Title: Blood Like Magic (Blood Like Magic #1)
Author: Liselle Sambury
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: June 15, 2021
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.
Voya has been waiting for her Calling, a trial that gives a witch her powers. When it finally comes, Voya is given a seemingly impossible task: she must destroy her first love. If she fails her task, her family will lose their magic. Voya has never been in love. She signed up for a genetic matchmaking service, and she gets matched with Luc, an infuriating intern at the genetic company. Voya has a fast approaching deadline to complete her trial, so she has to fall in love as soon as possible to save her family. Voya doesn’t want to kill her first love, but she’ll have to make some tough decisions to save her family.
This was such a thrilling fantasy novel! The witches in this society had to use their blood to use their magic. There were lots of scenes where blood was used, especially in the first few pages. Genetics were also an important part of this story. It is set in a couple of decades in the future. People could purchased changes to their DNA to alter their appearances. They even used DNA to find compatible partners. This is a plausible future, but it caused some moral and ethical problems.
I loved that this story was set in Toronto. There were so many authentic references that I could relate to because I’ve always lived in Toronto. The Caribbean festival Caribana was an important event in the story. Caribana was the deadline for Voya to complete her task. In this story, it wasn’t just a celebration of Caribbean culture but also a celebration for Black witches in the city. I loved how this book combined real places and events in the city with the fantasy world of the novel.
I loved Blood Like Magic and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!
Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in an honest review.
What to read next:
Wings of Ebony by J. Elle
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Have you read Blood Like Magic? What did you think of it?