Book Review: By Vow and Royal Bloodshed (Blood Ladders Trilogy Book 2) by M.C.A. Hogarth [Audiobook]

Having learned that he's an elven prince, Morgan's whole life has been changed. He goes back home, explains the situation to his friends, and they all head to the athenaeum at Vigil to open the sealed vault and find the answers they seek.

Book Review: By Vow and Royal Bloodshed (Blood Ladders Trilogy Book 2) by M.C.A. Hogarth | reading, books, high fantasy, elves
Title: By Vow and Royal Bloodshed
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 325
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


I was kind of bummed in the first book when the author introduced all of these characters who were Morgan’s friends but then they got left behind when Morgan traveled to the elves, so I was happy to see that they were back in the story this time! They were a good little crew and all brought something different to the table. I especially have a soft spot for Chester, he’s such a sweetheart.

I will say however that this book was very slow-paced and not that much actually happened plot-wise. Morgan explained everything to his friends, and then the group traveled on horseback to the athenaeum while talking, philosophizing, and learning about magic. There wasn’t really a conflict in this particular book, it kind of just furthered the overall story. That being said, what was cool about the slow pace of these books is that it allowed for a high level of introspection and exploration among the characters’ thoughts, their feelings, their growth, and how they’re impacted by the things happening. In the first book, it allowed the reader to really understand how Morgan’s chronic illness affected his life. In this book, it allowed the reader to see how he was affected by having a healthy body, how he and all the other characters were affected by learning about elves and demons and magic and the truth behind their religious beliefs, how the genets were affected and how they grew by having more freedom, etc.

There was a tiny bit of romance this time, and their relationship is nice, but I don’t really have much feeling about it since they were already friends and this didn’t really change much in the story. I liked how the relationship between Morgan and Chester grew though. I appreciate that the author is portraying a relationship of loyalty and devotion that is not romance but is something beyond friendship.

Once again, I thought the audiobook narrator, Phillip Battley, did a fantastic job.

Overall, although there wasn’t a lot that actually happened in the plot, I still enjoyed this audiobook, liked getting to know Morgan’s friends better, and am looking forward to continuing.


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Have you ever read a book that really explored how all the characters were emotionally affected by their adventures and revelations?


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8 thoughts on “Book Review: By Vow and Royal Bloodshed (Blood Ladders Trilogy Book 2) by M.C.A. Hogarth [Audiobook]

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  1. Greg

    Nice cover! Like Tammy said, definitely sounds like a book two! Still it’s sometimes nice to get to know characters better without everything being all action- glad the introspective parts worked mostly. Looks fun!

  2. Olivia Roach

    I am glad that the crew of characters you liked came back in this book! But yeah, it sounds a bit too slow paced and I don’t think this is going to be a series for me overall? I am glad you could get some enjoyment out of it nonetheless šŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      I can see how it might not be a series for everyone. I did enjoy it though! I realized that, if I had been reading the normal way, I might’ve struggled a bit, but the audio actually helped.


    I haven’t read that book. Right now I’m listening to the last Harry Potter book. Yes I have read a book that had heavy emotion. The book is part of a book series called Anita Blake. They are erotica. But in one book Anita was really affected that she killed one of the men in her life. I was annoyed with the book though. Even since that book Anita has gotten on my nerves with her emotions. But I do plan on to finish reading the Anita Blake book series. Only 7 books to go.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Harry Potter! Always a good series. Sorry the Anita Blake character is getting on your nerves. Hopefully the character and series will get better as it continues!