It’s time for another blog tour for one of the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) 2022 finalists! Today, I get to share my thoughts on a book that a lot of panelists were buzzing about last year. Bloodlaced by Courtney Maguire is a paranormal fantasy that has some dark themes and fantastic writing. I can see why the book made it all the way to the finals!
But, before I go on, let me tell you more about this award. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or Twitter @bbnya_official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.
And, now, let me tell you more about this book!
Kanjin hardly view their servants as human. Even less so when they are different.
Asagi is different. Both a man and a woman.
In the wake of his failure to protect a boy they saw as a son from their abusive master, Asagi is sold into the house of a young nobleman, Mahiro, who is the opposite of everything Asagi has ever known—gentle, kind, and generous.
Mahiro bonds with Asagi and their friendship blooms into a deep and profound love. But when Asagi is poisoned out of jealousy, Mahiro reveals himself to be youkai, a demon who feeds on blood, and he has no choice but to turn Asagi to save their life.
Asagi awakes reborn, strong, and eternally youthful. But the price for Asagi’s new life is high.
The blood of the innocent.
Just as Asagi’s trust in Mahiro falters, the boy they failed to protect, now a man, reappears.
New master, same threat.
With both a literal and proverbial monster at the door, Asagi must decide what it means to be human to protect what they loves most.
If you like Bella Forrest, P. C. Cast, AJ Tipton, or Anne Rice, you will love this beautiful dark paranormal fantasy romance.
Courtney Maguire is a University of Texas graduate from Corpus Christi, Texas. Drawn to Austin by a voracious appetite for music, she spent most of her young adult life in dark, divey venues nursing a love for the sublimely weird. A self-proclaimed fangirl with a press pass, she combined her love of music and writing as the primary contributor for Japanese music and culture blog, Project: Lixx, interviewing Japanese rock and roll icons and providing live event coverage for appearances across the country.
Thank you to BBNYA, The Write Reads, and the author for providing me with a free e-book in exchange for an honest review! All opinions contained within are my own.
I’ve mentioned on the blog before that vampires and I don’t necessarily get along. I blame the overabundance of vampire books when I was first dipping my toes into paranormal fiction, haha. Recently, though, I’ve been giving books featuring bloodsuckers another chance. So I was excited to jump on the tour for this paranormal tale featuring bloodsucking demons that is set in Japan!
Bloodlaced follows a young slave named Asagi. Asagi is androgynous and that sets them apart in a world where it is dangerous to be different. After suffering abuse from a terrible master after trying to protect a young boy they bonded with, Asagi is sold to new house. But this household if run by a very different man. Mahiro is kind, generous… and, as Asagi will discover, a demon. Despite all this, they come to love Mahiro, but a master is still a master, no matter how kind, and things take a turn when Asagi is poisoned by a jealous rival.
The main takeaway I have after reading this novel is that it was compulsively readable! I would pick it up to read and lose myself for hours without even realizing it. I thought the worldbuilding was done rather well. You can tell the author studied up on Japanese culture. I will say that the random use of easily translated Japanese words threw me off a little bit because why translate everything but ‘baka’? Still, I felt immersed in the world and I truly enjoyed it.
I also thought the author did a great job building characters that came to life on the page. Asagi was a fascinating character that I wanted to protect from page one. Fair warning, Asagi and those around them suffer some terrible abuses and the author doesn’t shy away from them. Please check trigger warnings, especially if sexual assault is a big one for you. I think the author does a good job of exploring the affects of abuse and how it can cause lingering and lasting damage. Asagi definitely shines when it comes to characters in this story, with depth and nuance that makes them compelling. The other characters in this story could feel a little flat, at times, like they were props to hold up Asagi’s tale, but they were still interesting, as well. As for the rep, it was refreshing to see a dark paranormal fantasy featuring various queer characters!
Overall, I had a great time with this book. I truly loved the world the author created for this book and the writing was absolutely captivating. Our main character, Asagi, was fascinating to follow and I loved following them on their journey. This is a dark tale, so check trigger warnings, but if you’re looking for a paranormal read that will be hard to put down, I definitely suggest Bloodlaced!
3 thoughts on “BBNYA 2022 Finalist Tour: Bloodlaced by Courtney Maguire”
Fab review, this sounds like a really good book! Definitely will have to check it out. Love Japan, love youkai, and that cover is also great~
LikeLiked by 1 person
[…] This was our 9th place winner for last year’s BBNYA competition and I recently participated in a blog tour showcasing it. I didn’t get to read it during the judging, so I was excited to give it go now. I ended up rather enjoying this, though it is definitely a dark story. The writing made this book such a quick read and I thought the main character was incredible! You can read my full review here. […]
[…] flew by. I can see why this made it to the finals of BBNYA last year! You can read my full review here. […]