Book Review: The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine

My Rating: ★★★★ and 1/2 or 4.5

Synopsis: Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the magic in her blood and continue trying to turn metal into gold so she can help her city’s homeless. But when her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her—and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan. Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata, is walking a thin line between political success and devastating violence. Newly returned from boarding school, he must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal—but escalating violence among the families makes the search nearly impossible. He’s surprised to discover that the one person who makes him feel like he can breathe is Blue, the girl who once ruined all his best adventures. When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts. When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?

Review: I rarely read books set in the past or historical fiction books ( I’ve only ever read 2, The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross and Riches to Rags by Casey L. Bound) but this book was incredible. If I could find more historical fiction books like this, I would definitely read more of this genre. This book was a retelling of Cinderella (fairy tale retellings are one of my favourite kind of books) but it had so much more than the basic story.

A girl called ‘Blue’ has known prince Kellan his whole life, and she hates him. Well, she doesn’t really hate him just mildly disliked him and she always has to keep him out of trouble. Kellan being the prince has always had pressure put on him, as his father died, he has to get married and become the new king. With the deadline for his marriage looming he decided to invite all the eligible women from the leading houses. This causes a lot of strain on the houses as their daughters are competing to become the new queen. There are threats and murder in this book as well as romance. What more could you want!

I liked Blue, she has strong opinions and isn’t afraid of telling off the prince even though she is just a commoner. She was also kind to the prince’s sister who doesn’t talk, instead, she uses sign language which Blue learned for her. The only reason I didn’t like her was that she didn’t stand up for herself at all when

*Kind of spoiler alert*

she was being abused by Dinah. She is burned by her, hit by her and she still tries to help Dinah (one of the house leaders) and her daughters become members of the royal family.

*Spoiler ended*

Even though she didn’t stand up for herself, it was understandable. I’m not sure if I would if I was in her position. Despite this, she still tries to help everyone, the homeless children that are disappearing, her ‘stepsisters’ if you will. She is incredibly kind.

Kellan is understandably stressed about choosing a bride before his 19th birthday to take the throne. His fun and means of escape are always destroyed by Blue. Kellan’s father died when he was a young boy by battling the current his child was caught up in, saving Kellan’s life while the ocean taking his. We all love a good story inside a story and Kellan’s past helps us understand his actions and why he does them.

I enjoyed the writing style in this book. If I could find more books like this one, I would definitely read more of them. The writing wasn’t complex enough that I didn’t know what was being said but it was formal enough o believe that I was in 19th century France (I don’t know if it’s the 19th century…don’t sue me). This book is part of a 4 part series of retellings of fairy tales. They are standalone and I haven’t read the others but I think that I might. We’ll have to see. The only thing is that Blue was trying to hide her magic from Kellan as it is outlawed and I feel like the way he discovered it could have been so much more dramatic.

Overall I loved this book, it was sophisticated but also included some magic, murder and romance. Everything a good book needs.

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