Review: Bloodkin by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

BloodkinSource: Random House Kids – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: The Maeve’ra Trilogy #2
Edition: Paperback, 288 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon  / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3/5

Fans of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone will love this second book in the Ma’evra trilogy by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes about loyalty, power, and the rules of survival.

Some lines should never be crossed.

Sixteen-year-old Kadee is proud to be a part of the Obsidian guild, whose members refuse to bow to anyone in Midnight-including the vampires who claim to rule this world and the shapeshifter royals who obey them. She knows firsthand what it’s like to live with the Shantel and serpiente, and she’ll never forgive these shapeshifters for taking her from her real father as a sick and frightened human child. Fortunately, Kadee is the master of her own life and decisions now, but some of the choices she’s made to protect her Obsidian family-and one of her peers in the guild-have begun to haunt her.

How much is one life worth, and when is the price too much to pay?

Bloodkin is book two in a series I honestly forgot I had started last year. I had some issues with Bloodwitch, namely in the world-building category and it sort of just faded into the background. However when Bloodkin showed up for review I found myself not hesitating to give the series another shot despite the lackluster introduction. I can say the story improved and I did enjoy it more, but there were still some issues that prevented it from getting higher than a 3 star rating from me.

Bloodkin focuses on Kadee instead of Vance, like the first book did. She is a member of the Obsidian guild and a half serpent-shifter. Like the first book I had a hard time truly understand who Kadee was as a person. She certainly seems like a strong, independent young woman, and she definitely has a good head on her shoulders…but I don’t really know her personality. There is some mention of self-discovery, and her desire to return to her human parents but that isn’t something that is explored in depth within this book. Vance is a bit easier to understand in this one simply because book one focused on him, and so I understand why he seeks to be around as few people as possible and loathes being used by anyone. However the first book’s timeline went by very quickly, and I did have some trouble trying to recall the finer details alluded to in Bloodkin.

The world-building is a bit better than before, so I can clearly tell that this occurs in our worlds in or around the 1800’s. I’m not entirely sure where it takes place though, but in my mind I picture the forests of Central America since it’s so free of pure human influence and some of the names, like Azetka, fit better in that region. However that aside I did find myself enjoying the story a bit more than I did initially. It’s incredibly fast paced with plenty of political intrigue as Kadee tries to save lives and comes face to face with the slave trade, and a huge dose of paranormal elements that make the story what it truly is. I really do like the different shifter tribes and vampires, and how witches come into play; and Rhode’s writing can be incredibly vivid at times making me wish the book were longer so I could see her describe as much of the world as possible. Where the plot was slowly laid in book one, Bloodkin really gets into the thick of it as quickly as possible and builds up the tensions. I’m really looking forward to how Misha’s temper and plans play out in book three, and how well Kadee and Vance handle the upcoming changes.

Overall I’m leaving this one with a 3 star rating, and a desire to see how the trilogy end. A lot is at stake of the characters, and even though I’m not particularly attached them I do find myself wanting to see if/how they will survive it.

3 star

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