It’s been a while since I’ve just sat down and raced through a book in a single sitting, but I did that with Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye. Originally drawn in by the gorgeous cover before I even knew what the book was about, I soon fell in love with the world Falaye built for her debut and I can’t wait to read book two.
Many thanks to Harper360YA for sending me an ARC for review, and as usual, all opinions are my own.
RELEASE DATE: 08/03/2022
STAR RATING: 4.5/5 ✶
SUMMARY: Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.
Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within. (from Harper Collins)
OPINIONS: I loved Blood Scion. This is one of the most addictive books I’ve read in ages, which is saying something – I think it’s pulled me out of a rut I didn’t even realise I was in. I need book two immediately and I don’t want to wait for it to be released (yes I am aware that this one isn’t even out yet…). The story is full of magic, darkness, betrayal and other wonderful ingredients – and minimal romance. It really felt like the book was about Sloane and her journey, about her discovering herself and who she is, rather than trying to pair her up or take away her personal development by focusing on a dynamic. And this really is what YA should be about. A main character who is well-developed, growing into their own, with their character arc at the heart of the story. Blood Scion reaffirmed my love for YA, and I am so happy I got to read it.
Now, Blood Scion is a dark book in many ways. It’s essentially about child soldiers, and the main character has to murder a loved one a few pages into the story. While it is still YA, it is also borderline Grimdark, and will certainly appeal to those audiences as well. The publisher comps it to The Children of Blood and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes, but I think an almost more apt comp in terms of darkness and setting would be Tochi Onyebuchi’s War Girls. However, that does not mean that Blood Scion doesn’t have it’s tender moments. As a whole, it feels balanced and to an extent even hopeful in its spirit.
One of my favourite aspects of the book is how it subtly incorporated aspects of Nigerian Yoruba mythology into its story. I am an absolute sucker for anything rooted in myth, so that just made me love it even more – and this was both subtle and worked really well. Really, Blood Scion is a book where there isn’t a lot to criticise, just a great read.
I highly recommend this one. Add it to your Goodreads here, or pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).