Read Sand and Blood by D. Moonfire Online


Can the power of the weak save them all?Growing up a disappointment, Shimusogo Rutejìmo has always struggled with proving himself worthy to his family and clan. All he wants is the magic to run faster than the strongest warrior, emulating his brother's strength and courage. When he is once again caught showcasing his poor decisions and ineptitude, he's sent on a quest forCan the power of the weak save them all?Growing up a disappointment, Shimusogo Rutejìmo has always struggled with proving himself worthy to his family and clan. All he wants is the magic to run faster than the strongest warrior, emulating his brother's strength and courage. When he is once again caught showcasing his poor decisions and ineptitude, he's sent on a quest for his manhood, a discovery of his true bravery and worth.His journey proves perilous and contrived as the elders who were to guide his endeavors abandon him in the dead of the night, forcing him to forge on without the tutelage he needs to succeed. When danger begins to envelop him, it's up to Rutejìmo to find a way to not only gain inner courage and confidence, but to bravely save the friends he's encountered along way. But he'll need the clan spirit's ultimate speed to conquer the impossible. Can a meek man find the strength to fight for himself?...

Title : Sand and Blood
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781940509068
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 292 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sand and Blood Reviews

  • Vanessa
    2019-03-09 22:01

    Rutejìmo is labeled among his clan as a useless teenager, and is considered lazy, temperamental, and cowardly. He’s jealous of the much-admired Chimípu, who seems to be able to do anything–she’s more athletic, clever, and better liked. And he wants to be like his brother, Desòchu, who is a warrior and protects the clan; no one believes Rutejìmo is capable of such a thing.But Rutejìmo gets his chance to prove the naysayers wrong when he, Chimípu, and three other boys are taken into the desert as part of their rite of passage into adulthood. He knows that when he becomes a true member of the Shimusògo clan he will inherit the clan magic that allows him to run faster than a horse and use sunlight as a weapon. The adults, including Desòchu, take the youth into the desert to begin their rite…and leave them to fend for themselves by disappearing during the first night. Rutejìmo can’t believe Desòchu would abandon him. While Chimípu tries to find help, Rutejìmo is left with the three other boys, one is Pidòhu who is even weaker than he is, and the other two who are well-known bullies. And everything goes wrong.So begins Rutejìmo’s rite of passage.D. Moonfire’s novel SAND AND BLOOD takes us to the desert where the clans of day like Rutejìmo and those of night clash in violence. This makes their rite of passage even more dangerous as the teens break into two groups and one of the boys investigates the evening fires of a night clan in the desert. Rutejìmo soon discovers that your worst enemy can be yourself.This book was an enjoyable read. The prose is crisp and fluid. The setting is beautifully described and skillfully melded into the story. Our understanding of the magic and people builds from chapter to chapter. The names threw me off at first, but after a couple of chapters they didn’t bother me anymore; it is Moonfire’s excellent characterization that makes the names easy to tell apart.Rutejìmo is not your typical protagonist. Told from his point of view, the story describes a teenager who isn’t a bad kid but has a reputation in the clan as being lazy; despite his failings, we can’t help but sympathize with the kid. His home life isn’t exactly pleasant and Rutejìmo only wants to be accepted for who he is. We understand the decisions he makes, even though they aren’t the best ones, and cheer for him when he finally follows his conscience and discovers what it takes to be a man. It’s the changes Rutejìmo undergoes that makes SAND AND BLOOD a remarkable story. But he isn’t the only one who undergoes changes. Despite not being PoV characters, we also get to watch Chimípu as she discovers her true strengths and the frail Pidòhu as he struggles to comprehend his place in a clan that values strength. This is what coming of age stories should look like.The desert setting fits well in the story, with the clans, how they relate to their surroundings, and how the magic works. Which clan you are part of will affect your magic, and just because you were born into one clan doesn’t mean that’s the magic you will ultimately inherit. Shimusògo run. Tateshyúso are wind and shade. Pabinkue are night and shadows and the herd. We watch as Rutejìmo discovers the magic in him and the joy it gives him. But there’s more to the magic than we see at first, and Moonfire shows us a fascinating world.SAND AND BLOOD moves forward with excellent pacing clear to the exciting end. The only thing is I still had a few unanswered questions at the end, like how they get the metal for their steampunk-ish items? What was the purpose of the giant scorpion? Who knows, maybe Moonfire will have more to say about this fascinating world. I hope so.Recommended Age: 13+Language: A handful of milder stuffViolence: Fighting, blood, and death, but not intenseSex: Teenage hormones***Find this and other reviews at Elitist Book Reviews.***

