The Blood Spell, by C.J. Redwine: Review
Blue de la Cour, alchemist's daughter, sees life in absolutes. From conducting dangerous alchemy experiments for street urchins in need to thwarting the reckless escapades of her childhood nemesis, Prince Kellan, she's never been afraid to act on her convictions. Even if it risks exposing the forbidden magic in her veins.
Kellan, crown prince of Balavata, is being crushed by responsibility and the guilt of a troubled past. But when Blue, long-time thorn-in-his-side, finds her father murdered and her home invaded by a cruel guardian, Kellan is surprised to see his own pain shared in the heart of the girl who has always despised him. A faceless evil threatens the city, feasting on innocent blood, and Blue and Kellan must lean on each other to face the secrets of the past, even as their friendship slips into something forbidden—like the magic in Blue's blood that may be the kingdom's only hope.
This is the second Ravenspire novel I could get my hands on, and while the first waited a while to truly grab me, The Blood Spell claimed my heart and attention from page one. Blue appealed to me immediately—a strong and impassioned girl with solid convictions and a heart for fixing what is broken in her world. Her work as an alchemist is fascinating (I always love when characters are proficient at unique skills) and her relationship with Kellan feels fun and genuine—a rivalry destined to fall to pieces once they realize how much chemistry and affection binds them.
The Cinderella aspect is fun to pick out, especially in the early half, while the conflict is still unravelling. Near the end, the fairytale tie-ins become more obvious, which is completely fine, just a little more heavy-handed than in The Shadow Queen, the only other Ravenspire novel I've read so far. As before, C.J. Redwine's writing is skilful, descriptive, and sparkling with emotion!
Content Notes: witchcraft accounts for the main conflict, and there are some high-intensity moments that I found somewhat disturbing, but these are very few and limited to the climax.
The Blood Spell is dramatic, magical, and full of feeling, an awesome fairytale retelling and addition to any clean fantasy repertoire!
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