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Drawn by the shards of his obsidian heart, Khraen follows the path south. The islands, largely ignored by the Wizard’s Guild, have become a refuge for the unwanted of the world. Necromancers and sorcerers rule warring tribes haunted by the ghosts of savage and primal gods. With each fragment Khraen discovers more of the man he was. There was an Empire. There was a god. And she Drawn by the shards of his obsidian heart, Khraen follows the path south. The islands, largely ignored by the Wizard’s Guild, have become a refuge for the unwanted of the world. Necromancers and sorcerers rule warring tribes haunted by the ghosts of savage and primal gods. With each fragment Khraen discovers more of the man he was. There was an Empire. There was a god. And she dreamed in blood.


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Drawn by the shards of his obsidian heart, Khraen follows the path south. The islands, largely ignored by the Wizard’s Guild, have become a refuge for the unwanted of the world. Necromancers and sorcerers rule warring tribes haunted by the ghosts of savage and primal gods. With each fragment Khraen discovers more of the man he was. There was an Empire. There was a god. And she Drawn by the shards of his obsidian heart, Khraen follows the path south. The islands, largely ignored by the Wizard’s Guild, have become a refuge for the unwanted of the world. Necromancers and sorcerers rule warring tribes haunted by the ghosts of savage and primal gods. With each fragment Khraen discovers more of the man he was. There was an Empire. There was a god. And she dreamed in blood.

30 review for She Dreams in Blood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Fletcher

    IT. IS. ALIVE!!!!!! ADVANCED REVIEW COPIES are ready!!! I'm going to reach out to (AKA pester) reviewers over the next few days offering this around. But PLEASE don't feel you have to wait for an invite! I am forgetful and distracted and prolly juggling more than I should/can. If you are a reviewer with/for a site/blog/vlog/whatever (and sorry, posting reviews on GoodReads doesn't count) please feel free to message me for a copy. UPDATE! She Dreams in Blood , the sequel to Black Stone Heart, is now a IT. IS. ALIVE!!!!!! ADVANCED REVIEW COPIES are ready!!! I'm going to reach out to (AKA pester) reviewers over the next few days offering this around. But PLEASE don't feel you have to wait for an invite! I am forgetful and distracted and prolly juggling more than I should/can. If you are a reviewer with/for a site/blog/vlog/whatever (and sorry, posting reviews on GoodReads doesn't count) please feel free to message me for a copy. UPDATE! She Dreams in Blood , the sequel to Black Stone Heart, is now available for preorder! Release date for print and ebook is April 16th, with audio happening somewhere around there. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TVTF17J A huge thanks to Adrian and the team at Grimdark Magazine for hosting this. And a MASSIVE thanks to Felix Ortiz for being an absolute BEAST!!! tinyurl.com/yoof4por

  2. 4 out of 5

    FanFiAddict

    She Dreams in Blood is exactly what you expect in a Fletcher sequel: bigger, darker and more insane than your little mind can fathom. Fletcher is here to make necromancy sexy again... and again... and again. The relationship between Khraen and Bren reminds me of Deadpool and Dopinder; utterly nonsensical and drop-dead hilarious. The world in which these characters find themselves continues to blow my mind, and the more Khraen learns about who he truly is, the more pitch black the story becomes. She Dreams in Blood is exactly what you expect in a Fletcher sequel: bigger, darker and more insane than your little mind can fathom. Fletcher is here to make necromancy sexy again... and again... and again. The relationship between Khraen and Bren reminds me of Deadpool and Dopinder; utterly nonsensical and drop-dead hilarious. The world in which these characters find themselves continues to blow my mind, and the more Khraen learns about who he truly is, the more pitch black the story becomes. Gods, demons, necromancers and human-beasties collide in this bloodbath of a novel. I bestow the title of Emperor Grimdark to Michael R. Fletcher. Change my mind.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lukasz

