Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn // Book Review

When I first read Legendborn, I knew that Tracy Deonn was onto something really special. The story of how a young Bree finds out the truth of her ancestry has captured so many readers. People hesitant to read the book absolutely love it by the end. People who don’t normally read fantasy are compelled to read some more. It’s a book that continuously moves across the different things the characters come across and Tracy Deonn takes the Arthurian legend and turning it on its head. And you pretty much get more of that throughout Bloodmarked.

Here’s more about Bloodmarked

The shadows have risen, and the line is law.

All Bree wanted was to uncover the truth behind her mother’s death. So she infiltrated the Legendborn Order, a secret society descended from King Arthur’s knights—only to discover her own ancestral power. Now, Bree has become someone new:

A Medium. A Bloodcrafter. A Scion.

But the ancient war between demons and the Order is rising to a deadly peak. And Nick, the Legendborn boy Bree fell in love with, has been kidnapped.

Bree wants to fight, but the Regents who rule the Order won’t let her. To them, she is an unknown girl with unheard-of power, and as the living anchor for the spell that preserves the Legendborn cycle, she must be protected.

When the Regents reveal they will do whatever it takes to hide the war, Bree and her friends must go on the run to rescue Nick themselves. But enemies are everywhere, Bree’s powers are unpredictable and dangerous, and she can’t escape her growing attraction to Selwyn, the mage sworn to protect Nick until death.

If Bree has any hope of saving herself and the people she loves, she must learn to control her powers from the ancestors who wielded them first—without losing herself in the process.

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My thoughts

If you haven’t read Legendborn, turn away now! This book starts right where the last one leaves off, so you’ll need to know the events of the last book in order to understand what’s going on in this one. I’m glad to have reread book 1 because book 2 just barrels right into the world and what’s happening.

If there’s one word to describe this book, I think it’s cinematic. I felt like I was watching an action film starring Bree and Sel and the others in the group and every move they made was to escape the villains (of which there are many). It starts off with the memorial for all of Bree’s fallen friends from the final battle in the first book. That leads right into the rite ceremony where Bree will accept her place as the Crown Scion and take up the sword that her family has bled to inherit. Of course, that’s when some big truths are revealed. After that, it is a whirlwind of events that will leave you with your jaw on the floor, a hand balled up in a fist, an inability to pick a proper romantic partner for Bree, and surprise you until the very last page of the book. If you’re planning to read Bloodmarked, then you’re in for a ride.

Much of this book tackles the topic of inheritance and the way Bree inherits her powers. I don’t want to say because that’s giving too much away, but for those who’ve read book 1 there’s a lot of Vera, the rootcraft, and the implications of Bree and her power meaning to not only the Order, but to her ancestors who have been punished time and time again for the misdeeds of one white man. It’s definitely one of the biggest parts of the story and a lot of Bree’s motivation to keep her autonomy especially over her own body. I loved how this is threaded through the book and as the story progresses, it becomes more clearly obvious that Bree needs to find control and power within herself.

Of course, the romance between Bree, Sel, and Nick come to a fever pitch! While Bree and the others are still on the hunt for Nick and his father, Sel takes center stage and the emotions are palatable. Yes, I need more Sel and I need it now! Not only are there those leading moments for us to devour, there’s also the bigger question that we are all dying to find an answer: who will Bree choose? I definitely have a team I’m siding with, but I can’t wait to see how that plays out in the next book.

What I also really loved from this book is the new villains that Bree has to face. There’s a lot of new faces and characters to note including Valec, a broker who trades special abilities for souls. There’s the other members of the Regent that all gather together for Bree’s rites ceremony. There’s Arthur who I was hoping would be a plucky sidekick inside Bree’s brain, but he turns out to be a much different character than I imagined and definitely worth finding out! And then there’s Morgaine, Merlins, and the villain that we are all fighting for. I honestly was on the edge of my seat by the end of this book with how much has happened, how many questions I was left unanswered, and all the possibilities of where this story can go.

And that’s what really opens up the world in this book. What I really loved is how much Tracy Deonn opens up this world. It’s more than just Legendborn and Rootcrafters and I loved that. The journey Bree and her friends take to find refuge and help to defeat her enemies widens the worldbuilding in away I didn’t imagine. It’s so interesting to find different beings who practice different kinds of magic and the new characters introduced in this book really bring a dynamic to the story that I didn’t anticipate. I can’t wait to see how Tracy Deonn incorporates these components into the next book. In many ways, there were bits and pieces that the story introduces but doesn’t dive into more, but you can tell immediately that they’ll be important in future stories and bring a level of excitement for the next stories in the world.

This will definitely a book I revisit in the future. Probably before book 3 comes out, but definitely a story that’s truly captured me and makes me pine to return some day soon.

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