*I was given an advanced copy of the audiobook for Of Wicked Blood in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Twig Publishing, Olivia Wildenstein and Katie Hayoz.*
Told from two perspectives Of Wicked Blood follows Slate Ardoin and Cadence de Morel as they embarked on a quest to bring magic back to the world. That definitely makes it sound cheesy but I promise it’s not. Slate who has spent many years of his life in the foster system wins a scholarship to a prestigious college in Brume, this coming from Cadence’s father.
After his arrival in Brume Slate, who is angry at Cadence’s father as he could have rescued him from his cruel upbringing, decides to go grave robbing in the de Morel crypt. He puts on a ring not knowing that it is the cursed Bloodstone. After confronting Cadence’s father he finds out that unless the pieces of the quatrefoil are found he only has a matter of weeks to live.
Of Wicked Blood is an urban fantasy set in modern-day France however at times it did feel like it was set in the 18th century. I was so immersed in this world that I would get a little shock every time they mentioned their phones or clothing like puffer jackets. That does not mean that I didn’t enjoy the vibe of this book. I actually loved the strange paradox that this seemed to sit in and I thought it really suited the story.
This definitely took a while to get going, but once the pace picked up I didn’t want to stop listening. This is a great compliment as I’m not the biggest fan of audiobooks.
One part I absolutely hated about this book was the overly sexual thoughts that Slate had towards Cadence and how other male characters sexualised her. When Cadence was first introduced I kept thinking that she was 15. I’ll be honest and say that I kept thinking this for a lot of the book. It turns out that she is 17, which is stated in the first few chapters I just missed it for some reason. I still think this over-sexualisation was too much, especially for a YA book. This did at times feel more new adult.
In the next book, I would like to have more of a focus on the actual relationship between Slate and Cadence. Near the end, they develop a relationship that goes beyond physical attraction. This is definitely something that should be explored more in future books.
Putting that aside though I loved the premise of this book and I actually really liked the narrators. Holly Fielding was an excellent choice for Cadence and she put out a believable performance. I did enjoy Thomas Locklear as a narrator. However, he made Slate sound way older than he was. This definitely did not help with my previous point of the over sexualisation. Obviously, this was not his fault and I am not putting any blame on him. Thomas Locklear also gave a great performance with believable emotion.
I liked the characters, but they would do with a little more development and I really loved the storyline. Once the task to get the quatrefoil pieces began the action was non-stop and exciting.
There isn’t really a heavy focus on romance as the majority of the time the characters are feeling mostly lustful affections towards one another. However, I can definitely see it becoming a larger part of the series as times goes on. However, I have every faith that this will not take away from the action and the intricately woven storyline.
Overall I would give Of Wicked Blood a rating of 4/5. I cannot wait for the next instalment in this series.
Check out Of Wicked Blood when it is released on 2nd February!
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