Blood Seed

Coin of Rulve Book One

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
354 Pages
Reviewed on 09/17/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

With twenty-six years of experience as a pastoral minister and a lot more years as a mom, I’m the author of the first three books of the 4-volume Coin of Rulve series: Blood Seed, Dark Twin and Time Candle. Right now I'm revising volume 4, Leaf and Flame. I've also written a short story collection, Night Cruiser.
My novels contain elements of dark fantasy, falling in love, psychological thriller, and the spiritual journey.
Many of my themes have roots in Carl Jung's concept of the shadow, insights of traditional and modern-day theologians, and J.R.R. Tolkien's idea of the "eucatastrophe," the belief that even the worst catastrophe can be redeemed. Even though I have a ministerial background, I’m not a preacher! I believe spirituality is an important aspect of many religions and is part of what makes us human. As one of my reviewers put it, Dale “never lets religion get in the way of her highly spiritual and deeply psychological message."
My work has received commendations from Writer's Digest and Writers of the Future, as well as five-star ratings from Midwest Book Review, Reader's Favorite, and from other people kind enough to have left reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I'm a member of Detroit Working Writers, the Alliance of Independent Authors, and Phi Beta Kappa. I'm also lucky enough to have actually touched a grey whale calf in the wild!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

In Blood Seed: Coin of Rulve Book One, Sheft, the protagonist, hides a dark secret that brings chaos into his life. In the fantastic world created by author Veronica Dale, readers confront an unusual antagonist: Wask, the flesh-eating beetle-man. This creature haunts the village of At-Wysher because it is attracted to Sheft’s blood. The young man’s journey begins when a disturbing revelation about his destiny leads him into imminent danger.

There is something mysterious about Sheft that draws Mariat toward him. They eventually both fall in love, but the author refuses to create a predictable romance. Veronica Dale knows where and when not to rein in. This is her first novel and brings an interesting new approach to this genre. Blood Seed has all the elements that fans of the esoteric and magical want to see in a fantasy novel, but it is more than that. It portrays a battle between good and evil, but it does not let you swim in a shallow sea of fiction writing. Blood Seed seems to say that what one regards as a malediction can be seen from a different perspective, that the act of redemption always brings the opportunity for transformation. This, to me, is the heart of this wonderful book.

K.C. Finn

Blood Seed: Coin of Rulve Book One is a young adult, dark fantasy novel by Veronica Dale. The hero of the tale is Sheft, an eighteen-year-old boy who ostracizes himself from the rest of the world, plagued by deep-seated insecurities that something truly evil lurks inside of him. He has good reason to believe this, for Sheft’s blood, when spilt, attracts the terrifying Wask, part man-part beetle, who seeks flesh to feast on and attacks an entire village when he’s set loose. Despite his attempts to keep himself away from everyone, the resourceful and caring Mariat finds Sheft, and falls in love with him. Overwhelmed by her love, Sheft falls deeply in love with her in return, but his secrets plague him still, and now he can’t bear to share them with the woman he adores.

It’s fair to say that Blood Seed: Coin of Rulve Book One is a character driven story, with Sheft’s agonies, secrets, darkest fears, and unbridled emotions taking central focus throughout the tale. Veronica Dale has created an interesting fantasy world awash with dark rites and fearful beasts worthy of any horror novel, but all of this plays second fiddle to the romantic drama between Sheft and Mariat. Fans of destiny-style plots and unbreakable romances are sure to love the deep and intimate moments which these two share, and the harrowing challenges which they face in staying together despite the odds. I’d definitely recommend Blood Seed to readers who enjoy dark fantasy settings, but who still prize romantic fiction above all else. You won’t be disappointed.

D. Donovan, Senior Review

Sheft is an eighteen-year-old who harbors a deadly secret: his blood, when shed, attracts a terrifying entity that threatens his small village. Convinced that he is a danger to all around him, Sheft keeps himself apart. So when he falls in love, it's an unexpected (and in some ways unwanted) experience that he believes can only lead to tragedy.

That's the basic gist of Blood Seed. Veronica Dale could easily have stopped here, focusing on the developing romance and Sheft's struggle to break his bonds of isolation. But events move in a different, more complex direction and love serves only as the starting point for a journey that leads Sheft to find out more about his role as a strange attractor to underlying supernatural forces at work in his world.

It's difficult to easily categorize Blood Seed - and that is part of its attraction. In a book world replete with formula genre reads, Blood Seed offers something different: a potent mix of fantasy, romance, intrigue, and a believable protagonist whose current dilemma is just the beginning of his evolutionary process.

Descriptions of how Sheft balances the passions and promises of love while struggling with a seemingly invincible curse are compelling and poignant, as are those of Mariat’s increasing and unbreakable involvement in his life. They drive the underlying fantasy and horror elements of the story: "She needed him, he realized with a pang, as no one else ever had. In spite of what Gwin had spewed at the fair, what if courage and compassion demanded he stay by her side? What if love demanded he never let her go? They drew apart, and her eyes were awash with grief. But they also held a kind of aching wisdom, as if she had gazed upon a darkly shining mystery that had forever deepened her. She had witnessed two deaths in less than half a year."

With Blood Seed holding the power to attract so many different genre readers with its fantasy, romance, supernatural, and horror elements, it's a challenge to neatly categorize its audience. Readers journey through a strange land in Sheft's footsteps, partake of his agonies and ecstasies, and ultimately revel at his tenacity and strengths.

Is there a curse, or isn't there? Can what is broken be healed? And will the process of discovery change Mariat's own life? Certainly it's changed Sheft's world, which moves from the hidden powers of an isolated loner to something much greater. What each will become, and the events that take place in the eighteenth year of Sheft's life, provides an action-packed saga that carries readers on an evocative journey with no pat ending.

Fans of genre crossovers who appreciate romance, powerful protagonists, and coming-of-age reads will relish a touch of the unexpected in the complex world explored in Blood Seed, the first book of the four-book series Coin of Rulve.