    As the title suggests, She Dreams in Blood is a lighthearted and uplifting novel about the power of friendship, rainbows, and unicorns. Got you, right? “War is the natural state of all things. Wars between ant colonies. Wars between men. Wars between nations. Wars between realities.” If you loved Black Stone Heart, She Dreams in Blood will give you more thrills and twists. It’s an amped-up trip into madness fueled by Fletcher’s dark imagination. Khraen tries to make sense of the world and his place As the title suggests, She Dreams in Blood is a lighthearted and uplifting novel about the power of friendship, rainbows, and unicorns. Got you, right? “War is the natural state of all things. Wars between ant colonies. Wars between men. Wars between nations. Wars between realities.” If you loved Black Stone Heart, She Dreams in Blood will give you more thrills and twists. It’s an amped-up trip into madness fueled by Fletcher’s dark imagination. Khraen tries to make sense of the world and his place in it while hunting for shards of his obsidian heart. His search leads him to the islands that became a refuge for the unwanted of the world. Necromancers and sorcerers rule warring tribes haunted by the ghosts of savage and primal gods. She Dreams in Blood is in equal parts nauseating and fascinating. Khraen’s narration and inner monologues kept me invested in the story. He asks a lot of questions, like why does he possess a jagged heart of cold obsidian or is he human at all. He doesn’t fully understand his relationship with Henka, but love is in the air guys. Only, you know, Henka is a perfectionist, and she needs fresh blood and body parts to sustain her body and improve any imperfections. "Would I offer some pathetic argument that Henka was a predator, blameless like one of the great hunting cats? My love needed blood and flesh to maintain herself but butchering scores to achieve perfection was gluttonous. With blood to maintain herself, a single body should last years, decades even. She was never happy, never satisfied. I’d become so accustomed to the way she slowly changed over days and weeks, eyes a little larger, a little darker, skin a little smoother, I’d long stopped noticing." Fletcher spends plenty of time on such inner monologues while simultaneously showing readers how Khraen is on a way to becoming the monster he doesn't want to be. Sensitive readers will find a lot of problematic content here (violence, physical destruction of the body, and the pain accompanying it). Fans of dark stories, on the other hand, will be thrilled with full-blown balls-to-the-wall action with horror elements. And gorehounds will get their gore here, as well. In a way, She Dreams in Blood is slower than Black Stone Heart. Khraen's brooding gets repetitious but never ceases to entertain. We learn more about his past but less than I would love to. I can't say more about the plot but it feels narrower, less adventurous, and more brutal than in the first book. I admit there were moments that felt like too much for me. The final plot progression made the experience worthwhile and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. Fans of dark fantasy will find plenty to enjoy here. It’s bloody, it’s nasty, and hard to put down.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Review now live at Grimdark Magazine She Dreams in Blood is the sequel to the excellent Black Stone Heart , book one of The Obsidian Path . The first novel is a finalist in the 2021 Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO), and with good reason as it’s an excellent book. The sequel continues the first-person narrative of Khraen, once and (future?) Demonist Emperor. He has a few more shards of his obsidian heart and the memories that come with each piece, but still searches for the remaining pie Review now live at Grimdark Magazine She Dreams in Blood is the sequel to the excellent Black Stone Heart , book one of The Obsidian Path . The first novel is a finalist in the 2021 Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO), and with good reason as it’s an excellent book. The sequel continues the first-person narrative of Khraen, once and (future?) Demonist Emperor. He has a few more shards of his obsidian heart and the memories that come with each piece, but still searches for the remaining pieces. He’s becoming more powerful with each shard, but also increasingly frustrated as his memories are just shy of completion. “If my soul-devouring empire was all that stood between humanity and utter destruction, I wasn’t the villain. Maybe I wasn’t the hero, but stories of dashing heroes doing noble deeds are horseshit.” At the heart of Kraen’s partially restored memories are two women. The first is his necromancer soul-mate who travels with him, harvesting the bodies of dead women to keep her “fresh” and appealing to Khraen. He battles with he moral issues of her taking the lives of innocent women to sustain herself versus his near obsessive need to have Henska at his side. He rationalizes that she’s no more than a predator who needs to kill to survive, much as an animal might do. “These were the terrible decisions a truly good man could never make.” The second woman isn’t a mortal (or undead) woman at all but an ancient goddess. Khraen is slowly become aware of this being, known only to him through his reawakening memories as She Dreams in Blood. Khraen is slowly starting to realize that there are forces beyond his own awareness that are responsible for how his destiny has turned out. “Was a flawed soul better than none at all?” She Dreams in Blood is a fascinating study in the internal struggle between right and wrong, as Khraen tries to balance his desire to do good things in the world with his need for reclaiming his lost power, along with enacting vengeance on those who’d betrayed him. The more he learns about his past, the more Khraen starts to realize that his still missing memories of Henska are crucial. How much has she manipulated the path of his life to get to this point, and how influential is she over the future? He knows that she loves him and she does everything she does for him, but at what cost? “There was something terrifying about someone willing to do anything they thought was in your best interest.” We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer to discovering the missing pieces in Khraen’s memory, and how he will reconcile those with what he wants to do going forward. Will he find a balance between the villain that the world portrays him and the moral man he feels he should be? Or is he doomed to repeat his mistakes of his previous centuries as emperor?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    https://www.bookwormblues.net/2021/04... I’ve edited… I don’t even know how many of Fletcher’s books I’ve edited by now. I think I’m on six? Maybe seven? I haven’t looked. Anyway, the point is, I edit for this guy. I edit a lot for this guy. I’m a bit invested in his career. You should know that before you continue reading. The thing is, I’m pretty invested in Fletcher’s career regardless. The reason being, I don’t often come across an author who is this incredibly talented, and I always want tal https://www.bookwormblues.net/2021/04... I’ve edited… I don’t even know how many of Fletcher’s books I’ve edited by now. I think I’m on six? Maybe seven? I haven’t looked. Anyway, the point is, I edit for this guy. I edit a lot for this guy. I’m a bit invested in his career. You should know that before you continue reading. The thing is, I’m pretty invested in Fletcher’s career regardless. The reason being, I don’t often come across an author who is this incredibly talented, and I always want talented authors to not only succeed, but thrive. Fletcher has this way with telling a story that just works for me. It’s like he wraps his fist around my heart and squeezes, squeezes, squeezes, and oh, it hurts, but it’s the kind of pain I love. He pushes me to understand just how far a person can push a story, and just how well unexpected elements can work together to create something completely new, and intensely captivating. Fletcher isn’t really an author you want to read if you want comfortable. His books are anything but comfortable. Case and point, She Dreams in Blood. This is the second book in his The Obsidian Path series. You do need to read Black Stone Heart before you read this book. You won’t understand any of it if you don’t, and that would be a real shame because this book is really worth your time. Also, if you haven’t read Black Stone Heart yet, you need to. Do yourself a favor and just read it. You’ll be glad you did. Honestly, I edit so many books and read so many more these days, it’s really hard to surprise me. I have a sort of gut sense about where a story will go, and the twists along the way, and 90% of the time, as I read/edit, I find my gut is right. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the book I’m editing/reading, but I am much harder to surprise these days. She Dreams in Blood had me pretty shocked the entire time I was editing it. Reader, I was not prepared for this Lovecraftian horror-fantasy, nor was I prepared for the various twists along the way. The character I went into this book not trusting was the one I went out of it feeling extremely sorry for. The one I liked ended up being a repugnant skinbag. My entire worldview was flipped on its head. I mean that literally. In the space of one (*checks notes*) 358 page book, everything I thought I knew was wrong and I was left with an ending that had me messaging Fletcher with “OH MY GOD.” Anyway, Fletcher is a great man with a fantastic sense of story but She Dreams in Blood took everything I thought I knew and mixed it up a bit, then threw in some Lovecraft for flavor and right when I thought stuff was settling I realized that absolutely nothing is what I thought it was, neither world nor people. This book just changed the game big time. I don’t know what to expect next, and for someone who reads and edits as much as I do, that’s really the best compliment I can give any author. I genuinely do not have a clue. Fletcher’s next book in this series will drop next year, I’m guessing, and as I write this, I cannot even hazard a guess as to what will be in it. I genuinely don’t know. Do you know the last time I’ve been able to say that? A long, long time. And oh, what a gift it is. Black Stone Heart was good. As you can see from its SPFBO ratings, it’s really, really good and it is getting the praise it deserves. She Dreams in Blood takes all the good parts of Black Stone Heart, and builds on them by orders of magnitude. I honestly was wondering if Fletcher could top his previous book, but he did. This one is incredible. Unpredictable. Horrifying, and, more than that, human. These struggles, changes, the journey to understand both oneself and one’s past, is so incredibly human. And maybe that’s why this book works so well. It’s somehow manages to stay true to its fantasy nature with larger than life characters and gods, magic, and mystery while the people at the heart of this tale are so shockingly, painfully human despite their larger-than-life natures. This series is all about hearts. It is fitting that She Dreams in Blood never loses sight of what makes a heart beat. Fletcher is a master craftsman. It is honestly the highlight of my editing career to work with him, to see his books unfold, and to see how well received they are. He has taught me a whole lot about writing. More than that, his books are, in my estimation, some of the best fantasy out there. She Dreams in Blood is a magnificent edition to this author’s portfolio. I cannot wait for all of you to read it. 5/5 stars P.S. I had this hunch for a while now that Fletcher has been leaving Easter eggs in his books about his entire body of work as a whole. I finally confronted him about it when I was editing this one. He confirmed my suspicions, said not many people are picking up on it (I think we both decided this is pretty awesome), and I just think that’s delightful. So I guess what I’m saying here is, look for Easter eggs and have your mind blown the way mine was. I think my direct quote once I figured it all out was, “Wait. WAIT. I just read this, didn’t I? I didn’t make this up?! This is SO COOL.” I’m telling you people, this man is a mad scientist. He works on numerous levels. Not only is he an incredible wordsmith, but he tells stories no one else would dare to tell, and he masters them. Plus, there’s all this beneath the surface stuff too that adds layers and depth to everything. I don’t know what Fletcher’s brain must be like, but it’s got to be labyrinthian and incredible. I mean… just wow.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

