(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by HarperCollins on February 12th 2019
Genres: Action & Adventure, Epic, Fantasy, Homelessness & Poverty, Social Themes, Young Adult Fiction
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 tension 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?
The Blood Spell is the fourth book in the Ravenspire series by C.J. Redwine and while I love all of these books, this one might be my favorite. It has everything I look for in a book, an interesting plot, great characters, and some swoony bits that make me sigh. One thing to note is that all of these books have different main characters so if you haven’t read the others (WHAT???) you can still read this one without missing a beat.
Blue de la Cour is the main character. She’s smart and strong and she loves her family – I loved her relationship with her father and grandmother so much. She’s also willing to do whatever she can to help the homeless children in her city and when I say whatever she can, that includes putting herself at risk by using the magic she has had to keep hidden away by trying to create gold. When a tragedy happens that puts Blue in the custody of the powerful Lady Chauveau, Blue’s situation becomes even more dangerous.
Kellan Renard is the crown prince of Balavata and after finishing school, has come back to take his place on the throne. The catch is that he also has to announce his betrothal to one of the daughters who make up the kingdom’s head families and he is definitely not excited about it. As he dives right into his responsibilities, we get to learn right alongside Kellan what is really going on with the kingdom and how he responds when things start to turn violent.
Blue’s family has always been close to the royal family. Her mother helped to trap the wraith that was endangering the kingdom, Blue tutors the princess (Nessa) in the ways of alchemy, and Kellan basically grew up around the shop. With all of that said, Kellan and Blue have never really gotten along. He was always looking for trouble and she has always been there to stop him. When he returns, their relationship is still the same, but it slowly changes, and I loved how Redwine moved their relationship from being adversaries to two people in love. It took time and was a slow burn, but it was completely worth it. The fact that they both recognize that they can’t be with each other regardless of their feelings made me want them to figure it out even more.
As Blue finds herself under the control of Lady Chauveau, she begins to uncover what she is up to and has to figure out a way out of the situation she is in. Unfortunately for her, Lady Chauveau really does fit the mold of the evil stepmother in this story. As Blue continues to face off with her, she becomes more and more violent…which doesn’t go unnoticed by Nessa and Kellan. I admit I loved it when Kellan told Lady Chauveau off and challenged her when he found out what happened.
I loved the fact that this was tied to the Cinderella fairytale although it wasn’t so close to the story that you know what will happen next. The world that Redwine has built out around the story is interesting. There is a belief in the fae and magic is seen as a dangerous thing because of what happened long ago with the wraith. There is still a great fear of magic and while Blue’s magic isn’t dangerous, it is something she definitely has to hide. I also appreciated how Redwine brought some diversity and social issues into this book by including a non-speaking character who uses sign language and having one of the main characters (Blue) have a lens on helping the homeless. It was a subtle add and well done.
As the story nears the end, there is a bit of a twist and I didn’t see it coming. Redwine did a fantastic job of bringing the whole story to an end and I loved everything about this story. If you are looking for a fantasy retelling that will grab your attention from page one and hold it all the way to the end, definitely check The Blood Spell out and if you haven’t read the others in this series yet, you should do that when you finish this one. I’ll definitely be checking out whatever Redwine writes next – I’ve loved all of her books to date and she’s become an auto-buy author for me because of that.