  • Barbara Malmberg
    2019-03-03 19:11

    Immerse yourself in the sun-kissed land of Fedran and explore the world Rutejìmo has only begun to discover in Sand and Blood, the first in a trilogy by D. Moonfire. Rutejìmo’s goals for the future are typical for a seventeen-year-old boy: become the best warrior by mastering the magic of the sun spirit. Yet he’s not the strongest, nor the fastest in his clan, and he doesn’t have the work ethic. He longs for the recognition Chimípu gains from her accomplishments, and he ends up trying to outdo her every chance he gets. This competition continues even when the adults left them in the middle of the desert, with only their packs, their wits, and three of their peers. This starts the rite of passage, the journey to show the clan the type of adults they’ll become. Over the next few days and nights, the five youth split into two groups to brave the harsh desert and its inhabitants. During this time of trial, Rutejìmo meets his clan’s spirit, who shares some of its powers. Rutejìmo learns more about himself in the desert than he did back home. He realizes it’s his actions and not his intentions that define him, so he attempts to correct past mistakes, at the cost of his pride.D. Moonfire is successful at creating very distinct, very unique cultures. Within the first three pages we learn of the Shimusògo clan’s reverence for the dead, since their urns are placed in a guarded shrine where only adults may enter. However, it’s the subtle clues and expectations that are most entertaining. For instance, when the youths feel they are ready to become adults and want to take their rites of passage, they are subtly encouraged to steal the urns and place them at the entrance to the valley. If they do this and do not get caught, they are praised instead of punished. This is why at the story’s beginning, Rutejìmo is quietly climbing the shrine’s roof.Like in every culture, there are rules that must be observed, even if no one specifically says what those rules are. This is the way it is in Shimusogo Valley. The younger generations learn from their elders, who lead by example. This includes the respect that everyone shows their warriors. As a sign of respect, once Shimusògo clan members take their rites of passage and receive magic from the sun spirit, they have “Great Shimusogo” added in front of their names. Disrespect is shown by not using a person’s name altogether, which happens to Rutejìmo whenever he gets in trouble. Respect is earned in this community based on a person’s choices and their past deeds. No one is entitled to it. Magic can act so many different ways. I admit, when I read a story that contains magic, I typically imagine spells that explode or studious wizards who learn their spells from books. This is not how the magic works in Fedran. Here the magic of various clan spirits separate themselves from traditional expectations. Individuals must discover magic on their own, and this usually occurs during stressful times, like the rite of passage. Additionally, the magic’s utility is based on an individual’s personality, strengths, and choices. This combination of traits dictates how the magic will manifest and when. It’s neat how the magic adapts to the individual. For example, both Rutejìmo and Chimípu use their magic to run. This is the Shimusògo way. However, they each run at different paces. Chimípu is faster.Technology is very rare in this land because the resources necessary to make them are limited, which makes their creation very expensive (or so I assume). The mechanical dogs are shoulder-height and travel within Shimusogo Valley, hauling packages or moving earth and rocks from one site to another. These dogs are useful because of their “tireless strength” and therefore are worth the resources needed to keep the machine functioning. The glow eggs are smaller, more portable machines, and are therefore more common than the others. Shimusògo runners always have them in their packs while they travel, since they’re lightweight and provide light after they’re wound with a key. This makes the light renewable and cheaper in the way of resources. The final machines introduced are the giant metal scorpions the Pabinkúe clan uses to transport themselves across the desert. This comes as quite a shock to Rutejìmo, as he did not expect to see such a device at the time. I read Sand and Blood in one night. I repeat…one night. I prefer to lose myself in stories, usually by imaging myself as one (or more) of the characters. This immersion is easy to do in this novel because each person is so well-defined. No one acts in the same way, and each have separate dreams and goals. Some are more selfish than others. Others like to fight. A few prefer the mysteries of the night. Even characters we never formally meet have strong reputations among those we do meet, so we end up knowing what they’re like, from the point of view of others. What I like to see is how different characters react to the same problem. At one point during the rites, one of the characters becomes severely injured. Two of his peers end up leaving him, not caring whether he lives or dies. Chimípu stays and tried to help him. Rutejìmo is indecisive, and eventually chooses to leave with the other two, until he realizes his mistake and returns to help. People react to problems in different ways, and sometimes the first response is not always best for everyone involved, as Rutejìmo learns. While this novel is full of suspense, battle, and self-reflection, there are a couple things people may trip over while they’re reading. There are some minor (very minor) editing errors that disturbed the flow: missing words, the unnecessary addition of small words, or word associations that don’t quite match up. These didn’t bother me too much because the narrative is solid. Others may have trouble with a lot of the names; however, to me these names only enrich the cultures in Fedran. Sand and Blood is a fantasy narrative that will appeal to those interested in a world where magic is linked to the spirits, technology is rare, and survival is difficult. This novel does contain scenes with violence. I would recommend this novel and I look forward to reading the second and third of this trilogy. If you’d like to read some sample chapters, go to:

  • Stuart Thaman
    2019-03-21 00:10

    Sand and Blood follows Rutejimo, a boy born into a desert clan known for their speed. In order to pass their clan's rite of passage and to harness the ancestral magic that gives them their running abilities, five of the clan's teenagers are abandoned in the desert and left to fend for themselves. The setting is epic and wonderfully established, the characters have depth and personality, and the overall descriptions of the different clans are fantastic. Unfortunately, the plot hits a lot of roadblocks. The character and location names are complicated and unfamiliar enough to be jarring, especially at first. While the action is fast-paced in the beginning, it quickly slows down nearly to the level of boredom. The teenagers muddle through the desert in a manner reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, but ultimately do very little. Although two of the characters experienced growth and change, it was drawn out and agonizingly tedious at times. The rite of passage event felt like a plot point that should have consumed half of the book, leaving the second half open for the characters to explore their new identities. There simply wasn't enough happening to fill the pages without long, repeated expositions on the benefits and joys of running.Stuart Thaman,

  • Karen
    2019-03-04 22:15

    Rutejimo, the main character is a teenage boy who embodies some of the worst characteristics of growing up. He dreams big and yearns to be addressed as 'Great Shimusogo' like his older brother, but not badly enough to work at it. He is clumsy, disloyal, and disobedient to his elders. He thinks he knows better. He wants to be a hero without getting out of his comfort zone. Didn't we all? Moonfire does an excellent job of world building and immersing the reader in the Shimusogo culture through the other characters, action, and dialogue without too much backstory. There are plenty of cliff-hangers--some literally--to make this a fast and enjoyable read.

  • Shannon Ryan
    2019-02-21 19:19

    At first, I was a little worried about reading this book, as I’m not a big fan of fantasy. However, once I got past the “f” word and the complicated character names, I really enjoyed this story. One of the reasons is the author has done a great job at world building rather than just duplicate a Tolkien world or give us another Disney castle.Despite having a rich setting, it does not rely on that setting to carry the story. The characters, especially Rutejimo seem relatable. And while it seems at first to be a simple coming of age plot, there are some wicked twists. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author.