    4.5⭐️ A fascinating continuation to The Obsidian Path series. I love Fletcher’s dark fantasy writing and She Dreams in Blood is dark and thought provoking. Living in Khraen’s head is disturbing but I couldn’t put this book down. There are plenty of holy shit moments, but also plenty of humor, even if it is that dark sort of funny. Compared to the first book, I liked and understood Henka a lot more. She’s a great character. Khraen’s journey to find shards of his heart is a triumph of the philosoph 4.5⭐️ A fascinating continuation to The Obsidian Path series. I love Fletcher’s dark fantasy writing and She Dreams in Blood is dark and thought provoking. Living in Khraen’s head is disturbing but I couldn’t put this book down. There are plenty of holy shit moments, but also plenty of humor, even if it is that dark sort of funny. Compared to the first book, I liked and understood Henka a lot more. She’s a great character. Khraen’s journey to find shards of his heart is a triumph of the philosophical and illustrates how every seemingly evil action can be justified somehow. Another great Felix Ortiz cover and wonderful editing by Sarah Chorn.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Smith

    5 STARS I read my ARC copy of this last night - in fact I didn't sleep as I couldn't put it down. It is a brilliant sequel (though there were a couple of questions I have to work through) and my feelings/emotions regarding the characters are still being wrestled with. I will write a decent review and post on some sites soon, once I can put into words what I'm feeling regarding this beautifully dark piece of brilliance. I appreciate Felix Ortiz's cover even more now that I've read the book. He cert 5 STARS I read my ARC copy of this last night - in fact I didn't sleep as I couldn't put it down. It is a brilliant sequel (though there were a couple of questions I have to work through) and my feelings/emotions regarding the characters are still being wrestled with. I will write a decent review and post on some sites soon, once I can put into words what I'm feeling regarding this beautifully dark piece of brilliance. I appreciate Felix Ortiz's cover even more now that I've read the book. He certainly has brought Michael Fletcher's vision to life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lila

    But our god, she doesn’t answer prayers. At least, not that kind. She dreams. She dreams in blood, and she waits. She waits for you. She waits for you to be whole. She waits for you to bring her back to this world. Can't wait for this one. But our god, she doesn’t answer prayers. At least, not that kind. She dreams. She dreams in blood, and she waits. She waits for you. She waits for you to be whole. She waits for you to bring her back to this world. Can't wait for this one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Josh Schmidtka

