INK IN THE BLOOD
A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theatre 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 travelling theatre 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.
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Fantasy
Representation: featuring nonbinary and trans characters, and on-page m/m, f/f, and bi rep
Trigger Warnings: violence, torture (off-page), depictions of blood, character death, substance abuse, violence towards children, and emotional abuse.
I WAS GIVEN AN E-COPY OF THIS BOOK BY THE AUTHOR AND THE FFBC TOURS BUT THIS DOESN’T INFLUENCE MY VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER. I’M VERY GRATEFUL TO HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR. THANK YOU FFBC TOURS AND KIM SMEJKAL!
I absolutely loved how we’re immediately introduced to the story, there’s no staggering of any sort, we jump right into it. And Smejkal does that without compromising the world-building or the characters whatsoever. We see event after event unravelling and I really have to commend the author on building such a wonderful world where ink is revered and tattoos are regarded as blessings from the Divine. The plot was fast-paced in the beginning and slowed down just a bit only to throw a huge plot twist in your face. The rhythm of the story makes your heart beat fast and the only time it slows down is to blow away your mind with a plot twist. Most of the twists were ones that I couldn’t predict and the suspense of the ending was built up and kept under the covers till the very end. It’s just a freaking masterpiece.
I was actually a bit surprised at how quickly I got attached to the characters. Both Celia and Anya won over my heart in the first few chapters. Celia was a tough nut to crack. She always has a mask over her personality so you never really know what her real nature is. She loves to act as if she’s the bravest one and doesn’t really get hurt by anything. She tries to protect herself by acting like she doesn’t need anyone. But in reality, she’s a scared girl who stumbles around to find her path. Celia’s smart and absolutely wild and that’s what I love the most about her. Anya, on the other hand, is more level-headed and confident, she always has a plan. But her emotions can sometimes go into extremes and overall I felt that I could relate to her character.
But more than that, both Celia and Anya’s journeys made my heart bleed for them. They fiercely love each other and would do anything to protect themselves and their little theatre tribe. Speaking of the characters in the travelling theatre group, Vincent and the plague doctor were two of my favourites with Kitty Kay following close behind. Most of the characters were well developed and I look forward to gaining more insight on the side characters in the second book of this series.
I think I’m running out of adjectives to praise Ink In The Blood, so let me assure you that the writing in this book is as good as the rest of the components. There aren’t any information dumps and the detailing doesn’t make your eyes droop either. I love the pace that the author keeps and in general the writing style makes it even easier for you to binge-read this book in one sitting 🙂
MY FAVOURITE QUOTES
“Ah! You can speak truths. I was really beginning to worry it was a medical condition.”
“She extinguished sparks so a raging fire didn’t consume her and everyone around her.”
“You see, a plague doctor isn’t much of a doctor at all. We’re the ones left behind after all the real doctors leave. We tally the dead. We hold hands and stand sentry at bedsides. When the rest of the world flees, we become the unfortunate mask of any remaining humanity.”
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Malice by Pintip Dunn
A Spark Of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna
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
Enter the giveaway here.
If you wish to follow the rest of the blog tour and visit the hosts, you can do so by following the tour schedule given here.
Have you read or heard of Ink In The Blood before?
If yes, what are your thoughts on it? If no, then are you planning on picking it up anytime soon or is it already on your TBR?
What was the last fantasy book that you read and loved?