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The Blood Guard by Carter Roy
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The Blood Guard

by Carter Roy

Other authors: Vivienne To (Cover artist)

Series: The Blood Guard (1)

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Evelyn Ronan Truelove is a kid with a weird name and even weirder hobbies. He prefers to be called Ronan and has fencing, karate and gymnastics for after school activities. When his mom picks him up from school one day and they're tailed by a mysterious van, that's when he learns the truth. His mother is a member of an elite organization called the Blood Guard. They're an order of knights who protect a group of thirty-six people called the Pure and an evil group called the Bend Sinister is after them and they have already kidnapped his father. From there starts Ronan's incredible journey with his friend Greta and a new accomplice named Jack. Before I even read book, I committed a grave sin and judged this book by its cover. I expected a magical boy narrative where a tween finds out they're the chosen one like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson but I was pleasantly surprised. It's full of adventure and the action is fast-paced so the story moves pretty quickly. People are not what they seem and there's a pretty good twist at the end. I would recommend for readers who are fans of the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and the Hunger Games series. There's plenty of adventure, excitement and story to keep them entertained. ( )
  melissa_tullo | Jul 9, 2018 |
This is the first book in the Blood Guard series. Evelyn Ronan Truelove discovers that his mother is a member of the Blood Guard on this Earth to protect "Pures," who unknowingly maintain balance in the world between good and evil. A group called the "Bend Sinister" is out to upset that balance in order to start a new world order. Ronan accidentally gets caught up in the battle that ultimately leads back to his own family. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Glass Gauntlet. ( )
  Mrslabraden | May 31, 2016 |
When thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove’s seemingly ordinary mom snatches him from school, then sets off on a high speed car chase, Ronan is shocked. His quiet, nerdy dad has been kidnapped? And the kidnappers are after him, too? His mom, he quickly learns, is anything but ordinary. In fact, she’s a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect the Pure—thirty-six noble souls whose safety is crucial if the world as we know it is to survive. Now all those after-school activities—gymnastics, judo, survival training—she made him take, make sense. For suddenly Ronan is swept up in a sometimes funny, sometimes scary, but always thrilling adventure—dashing from one danger to the next, using his wits to escape the Bend Sinister, a posse of evil doers with strange powers. Falling in with two unlikely companions, Greta, a scrappy, strong-willed girl he’s never much liked and Jack, a devil-may-care teenage pickpocket, Ronan is left with only his wits and his mom’s last words of advice: Trust no one. That’s a lot for an ordinary kid to deal with. But then again, maybe Ronan’s not ordinary at all.
**only book one @ KCLS** ( )
  paula-childrenslib | Dec 8, 2015 |
The Blood Guard is middle-grade fiction that even adults can enjoy. There is no doubt that the story will sound familiar to readers of the Percy Jackson books, which will resonate with young readers. The Blood Guard is an exciting and intriguing book that stands on its own and will provide a new set of adventures to the loyal Percy Jackson fans.

Our main character is Ronan. He is a typical student, completely unaware of his full heritage until his world is turned upside down in a moment. Ronan is yanked out of school and some fast action begins. This is when you start holding onto your seat. My favorite departure from Percy Jackson is that mom is not unaware. She is a member of the Blood Guard and she is pretty darned amazing. She is most definitely not the typical mom. She is a rescuer, a getaway driver with mad skills, brilliant, talented, and out to save the good in the world. She is a super badass mom as well as a tender loving mom. She is just the start of it though. The evil characters are well…evil. The heroes are smart, loyal, wear their hearts on their sleeves, and care for the good of others.

For my fellow Christian parents:

The Blood Guard is based on Jewish mysticism. Lets look at two quotes from the book that best describe the premise:

"To understand the Blood Guard, you need to understand who it is they protect. Among the seven billion or so people on this planet, there exist thirty-six who are better than all the rest of us put together. Thirty-six pure souls. Deep down, these people are genuinely good—so much so that they make up for the darkness and sins committed by the other six billion and change on Earth.” He worked something out of his teeth with his tongue. “They’re not a bunch of Goody Two-shoes. It’s more that they radiate a kind of…purity of spirit, let’s call it.”

