Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury. Another gorgeous cover! I’m so excited to be part of this tour and couldn’t wait to start so I could share my thoughts with all of you. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the tour schedule for other content creators.
Thank you to Liselle Sambury and Margaret K. McElderry for providing me with an ARC and finished copy in exchange for an honest review.
Liselle Sambury is a Trinidadian-Canadian author who grew up in Toronto, and her brand of writing can be described as “messy Black girls in fantasy situations.” In her free time, she shares helpful tips for upcoming writers and details of her publishing journey through a YouTube channel dedicated to helping demystify the sometimes complicated business of being an author. She is represented by Kristy Hunter at The Knight Agency.
About The Book
Title: Blood Like Magic
Series: Blood Like Magic #1
Author: Liselle Sambury
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publishing Date: June 15, 2021
Page Length: 496
Age Range: YA
A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.
After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.
Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?
With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.
Rep: Black/African-Canadian MC and supporting characters, Chinese side character, Sri Lankan side character, mixed Black and Sri Lankan side character, trans man Mexican-Canadian love interest, Black trans woman side character, Black lesbian demi-romantic side character, gay side characters (one not made explicit until sequel), Filipino-Canadian minor character, eating disorder and addiction representation via side characters (Provided by author)
Content Warning: Whipping scene within the context of slavery, gun/police violence, discussion of and character with an eating disorder, blood/gore/violence, death, substance abuse/addiction, mentions of child neglect
This was an amazing read. It had me laughing right off the bat. First meeting Voya and her family had me smiling and feeling the incredible love and strength they all have. But it’s not all smiles and laughs. This book covers such impactful and difficult topics and Sambury did an amazing job handling them. There were numerous moments where I cried in this book because of the heartache this family and community go through. It was interesting to read the future that Sambury imagined. I saw many paralells to events and products in today’s world that still happened in this book’s past. It was interesting to see jus thow Sambury had those events and products affect our future. I felt an extra connection to this book because it happens close to home. I could picture this future world because I live so close to Toronto and have been to some of the locations in this book. Sambury did a great job describing the atmosphere of the city.
I loved all the characters in this book, even the “villains”. I loved that this future is queer-normative. Sambury included so much representation, both queer and BIPOC, which was beautiful to see. I loved seeing that anyone who identified as a transgender was able to elect for an implant that would release the hormones associated with the gender they identify with – this is done without any stigmatization!
Sambury’s writng was well done and binge-worthy. Despite the futuristic setting, there was not point where anything felt unrealistic (nor were the made up words/tech that left the reader feeling isolated). I felt the story was interesting and kept me going. I had to know more: more about the magic, the family, the tech. Some I got answers to, others I still crave more. I balled, and I mean balled my eyes out, for the ending of this books. Character’s actions had consequences that felt meaningful and impactful – not getting easily fixed or brushed off.
I really can’t gush enough about this book; however, if I gush too much I will start to spoil it. Needless to say, I highly recommend this book. I suggest it to anyone who enjoys magic in an urban setting, wants a touch of scifi (future setting & advanced technology), and wants to see a world where the LGBTQIA+ community is accepted and not questioned.