Feb 4, 2019

ARC Review--The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine

Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the magic in her blood and continue trying to turn metal into gold so she can help her city’s homeless. But when her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her—and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan.

Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata, is walking a thin line between political success and devastating violence. Newly returned from boarding school, he must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal—but escalating tension among the families makes the search nearly impossible. He’s surprised to discover that the one person who makes him feel like he can breathe is Blue, the girl who once ruined all his best adventures.

When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts. When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I as in no way compensated for this review.

I’ve always been fond of the original Grimm Brothers’ Cinderella, and I happily discovered that the latest installment in C.J. Redwine’s Ravenspire series, The Blood Spell, was Cinderella inspired. Cinderella was one of the more gruesome Grimm tales, so I was kind of excited to read this one, though I wasn’t expecting it to be as gory as the brothers first made it! It was actually a really good retelling of the favored tale! I quite enjoyed its differences and similarities.

Blue is an alchemist who has recently been trying to find a way to turn rocks or other metals into gold. It’s not exactly legal, but she’s hoping to use the money to help better her town. She’s been noticing a string of orphans have been disappearing lately and it’s making her worried. Then there’s the fact that on the outskirts of town, there’s a wraith imprisoned in a nearby forest making life just a little bit unsettled. There’s a history there that soon gets revealed over time.

Then there’s Kellan, yes, the very same Kellan we saw in the beginning of The Traitor Prince, who is returning home having graduated from school. I suspect that the events of this book take place at the same time as The Traitor Prince based on hints and other things we saw happening. Kellan is coming home to take his rightful place on the throne to be king. And his first task is to choose a bride from among the head families. But Kellan just isn’t ready for that particular responsibility.

You can probably start to guess where things are headed by this point! Although Kellan and Blue were something of childhood friends, they argued more than got along with one another and that trend has extended to their teenage years as well. So it’s not exactly a fall-in-love at first sight kind of gig! I love that their romance was slow to build and the way they eventually came together was heartbreakingly sweet.

It’s not long before tragedy strikes and Blue finds her life changing dramatically around her, remember your Cinderella story folks because big changes soon happen to Blue that leave her in the hands of Dinah, a powerful woman on the council who is basically a dear friend of the queen. But Dinah has her own ambitions and plans and they just so happen to involve Blue. Dinah will stop at nothing until she gets what she wants.

What I’ve come to love about this series so far, besides the fact that we’re constantly getting a favorite fairy tale retold, is that the story is told from the heroine, the hero, and the villain’s point of view! All three key characters get to tell their part of the story and I find this to be an ingenious way to do things! While I have yet to sympathize for any of these villains, I do think it’s interesting to get their point of view and see what’s driving them!

C.J. does incredibly well at keeping the favored parts and elements of the Cinderella story woven into The Blood Spell! I truly love these iconic and memorable moments continuing to play a part in the story. I love that it can be different and familiar at the same time! C.J. really knows her fairy tales that’s for sure! Although, a few bits felt a little more like the Disney version versus the Grimm’s tale, mostly with a sort of fairy godmother figure since in the original tale it was more the magic of a tree. But magic is magic in the end! Lol.

I’m most excited to see what tale will be told next! The bane of reading an early copy is the longer wait for the next book. I just finished binge reading the series to date and I’ve found that there’s never really a clue as to what’s next. But one thing remains consistent and that’s seeing familiar faces in each and every tale! I cannot wait for the next installment of this series and fingers crossed that there will be more! I simply cannot get enough of this series!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars

The Blood Spell releases February 12, 2019 


  1. Great review. I love when fairytales get retold, especially my favorite ones. I am definitely adding this one to my TBR list.

  2. I've seen this author mentioned in a few places, but the summaries or comments about the books didn't really grab me; however, when you said "the story is told from the heroine, the hero, and the villain’s point of view", that DID ping my radar. It's such an interesting choice, and I want to see what it looks like on the page.


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