Review: The Boy Who Wept Blood

Posted: April 15, 2016 by in Books We Like (4/5 single_star) Meta: Den Patrick, Fantasy

The THE BOY WHO WEPT BLOOD is the second book in Den Patrick’s Erebus trilogy. I had a lot of praise for the first one, even going so far as to tell Steve the boss, “It’s a better Locke Lamora.” Sounds like a tall order, huh?

Here’s the honest truth: the second book is not as good as THE BOY WITH THE PORCELAIN BLADE (EBR review). Much like Scott Lynch, Patrick fails to deliver a truly satisfactory second book.  But not all is lost.

Now, that’s not to say it’s a bad book. It’s certainly not. It’s a very good book. But it never reaches the heights of the first book, and Dino is simply not as engaging a protagonist as Lucien. The viewpoints and supporting cast feel more spread out, and less focused and powerful. The returning characters and the new protagonist are a little flat, the book feels rushed, and the plot is less engaging, in spite of being less of a cliché than the first book.

However, venturing back to the setting of the Erebus trilogy is a welcome return. The dark gothic hallways of the capital, the political intrigue and backstabbing remain in true form throughout the book, and keep the quality of the story high, even if the protagonist is a less enthusing character.

Patrick’s writing remains solid, but he commits perhaps the gravest sin of an author: remaining static in his craft. Is the book good? Yes. Is it even great? At junctures, yes. But is it better than the start to the series, THE BOY WITH THE PORCELAIN BLADE? No. Does it show his growth as an author? No.

If you enjoyed the first book, THE BOY WHO WEPT BLOOD is a more than serviceable sequel, and you won’t regret getting it.

Lest I sound too negative, I enjoyed the book. It’s serviceable and was well worth my money; so even if it’s not a revelation in literary craftsmanship, it’s a good book. And that’s more than enough for me. I would read it again.

If you enjoyed the first book, this is a more than serviceable sequel, and you won’t regret getting it. It’s good enough, that I fully intend to read the final and last segment of the book series, THE GIRL ON THE LIAR’S THRONE, and I confess, I’m excited for the viewpoint that book promises to me.

  • Recommended Age: 17+
  • Language: Yes, yes and yes
  • Violence: So much violence
  • Sex: Yes, some

Series links:


  • Chris AM says:

    That happens a lot with second books, don’t you think?

    • Alan says:

      I think it happens more often than not, it’s certainly true. I’m a little concerned about my Scott Lynch comparison, because the Locke Lamora series has just spiraled downhill in quality after the first book.

  • Murphy7 says:

    The Lamora series is a widening gyre for me; I loved the first book so deeply it would have been nearly impossible to build on it for the second. I loved a lot of the choices in the second book, but I found I missed some characters from the first. The third book took forever to arrive, and I think suffers mainly from the anticipation. I should re-read them again soon and see what changes for me.

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