Blood and Ink – Holly Evans Review

It turns out that saving the day comes at a cost. In this case, my home in Wildrun. Oh, and my freedom.

Keirn called in a few favours with his friend, Fein. In return for a new life and some help hiding the fact that I’m an ink magician, we belong to the elf that runs half of Prague. Some rumours say he runs half the continent.

There’s an art thief in town, and Fein’s decided it’s my job to find and stop them. I didn’t dare point out that I’m a tattoo magician, not a detective.

The real problem is, I’m terrified that this is a slippery slope, and I don’t like where it’s going.

Why did I pick this up?: This is the second book in Holly Evans’ Ink Born series, which I was lucky enough to get an ARC of from the author after reading and loving the first.

Good points: Keirn and Dacian = perfect. Tyn is adorable. Vyx is incredible and awesome and I wish I was more like her. Characterisation throughout this book is REALLY good. You really get into and feel for each different character as you read on. I read this book in the space of two days, happily between working on my own writing as a break, and it was the best break I could hope for. Urban fantasy at its best! It’s also set in gorgeous Prague, which is just perfect!

Quibbles: None that I can think of, really. Sometimes the plot moves very fast and I ran to keep up, but I sort of LIKED that.

Overall (TL;DR): Read it. Well, read the first one first. But still… definitely a great sequel.


The Spirit Eater – Rachel Aaron Review

Another book read. Can you tell I need things to occupy me right now? – Ha!

Anyway, since I reviewed the second book of this series (although admittedly not the first!) I thought it was about time I reviewed this one too. I will note, however, that I can’t yet review the two remaining books in this series because for once, I haven’t read them! I have actually purchased them and they will be on their way to me shortly. In the meantime, I have no doubt I will wait on the edge of my seat.

Like the last, this is a re-read of mine. Right now I am reading my way right across my bookshelves piece by piece in my spare time, and it’s great fun. Picking up books and KNOWING that I already like them. Also, as anyone who knows me can attest, I have very large bookshelves, so this will last me quite a while.

The Spirit Eater takes us further into the depths of Eli’s world. But more than that, it starts to unravel the mysteries of Nico, and in the process seems to risk unravelling her. I love Nico, as a character. And seeing this real in-depth exploration of her, and why she’s there, what this means to her… all I can say is there is a bond between these characters that I think works wonders for the story.

We’re also introduced to the type of character that I always laughingly say is ‘my type’. A very elaborately dressed, morally-grey character. This, by the name of Sparrow. I pinpoint this character just because there is something about his characterisation (I will give no spoilers, you will have to read it for yourselves) that I think is absolute genius. Rachel Aaron, well done.

Along with Eli’s quips and the lighthearted stance these books often take to their storytelling, we begin to see a lot more of the true seriousness of this world. Demons, worlds falling apart, spirits, forces. It’s a quick read, and worth it.

So, again, fantasy fans… take a look. Rachel Aaron does a lot of fun things with her work, and personally I’m still looking forward to receiving the rest of this series. I’ve been waiting so so long, dammit. It’s time.

As a final edit, for anyone who is interested, at the time of writing this blog post I am 16,126 words into the novel I am currently working on, Alternate. This is beginning to feel like the last draft I will do, but I’ve said that before… Once I have done this, I will have to look for beta-readers. But for now, I am simply well on my way to completion.

-K Hart