Bloodlaced by Courtney Maguire Book Review - BBNYA Book Tour
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Publisher: City Owl Press
Length: 314 Pages
Age Category: Adult
Date Published: 29 September 2020
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Thank you to BBNYA for providing me with a copy of this book! I voluntarily leave this review!
Asagi is neither man nor woman. Sold into slavery, they are subjected to emotional and physical abuse. And when one master is done, they are sold to another to repeat the cycle. When one such household leaves Asagi in charge of a young boy, they do all they can to protect him. But the inevitable happens and Asagi is torn away from the boy to be sold to another house. Guilt and heartache plague them. Pain becomes the only solace in their life, the only thing able to ground them. When the new household shows even the smallest kindness, Asagi is hesitant to believe it is possible. Surely it is some new way to torment them? Asagi will soon learn, while the master may indeed be kind, there is an underlying darkness that compels him to do so.
Asagi’s character is tragic and complex. The amount of abuse they have endured is heartbreaking. Watching the evolution of Asagi’s trauma and battle to overcome it will keep readers entranced. They are so frightened by human interaction. When Asagi begins to form connections with people they are such fragile relationships that take time to develop and grow. And even at their strongest points, the past haunts Asagi making them doubt every good thing in their life. Not to mention the confusion of trying to form relationships with people when for so long Asagi was seen as only a slave.
Bloodlaced is a dark and emotional read. An extra depth was added to the writing as readers will often feel as confused as Asagi when they try to understand their feelings of love. Asagi believed love was beyond them and when they begin to feel different kinds of love the messages seem to become mixed. There are times when the expected social interactions become skewed with other kinds of love. Then add in the element of vampirism and it mixes up the emotional drives.
Vampirism in this novel takes the form of a youkai. And while the lore around this particular youkai is limited, it makes a large impact on the story. Many of the characters' choices will be determined by the effects of the youkai and haunted pasts. And while vampirism is the perfect catalyst for many of the plot points, a stronger foundation in the lore would have added to the worldbuilding.
Bloodlaced is by no means a light read and will not be suitable for all readers. There is no shying away from the brutality characters endure. The depth of emotional and physical torment bestowed on Asagi will not be easy for readers to experience.
All or part of this book review may be used in marketing, I only ask that you reference Behind the Pages if you choose to do so.
Kanjin hardly view their servants as human. Even less so when they are different.
Asagi is different. Both a man and a woman.
In the wake of his failure to protect a boy they saw as a son from their abusive master, Asagi is sold into the house of a young nobleman, Mahiro, who is the opposite of everything Asagi has ever known—gentle, kind, and generous.
Mahiro bonds with Asagi and their friendship blooms into a deep and profound love. But when Asagi is poisoned out of jealousy, Mahiro reveals himself to be youkai, a demon who feeds on blood, and he has no choice but to turn Asagi to save their life.
Asagi awakes reborn, strong, and eternally youthful. But the price for Asagi’s new life is high.
The blood of the innocent.
Just as Asagi’s trust in Mahiro falters, the boy they failed to protect, now a man, reappears.
New master, same threat.
With both a literal and proverbial monster at the door, Asagi must decide what it means to be human to protect what they loves most.
Content Warnings: physical abuse, sexual abuse (off-page), self-harm, blood, graphic violence
If you like Bella Forrest, P. C. Cast, AJ Tipton, or Anne Rice, you will love this beautiful dark paranormal fantasy romance.
Courtney Maguire is a University of Texas graduate from Corpus Christi, Texas. Drawn to Austin by a voracious appetite for music, she spent most of her young adult life in dark, divey venues nursing a love for the sublimely weird. A self-proclaimed fangirl with a press pass, she combined her love of music and writing as the primary contributor for Japanese music and culture blog, Project: Lixx, interviewing Japanese rock and roll icons and providing live event coverage for appearances across the country.