Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 75
thrilling and satisfying conclusion
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
BLOOD LIKE FATE is the thrilling sequel to BLOOD LIKE MAGIC that tackles themes around family, community, leadership, generational trauma, science, and magic. Voya is still reeling from the loss of her grandmother and trying to lead the family as their Matriarch, a task that seems impossible when everyone still views her as a child. The ancestors are not answering her callings, and though she tries to be like her grandmother, it just isn't working well.

As she begins to take her place, she sees a bleak future where all the witches are dying, and Luc, the boy that she loves who now hates her, and his company NuGene seem to be at the center of it all. Voya knows she must do whatever she can to stop this future from happening. The Black witch community is scattered, but Voya knows she will need their help if they are to stop what is coming. However, getting her family behind her is difficult enough, much less the other witch families who have built up animosity. Luckily, Voya is up to the task, alongside her cousins and ancestors.

What I loved: In some ways, this story felt like a coming-of-age for Voya. While she has grown and changed so much already in the first book, in this second one, she is really finding her place and taking charge of her future. Being a Matriarch so young is difficult, and Voya is navigating family and witch community politics. She has missteps, but she learns from them and listens to others in ways that speak to what makes a good leader. She is a really compelling character who wants to help her family and her community but is struggling under the weight of her grief and the burden of leadership. Her motivations and reasonings are really heartfelt, and it was great to see her come into her own.

The world-building here was smaller than the first, as most of the important elements had already been covered well. This worked to keep it more character and plot driven. The Black witch community was really developed well in this one, as Voya tries to bring together the matriarchs and save them all from the fate she has seen. Their community is one that has been divided by labels, but Voya sees the bigger picture and is willing to put in the work to help others see beyond those divisions to the ways they can be stronger together.

This sequel picks up pretty soon after the first book ended, and I appreciated that it did a good job recapping the key events of the first book seamlessly. While you do need to have read the first book for this one, if it's been a while, you can still easily follow and get into this one. The magic and abilities throughout as well as the connections to their past remain a strong theme of this book as the first.

Other themes around community, family, labels, and generational trauma remain really powerful in this story. While Voya's family may not always agree with her decisions, they continue to stand behind her, and help her to grow by giving feedback. Her relationship with her cousins is really beautiful, and the way that they look out for each other is everything. The way that family is defined is also evolving among the witches, with families having divided due to conflicts and others switching families as needed. The importance of coming together, ignoring labels which seek to divide, and supporting across a divide really present the critical nature of community when everyone participates in it.

This sequel does a great job of wrapping things up as well. The story takes a few twists and turns that the reader may not see coming, and the emphasis on Voya and her journey really makes it quite consuming from start to finish. The romance really takes a backseat, and while it is a thread that exists during the story, the focus on community and family make it a powerful read.

Final verdict: A satisfying and consuming conclusion, BLOOD LIKE FATE is a compelling story of community, family, and what it means to be a leader with a thrilling dose of magic. Recommend for fans of WINGS OF EBONY, LEGENDBORN, and BLOODLEAF.
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