  • Robbie Antenesse
    2019-03-03 18:15

    This story started out very slow, and the main character, Rutejìmo, was an intolerable dumbass who makes every wrong decision possible in every situation he finds himself in. He remains this way for roughly the first half of the book. I've only disliked a handful of main characters in a novel before, but first-half Rutejìmo and his asshole cohorts quickly found their place snugly in that list.Graciously, there is a turning point where the story and characters noticeably improve and finally begin to grow on you. I want to keep this review spoiler-free, but I will say that the rest of the story after the turning point more than makes up for any negativity that might have sprung up while reading the first half! It's a story of redemption, growing up, and bravery, and I enjoyed it a lot.The magic in the world is subtle but interesting, and I liked it. I hope it's explained and explored a little further in the next books!

  • Beth Hudson
    2019-03-19 18:07

    Having not read any other books by the author, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began “Sand and Blood”, but I found myself enjoying this fantasy coming of age story a great deal. Taking place in a desert setting, the book introduced me to Rutejìmo a youth who has not yet gone through his clan’s rite of adulthood, but who is on its cusp. The story follows him and four other youths as they risk death, make difficult choices about their futures, and fight against the unexpected consequences of those choices.Rutejìmo does not begin as a sympathetic character. He is whiny, lazy, and prone to making excuses for himself. The harsh discipline that the clan enforces seems to play into this, as beatings and humiliation are both common forms of punishment. As a side note, I wondered if this sort of treatment was likely to produce healthy adults, but in fact, it’s not without cultural reference in our own world, and the survival requirements in a harsh desert setting lend weight to these practices. And as the issue is at least considered in a different context by the end of the book, I was reasonably happy to let the issue ride.Themes of loyalty and betrayal play out in the development of the plot. The main story is Rutejìmo’s development of the conscience and courage necessary to take his place in the adult society of his clan. The other youngsters act as measuring sticks against which Rutejìmo’s development is compared, and their actions, both good and bad, teach him about his best and worst selves. In the end, he comes to conclusions about his own society that are far more complex than intended by his clan. Matters are complicated by the murder of a rival clan member, and the introduction of Mikàryo, a warrior of a rival clan. I thought the character development was handled well, and was believable; Rutejìmo does not simply change overnight, but through a series of experiences and choices.Inextricable from the story itself is the setting; a desert that both gives magic and takes life, uncompromisingly. The magic in the story is interesting: Each clan possesses magic, granted to them by their clan spirit. Shimusògo is the spirit of Rutejìmo’s clan, and the spirit of this small, running bird gives the clan their ability to run inhumanly fast, and for extraordinary distances. In fact, the spirit of the clan can also grant other abilities as well, something which becomes apparent later in the story. The writing flowed very well, keeping the story moving, and making me feel as if I were in the setting without being overly florid. It also kept me close to the characters’ physical senses as well as their emotional reactions, and followed Rutejìmo’s viewpoint clearly, while still allowing the reader to understand the things that the main character does not. Action scenes were clearly written and easily visualized. I particularly liked the descriptions of what it felt like to be possessed by the spirit of the clan; the writing turned the unbelievable into a believable and clear experience that is exactly the sort of thing I read fantasy for.I did have a few problems with the story. Many of the fight scenes in particular bounced me. They were far too Hollywood; whereas the reasons that the characters are able to fight in such a superhuman way is well-founded by the magic of the world, I could simply not believe that any of the characters would not have ended up dead, much less still on their feet, given the physical amount of punishment suffered by almost all of the main characters. One character with a severely broken leg goes into a fever, and then apparently comes out of it without his fever breaking, and without losing his eventual ability to walk, much less his life. There was no indication that any of the characters had superhuman abilities to heal themselves or others, and as a result, much of the final climactic scenes did not work as well for me as I think the reader intended. I got a little tired of characters who should have been dead getting back on their feet to surprise others with their survival and continued ability to fight.I also had some issues with the fact that the clan seemed willing to lose over half of their age group; in spite of, or perhaps especially because of the fact that the desert is such a difficult environment, I thought this was an incredible waste of clan resources. I didn’t get the impression that this was unusual, and given the kind of discipline and treatment of children, it actually seemed likely. This struck me as a negative survival strategy for the clan as a whole, and I would have liked to have been given some reason why this might be the case.The other thing in the plot that bounced me a bit was that the clan of Pabinkúes, the horse clan, did not seem to mind losing multiple horses; something that I thought should be strictly taboo. This aspect in particular was not well-developed, possibly because the author was not focused on the implications, but on the immediate plot.On the whole, however, I enjoyed it thoroughly, and Rutejìmo’s character development was well enough handled to make me happy with the ending. I was especially happy with the fact that what his character learned was not entirely what he was “supposed” to learn, but brought up thoughts and ideas that he was clearly not primed for. I found myself wondering about his new role in the clan, and how what he experienced changed him beyond the glimpse the reader was given in the epilogue. I would happily read other works by the author, and am glad I picked this up.

