So I failed at NaNoWriMo yet again. This didn't surprise me at all. School got in the way. On the subject of school, I am currently in a class called Writing for the Professionals: Publishing. The way the class works is that we come up with an idea for a book and follow it through every stage of publication from query to review.
I used the story idea that I wanted to write for NaNo for the class project. I got about 11k in on it before I got distracted from NaNo. Of The Blood is a YA fantasy and I am kind of obsessed with it. I am definitely going to get back to work on it during winter break. Our last big assignment was to review our book, which was loads of fun.
I wasn't planning on posting this but Lili from Lili's Reflections encouraged me to post it for fun!
*I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO THIS IMAGE! I FOUND IT AND USED IT FOR CLASS FOR MY FAKE COVER.*
Title: Of The Blood
Series: The Blood Heir #1
Author: Dana Cuadrado
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: January 29, 2016
Travel to the land of Illyria, where nothing and no one is ever as they seem.
Valaria must kill the heir to the throne of Illyria, but that won’t be as easy as it seems. When the Queen gave birth to twins, the knowledge of which child was born first became a strictly kept secret after it was foretold that the heir would bring Illyria’s downfall. Valaria finds herself in a tangled relationship with both the prince and princess making her task so much more difficult.
Gamila has lived her whole life as a slave because she can wield magic. When she learns that she is pregnant her only hope for a better life is to flee to Illyria, where owning magic slaves is illegal. But her journey won’t be easy and she can’t trust anyone.
Valaria and Gamila have never met, but one event will twist their fates together forever.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Of The Blood is one of the best young adult fantasy novels I’ve read in a long time. Dana Cuadrado has written two, almost, completely separate stories, following two incredible female protagonists, but by the end you see how intertwined they really are. There are so many twists and surprising parts to this book that I couldn’t put it down once I started.
It seems like there has been an amazing resurgence in the fantasy genre and I couldn’t be happier. Of The Blood is a standout in a landscape filled with repetitive storylines and characters. Cuadrado has gone down a much darker and unique path with this novel and is able to add diversity to a genre that has been severely lacking.
To discuss all of my feelings about this right now...
Let’s toast to Dana Cuadrado for her amazing writing. Despite being her debut, Of The Blood shows how much range she has as a writer. It will make you want to both weep and laugh, maybe at the same time. I hope we see more of Jager in the next book because he has some of the best dialogue; I was dying of laughter.
I was born to kill the future King of Illyria. Or Queen? That part I'm still not sure about. - Valaria
As I rubbed my belly, I prayed that the child in my womb wasn't of magical blood. - Gamila
The two interwoven plot lines are both really fresh takes on plotlines that we see very often in YA. Of The Blood is a female driven story and it just warms my heart to see that.
The plot is very complex and has so many moving parts, but at the end of the day we have Mila trying to make a better life for her baby and Valaria trying to make a better life for her people. The fact that underneath every additional plotline those motivations are still at the forefront of those character’s stories is what makes me love this novel.
I loved the mystery of guessing who the true heir was along the way. There are hints throughout the story leading you to either Ash or Ana which made it very tricky. I have to say that I guessed wrong and oh boy did that hurt.
Everything pertaining to Mila’s backstory made me want to cry. Cuadrado really went there and I loved how dark this book was.
For most YA fans, just the hint of a love triangle can completely turn them off of a book. I am not that person, but I am telling you that if you are you NEED to give Of The Blood a chance.
Valaria’s relationship with the Ash and Ana will keep you on the edge of your seat. The relationships between them are so interesting and dynamic. They are all manipulating each other in some way.
Mila and Sam are perfection. Their love/hate relationship progresses really nicely throughout the story and I can’t wait to see them in the next book.
Fans of Game of Thrones and Throne of Glass will love this book!