Hey everyone! I hope everything is looking up for you and that life is going your way. I don’t have too much to say before this review. I am, however, very excited to share this book. For those of you not in the loop, Harpers Collins (who published this book) was at odds with their union. Thankfully, they were able to re-negotiate and now I can talk about this book. Buckle up and let’s talk about The Blood Trials.
Content Warning: Graphic Violence and Gore, Discussions and Depictions of Racism, Discussions and Depictions of Misogyny, Sexual Content, Harsh Language
Ikenna Amari is spiraling after the death of her beloved Grandfather, Verne Amari. He was a legend within the Republic of Mareen for preventing war against the Blood Emperor. He trained Ikenna and taught her how to use her blood gift, which she has to keep secret. Everything is turned on its head when she finds out that her grandfather was assassinated. She suspects that it could only have been carried out by one of his fellow Tribunals and the Praetorian Guard. To find out who did this, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials – a series of grueling, brutal challenges that many aspirants don’t survive. Undergoing these trials also means having to endure the racism towards her half – Khanian heritage and sexism perpetuated within this society. Along with all of this, she must keep her power a secret or else be executed or a fate worse than that. As Ikenna unravels a larger conspiracy, she realizes that the only way she can achieve justice is through blood.
This was just about everything I wanted in a good book. It has action, intrigue, nuance, and plenty of twists. N.E. Davenport does an incredible job creating an intricate yet unpredictable plot. The world building has some clear influences while also standing as its own creation. Ikenna as the first-person narrator helps to strengthen the narrative through a strong voice. She is a powerful female lead who really drives the story forward. While this book isn’t necessarily dystopian, it still gave me similar vibes to the dystopian books I enjoyed as a teen like The Hunger Games or Divergent. This, however, is much more adult and sophisticated. All the while, it is still a thrilling read. Needless to say, I am going to definitely recommend you put this on your TBR ASAP and I will be reading the sequel in the near future.