  • Aaron Bunce
    2019-03-07 21:06

    (Disclaimer) - I received a copy of Sand and Blood from the author, Dylan Moonfire, in a book swap, read and review. I picked up Sand and Blood, and was hooked within the first 5 pages. I am a big fan of fantasy and science fiction, and I love books that blur the lines between the two. Sand and Blood is technically a steampunk fantasy, but does not fall victim to the trappings of the oft-used, and slightly worn out Victorian England. Instead, Moonfire graces us with some creative world building, and a setting that feels as fresh to us, as it is historically rich to its characters.The book takes place in Fedran, a land built upon the bones and ashes of a more sophisticated society. This is implied, rather than stated openly, as we glimpse antique machines, as well as monolithic stone structures, all of which are used by the various clans. I love stories with depth; ones that allow us to peel back surface layers to explore the historical events that helped shape the people, and the world. I hope that this aspect of the world is explored in greater detail going forward, as we are offered a relatively small glimpse.The plot is very linear, and moves quickly. The writing is crisp, and clean, although the character names, which are clearing of Japanese inspiration, can slow the read through. This wasn’t an issue for me until the character count started to rise. This resulted in a case of literary-vertigo, where I lost track of who was who, and what their significance was to the scene. This did clear up however, and as I progressed through the book, the vernacular started to feel more natural. At the story’s center are five teens, all members of the Shimusogo clan. They partake on a journey, and are subsequently abandoned in the desert. The resulting conflict between the environment, each other, and rival clans, constitutes the bulk of the story. At its heart, Sand and Blood is a coming of age story, one of three teens fighting for survival, and in the process, forging their new identifies as adults. I found this dynamic very compelling, and relatable. I felt the pain, desperation, and triumphs from every situation. The world is stark, and dangerous - but only to a degree. Fedran itself felt like it could have been the greatest antagonist to the three teens, but instead, it took on a more passive role, and allowed the human characters to dominate the conflict. I became quite fond of both Chimipu, and Pidohu, yet struggled to connect with Rutejimo, the story’s primary. Chimipu exudes strength and confidence, which is a stark contrast to Rutejimo. There is only so much whimpering I can tolerate from a main character, and time and again I found myself growing frustrated with him. I can only hope that, as the series progresses, we will see a more confident and mature Rutejimo emerge. Pidohu quickly became my favorite character, as he is dealt the lion’s share of adversity, and refuses to give up. He is a wonderful example of determination, and the embodiment of the will needed to survive life’s hardship. Despite my divide with the story’s main character, I found Sand and Blood to be a thoroughly entertaining read. The world is rich with antiquity, and magic, and holds much promise for the various clans that call it home. I look forward to the next book, and only hope that Moonfire unearths some of Fedran’s history, and thus, its secrets. I give Sand and Blood a solid 4 out of 5 stars. If you are a fan of fantasy, science fiction, or steampunk fiction, I strongly recommend you give this book a read.

