Tricksters, Rebellion and Heresy.
Disclaimer: I was sent a advanced copy of Ink to review by the publisher. All thoughts hereafter are entirely my own and not sponsored/paid opinions. That said, this review is not spoiler free. For spoiler free ratings, follow me on my socials:
Ink in the Blood revolves around two rogue inklings—emissaries of a Divine delivering messages to her subjects. Swept away by a travelling carnival mob, they must prepare to dethrone the Divine and expose the biggest lie of all to save their newfound family.
As usual, this review will be split up into five parts: character building, world building, theme, plot and conclusion.
I. Character Building
Ink in the blood focused a lot on the friendship between Celia and Anya, however, the author was also able to build onto other character's personalities incredibly well. There was not one character I forgot throughout the book and not once did I feel like they acted even slightly out of character.
The characters were well thought of and carefully written so that each character was completely memorable and complex. Every character was written so they would not have been forgotten and so that by the end of the book, you'd wonder at each and every single one of their whereabouts.
I believe the author was triumphant in creating truly wonderful, loveable, hateable and memorable characters. I also especially loved the fact that the characters were gender-neutral. I love how it isn't a big "thing" in the story but is still an issue tackled nonetheless—it would definitely bring the concern to the limelight without it being "cringey" to those who avoid certain topics.
II. World Building
The world surrounding the Inklings is not one much too different from ours. In fact, apart from the magical properties, it's quite the same as ours so it wouldn't be confusing to those who are newer to the fantasy genre, but it also doesn't lack the certain allure of a different world. It was very easy to understand what the author was trying to describe from the surroundings to the tattoos being drawn.
The writing wasn't as vivid as others but I felt like the book's main message was to keep thing open to individual interpretation so I felt like this was the effect the author was going for and was sufficient in itself without making the reading strain to understand the plot.
I live in a deeply religious country and I am one of the "odds" if you will. I am not an atheist but I also don't particularly believe in any deity. So this book really struck a wonderful, woeful nerve with me. Religion is a highly sensitive topic and one that keeps people at war for the different views we all have about it. I love how the author tackled this by going through the route of rebellion, and I also loved how the author gave us enough of a nudge of the good things about Profeta that it kept me on my toes. It aligns with so many of my beliefs that I felt a deep connection with it.
However, even if you did believe in a deity or not, if you are religious or not, I believe that there is a great lesson to learn from Ink in the Blood: decisions should be made entirely by us. It should not be mandated by a governing body and should only be guided and not commanded. It allows us to understand that we should never be blind sheep just following orders.
The theme was clear and the message was incredibly thought out. It was delivered with subtlety throughout the book and boldly toward the end. In this, the author was successful.
I have been captivated by Celia's demise from the beginning, but I fell in love with Anya's cruel calculations in the end. I felt that the plot was well thought of and paced perfectly. Nothing was rushed and every cruel turn and twist was wonderfully written and calculated. I venture on to say that Anya is the perfect reflection of the author, cruel, cunning and calculating.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I loved every character and was gutted with every loss. Every twist had my breath hitching, and the story was written incredibly well. The world of Profeta was extremely charming and reading it made me feel like I was a part of the Rabble Mob myself. I highly recommend it for lovers of Caraval, Wicked Saints, Shadow and Bone and Dark Fantasy books.
Final Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pre-Order Ink in the Blood Here: