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Review: Bloodmarked (The Legendborn Cycle Book 2) by Tracy Deonn

January 30, 2023

About the book:

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.
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 own 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.

My Thoughts:

How do I even begin to tell you how much I love this series and Author Tracy Deonn? I love the concept, the writing and the mood of this series and this book two: Bloodmarked is the next chapter of Bree’s story.

Bree has power now. At least she should have. Bree had thought the war she was fighting was between the demons and the Order that protected human life but she quickly discovers that is not the only war she has to fight. The Regents have their own plans. As does Arthur. Bree has only her friends to rely on and while her own power is growing it’s uncontrolled and this lack of control is putting her in danger. She must find a way to control her power to keep everyone she loves safe. The cost is high but the cost of doing nothing is higher. She has to rescue Nick and herself, risking Sel’s life in the process and it puts all of her friends in danger.

The writing of Tracy Deonn draws you quickly into the story. Her writing style allows for a pacey, enjoyable read that I had to force myself to slow down and savour. And I did savour this book. Every page was a joy. Descriptions of locations and settings do not slow the pace of the tale in the slightest, neither do explanations of history, myth and legend. Even the incredibly painful reminders of American Black history do not slow or choke the story in its tracks. Tough topics of violent death, physical and emotional racial abuse, emotional generational trauma and degradation are handled delicately and deftly but with strength and pride. The juxtaposition of the legendborn arthurian patriarchal power and the matriarchal rootcraft that war within Bree’s body is a brilliant storytelling tool used beautifully by Tracy Deonn to tell this tale.

Magic and demons, merlins and rootcraft and aether – all the fantastical elements are cleverly woven throughout the story and do not take the reader out of the flow at all. And I love me some Arthur mythology and sword fighting! The mutable and inconsistent quality of myths and legends cause Bree all sorts of strife. Everyone has secrets and the telling of history (depending on who is doing the telling) has a way of hiding the truth behind shadows, half-truths and straight up lies and add all sorts of twists to Bree’s tale of power and empowerment.

There are also so many fabulous characters in this series to love. Bree, Selwyn, William, Nick, Alice and more, and plenty of new faces and personalities are introduced to enjoy. The ghostly presences are also numerous, entertaining and grippingly powerful in the stories they have to tell.

An altogether enjoyable book two and a terrific series. I totally recommend Bloodmarked. A perfect book two.

You can read my review of Book One: Legendborn here

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