As many of you know, Time Travel is my kryptonite. I love the genre. I love everything about it. So when The Legend of the Bloodstone came across my desk, I decided to give it a go.
Maggie’s life is going downhill, the last of her family has died. She’s got a heapload of student debt. And a farm in rural Virginia that she’s struggling to keep afloat.
While she cleaning out a barn, she finds a carved bloodstone she is hurled backward in time to 1622 where she meets Winn, a Paspahegh warrior, who she feels an instant connection with. Winn, for his part, isn’t sure if he wants to kill her or kiss her. She’s a white woman. A newcomer. And she’s a threat to his way of life.
On the eve of the 1622 Powhatan massacre, Winn and Maggie struggle to find a common ground while at the same time struggling to survive.
I didn’t like this book.
I mean. I wanted to like the book. It’s a unique time period and a unique location. The hero is a Native American of a long forgotten tribe. So forgotten that I actually googled them to see if they were made up or just that obscure.
Which is when I ran into my first issue. So according to historians… the Paspahegh people went extinct in 1611. Eleven years before this story was set. Yes, they are a sub-tribe of the Powhatan people. But they were distinct from the main Powhatan group.
So there went a star for the author’s failure to google.
Second… I kept getting the feeling that there was something wrong with the story. Like the Native Americans' names and customs. But I admit, this isn’t my bailiwick so other than a vague disquiet there wasn’t much I could do or say.
The bigger problems were that I didn’t really like either main character. Neither one made me root for them. Maggie was at times too stupid to live and too much of a damsel in distress. While Winn was JUST too far over the hill of stoic, grumpy man to be likeable. (And yes, the stoic Native American trope is also a problem, but the MMC was for the most part the only character guilty of this so I’m giving it a pass.)
I did like other characters. Unfortunately, they tended to disappear at a moment’s notice. Most likely because the author forgot about them or their role in the story was finished so they didn’t need to show up again. For a lot of the book I was confused and I kept going back to reread afraid I’d missed something… Yeah…
The story was at times both too fast and too slow. It was like the author was focusing on the wrong things. Not the right ones. Or at least, that’s my interpretation. For example, I really liked the mechanics of the time travel and the history with the stones. The lore there was super interesting and I wanted more. There’s a hint that Winn himself is a child of another time traveler. Unfortunately it didn’t get expanded on. Instead, the story started taking very cliché beats of putting the heroine in danger every five minutes only to have the hero rescue her. Yeah.
The writing technically was good. And there were parts I enjoyed. So this isn’t a total trainwreck.
But because I didn’t like the characters, the historical inaccuracies, and the weird pacing I can only give this
You can get the book on Amazon or KU.