**4.5-stars rounded up**
When I read Blood Like Magic in 2021, I was blown away by Sambury’s writing. She drew me in from the very start and I was 100% invested in that book.
The perfect blending of SFF elements, along with phenomenal character work, easily made that novel one of my favorites of the year.
To say I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this sequel, Blood Like Fate, would be putting it extremely mildly.
This is a chunky monkey and it is so full of deep, moving, thought-provoking content, I was left in awe upon completion. Sambury left no stone unturned in the exploration of these characters and their lives.
At the start of this story, Voya’s family is still reeling from the choices she made at the end of the first book.
For Voya, those were the toughest decisions she has ever made in her life and now she is suffering the consequences. Her closest relationships have been shattered, but she must continue on.
Voya has been named the Matriarch of her witch family; their highest position. Even at such a young age, she is now the official leader of the Thomas family, but how can she be?
Voya doesn’t feel capable, she questions herself and feels like all the adults in her life are questioning her as well. Voya feels they aren’t taking her seriously. Is that true, or are Voya’s own insecurities getting the best of her?
It is an extremely uncomfortable and uncertain position for her to be in.
Making matters worse is that fact that Voya’s love interest, Luc, has completely cut her out of his life. For Voya, it feels like she is losing on all fronts.
Then she has a horrifying vision, one that if it comes to pass could mean total destruction for the witch community. It could mean the death of her entire family.
Confusing Voya is Luc’s presence in the vision. Could he be involved in some way? Is he out to get her revenge on her by punishing her family?
Calling on the ancestors and the greater witch community, Voya begins to investigate the vision. If there is a way to stop it, she must figure it out. She cannot allow that vision to become reality.
It’s my understanding that Blood Like Magic is a duology. This did end with a satisfying conclusion, but I will admit, I will be sad if this is all I ever get with these characters.
You cannot read these two books and come away feeling like you are not a part of the Thomas family. I was so impressed with how intricate Sambury got with these characters. You come away feeling like you know not only these characters, but through the ancestors, their history as well.
There is a lot of action, a very serious plot involved in both of these books, but for me, the character work definitely stole the show.
Even though this is a futuristic story, I loved how inclusive it was and how many current themes and issues were interwoven into it. It touches upon things such as gender identity, mental health, generational trauma and a whole host of familial issues.
I thought that every topic Sambury tackled, she handled with grace and skill. Nothing overshadows the overall plot of the story, but enhances it in a truly lovely way.
If I were to offer forth any critiques on this novel, I would say that for me, this one felt a little long. Not in the fact that I felt there was extra content included that could have been cut, I wouldn’t have cut anything. I just felt like it dragged on a bit too long.
I almost feel like this story could have been better served if it had been made a trilogy versus a duology. Of course, this is completely personal opinion, but I certainly wouldn’t have minded a whole other book in this series.
Overall though, I absolutely loved these two books. I cannot even express to you how impressed I am by Liselle Sambury’s work.
She blew me away with this duology full of heart, Black girl magic and a level of depth rarely obtained in the genre. I highly recommend these books!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Margaret K. McElderry, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Blood Like Fate releases tomorrow, Tuesday, August 9, 2022!!!