    Got an electronic Arc copy from Michael R. Fletcher, thank you, good sir! I've waited for this book since I finished the first book and I was not displeased. This new addition to The Obsidian Path series is just completely amazing. For those who may not know and not to spoil anything, the Obsidian Path series follows a man (or is he?) named Khraen who searches for his lost memories but he may not like what he finds a fantasy world with wizards, demons, and dangerous secrets. This grimdark fantasy Got an electronic Arc copy from Michael R. Fletcher, thank you, good sir! I've waited for this book since I finished the first book and I was not displeased. This new addition to The Obsidian Path series is just completely amazing. For those who may not know and not to spoil anything, the Obsidian Path series follows a man (or is he?) named Khraen who searches for his lost memories but he may not like what he finds a fantasy world with wizards, demons, and dangerous secrets. This grimdark fantasy is a fine addition to my collection, I've enjoyed every drop of it. Throughout the book, you see more character growth and the reader is drawn deeper into the world, seeing a lot more things are going alongside Khraen's mission for his memories. At least, in my opinion, the series feels like a love child of Mark Lawrence and Joe Abercrombie...I wasn't disappointed whatsoever! This deserves a place on my bookshelf, once I can get a hand on a physical copy of "Black Stone Heart" and "She Dreams in Blood" instead of ebooks. Michael R. Fletcher, well done on this amazing story! 5/5 stars!

  10. 4 out of 5

    kartik narayanan

    You can watch a semi-animated review at my Youtube channel Introduction 'She Dreams in Blood' is the sequel to the brilliant 'Black Stone Heart' and is the second book in the 'Obsidian Path' series. Khraen's main objective is to collect and assimilate the shards of his obsidian heart from his other-selves. At the same time, he is trying to figure out the truth behind his rule, his wife 'Henka', and who he ought to be. The story is set in the Southern Islands, a land that consists of small fiefdoms You can watch a semi-animated review at my Youtube channel Introduction 'She Dreams in Blood' is the sequel to the brilliant 'Black Stone Heart' and is the second book in the 'Obsidian Path' series. Khraen's main objective is to collect and assimilate the shards of his obsidian heart from his other-selves. At the same time, he is trying to figure out the truth behind his rule, his wife 'Henka', and who he ought to be. The story is set in the Southern Islands, a land that consists of small fiefdoms and, far more savage than the North. Characters In addition to the established characters like Khraen, Henka & Nhil, 'She Dreams in Blood' introduces a few more complex characters. The stand-out is 'Bren', a sailor on the ship that Khraen & Henka take towards the end of 'Black Stone Heart'. Bren is like a counter-weight to Henka, with Khraen using him as a moral compass. Bren is not an innocent who always chooses the right thing - instead, his advice is pragmatic and human, something Khraen realizes he lacks. Bren's presence shows Khraen's growing mistrust of his history as well as Nhil & Henka. Nhil continues to be my favourite supporting character, though. While being an active sounding board for Khraen, his snark is entertaining and mysterious at the same time. Questions remain as to his exact relationship with Khraen and what his ultimate plan is. Henka's motives are also suspect, but her character is not as interesting as the others, given that she seldom has doubts about her actions. Khraen continues to be amongst the best characters I have ever read. He is not a hero, and the more he is pushed, the more his actions make him a villain than an anti-hero. His inner monologues ( and sometimes external dialogues) are as compelling to read here as in 'Black Stone Heart'. We can see his desire to be a better person, but circumstances and actions make him behave more like the Demon Emperor that he was. Khraen wrestles with existential questions this time too. What if the only way to save the world is to become a reviled person like who he was before? Is it worth sacrificing a few to save the world? I like that these kinds of philosophical questions are an intrinsic part of the plot since they make character development so much more nuanced, and they help provoke the reader into thinking. Pacing, Writing, World-building & Other Things I will use 'Black Stone Heart' as the benchmark since that book is almost perfect, in my opinion. There are many things that I love about 'Black Stone Heart'. The express pacing, the brilliant writing, the characters and the moral dilemmas. 'She Dreams in Blood' has all these strengths and is a worthy successor to 'Black Stone Heart'. The writing is as strong as ever with 'punch' dialogues and how Michael Fletcher draws the reader into the story. The pacing is a bit more sedate. I suppose this is because while in the first book, Khraen was starting from zero, in this one, he is consolidating his plans. 'She Dreams in Blood' has a faster pacing than most other books in this genre. As far as world-building is concerned, we get to see more of the Southern Islands. Most of the story takes place on an island that is a bit evocative of Dr Moreau. The rest of the story is on a larger island that is the unofficial hub of the archipelago. I found the latter setting more interesting in terms of world-building. But when it comes to the climax and ending, it edges out 'Black Stone Heart'. The climactic scenes are way better in terms of both action and Khraen's deeds & decisions. The intriguing ending leaves the reader in suspense, and I will be eagerly looking forward to what happens next. Conclusion If you like the grimdark genre or are looking for morally ambiguous characters, you should not miss this series. 'Black Stone Heart' is fantastic, and 'She Dreams in Blood' takes it to 11.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nick Borrelli

