Blood Moon by Marilyn Todd

MOON
Blood Moon by Marilyn Todd
High Priestess Iliona #2
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (166 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

In a cave in the hills, seven candles burned, and tonight, when the moon was at its full, it would be time to light another. Oh, the Blood Moon was so aptly named…

Three ritual killings on the same night can’t be coincidence. More an attempt to sabotage the peace between Sparta and her new allies from across the Black Sea.

High Priestess Iliona has no wish to become embroiled in politics. Especially now. The son she gave up at birth has discovered her identity, and emotions she’d worked so hard to lock away have surfaced, raw and painful. But Lysander, commander of Sparta’s hated Secret Police, gives her no choice. And because she hopes that uncovering conspiracy, murder, kidnapping and adultery will help dull her pain, she fails to notice a killer on the loose with a pathological hatred of women.

Who’s picked Iliona as his next victim.

If only Iliona wasn’t such a good spy…

All Iliona wants is to serve in the temple of Eurotas and take care of the people who come to her for help. Unfortunately, she’s done an excellent job of spying for Lysander in the past, and now he has another job for her. Iliona would refuse if she could, but Lysander knows too many of her secrets. One word from him and her life could be forfeit. Iliona knows she has no choice, so she grudgingly agrees to help, but solving this mystery brings more pain that Iliona ever could have imagined.

I enjoyed getting to know Iliona better in this book. I read and enjoyed the first book in this series, but I felt that I didn’t know Iliona as well as I would have liked when I finished reading. I’m pleased to report Ms. Todd fleshes out Iliona’s character a bit more in this installment. After learning more about Iliona’s past and what she has survived, I like her even more.

While this book could possibly stand on its own, I do recommend reading the first book, Blind Eye, before attempting this tale in order to have a better feel for Iliona, Lysander, their history, and the world they live in. Also, Ms. Todd switched between a lot of viewpoints in Blind Eye, and she continues that pattern in Blood Moon. I feel I was better prepared for this having read Blind Eye first. I do think that the number of viewpoints could be whittled down a little. While the differing perspectives are interesting, I found myself wishing I could spend more time with Iliona and Lysander.

Lysander and Iliona’s partnership continues to be interesting. Iliona barely tolerated Lysander in Blind Eye, and her feelings for him haven’t changed. She definitely resents his presence in her life. That being said, I do think they worked together better this time around. Iliona seems to be developing a grudging respect for Lysander, and I daresay he is starting to like her. However, Lysander is a very secretive character, and I can never be sure what his true motivations are. I look forward to seeing what will happen to them in the next mystery.

Ms. Todd did an excellent job of weaving mysteries together. As I read, I enjoyed trying to figure out if various characters were connected or acting on their own and who the murderer was. I must admit that when the culprit was revealed, I was a little shocked with how Iliona chose to deal with the murderer. It was certainly a side of her I’ve never seen.

I truly enjoyed reading Blood Moon. It is an intriguing mystery sure to keep readers engaged. I’ll certainly be picking up the next book in this series.

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