Hello everyone! I’m super excited to bring you my blog tour stop for Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal! I was interested in it as soon as I heard about it (Tattoo magic? Count me in!) and I felt so incredibly lucky to be included on this tour! Thank you to the publisher, The Fantastic Flying Book Club, and the author for including me on this tour and sending me an arc and temporary tattoos for review! Also, check out my instagram for a lovely photo of the book and a giveaway!!!
About the Book
A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.
Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.
Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.
To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.
About the Author
Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, will release from HMH in early 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.
No good review of mine starts without a mini review of the cover! I think that this cover is both extremely simple and complex in the best away possible. At first glance, it’s just a red anatomical heart shaped thing (At least, it looks like a heart to me. It could very well just be an oval) surrounded by dots and diamonds and lines. However, once you look past the title and deep into the red area of the cover, you’ll see so much symbolism and imagery. We’ve got ink, daggers, skills, moths, plants, hands, and so much more. Seeing the image on screen doesn’t do this highly detailed, classic american tattoo style cover justice! Also, I only have an arc paperback copy, so I can only imagine how striking it must be in person on a finished hardback!
To get into the book itself, Ink in the Blood is such a unique book, unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The magic/religious system involves ink and tattoos, which is so interesting (and explains the direction for the cover design and title typography.) The first chapter alone was ripe with worldbuilding and character establishment, which could’ve be overwhelming if the author hadn’t handled it perfectly. I felt like I was being eased into the world, because it starts outside of it. I was still confused at times, but it was a great introduction. I did find myself a bit bored in some of the earlier chapters as I was introduced to the world and its characters, and mainly I wanted the circus/theater storyline that I had been promised, but trust me, the build up throughout the book is totally worth it. Don’t get discouraged.
I want to talk about so much from the book, but I won’t because of spoilers. Just know that there’s so much dark whimsy in the book, so if that and unique magic appeal to you, you’ll probably like this. I can see why people that say that fans of Leigh Bardugo’s work will be fans, because it’s amazingly written and has such a dark grittiness to it. This is Kim Smejkal’s debut novel, and I can’t wait to see where she’ll go from here!
I’d give Ink in the Blood 4 out of 5 stars!
Prize: Win (1) of (2) finished copies of INK IN THE BLOOD by Kim Smejkal and temporary tattoos (US Only)
Starts: 5th February 2020
Ends: 19th February 2020
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86456/?
Thanks for reading! Please check out the rest of the amazing tour schedule at this link, and thanks again to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me on this tour!
Follow me on Instagram for book pictures, mini-reviews, and more!
Use code STARLIGHT10 for 10% off your order at Sam Marie’s Artistry!
Try out Grammarly via my affiliate link!