Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1) by Crystal Smith
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 12, 2019)
Print Length: 373 pages
Audiobook Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
Narrator: Nicola Barber
Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants. Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her. But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?
First and foremost Bloodleaf is apparently a retelling of The Goose Girl. As I did not know this, nor have I read the German fairytale it is based off of, my review is only from the perspective of reading this novel.
I though Crystal Smith wrote a compelling and original YA fantasy novel. I found both the pacing and structure to be gripping, and for a book to grab me like this one did, during one of the biggest reading slumps I’ve ever had the misfortune to have, is saying something in favour of Smith’s writing.
Likewise I rather enjoyed the characters featured in Bloodleaf. Aurelia stood out from her YA counterparts in that she is able to care for herself, and figures out her magical abilities more or less on her own. She is also very forthcoming with who she decides to choose when it comes to the two love interests, Zan and Kellan. It will be a change going into book two with a strong sense of how the romance is going to go, which in turn makes me rate this novel higher than most. Also, I loved how all the secondary characters were proposed as not entirely trustworthy. It gave me an extra layer to try to mull through in terms of who was involved in the assassination attempt.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1) by Crystal Smith . Have any YA fantasy recommendations you think I should check out? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.