors. The king will stop at nothing to compel Lucas to join his chosen army, all while the soldiers who killed Lucas's father are closing in. Before long, Lucas is embroiled in a plot to defeat the king while an unseen enemy begins planning to bring the young man down before he learns of his remarkable power.

I absolutely loved this novel! It was brimming with adventure, danger and suspense. Waithman has created a world steeped in tradition and magic where we follow the story’s protagonist Lucas, a courageous and determined young man trying to find his place in the world.

As Lucas travels to find the King and become one of his ‘chosen’ soldiers, he comes across mystical monks, creative circus performers, stern soldiers and the egotistical elite. Waithman then joins Lucas with his fellow ‘chosen’ and they band together to protect Lucas and assist him in discovering and honing his powers and fate… it had me on the edge of my seat with nerves it was that tense and exciting! I can’t wait to get the next book in the series to find out what happens next.

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