Title: In the Blood
Author: R. L. Martinez
Published: Projected March 21, 2016
The war between Dosalyn and Roanaan has ended, but a new battle begins for prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin sister are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister.
But she may arrive too late…
Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family’s struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord with secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic, and threats from a cruel blackmailer push Oriabel closer to disaster.
Through it all, the Witch’s Tree calls…
This book? Fantastic. Pretty damn fantastic. In the Blood has a lot of things that I look for in an epic fantasy and was written beautifully. With magic, betrayal, more magic, and surprising alliances–this book really had it all.
The book kind of drops you into the middle of the mess. There’s a war and the war seems to have ended by the looks of the Queen fleeing her country. Ottilde is then the last POW that’s left at her prison camp. Back in her homeland her twin sister Oriabel is awaiting a new lord for her estate while also concealing the fact that she’s a witch. Already there’s tension. Granted, looking in hindsight, there are a lot of things that were a tad predictable–but honestly, the story kept me captivated the entire way that I didn’t even really think of that. I called out a few plot points, but I really didn’t care because I was so on board with the adventure.
Character wise, I honestly had more interest in Oriabel than Ottilde. Oriabel had a lot more going on. She’s blackmailed, she falls in love… in general she does a lot more than Ottilde does. Ottilde’s role in the story is very important, but for the most part she’s kind of doing the same thing for most of the novel. Thinking back on it, I think Oriabel had a bit more screen time than Ottilde, which I think was appropriate.
Speaking of characters, every character seemed to be pretty dynamic. The main baddies at the end are a bit cliche and has a bit of a trope going on, but for the most part all of the other characters have different sides to them. I cared about Oriabel and Hito (a lot actually… a lot). I cared about Ottilde, even though I wasn’t really too interested in what she was doing. I cared about a lot of the characters so much that I got really angry near the end.
Which brings me to another point, this book made me feel things! There are only a handful of times when books have made me actually giddy, sad, infuriated, and sad again. I was so invested in the characters and in the story that I got a bit emotional at times. Which I think is a pretty good accomplishment.
Overall, In the Blood
is a really good debut novel and I’m really excited to see where this story goes. I want to know what happens, I want them to be happy (GAH), and I want to see how this goes for the two sisters. I will warn that there are some heavy adult themes in this book near the end especially having to do with rape and sexual assault. If you’re one that gets anxious or uncomfortable with that, I don’t recommend reading this book. Aside from that, though, I think this book was fantastic and really captivating. I hope to see more exploration in the magic in the upcoming books and I want to see where these alliances go.
Disclaimer: I’ve received an advance copy of this book for free in exchange for a honest review.