Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bloodwitch by Amelia Atwaters-Rhodes

Series: The Maeve’ra Trilogy (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Paranormal/Fantasy

Subjects: shape-shifters, vampire, witches, magic, supernatural

Setting: A secret vampire run city called Midnight

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Vance Ehecatl

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 280 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Random House: Delacorte Press

Summary/ product description: “A gripping tale about loyalty, power, and the quest for freedom
Vance Ehecatl was raised with every luxury he could imagine in a beautiful greenhouse within the powerful empire of Midnight. Vampires are the only guardians Vance has ever known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family as a baby quetzal, and he is grateful to them for generously providing for all of his needs. When an act of violence forces Vance from his sheltered home, he is startled to meet Malachi Obsidian, a fellow shapeshifter with conflicting ideas about Midnight and its leader, Mistress Jeshickah.

Malachi claims Vance is a bloodwitch, who Jeshickah and her trainers, Jaguar and Taro, are trying to control. Vance doesn't know anything about the rare and destructive magic Malachi says he possesses, and he can't believe Jeshickah would use it to hurt others. But when his friends begin falling ill, Vance starts to realize his perfect world may not be as flawless as it seems. Now Vance must decide who to trust-the vampires he's always relied upon, or the shapeshifters who despise them.”

My Review:  Bloodwitch is the first book in a spin-off trilogy to both the Den of Shadows and Kiesha’ra series. The main character, Vance, is a 14-year-old shape-shifter who turns into a quetzal. If you don’t know what a quetzal is, it’s a type of bird found in Mexico. It’s like a bird of paradise. It’s green and red and white. It has long tail feathers, also called plumes. Such an adorable bird. Not your typical shape-shifter.

Vance has been living in Midnight, in Lady Brina’s green house. He’s live a shelted life and doesn’t know about the outside world. When he finally tries to escape, he meets a half-falcon, half serpent man that tries to help him. Vance actually want to go back to the world he knew with Lady Brina, but he and Malachi go to the market in Midnight proper and meet other shifters. Vance discovers he’s also a bloodwitch, which means he can use magic through blood sacrifice.

My favorite thing about this book was getting to see more of the shifters that were in the Kiesha’ra series. That whole series was about bird shifters (Hawks, falcons and other birds) and snake shifters, and wyverns and a wolf shifter. I love the world building and mythology that has been built up. I love birds, so I really liked that the main character was a bird shifter. I have four parakeets. I try to imagine what they’d be like if they had a human form too.

We also have vampires and witches that were in the Den of Shadows series. Lady Brina and Jeshickah and Jaguar were all first introduced in Midnight Predator. This book is a prequel to the Den of Shadow, set in the old city of Midnight in the early 1800s. It reads like a fantasy. It feels almost like middle grade, maybe because Vance is only 14 and so naive and innocent.

Sometimes the book got a little wordy and boring, or confused. I mostly enjoyed it because it was readable and I liked the characters and the world building. The book was pretty short, and not much really happen. I know this is a trilogy and don’t know if we’ll see Vance as the narrator again. If you read and enjoyed anything by this author, then read Bloodwitch. If you never read anything by Amelia, then give it a try. He series is similar to Cynthia Leith Smith’s Tantalize and Eternal, or Feral Nights, or L.J. Smith’s Night World series. There’s a lot of reoccurring characters and the books usually read as stand-alones or companion novels.

Cover Art Review: I like the quetzal feather and the leaves. The trees make the cover too busy. I wish the cover was more simple. The title type is really great too.

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