    I was not prepared for how insanely Lovercraftian this next book in The Obsidian Path was going to be. It's bloody, it's trippy, it's violent, and it's everything that you expect from a Michael R. Fletcher book and then some. Khraen continues his journey to slowly rebuild the pieces of his former life and discover the truth of who he was before. He knows bits and pieces but the essential memories are still scattered in different locations where he must travel to find each shard that will complet I was not prepared for how insanely Lovercraftian this next book in The Obsidian Path was going to be. It's bloody, it's trippy, it's violent, and it's everything that you expect from a Michael R. Fletcher book and then some. Khraen continues his journey to slowly rebuild the pieces of his former life and discover the truth of who he was before. He knows bits and pieces but the essential memories are still scattered in different locations where he must travel to find each shard that will complete the puzzle. The trouble is he doesn't necessarily know exactly where some of them are and the ones that he does are hidden in the worst possible places guarded by demonic and monstrous beasts straight out of an acid-induced nightmare. I guess it should be expected though as any book that centers around necromancy isn't exactly going to be a comfort-read fantasy story. I really enjoyed this book and found it to be somewhat of a different read from its predecessor, Black Stone Heart. The continuation of this story is akin to a descent into madness and intense self-reflection, whereas in the former Khraen didn't know exactly who he was and was coming to grips with his missing identity as a blank slate. SHE DREAMS IN BLOOD sees him building back his memory slowly and as a result we get a lot more insight into the person he may have been through his gradual discovery. We also get to experience more of how Khraen feels about it all. I still marvel at how Fletcher came up with such a brilliant concept with this series. The idea of someone being resurrected but having no inkling of their former self may not necessarily be new, but Fletcher delivers it in such a way that it does feel that way. The different shards that must be collected to recover full memory is so interesting and it really sets up one hell of a final book in my opinion. The fact that Khraen also struggles with the possibility that he may not exactly have been the best person is so brilliant and it creates a tension that makes the reader hang on every word. I think the best compliment I can give this book is that I had some really effed up dreams during the time that I was reading it. That's how much it stayed with me. Just be prepared to meet some of the creepiest necromantic creations you will ever come across. If anyone has ever read The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson, that's the feeling that I got when I read some of the chapters in SHE DREAMS IN BLOOD. In the end I came away stupefied at how Michael R. Fletcher continues to push the envelope with the stuff that he writes. He seems to manage to surprise me every time with the edgy concepts that make his books so entertaining to read and never the standard fantasy read. When you read one of his books you always know that things are going to happen that you've never read in a book before. The dark magic is always supremely dark and the world-building is top-notch in every sense. I was blown away at where Fletcher took this story and I can't wait to see what he drums up for the next installment. The answers are taking shape and this series should just get even better from here. If you aren't checking out Michael R. Fletcher's books, you are missing one of the most innovative dark fantasy writers out there. Be prepared to be wowed, shocked, appalled, thrilled, and mesmerized by his stuff. But one thing you will never be is bored. Another winner of a book for me and I am eagerly looking forward to the next one. This is shaping up to be one electrifying conclusion and I am so delighted to be along for the ride.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bender

    https://fanfiaddict.com/2021/03/01/re... Overall: +7/10 Continues seamlessly from book 1. Author's gritty yet offhand writing style fits the first person PoV to a T as we progress on Khraen's journey to regain his lost heart and memories. An absolute page turner. Highly recommended. Can't wait to dive in to next book. Prose/Plot/Pace: +8/10 The book has enough gore to gross out Genghis Khan. Mike certainly goes all out ... from casual talk genocidal soul feeding to demons, to necromantic upgrade to https://fanfiaddict.com/2021/03/01/re... Overall: +7/10 Continues seamlessly from book 1. Author's gritty yet offhand writing style fits the first person PoV to a T as we progress on Khraen's journey to regain his lost heart and memories. An absolute page turner. Highly recommended. Can't wait to dive in to next book. Prose/Plot/Pace: +8/10 The book has enough gore to gross out Genghis Khan. Mike certainly goes all out ... from casual talk genocidal soul feeding to demons, to necromantic upgrade to Human Centipede, it's certainly has enough content to fill a Horror Theme Park ... but Michael's deft writing twists that into a detached curiosity rather than making me completely eew-out! Still rather than the gore, we only get the underlying emotional content as Khraen grapples with his morality. I know I'll love a book when I read subtle poetic verses like "The Gods giveth, and the motherfuckers taketh away". Beautiful, that I teared up a bit! The plot moves a bit more sedate pace than book 1. The book focuses more on the internal conflict raging within Khraen as he grapples his own morality pitted against his self confessed one true love. We get to see more of the background filled in as more nuggets of history as revealed and the world gets clearer. The Bren's interludes though fascinating to read don't really help the pace either. Thankfully, they are brief. Characters: +6/10 The two major characters are Khraen and Henka as their relationship takes a bulk of the plot. Very similar to book 1, Khraen is bloody brilliant and portrayal of inner turmoil is excellent making him a very unique characters in world of fantasy. Though have to admit that I wasn't a big fan of his soapy teenaged whining of his love. Though it fits the character, I'd have preferred for him to be a bit more mature rather than hopelessly desperate making instinctive and idiotic decision purely for love. Time for him to choose his side and get on with it before the schtick gets repetitive. Love Tien. Breath of fresh air. I always had a smile and enjoyed her segments the most. Nhil is another intriguing character, I wish had more screen time. His verbal fencing with Khraen is always a joy to read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This is the sequel from Michael R Fletcher and I certainly enjoyed continuing the journey of the man with the obsidian heart and his crazy demonic past. This story picks up straight after the ending of the first one, with Khraen and Henka on their journey to try and discover more pieces of the heart, more memories, and to battle against the flashbacks and activities the Khraen got caught up in many years ago. This instalment is mostly focused internally with Khraen monologuing and asking questio This is the sequel from Michael R Fletcher and I certainly enjoyed continuing the journey of the man with the obsidian heart and his crazy demonic past. This story picks up straight after the ending of the first one, with Khraen and Henka on their journey to try and discover more pieces of the heart, more memories, and to battle against the flashbacks and activities the Khraen got caught up in many years ago. This instalment is mostly focused internally with Khraen monologuing and asking questions of himself and his morals. The more that he uncovers the most shocking these become. The introspection is vital to developing Khraen and how he's going to work on facing some hard truths. He's learned a lot, but he struggles with the reconciliation of his actions and the ways of the world. He also has a fair few moments of discovering more about himself, and has to constantly question and confront his past. Henka as a character is quite a tricky one to really enjoy or like as her existence depends on the murder of many. She's a lover for Khraen, but she's by no means under his thrall and in fact it seems like she knows more about everything than he does and I had a hard time trusting her. We'll see how the story unfolds on her plot as the series goes on. The actual plot of this one felt a little bit less focused than book one as so much of it is introspection. I think in terms of action and adventure I wished we saw a little more of the wider world as much of the story felt focused in on one or two destinations. Overall, I still very much enjoyed this, and although it's not for the faint of heart (as it's bloody, gore-filled, and pretty fill of horror-adjacent moments) I think it continues to develop the character of Khraen (I loved the backstory reveals most of all) and his quest for knowledge and eventually redemption or power, we're yet to see for sure... 3.5*s

