The Blood Spell
C.J. Redwine is a New York Times bestselling author of speculative fiction, a diehard lover of going to the movies, and a believer in fairytales. She keeps a six-foot tall Loki figure in her office and will argue the merits of Batman vs. Superman with anyone she meets. She once accidentally punched herself in the face on a ride at Disneyland. She doesn’t recommend it.
*From the publisher’s website.
A dark and romantic epic fantasy retelling of the Cinderella story, about a girl who must team up with the prince she despises to defeat an evil creature threatening their kingdom. The fourth standalone novel in the New York Times bestselling Ravenspire series by C. J. Redwine.
Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the magic in her blood and continue trying to turn metal into gold so she can help her city’s homeless. But when her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her—and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan.
Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata, is walking a thin line between political success and devastating violence. Newly returned from boarding school, he must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal—but escalating violence among the families makes the search nearly impossible. He’s surprised to discover that the one person who makes him feel like he can breathe is Blue, the girl who once ruined all his best adventures.
When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts.
When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?
*From the publisher’s website.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Well, this is it. At least for the Ravenspire series. I was hoping to find more books in this new favorite series, but The Blood Spell was published in 2019, and so far no others have been added. After reading Book Four four years down the road, I’m still hoping for Hansel and Gretel to have their own story. Though that wasn’t Redwine’s pattern until this book.
Prince Kellan is the first hero who has a part in another book. (You’ll meet him briefly in The Traitor Prince if you haven’t already). I love that we see mention of his good friend and roommate Javan several times in The Blood Spell. It makes my heart happy when characters and stories connect so clearly.
Kellan surprised me. I didn’t know what to think about him in The Traitor Prince, though he did seem to truly love Javan. He’s kind. He dotes on his sister and respects his mother. He’s compassionate and wants what’s best for his people. And yet, he’s still the adventurous risk taker we know and love. In his own book, I fell for Kellan just as our heroine did. Or tried not to. Whatever.
Bernadina “Blue” de la Cour was just precious and feisty and incredibly intelligent. Her heart for the less fortunate and snarky comebacks, along with her willingness to speak the truth no matter who she’s speaking to quickly endeared her to me. At first, because of her father and the French sounding names, I at first thought this was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. (Maybe Redwine will grace us with one of those one day? I’d be there for it if she did.)
Again in this book, I’m struck by the way that even characters with magic in their blood try to only use it sparingly or use it only if absolutely necessary. Instead, they rely on their planning, strategy, wit, and stellar friends to get them through.
One of my favorite things about this book is Nessa, Kellan’s young sister and Blue’s alchemy protege. Redwine brings in a cute and spunky character, just as fierce as Blue in her own way, who struggles to speak but communicates effortlessly with the people who take the time to learn how to sign with her. I love the awareness this brings to the struggles and value of those who are hearing impaired. You’ll have to read to see exactly how, but Nessa is a critical player in Blue and Kellan’s story. In fact, without her, you might say they wouldn’t have one at all . . .
Anyway, Kellan and Blue are drawn together by tragedy and life experience despite the differences in their status. With a little help from Grand-mere—the delightful grandmother we all wish for (see what I did there? No? Maybe after you read . . .)—Nessa, wisdom passed through generations of women, and even the queen herself, maybe just maybe Blue and Kellan can stop arguing and work together to save Balavata from the wraith.
Reasons to Love It
📚 Cinderella retelling
📚 YA fiction
📚 clean romance
📚 prince and commoner
📚 witches and wraiths
📚 quotes for days
📚 dreamy seaside setting
📚 hearing impaired character
📚 enemies to lovers
Her eyes were dry. Her voice hollow. Somewhere inside her, a howling storm of grief threatened, but she shied away from it. If she didn’t touch it, it couldn’t hurt her. If she didn’t look it in the eye, it wouldn’t rip her apart at the seams.Blue, p. 102
You can fall apart for a little while if you need to.Kellan, p. 106
He held her. Let her cry and didn’t tell her things would get better. Didn’t say that he was sorry or that everything happened as it was supposed to. He just held on tight and let himself be her anchor as the grief tore its way out of her, raw and angry.Blue, p. 106
They were just two grieving souls finding safe harbor in each other as they silently watched the storm rush toward them across the sea.Kellan, p. 287
For a little while, Blue was going to pretend to be a princes instead of a girl full of poison and dark purpose.Blue, p. 383
I’ll always be the girl in the golden dress who loved you first.Blue, p. 392
Brave girl. . . . Sweet, smart, impossibly brave girl.The Queen, p. 424
A thing in itself—like magic or power—isn’t good or bad. It’s what we make of it that matters. The same is true of people. What we see isn’t always what we get. Are we willing to look deeper to see the heart behind the mask?
I’d love to hear from you! What C.J. Redwine book is your favorite? What were your thoughts on this one? What other fantasy books have you read and enjoyed? Or what are you reading right now that you really love? Drop a comment below!