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Blood for the Spilling by T.J. Nichols Release Day Review

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Book Info

Book Series
Studies in Demonology, Book 3
About the Author
TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily, writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the every day. TJ enjoys writing novellas and novels and has a series, Studies in Demonology, coming out with DSP Publications.
After traveling all over the world and Australia, TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.
Publication Date
November 27, 2018
Available Formats
epub, mobi, pdf
Content Warning
pain play, cutting for blood sacrifice and pleasure, instances of violence, Aztec/Mayan inspired sacrifice, and menage scenes.
Sheets of ice are spreading across the human world, ushering in an ice age as the magic drained from Demonside turns that world into a desert. Angus and reluctant warlock Terrance have defected from Vinland to the Mayan Empire—a land of dark and potent magic. But the Mayans aren’t offering sanctuary for free. 

Nor is the world willing to stand back as Vinland attacks, and the backlash will affect all magic users. 

Mage Saka has no tribe. He is now just another refugee fleeing the dying Demonside. He knows the conflict brewing now will be worse than the first demon war. Countries are banding together—not just against Vinland, but against all magic. Where will the powerful Mayan Empire stand? 

Angus might have the power to fight Vinland and the Warlock College, but the cost will be terrible. Saka is torn between helping Angus and stopping him. And Terrance would do anything for Angus, but he’s terrified of the man Angus is becoming, even as Saka is warming to the idea of a relationship between the three of them. 

No matter what choice they make, victory will be bittersweet, and when the ash settles and the snow melts, nothing will be the same.

Editor review

1 review

 POV: 3rd person, triple character POV
 Would I read it again?: YES!
 Genre: LGBT, MM, Romance, Fantasy, Demon, Supernatural, Magic
 Heat Level: ★★★☆☆

 Holy Cow! This was incredible!
 Somehow, T.J. Nichols manages to put a whole heap of world building, characterisation, emotion, and talent into a single <300 page book, that some authors can't even manage in 800 pages. Each book in this series has blown me away, time and again warning me not to underestimate the author's skill in wielding the weapon they've made of storytelling. Each book has somehow both met and exceeded my expectations, every single time.

Blood for the Spilling is a thrilling, engaging, unsettling novel about what a single human is willing to endure, sacrifice, and commit to, for love and because it's the right thing. Angus takes on the entire war-torn world in this novel, and manages to still be real, relatable, logical and break the bonds of the Angus Donohue the world has tried to make him.

 The story picks up almost exactly where we left off in book 2. And, yes, I binge-read books 1 and 2 again, before delving into this book, because I wanted to be fully submerged in the world when I picked it up, knowing that all the little nuances were important. And while it wasn't strictly necessary – because there's a great, natural recap throughout the first chapter – this is definitely a series that should be read over and over again, in order, so that you really feel encased inside the world.

 A few days/weeks after the events of book 2, we find Angus in the Mayan Empire, trying to fix the world that broke itself. Though we continue to have both Angus and Saka's POV's, we are also treated to Terrance's for the first time. This is totally appropriate, since he's more a part of their lives than he ever was before, and he sees events that we need to be aware of, to understand the entire story.

 Yet, while getting to see Terrance's POV, I love that we're also still a little unsure about his commitment, still harbouring the same deep-seated doubts and hesitations that Saka and Angus have, despite knowing that they can trust him. Like Jim before him, Terrance has proven himself to be less about the cause and more about Angus; meaning he's easily bought and has no set loyalty. Something that is really well covered throughout the story, and is challenged by the Mayan's.

 I love that the Mayan Empire is so closely based on the real Aztec/Mayan culture that we know, and that it maintains that authentic flavour throughout its culture. From the sacrificial games, to the way they work with demons and use magic, it all felt real to me. Especially since I've studied the Aztec and Mayan empires, so know what to look out for. It made it really easy for me to sink into the culture and see both their acceptance of their own practices and the resistance that Angus and Terrance show towards then.

 There was a slow but steady stream of information about what was happening to the outside world, what was happening to the other tribes in Demonside, and about the clean sweep weapon, and how it had made Vinland the enemy of the world. I love that the explanation of what it was and what it could do came long after Angus and his small tribe were already mistrusted by the Mayan's – it only showed just what the world had been dealing with, while they trekked through Demonside and just why no one would trust them, no matter who they turned to for refuge.

 I also appreciated the way that Angus slowly proved himself to the Mayan's, and they, in turn, proved themselves reliable allies in return. It's the genius of Nichol's writing that the smallest incidents or words can have a bigger impact when looked at with a new POV. Over time, just as Angus and Saka slowly built a relationship with each other, they too built a relationship with the Mayan Empire and were able to garner the trust, and offer their own in return, to make their plan viable.

 Honestly, I can't say too much about the plot without giving it away. And I don't want to do that. But I will say that I cried for basically 50% of the book, or was close to it. I cried when Saka used the telestones and found death; at 64% when I worried that the story might not finish in this book and I'd have to wait for another installment; and for most of the last 30% of the book, as it all came together to the stunning conclusion that was reached. And, in the last 10% I cried mostly because it was over; the end was in sight, and I knew there wouldn't be another book; and because the ending that had been reached was just so friggin' perfect that I couldn't have asked for more.

 Overall, Blood for the Spilling is the epitome of a perfect conclusion to a pretty perfect series. Every book in the trilogy, and each page in each book, offered a new adventure, a new insight, a new emotional tug that refused to let me put it down. I hungered, I thirsted, I reached bladder-bursting ache, and I went numb, sitting reading each book until there were no more pages left. Because once you start a journey like this, you become Angus. You can't stop until you've rebalanced the two worlds. Until Demonside is safe. Until Saka is back with his tribe. Now I have to ground myself with sustenance, after giving everything I have to Demonside. Then I'll come back again in a month or two and start the journey all over again from page 1 of book 1, until the final page of book 3.

Let me just end by saying, I've already pre-ordered my paperback. And this is - without a doubt - one of the best MM series I've read in a long time. One of my all time favourites, from book 1 to book 3, there was never a moment of disappointment or boredom.

Congrats, T.J. Nichols, on an EPIC series. And thank you, for an incredible adventure in a brilliant, beautiful new world that I can come back to revisit any time I like.


 Favourite Quotes

 “The magic had brought him home.”

 “If he'd known what summoning a demon would mean that first day, he liked to think he'd have still done it, but no one was that brave.”
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