Ink in the Blood
Author: Kim Smejkal
Series: Ink in the Blood, #1
Publication Date: February 11th, 2020
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.
Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.
Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.
To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.
The synopsis of this book starts off with some magical words for lovers of fantasy everywhere: tattoo magic. How often do you come across a YA book that deals with something like tattoo magic? I haven’t read a single book featuring tattoo magic ever before, so I was really pumped to read this one.
I also like how this is described as a dark fantasy – and it truly is, too. Sometimes you don’t want to read something peppy and fun, and you kind of want to dive deep into the darker realm of the fantasy world, and Ink in the Blood truly delivers on this front.
My favorite part of this book, was, obviously, the tattoo magic. It opens this entire new world that has so much to offer – this series can go so many different places and it’s so exciting to see how the author continues this story.
The setting was also fantastic – the way the author crafted this lush and beautiful world for her novel was splendid. There is so much going on here and it shows: a lot of detail is provided for the setting, and in my opinion, the author gets it just right. It is so easy to imagine what is going on and where, and be able to picture each scene in your head as it unfolds.
The characters? They were so well written, too. They were practically bursting with personality, jumping right off the page.
If you are intrigued by the whole premise of tattoo magic, believe me, this isn’t a book to be missed. Grab a copy and prepare to lose yourself for an entire day with this one – it’s such an addicting, beautifully written read that you won’t be able to put it down once you get started reading it!
The characters, the setting, and the plot – they all come together to create such a fun read. I really enjoyed this book and I’m so excited for the next installment!
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, will release from HMH in early 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.
Prize: Win (1) of (2) finished copies of INK IN THE BLOOD by Kim Smejkal and temporary tattoos (US Only)
Starts: 5th February 2020
Ends: 19th February 2020
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