Blood & Magic by Linda M. Crate (Ravenswood Virtual Tour)


**This will also be posted on Goodreads.

      This book is, in short, about a young female  slayer, Lucille, who is sent to go and slay a famous  vampire singer named Florian. During her quest she  finds and kills his father [with the help of Solomon  and it ends far too quickly], ends up in Florian's bed,  and is told by the Counsel that it is alright if she  plays with him and drags out the whole point of her  going in the fist place, so long as she doesn't fall in  love with him. But [and this is a real shocker] she  falls in love with him and they end up on the run as  the Counsel now wishes to murder them. It's  basically a forbidden love story with talking unicorns  and horses and goblins and elves and demons and  sorcerers and witches and faes, and there's just pretty  much every creature you can think of.

      And while I ended up liking it, I have to admit  that I absolutely hated the beginning and the ending. Yeah, so it's a long book, 500 pages long actually, and even so, the beginning was so rushed that I was cringing. Lucille and Florian have an insta-love thing going on, having kissed on their first meeting to her waking up in his bed and then leaving and then that night going and sitting on his lap and acting like they're a couple. He kissed her again too, and although she is meant to hate him and blah blah blah, she already loves him and lets him kiss her. And then there's Solomon, who is a sorcerer and like a father to her and this happens:


"Don't be. I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself. I'm capable of strapping my own boots on and everything," she retorted darkly. "And of mounting horses thrice my size," she added cheekily as she walked back over to Florian.


Florian smirked at the look on Solomon's face as he pulled her back onto his lap. "Were you telling dirty jokes without me, Lucy? I'll be most offended if you were."


"No, nothing like that. He's just terrified that the ickle part-vampire monster will kill me."


He snorted. "I would do no such thing."


I mean, this is Florian and Lucille's second meeting, and already she's blowing of Solomon's concern to be comfortable in Florian's arms. And I think what irritates me the most about their relationship was how they acted during the battle. They literally had sex so many times that but the end of the book, Lucille is pregnant. It was pretty annoying.

      And then there's these really quick thought changes that happen for no reason and have no explanation for them at all that are also very annoying, like suddenly she sees that the monsters she's been killing aren't really monsters [it was literally like a one minute change in thought] when just minutes before she was calling them evil monsters who deserve to die.


She could remember the look the little girl had given her before she had turned to ash. She looked at Lucille like she had been a monster. She shook her head, trying to dismiss these thoughts. For years she had killed these beasts. She couldn't start showing them sympathy now.


And another quick change was like:


She could feel her fury was destroying her, and she didn't know how to stop it before it spread like a cancerous legion and devoured her whole like a ravenous dragon.


when just a few moments ago she was embracing her fury and loving it. She actually wanted to be furious because apparently she fights better that way.

       And then there's her personality. You don't see it for yourself at all, you're told it. Until you get to the hundredth or so page, anyway. Because by then you accept that their love was instant and that there wasn't any real explanation for their change in views, and then the author shows you her personality and it gets better. But the rest of the book is pretty much the battle that lasted longer than a week and had a lot of action.

       So, we all know I love action, and having action last about two to three hundred pages is great. But when it ends in a crap way, and there's so much that seems to happen so suddenly, you find yourself enjoying it a lot less. I mean, the very end of the battle, the sisters three [that's what they're called, honestly] use their magic necklaces and chant words and then -BAM!- all the enemies drop dead. It took a minute or two. After so many days of fighting, and so many deaths and injuries and hard times, the battle ends with a freaking unity of three sisters with magic necklaces?! And every single enemy is gone, dead. Just like that.

     So yeah, I mean, in the end I liked it enough, but it could have been a lot better. I just think that there's way too much going on. Honestly, I think this would have been much better as a duology, trilogy or even a series. That way maybe the author could have focused the first book on Lucille and Florian falling in love, the process of it that is not instant and annoying, and how her thoughts and his change and how they fall in love and how she realizes he isn't a monster and the counsel actually is. The second book could be more on the sisters three, the battle, and how Linders' bitterness slowly destroys her and the slow, gradual process of all the bitterness leaving her to be replaced with love. Maybe a third instalment about Gwen and Gabrielle, or a short story instead.

      There's just way too much going on, way too many characters trying to fight for the main spot. You have Florian and Lucille, Petro and Petula, Evan and Veronique's story, Linders and her relationships with Celewynn who became the moon and Venti soon after and then Venti's borther, Ysagardil, who proposed whilst in battle. You have Lola and Vaschel, and then his and Lucille's fathers as well, and then Rory and whatever happens with her love life, and then Gwen and Gabrielle, and Mora and Lorthinar, and the King and Queen and their daughter, and the wolf man with his children, and there's just so many of them that the book tries to focus on that it feels overwhelming and messy. And since there are so many, it feels more rushed, hence the insta love and the strong emotions quickly changing within a second. So yeah, maybe if it was more than one book, it would have been written better, and a lot more enjoyable.

      But all the negatives aside, there was quite a bit to like as well. I mean, the action was great when it wasn't ending in not-so-satisfying ways, and once you got used to the insta-love you felt less annoyed. All in all I would recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind the points I made above. And maybe others who like fantasy and action as well because honestly, these are just my thoughts and preferences and everyone is different so you might enjoy it a lot more than I did.


[*sorry if I'm too harsh or rude!]



Uhhh, yeah. That's that. d: