‘Do not feel you need to review it’ said Chris Riddell about his and Paul Stewart’s second Wyrmeweald novel. I need to! Badly. Bloodhoney is even better than Returner’s Wealth, and as Chris pointed out ‘It doesn’t suffer from the slow start of the first and has some rather deeper subtexts.’ It does. It certainly does.

Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, Bloodhoney

I should probably not bring up the sourdough bread again, but it works. Now that I know what Wyrmeweald is and that I like Micah and Eli Halfwinter, and Thrace and Aseel, and a few more (not many more, though, because the book is populated by unpleasant people and creatures), it’s like slipping into something comfortable. No further need to get to know this world. You know precisely where you are.

Mind you, it’s not necessarily comfortable knowledge. Eli and Micah and Thrace are under threat, and now that fullwinter has arrived, it seems nowhere is safe. If your enemies don’t get you, the climate will. Don’t get too comfortable; it can’t last.

Kith or kin, you get bad ones and you get good ones. With keld you only get bad. There are good wyrmes and bad wyrmes. And both kith and wyrmes are looking for somewhere safe to stop, where they can live in peace. You can see history repeating itself over and over, and in more than one place.

This is another violent and bloody story, but I think I have an inkling of where we are heading. Eli is a very wise man, and Micah is lucky to have him for his friend. As for the Bloodhoney of the title, you don’t want to know. Stay away from it.

More beautiful black and white drawings by Chris at the start of each chapter make this a very attractive book, as well as a marvellous read. Virtually unputdownable.


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