  14. 4 out of 5

    Randall

    Highlander: Planet Torment She dreams in blood is an fascinating tale in Kharens broken and wretched world as we follow him on his journey to literally gather himself and understand his past that led to this dark future. This is a tough one to get through. As we learn of his past, we begin to understand his actions, and the consequences of his failure. This world is vast and brutal and the lives of people and gods are very cheap. To put it simply, this is a story about choices, and how they shap Highlander: Planet Torment She dreams in blood is an fascinating tale in Kharens broken and wretched world as we follow him on his journey to literally gather himself and understand his past that led to this dark future. This is a tough one to get through. As we learn of his past, we begin to understand his actions, and the consequences of his failure. This world is vast and brutal and the lives of people and gods are very cheap. To put it simply, this is a story about choices, and how they shape our destiny. The story is slowly paced, focusing more on morality and inner character development than pacing and plot. This does cause the story to drag a bit in the first act, where we sit around as the MC questions his motivation and evil acts. Also, there is a mystery, but not really. The MC is agonizingly indecisive, bullheaded, and stubborn at times, causing most of the conflict and misery in the story. The magic however, is refreshingly grounded, with rules and consequences. Wizards use chaos magic which requires meditation to store power for use. Sorcerers use their life force to power their sorcery. Elementalists and demonologists use ritual and ancient pacts to bind powerful forces (spirits and demons) according to their will. Everything is fleshed out, and makes sense. The story is a bit here and there, and so is the little plot which needs more of a ticking clock. As it is, this is a well written story, add it to your library.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paul Cochrun

    The second book in The Obsidian Path series launches Khraen’s on the southern part of his seasch, but also adds some elements that weren’t as prevalent in the first novel. There’s a very interesting flow to She Dreams in Blood as it jumps between gory action, glimpses of humanity, and Khraen’s introspection. Yes, Fletcher will test your limits of gore and horror with all sorts being from the pits. Franken-gorillas, and bloody dismemberment… Be ready! But, there’s also times when new ‘guide’ Bren i The second book in The Obsidian Path series launches Khraen’s on the southern part of his seasch, but also adds some elements that weren’t as prevalent in the first novel. There’s a very interesting flow to She Dreams in Blood as it jumps between gory action, glimpses of humanity, and Khraen’s introspection. Yes, Fletcher will test your limits of gore and horror with all sorts being from the pits. Franken-gorillas, and bloody dismemberment… Be ready! But, there’s also times when new ‘guide’ Bren is able to share his story and connect with Khraen and Henka… Fletcher gives a couple chapters over to Bren to let him tell a bit of his story. I liked this device which easily added good depth to his character. Khraen’s introspection is the part of the novel that slowed me down… He discusses his desires, his connection to Henka, and his filtered past. Unfortunately, this became repetitive and I lost the plot a couple times in the midst of it. She Dreams in Blood moves forward many of the viseral themes Fletcher introduced in book one, but uses some characterization that I felt inhibited other parts of the storytelling. 3.5 out of 5 stars For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2021/04/18/sh... For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog/

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Bryant

    Michael R Fletcher’s sequel to Black Stone Heart is less of a roller coaster ride and more of a screaming plunge down a mineshaft with the gut wrenching feeling of the wheels occasionally leaving the track and threatening to toss you into the abyss. Continuing the story of Khraen, risen from the grave and searching for the fragments of the obsidian heart which was shattered and scattered across the world. And searching for these fragments he must fight for them, and in doing so he must literally Michael R Fletcher’s sequel to Black Stone Heart is less of a roller coaster ride and more of a screaming plunge down a mineshaft with the gut wrenching feeling of the wheels occasionally leaving the track and threatening to toss you into the abyss. Continuing the story of Khraen, risen from the grave and searching for the fragments of the obsidian heart which was shattered and scattered across the world. And searching for these fragments he must fight for them, and in doing so he must literally fight himself, as each fragment has spawned another Khraen , each with only partial memories of his former existence. And as he assembled these pieces to complete his ebon heart he learns much more about himself and his past, but questions whether this is the person he wants to be. After reading Manifest Delusions I had said to myself that I would immediately pick up anything with Fletcher’s name on it, and after reading this it has not changed my mind; rather reinforced that desire tenfold. Chapter after chapter is completely jaw clenching excitement, written in his powerful style. Needless to say, this is a cannot miss.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Lumsden