  • J.R.
    2019-02-20 18:59

    Sand and Blood is a quality piece of writing, from the attractive cover to the easy prose within. There's a distinct lack of any glaring typos, the sign of solid editing for the most part and you can clearly tell this isn't the author's first attempt at writing a book.Rutejìmo, a native desert boy, is the protagonist of our tale and the entire story is told through his perspective in the third person. He's part of a clan called Shimusògo and it's impressed upon us quite early that Rutejìmo is... not the hero. That role falls to Chimípu, a young woman who is better at everything and seems touched by the hand of destiny to become a great warrior of the clan.To make matters worse, Rutejìmo's brother Desòchu is always on the periphery, being a fierce and honourable warrior for the clan and proving that it's not a matter of blood but more incompetence on the part of our 'hero'.In fact, our 'hero' lacks those qualities to such a degree that he's almost the worst at all that he does. Only sickly Pidòhu is inferior, and the two of them are constantly bullied by some less than savoury members of the clan.If the names hadn't given it away already, Sand and Blood is essentially the Japanese culture transplanted into a desert setting. This caused alarm bells to go off immediately as I slogged through name after difficult name to acclimate to this tale.The second major issue I fell afoul of was the age of the players in this particular plot. They're all teenagers, and when trouble starts to befall them it all goes very Lord of the Flies very quickly.While the plot lives up to the title, I did feel that having the younger characters made it feel more YA, and as I'm not a particularly big fan of that it made things a little more difficult.While I enjoyed their being stranded in the desert, I do feel that the later exposition should have happened earlier in the text. While it befitted the ending of the book, there was a lot of pointless flailing around prior to this.In spite of the sagging mid-section, I also felt that the text was a little too short and that placing the viewpoint solely upon that of the rather irritating Rutejìmo gave the text a bit of tunnel vision.Lastly, the Japanese influence, combined with a lot of stuttering and blushing from our young characters, felt a bit... anime. While this might improve the book in the eyes of some, others are less inclined to be forgiving of this style.As I stated from the get go, Mr. Moonfire knows his way around a keyboard and has delivered an enjoyable tale. If you're not daunted by the cultural overload and you enjoy a more youthful and inexperienced protagonist then this book should be right up your street.

  • Jolene Dretzka
    2019-02-25 22:19

    I received this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.I wanted to love this book. The author created an amazing desert world of magic & mystery. Mr. Moonfire's style of writing is smooth & easy to follow, it really only took me about 2 days to read. So, it hurts me to say anything negative about D. Moonfire's story, yet, I feel like I would be doing a major disservice to the world of book reviews by not mentioning any problems I had with it. My number one, & pretty much only, issue was with the story's main character, Rutejimo. Rutejimo is supposed to be a 16 going on 17 year old character who is taking his "rite of passage" with 4 other clan members. My problem with him lays primarily with the characters immaturity & naivety level. I suppose that alone isn't really the issue, I believe all main characters need some flaws to not just help move the story along, but to also to show that no one is perfect. My real problem is that I feel the author was actually writing about a 12-13 year old, not a 16 year old. The character is so horribly immature & selfish that, to me, it hurt the story instead of helping it along. At some points that was all I could see, Rutejimo the selfish over grown child. This made him so unlikeable at times that I almost put the book down, permanently, more than once. Rutejimo eventually changes a bit by the end of the story, but whether it's enough to make him more likable for the other books Moonfire plans to write remains to be seen. In the end, I really read the book to see how things worked out for Chimipu & Pidohu, 2 of the five 16- 17 year olds who were on the same journey as Rutejimo. I sadly felt the character the story focused on didn't deserve the spotlight as much as Pidohu or Chimipu, even after Rutejimo's emotional growth. I actually wonder if it would have helped if the author had made the age of the main character & his friends younger. Would the age change make me more tolerant of Rutejimo's selfishness & naivety. Sadly, the fact remains that Rutejimo was written as a 16 year old instead of a pre-teen. Perhaps there are some teenagers in the real world who act like Rutejimo, but overall I feel he's just not that likeable or relatable. Despite all this, I would read more from this author, he is talented despite my feelings about this books main character.

  • Brad
    2019-03-14 19:04

    Mark Lawrence's self-published blog-off / EBR likes it.