ARC Review – Of Wicked Blood

Title: Of Wicked Blood

Author: Olivia Wildenstein and Katie Hayoz

Series: The Quatrefoil Chronicles #1

Release Date: 2/2/21

E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 42
(see below for breakdown)

4 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received a free eARC copy from Twig Publishing , via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

No rest for the wicked… or the cursed.

SLATE

I didn’t mean to steal the Bloodstone from the De Morel’s crypt. Scratch that, I did mean to steal it. Until I realized it was a curse-magnet that only comes off if I, along with a jolly trio, successfully defeat four curses. If any of us fail, I’m dead. I’ve never been a glass half-empty sort of person, but my glass looks in dire need of a refill right about now. The only highlight of this wicked treasure hunt: feisty, entitled Cadence de Morel.

CADENCE

I was raised on tales of magic, in a small town reputed to be the birthplace of French witchcraft. Did I believe all the stories I heard? Absolutely not. I mean, if magic existed, Maman wouldn’t have died, and Papa wouldn’t be stuck in a wheelchair, right? Wrong. The night Slate Ardoin waltzes into my life, wearing a ring he stole from my mother’s grave, I call him a monster. But then I meet real ones, and Slate, well . . . he becomes something else to me. Something frustrating to live with but impossible to live without. Something I will fight for, no matter the cost.

Warning: profuse cursing (and not just the magical kind). Intended for readers 16 and up.

My Thoughts

This was such a pleasant surprise. I have to admit I requested this on a bit of a whim as it just seemed like an interesting concept a Con-artist/thief gets pulled into a magical treasure hunt. I really enjoyed it. It is a fun and quick read with sassy characters, a little adventure that didn’t pull its punches. I definitely think fan’s of Gilded Wolves will like this one.

We had an interested set up for the magic, a little bit of Authrian, a little bit of a mixture of other mythical beasts and gods from a number of different pantheons and a good dash of astrology. There was also a ancient library which we know I love. I really loved the writing style there was lots of hints and undercurrents of the towns business and its rumours bubbling under the surface that really brought it to life as a place.

I only have two little gripes. Firstly, it was obvious the authors were American. Though the book is set in Brittany in France and the Characters themselves are natives to the the town, there are a lot of Americanisms in the book. One character at a New years party references not having seen anyone since Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a North American (US and Canada) holiday not celebrated in Europe. They also comment about the university returning right after new year being strange. This is very common in Europe, we don’t have the J-mester system, we go back to university on the first Monday/Tuesday after the new year. Little throwaway comments and conversations like this were dotted through out and sort of pulled me out of what was a fun and interesting setting. I hadn’t read a book set in Brittany before, and the slight Dark Academia vibes were fun. The incorporation of hits at Arthurian legend were also really interesting but the town lost the French feeling when the characters became Americanised.

The ending was also sort of non-existent. The big drama of the book just sort of fizzes and ends with no build up or hint at there being a second book other than the series name on the cover and it just feels like we lost a little of the payoff we had been building up too. It seemed a bit rushed and then stuck on to give this book some form of end but it definitely wasn’t a conclusion. Which is SOOOOO disappointing as I was really enjoying this book right up until those last couple of pages.

I read this over a couple of evenings, it was just a really nice escape. I liked how belligerent Slate was, I liked Cadences touch of naiveite. I also liked how they didn’t fall into the obvious tropes along the way, they were skirted, subverted or used in really nice ways to just make this an entertaining read. If you are looking for a quick escape with a fun setting this is a good read.

Also I got access to the Audiobook also on Netgalley and I have to say the narration is great. It is worth checking out the audio as the two narrators work really well adding to the drama and the angst of the romance.

ESCAPE Score

ENDING – 6

STYLE AND PACE OF WRITING – 7

CHARACTERS – 7

ATMOSPHERE AND WORLDBUILDING – 7

PLOT – 7

ENJOYMENT – 8

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

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