Dark, Magical and Impossible to Put Down | Blog Tour, Review, Playlist, Favourite Quotes + Giveaway: Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal

7:30 AM

Did someone say MAGICAL TATTOOS? *Packs bags and runs to the nearest bookstore because this book is that good* (Seriously, though...)

About Ink in the Blood
by Kim Smejkal 
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 11th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Fantasy
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A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.

Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal
Rating: ★★★★★  

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the authors in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 

Everyone needs to read this immediately because IT DESTROYED ME and made me feel a lot and I want to yell about it with SOMEONE. Anyone. Now. Yesterday. Also, the way I felt reading Ink in the Blood reminds me of the way I felt while reading Caraval years back. If there is one thing to take away from my review, it's that Kim Smejkal's writing is stunning and lyrical to the point where I was enchanted from the start.

Smejkal wrote like three words and I was already on the edge of my seat like, please, may I have some more? Ink in the Blood has some truly breathtaking prose that lingers at the back of your mind. While the story itself is full of darkness, performance, love, magic and danger, Kim Smejkal's writing packs a punch in its own right.

No, seriously. It's that level of intriguing magic, hypnotic writing and atmosphere. 2020 YA fantasy is already giving us so much and I'd like to say thank-you-thank-you-thank-you for every writer out there slaying me. In the case of Ink in the Blood, I do mean quite literally slaying me.

(!That ending! I think I need six to seven months to catch my breath!) 

I've been kind of laying here for hours somewhere between, "OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! That was so good! I'm dying!" and "Need the sequel NOW." Truly. I can't decide if I need to reread it again or grab a box of tissues and bask in the emotions it's made me feel. To quote a particular character from Ink in the Blood, this novel is either my end or my beginning. (Cue the dramatic music and mood lighting.)

I'm just so smitten. There's this blankness to my mind when it comes to how I want to express the pure joy (and chills) that this novel gave me--but I can't, because I'm just thinking about Celia and Anya, the Rabble Mob, the Plague Doctor and the Divine and Diavala.

Ink in the Blood is vivid and immersive with its own unique world-building and history. Every page of this story is remarkable, magical and dangerous. This is one of the most intriguing fantasy releases of the year and the perfect way to start the new decade. One thing is certain: I'm going to be waiting impatiently for its sequel.

If you aren't sold yet, know that there's this sharp-as-a-knife quality to Smejkal's prose that takes readers down a path of strangeness and charm. If you are adventurous and daring, in real life or in fiction, this book's essence will call to you. Ink in the Blood is destined to be memorable and will capture many a reader's heart with its darkly woven beauty.

And reading it felt like something truly special.

Favourite Quotes 

"You lose when your bones hum from the inside..." Okay, okay, so out of context? CREEPY. In context? Creepier. You'll see.

"If I can draw a picture of the illusion, Celia thought, maybe I can figure out a way to tuck me and Anya softly into it." Uh, hi, hello, yes, HMH? I'd like to report a CRIME. Kim Smejkal has created two characters THAT STOLE MY HEART AND-- 

"Sometimes what looks like betrayal is actually the biggest sacrifice." I mean, where's the lie? (It doesn't exist.)

"No, just feeling nostalgic. Looking backwards is always laced with a bit of regret, isn't it?" This is one that hit me pretty bluntly. 

A little bonus because I've been LIVING for bookish playlists again. 

About the Author

Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, will release from HMH in early 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.

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 Blog Tour:

February 5th

February 6th

Write, Read, Repeat - Interview
@onemused - Review
L.M. Durand - Review
Jinxed Reviews - Review + Favourite Quotes
Books Over Everything - Review

February 7th

NovelKnight - Guest Post
A Court of Coffee and Books - Review + Favourite Quotes
Moonlight Rendezvous - Review + Favourite Quotes
A Bookish Dream - Review
Reads and Thoughs - Review

February 8th

A Book Addict's Bookshelves - Interview
Here's to Happy Endings - Review
The Reading Corner for All - Review + Tattoo Magic
Not Just Fiction - Review + Favourite Quotes
Story-eyed Reviews - Review

February 9th

BookCrushin - Guest Post
The Book Lyst - Review
The Magical Pages - Review
Sincerely your books - Review + Favourite Quotes
Sohinee Reads & Reviews - Review

February 10th

Belle's Archive - Review + Favourite Quotes
Portrait of a Book - Review
Sometimes Leelynn Reads - Review + Playlist
Starlight Reads - Review + Favourite Quotes
PopTheButterfly Reads - Review

February 11th

Foals, Fiction & Filigree - Review + Favourite Quotes
Booked J - Review + Favourite Quotes
colbywilkens - Review
Reader Voracious - Review
Bargain and Books - Review

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February 11th

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