Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess

This is probably the most violent, gory, incestuous, and just plain sickening books I have ever read. It’s also one of the most complex and brilliant, which is why I’m including it on RR. But be forewarned, this is not a story for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached. Based on Icelandic/Norse myth, Bloodtide is a disaster story that takes place in a ravaged, futuristic London. There are two main warring tribes–the Volsons and the Conors, who are constantly fighting over land and the right to rule all the people of London and the accompanying countryside. The head Volson, Val, tries to make peace with the head Conor (also named Conor) by offering his 14 year old daughter Signy’s hand in marriage. Signy’s smart, cute and no slouch with a sword, so Conor agrees. But he’s planning a terrible double-cross–when Signey’s dad and brothers come to Conor’s palace to toast her wedding, Conor looses his army on them and ruthlessly murders them all. This includes chaining up her three brothers to be eaten by a huge, brutish half-wild boar, half man. (that’s the scene where I almost lost my lunch) Except her twin bro, Siggy, manages to escape (and that’s the scene where I laughed my head off. Siggy gets out of reach of the pigman, who can’t climb and keeps calling him “Dinna,” begging Siggy to come down so “Piggy” can eat him, nice and gently:) Siggy flees to the countryside and begins to raise a rebellion against Conor and his crew. Meanwhile, Signy has her own problems back at the palace, dealing with her paranoid psychotic husband and mourning her family’s total annihilation. And folks, that’s just the first few chapters. There’s also a magic knife everyone wants, a shape-shifting cat woman, and loads of other “half-men” who are scary combinations of people, animals and machine. Plus, rampant violence, poverty, dead people hung by their feet, and some Norse gods running around. The story telling is difficult, with many voices chiming in, some in a bastardized Cockney accent. You’re either gonna love it or hate it, but I guarantee, if you make all the way to the end, you’ll never forget it.

2 thoughts on “Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess

  1. im reading bloodtide and im on page116! i really really really luuv it and cant stop reading it!

  2. I.. I think I read this and the sequel Bloodsong when I was 12! I’ve been trying to remember what on earth it was called and who it was by for years! Though I don’t remember it being sickeningly gory, maybe I was so focused on the overriding story that I skimmed past the blood? Or I was just a really macabre kid… either way it’s stuck with me! xD

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