'Blood of the Earth' is the fourth book in Wells series, continuing the tale of Alexander in his battle against Phane and his netherworld forces, and it's this latter that mostly consumes this novel.
This book begins in the aftermath of the battle that took place at the end of 'Mindbender', and in the opening pages the group is attacked by three menacing and sinister netherworld beings who set the stage really for this book and Alexander's quest for the 'Blood of the Earth' - yet another item of amazing power that Alexander has to travel across the Seven Isles to procure and is the namesake for this book (can you tell I'm finding this rinse and repeat formula repeatitive?).
Having said that I find that repeative though, this book doesn't contain as many predictable surprises as in the early 2 books, and there were some genuinely shocking twists in this book which was a relief really. The stage was set for some interesting developments to come in later books as well which I'll look forward to reading when the next books are published. For example, Isabel's heavy taint by the netherworld forces and what this might cause her to do or what she or Alexander might do to prevent it (especially in the light of Rentu's visions), the destruction of the Mindbender sword which I somehow doubt will be a permanent thing - I imagine somehow Kelvin or Alexander will be able to repair it or fashion it into a new item, Alexander's budding friendship with Anja and Bragador, Abigail's friendship with Ixabrax, the progression of Lucky and Kelvin's magics, the return of Jataan - all hints in the concluding chapters of the book indicate to me that we may experience a bit of a time jump or time rush (with the ideas of bedding in for winter, and needing injuries to heal etc.) which could be interesting to see how this affects things...
Overall, I found this book to be good and interesting, with more surprising twists and turns than before and some interesting plot developments, but overall I found the plot to be a tad fragmented, as instead of a clear plan of what characters were doing, it seemed to keep starting and stopping and changing and so on... Overall though, a good book.