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Review by Lauren S. Smith

Kelly A. Harmon's new thriller/fantasy novel, Blood Soup, is a story of murder, betrayal and determination to get what they want no matter what the price or whose lives are ruined. Lovers of suspense and fantasy novellas will be enthralled with the plot and characters of Blood Soup.

The story is set in medieval times in the fictional kingdom of Borgund. King Theodicar is hoping for news that his pregnant Queen, Piacenza, will produce a male heir as a future ruler. Harmon is great at setting the scenes, and readers will have no problem picturing themselves in a fantasy world where choices must be made that will determine the fate of the world.

In the beginning, Piacenza's nurse, Salvagia, casts runes that project a message much different than what King Theodicar is hoping to hear: "A girl child must rule or the kingdom will fall to ruin." The result of the birth is a dilemma for King Theodicar and the choice he must make will determine the future of Borgund.

King Theodicar's fateful decision about who will become heir to the kingdom of Borgund will set the tone for the remainder of the novel. The consequences of his decision will rain death and destruction on the kingdom that are inevitable -- as predicted in the prophesies - and these consequences will last for decades.

If you like to read of magic and witchcraft, you'll enjoy the character of the nursemaid, Salvagia, whose casting of runes predict the demise of Borgund, unless a woman rules the kingdom. There is mysticism galore in Blood Soup - enough to fascinate every reader and make them hunger for more.

Blood Soup is an absorbing story with characters that are compelling and complex and Harmon's storytelling abilities will transport you to medieval times where your very senses will explode with the sights, sounds and smells of the time. In a world and time where males ruled, the fact that a female becomes a rising star in the kingdom is a twist that will delight readers - especially those who lean toward feminist beliefs.

As a suspenseful thriller, Blood Soup will make you shiver with fear. It is a story about the plight of women, which will make you indignant. As entertainment it will make you happy that you chose the book. From the graphic and gruesome cover to the characters inside the book that are manipulative, scheming and treacherous, Blood Soup is fast-paced and will pull you into a world where the consequences are dire for anyone who goes against authority.

Harmon is an award-winning writer who is known for writing medieval fantasies. She's also written other works such as Black Dragon, White Dragon and The Dragon's Clause. Blood Soup won the Silverlark Publishing Novella Contest even before publication. She began her writing career as a journalist, but enjoys her new found interest in writing short stories and novellas.

Lauren Smith is editor for the Virtual Book Review Network - reviews books by well known bestselling authors and books by soon to be recognized names. For more information, visit: This review covers Blood Soup, by Kelly A. Harmon.

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