    This second act in The Osidian Path story is nothing short of outstanding. It’s got all the gore, filth, and depravity that fans of dark fantasy love, but Fletcher’s works are so much more than that. It’s the philosophical discourse in his books that keep me coming back. This book asks fundamental questions about what it means to be human, or simply to be. At one point in the story, a major character is stripped of all body parts and rebuilt. Is the person still the same person? Or how about thi This second act in The Osidian Path story is nothing short of outstanding. It’s got all the gore, filth, and depravity that fans of dark fantasy love, but Fletcher’s works are so much more than that. It’s the philosophical discourse in his books that keep me coming back. This book asks fundamental questions about what it means to be human, or simply to be. At one point in the story, a major character is stripped of all body parts and rebuilt. Is the person still the same person? Or how about this question: if love is the result of compulsion, is it still love? No? Why not? What’s the difference? And then there are the basic questions of good and evil: if good results from evil acts, are those acts really evil? Are the results really good? Are “good” and “evil” meaningful concepts? This type of discourse in escapist literature could easily come off as pretentious and weigh a story down if the questions under discussion weren’t vital parts of an exciting and truly entertaining tale. Fortunately, the reader is in good hands with this imaginative and talented author. If Herman Hesse were to write dark fantasy, he’d be Michael R. Fletcher.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tom Smith

    I was fortunate enough to beta both books in this series and I have to say that anyone who hasn't read Mike's books will be stupified by how darkly he navigates the story with seemingly no effort. Having met him over zoom, he seems like a nice, normal guy. I can only imagine what one of his neighbors might think if they read his books. "Yes honey, we do need that extra deadbolt..." This story picks up where Black Stone Heart left off with Khraen still trying to figure out who and what he used to b I was fortunate enough to beta both books in this series and I have to say that anyone who hasn't read Mike's books will be stupified by how darkly he navigates the story with seemingly no effort. Having met him over zoom, he seems like a nice, normal guy. I can only imagine what one of his neighbors might think if they read his books. "Yes honey, we do need that extra deadbolt..." This story picks up where Black Stone Heart left off with Khraen still trying to figure out who and what he used to be along with trying to figure out exactly what his undead girlfriend wants with him. Honestly, it's hard enough to figure out with a living girlfriend, but I digress. If they were on Facebook, his relationship status would say "it's complicated". This book looks at the speed limit of conventional fantasy and floors it past the country cop on the side of the road sipping his coffee making him spill it all over himself. I highly recommend it and am amped up for book 3. ( stares impatiently at Mike)

  19. 4 out of 5

    vesper

    Apart from minor nitpicks this is a quick and fun read. Young Khraen starts to understand that the road to hell (or to the Demon Empire) is paved with good intentions. And maybe love. And insecurity. But the wisdom of the thousand year old emperor lies deep in a grave, somewhere in the North - or maybe in other shards of the heart scattered in the world that forgot the terror/greatness of the old times; so our hot headed hero - unintentionally - lets the brighter people (or dead) do the thinking Apart from minor nitpicks this is a quick and fun read. Young Khraen starts to understand that the road to hell (or to the Demon Empire) is paved with good intentions. And maybe love. And insecurity. But the wisdom of the thousand year old emperor lies deep in a grave, somewhere in the North - or maybe in other shards of the heart scattered in the world that forgot the terror/greatness of the old times; so our hot headed hero - unintentionally - lets the brighter people (or dead) do the thinking. And for the nitpicks: I'm not terribly interested in the forming "old gods" lore and the connection to the City of sacrifice universe; yes, it's something trivial, no need to be blunt about it and throw Terrible Unspeakable Scary Names around, we get it, blood, sacrifice, cities, scary gods. Okay. And another thing: you can't store blood in barrels for long - unless you add some necromancy to peserve it from spoiling. But you can roast it with onions and eat it, which people do around here. Yummy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jitesh

    I think this was a good successor for the black stone heart. I have mixed feelings about this book, I don't know maybe coz I am not a very experienced reader who understands the character development very much and I really think less action books are not for me yet. Reasons help you decide a path of action. Justification are for when you already know what you're going to do. The story start from the same second the first book ended. So, the beginning was good I want to say that, the struggle an I think this was a good successor for the black stone heart. I have mixed feelings about this book, I don't know maybe coz I am not a very experienced reader who understands the character development very much and I really think less action books are not for me yet. Reasons help you decide a path of action. Justification are for when you already know what you're going to do. The story start from the same second the first book ended. So, the beginning was good I want to say that, the struggle and contradictions after knowing the truth was very good. And the way story progresses by still searching for the remaining shards of his obsidian heart was well. The relationship between all the characters was also good. The friendship between Bren and Khraen was very well written. I want to point that time to time revelations of Henka was sometimes hit me like a slap on the face. Well, I didn't the book would end in this way and I loved it and waiting for the next installment in the obsidian path series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    (My promises were shit. Even those spoken only to myself. I was a liar. >>> “I don’t want to be the villain,” I said. “The concept is meaningless. Everyone does what they think they must. Such labels are applied by others, those who don’t know the whole truth.”) This could have been a boring, repetitive quest story with a forever conflicted hero/villain/monster except for the many little stories told by secondary characters. There are also god's entering the picture, scariest of all being the goddes (My promises were shit. Even those spoken only to myself. I was a liar. >>> “I don’t want to be the villain,” I said. “The concept is meaningless. Everyone does what they think they must. Such labels are applied by others, those who don’t know the whole truth.”) This could have been a boring, repetitive quest story with a forever conflicted hero/villain/monster except for the many little stories told by secondary characters. There are also god's entering the picture, scariest of all being the goddess that recruited the reluctant demonologist thousands of years ago. (“What’s the difference between a god and a demon?” I asked. “Scale.”...)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Khraen's story continues as he journeys to find the remaining pieces of his obsidian heart. He finds more pieces, learns more, however he still has major gaps with each opponent being a little stronger than the last. Not alone in his quest, he discovers the hold love and friendship can have on a man, as he struggles not to become the man he increasingly understands that he must have been; a battle he may lose. Love the story, the weird creatures, action and settings; makes the imagination go wild Khraen's story continues as he journeys to find the remaining pieces of his obsidian heart. He finds more pieces, learns more, however he still has major gaps with each opponent being a little stronger than the last. Not alone in his quest, he discovers the hold love and friendship can have on a man, as he struggles not to become the man he increasingly understands that he must have been; a battle he may lose. Love the story, the weird creatures, action and settings; makes the imagination go wild, but still can't figure out my feelings about Khraen, as his story continues. He is what he is, and that's not always likable, but never dull. Looking forward to book 3.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ruben Lloyd