“The sources all agree on one point,” Dawkins said, swallowing. “The Pure are the only thing that stops God from saying, ‘Enough already!’ wiping the world clean, and starting over.” He wiped his mouth with a wadded-up napkin. “Noah’s Flood happened because there were too few Pure in the world. Whenever even one of the Pure dies, the entire world suffers.”

The author gives us three different names for the 36. Tzadikim Nistarin, The Righteous Ones, or simply the Pure.

Some quick, and I do honestly mean quick, research provided me with The Legend of the Lamed Vavniks. This is an ancient writing that helps explains those three titles, all of which are based on the Jewish legend.

The Jewish legend of the Lamed Vovniks describes thirty-six righteous men in every generation upon whose merit the world is kept from entire destruction. Based in part on the story of Abraham and his conversation with the Lord about the destruction of Sodom in Genesis 18, the Lamed Vovniks are those who, by virtue of their compassion for others and the prayers they offer, cause the Lord to answer, “I will spare all the place for their sakes” (Genesis 18:26).

Most versions of this legend declare that the hidden thirty-six are unknown to the world and cannot be known, to others or to themselves. They are humble servants of their fellows, tirelessly working to dry tears, show compassion, and shoulder the burdens of those who suffer.

Source: http://www.lamed-vav.com/the-legend

There are quite a variety of websites related to the legend; here is another site that seems interesting (http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/general-news/20120519/the-legend-of-the-36-rig...). Roy does deviate from at least one point of the legends. His Pure are of the equal opportunity type, being both male and female.

As the Percy Jackson books are based upon Greek mythology, The Blood Guard series is based upon Jewish mysticism. In both series’ there is a component of magic. If you are comfortable with those two issues then this is a great book for your child. The message is positive in that it’s protagonists seek to overcome evil. They are kind to strangers and odd-balls, incorporating them into their sphere without question. Good things happen and it is a truly fun story to read.

I received a galley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to NetGalley, the author, and publisher.

For all of my reviews visit my blog at https://blessedandbewildered.wordpress.com ( )
  ZoeSchoppa | Sep 23, 2015 |
This was a lot of fun. It had me immersed almost immediately. Ronan, the first-person narrator, is believable as a kid who doesn’t fit in, and Greta is a strong female secondary character. They meet more characters along the way, mostly male, who add variety and fun to the cast. I like that the author isn’t afraid to have women be bad guys as well!

This falls into the fantasy/adventure genre, with its immortal characters, zombie-like bad guys, and more. Not to mention a plot to end the world!

I would definitely consider this as a read-aloud the next time I teach freshmen.

Possible objectionable material: Disobeying adults. Perilous situations. Violence, some gory but none graphic. An immortal character is decapitated (offscreen) and walks around holding his head. Extremely mild swearing (mom is referred to as a “badass.”)

Who would like this book: I think this would be a great book for reluctant readers, because the plot keeps you wanting more. Late elementary through early high school. (Let's face it, I'm 51 and I liked it.) While it’s a book that girls can definitely get into, it’s a great choice for boys who don’t like female protagonists. (Greta is such a strong character, they’ll get a lot of girl anyway.) Approximate Lexile: 880

Thanks to NetGalley for the advance reader ebook. ( )
  swingdancefan | Sep 9, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carter Royprimary authorall editionscalculated
To, VivienneCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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When thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove's seemingly ordinary mom snatches him from school, then sets off on a high-speed car chase, Ronan is shocked. His quiet, nerdy dad has been kidnapped? And the kidnappers are after him, too? His mom, he quickly learns, is anything but ordinary. In fact, she's a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect the Pure, thirty-six noble souls whose safety is crucial if the world as we know it is to survive. Now all those after-school activities, gymnastics, judo, and survival training, she made him take make sense. For suddenly Ronan is swept up in a sometimes funny, sometimes scary, but always thrilling adventure, dashing from one danger to the next, using his wits to escape the Bend Sinister, a posse of evildoers with strange powers. Falling in with two unlikely companions, Greta, a scrappy, strong-willed girl he's never much liked, and Jack, a devil-may-care teenage pickpocket, Ronan is left with only his wits and his mom's last words of advice: Trust no one.… (more)

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