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.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Dia, did I love this.
This world, these characters are so exquisite and incredibly well done. Reading about Profeta and Diavala, and the Rabble Mob felt, to me, reminiscent of going to the circus as a child and being taken onto a wild magical journey unlike any other.
It felt to me like my greatest and most endearing fantasies, a world comparable to none, unique to itself. The talent that Kim holds, as a storyteller, as a world builder, as a creator of characters that are so dear to my heart, is undeniably the best I’ve ever seen.
Ink in the Blood is without a doubt one of the best books of the year for its world, for its story, for the moral themes that lie within the story. The message of religion that restricts and the power of resisting and freedom through the arts….It is THE BEST. I am blown away and completely obsessed. I can not recommend this book enough.
Just the fact that non binary and queer relationships are a part of the world/ the magic is completely refreshing and unlike anything I’ve ever read.
My only issue with it was that I felt like there was an overload of information at the beginning that I personally struggled to digest. It took a while to fully grasp the world and all that it entails.
The writing style was also a bit difficult for me personally to get into. I do get what the author was doing with the way she wrote it and I can appreciate it adding to the intrigue of the world. However, it also added even more confusion for me and it took a bit away from my enjoyment having to work so hard to understand what was going on. I would go back and reread pages at a time to make sure I was comprehending properly and it set me back a little but besides that there was not a single moment I wasn’t intrigued and I just kept wanting to continue.
I will say it did remind me of ‘Wicked Saints’ by Emily Duncan. The writing and atmosphere reminded me a lot of that world so if you are a fan of ‘Wicked Saints’, I have a feeling you will like this (as I did).
But overall, the more I read, the more I fell in love and the more I couldn’t set it down. I will be singing it’s praise to anyone who will listen for the next year while nervously biting my nails and ugly crying awaiting the sequel.