The Blood Keeper, by Tessa Gratton

While Tessa Gratton's The Blood Keeper is billed as a “companion novel” to her book Blood Magic, rather than a sequel, you need to have read the earlier book for this one to make sense. (Actually, this one isn't guaranteed to make sense even if you have read Blood Magic, but the light bulb might glow a little brighter.)

As the newly-appointed leader of a sprawling magical family, teenager Mab Prowd is finding life rough-going. She is struggling to rid her land of a patch of cursed rose bushes, and she has just taken charge of a little boy with a cursed rune carved into his back. High school soccer player and all-American golden boy Will Sanger is still recovering from a recent traumatic experience, and, for the first time, finds himself questioning his family's plans for his future. When Will and Mab meet, their bond is immediate, inexplicable, and intense, but their burgeoning relationship just makes their already messy lives even more complicated.

The Blood Keeper is divided into three perspectives: Mab's, Will's, and a story told via an old diary. Of the three storylines, the diary is the most compelling—and, sadly, it gets the shortest shrift. Gratton was obviously hoping to create a dense, layered narrative, but instead her story feels unwieldy and overworked. She has a gift for lyrical descriptive passages, but too much of the plot reads like a far-fetched attempt to justify the constant shifts in perspective and mood. The end result is three interconnected character studies, not an actual novel.

Review based on a publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.