Featured Review: Curse of the Divine (Kim Smejkal)
About This Book:
Return to the world of inklings, tattoo magic, and evil deities as Celia uncovers the secrets of the ink in order to stop Diavala once and for all. This eagerly anticipated sequel to Ink in the Blood is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Wicked Saints.
Celia Sand faced Diavala and won, using ink magic to destroy the corrupt religion of Profeta that tormented her for a decade. But winning came with a cost. Now Celia is plagued with guilt over her role in the death of her best friend. When she discovers that Diavala is still very much alive and threatening Griffin, the now-infamous plague doctor, Celia is desperate not to lose another person she loves to the deity’s wrath.
The key to destroying Diavala may lie with Halcyon Ronnea, the only other person to have faced Diavala and survived. But Halcyon is dangerous and has secrets of his own, ones that involve the ink that Celia has come to hate. Forced to choose between the ink and Diavala, Celia will do whatever it takes to save Griffin—even if it means making a deal with the devil himself.
*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*
CURSE OF THE DIVINE is a dark, atmospheric, and compelling finale to a unique YA fantasy duology. In the first book, Celia ended the religion of Profeta alongside her best friend, Anya, exposing the divine ink and all its lies. She angered the seeming diety, Diavala, who has now possessed the man she cares for deeply, the plague doctor character Griffin. Possession by Diavala ends with madness and death, a fate she is not interested in following. Her quest will take her to the only person whose possession was survived, Halcyon.
When she arrives with Griffin in the town ruled by Halcyon, everything seems perfect but nothing seems right. As she spends time there, Celia will learn that there are bigger and darker secrets left to uncover, and her fight for freedom has not yet ended.
What I loved: This book takes us on a wild, twisty, and dark ride. Although connected to the first book, this one could nearly stand alone, as the town that Celia lands in has its own unexpected and dangerous secrets. There are some really thought-provoking themes in this book, including about the morality of survival, religion and its functions, and dangerous facades. Although Celia seems sure of her motives at first, she has much to learn about herself, the things she thought she knew, and the decisions she must make.
Without giving away too much of the plot, this was a fascinating, dark, and compelling read - certainly a book that kept me up late into the night, reading with shock, alarm, and completely engrossed. Celia's journey is not as complete as it may have seemed, and she is still reeling from the loss of her friends and Anya, who meant the world to her. This conclusion presents new problems, enemies, and darkness hiding behind a lovely veneer - and I was completely captivated.
Reading the first is necessary to understand the characters, particularly Griffin and Diavala, whose role in this book is limited in comparison (there is not much time spared for a recap of the first book). The beginning of this book is a bit slow, but it isn't long until the pace quickens and becomes completely devourable.
Final verdict: Dark, compelling, and atmospheric, CURSE OF THE DIVINE is a grim and captivating finale to a YA fantasy duology that tackles religion, belief, and morality. Highly recommend for fans of THE CHEMICAL GARDEN series, THE LONE CITY series, and/or SOMETHING DARK AND HOLY series.
*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*