    No spoiler opinion- 5/5 Great book. Enjoyed it even more than Black Stone Heart. The new characters added are great, and Fletcher only improves upon the ones we know. The ending is crazy and I spent a while considering how it changed my views on the characters, after a whole book being reasonably set in my ways. Just as gruesome and horrificly despicable as the first book, although I found this a more enjoyable read than BST overall- most likely helped a lot by the side characters and the fact t No spoiler opinion- 5/5 Great book. Enjoyed it even more than Black Stone Heart. The new characters added are great, and Fletcher only improves upon the ones we know. The ending is crazy and I spent a while considering how it changed my views on the characters, after a whole book being reasonably set in my ways. Just as gruesome and horrificly despicable as the first book, although I found this a more enjoyable read than BST overall- most likely helped a lot by the side characters and the fact that a certain character I disliked gets some more flak in this.

  24. 5 out of 5

    James Harwood-Jones

    What a ride! This entertaining mystery and gore filled pleasure has sadly come to an end for me. At least until the third book comes out. (Hurry up would ya!?) I can’t recommend this series enough. It’s so incredibly dark and evil. Narrated by the most reviled man (Khraen not Fletcher 😉), it is truly a study of predestination. No matter how the protagonist tries to change and become a better person he continues down his dark path. Such a riveting and engrossing gothic tale. Wonderful and unforget What a ride! This entertaining mystery and gore filled pleasure has sadly come to an end for me. At least until the third book comes out. (Hurry up would ya!?) I can’t recommend this series enough. It’s so incredibly dark and evil. Narrated by the most reviled man (Khraen not Fletcher 😉), it is truly a study of predestination. No matter how the protagonist tries to change and become a better person he continues down his dark path. Such a riveting and engrossing gothic tale. Wonderful and unforgettable characters. Five Stars.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This book might have it all: Demonolgy, elementalism, sorcery, shamanism, and necromancy. Angry Gods, powerful demons, zombie abominations, wizards, warriors, and insect alien brain worms. It sounds like a lot of things, and it really is (in the best way possible). Perhaps the most ambitious of Fletcher’s world building creations. I can’t say it’s the most insane - Though, it is certainly is on that spectrum. This book is horrifically gruesome and laugh out loud hilarious. A ton of fun to ride al This book might have it all: Demonolgy, elementalism, sorcery, shamanism, and necromancy. Angry Gods, powerful demons, zombie abominations, wizards, warriors, and insect alien brain worms. It sounds like a lot of things, and it really is (in the best way possible). Perhaps the most ambitious of Fletcher’s world building creations. I can’t say it’s the most insane - Though, it is certainly is on that spectrum. This book is horrifically gruesome and laugh out loud hilarious. A ton of fun to ride along with the imagination of a mad visionary. My only disappointment is that I have to wait for the next instalment of The Obsidian Path! 🤘🖤

  26. 4 out of 5

    Darren McGowan

    To short Wow, seems like I just started this book and it's over! Guess that's days something good about this story. If you know anything about Mr. Fletcher, you know this is dark, grisly and demented. Plus damn fine writing! This story really messes with your mind on who's right, who betrayed who and who to trust. I 've read a handful of this authors books and can honestly say I have not read a bad one. To short Wow, seems like I just started this book and it's over! Guess that's days something good about this story. If you know anything about Mr. Fletcher, you know this is dark, grisly and demented. Plus damn fine writing! This story really messes with your mind on who's right, who betrayed who and who to trust. I 've read a handful of this authors books and can honestly say I have not read a bad one.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    3.5 out of 5 I’m not a good enough writer/reviewer to clearly write out my thoughts in a helpful way write now, hopefully soon though. I need to process. This series is like nothing I’ve ever read, in ways that frustrate me and in ways that are compelling. I’m even farther out of my normal reading comfort zone than I was at the end of book one, but I am still very intrigued to see where this series is going. Looking forward to the next one!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hindess

    I'd been waiting impatiently for this book and it didn't disappoint. Full of loathsome characters that are nevertheless still fascinating. A gripping read with twists, turns and realisations that take your breath away. I'll probably listen to the audiobook when that comes out to quell my impatience for book 3. I'd been waiting impatiently for this book and it didn't disappoint. Full of loathsome characters that are nevertheless still fascinating. A gripping read with twists, turns and realisations that take your breath away. I'll probably listen to the audiobook when that comes out to quell my impatience for book 3.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    Khraen is the villain protagonist I've waited for my whole life. Top-notch dark/high fantasy, hungry gods, necromancy, Lovecraftian insectoid horrors, demonology, realistic negative character arcs, great narrative pacing--what's not to love! Khraen is the villain protagonist I've waited for my whole life. Top-notch dark/high fantasy, hungry gods, necromancy, Lovecraftian insectoid horrors, demonology, realistic negative character arcs, great narrative pacing--what's not to love!

  30. 5 out of 5

    DaMaar

    Internal Debates While written well i do have issues with this book. I find the inner conflict of the MC to ring a little hallow since he ALWAYS picks against his current wishes. Which just annoyed me. Rating: 3/5 Cover: 3:5 Narration: N/A Favorite Line:

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