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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 childh 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?


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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 childh 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?

30 review for The Blood Spell

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Buddy Read With For Love Of A Book 💕🖤🐶🐺🐾 Omg! I love this book!! As the gray-black light within the forest sank into the total darkness of yet another night, the wraith stalked the edges of the vast prison, hurling itself against the invisible spell that bound it here, feeling the magic spark, blister and burn. One day, it would break free. It would rush over the hills and move through the long stretches of farmland that stood between it abd the city. It would find its sister and those who had Buddy Read With For Love Of A Book 💕🖤🐶🐺🐾 Omg! I love this book!! As the gray-black light within the forest sank into the total darkness of yet another night, the wraith stalked the edges of the vast prison, hurling itself against the invisible spell that bound it here, feeling the magic spark, blister and burn. One day, it would break free. It would rush over the hills and move through the long stretches of farmland that stood between it abd the city. It would find its sister and those who had helped her hunt it down, and it would destroy them all. First off the cover is fanfreakingtastic and the beautiful blue map on the inside cover. Anyhoo! More kudos for another character with some kind of issue. Dear Nessa can’t talk and they use a sign language with her! She’s also an awesome character! Blue is one of the main characters. She has magic blood and she just wants to work on things but you can be killed for using magic. Then her sweet father is murdered and the evil jerkhole, Dinah and her kids take over Blue’s life. Ohfor the love of Pete! I wanted someone to drop kick Dinah off the roof!! Then there is Prince Kellan; sweet pea 😃 So things happen, some twat let out the wraith, oh and it feeds on kids and such. Then some other stuff and some smack downs happen, then happy ever after 😃 I have to do it that way or my big old mouth with spoil something!! Anyhoo! Happy Reading!! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 MY BLOG MY AMAZON REVIEW

  2. 5 out of 5

    C.J.

    Book Four! I'm so excited to be able to keep writing dark epic fantasies inspired by fairy tales. I grew up in a public library, checking out at least one volume of fairy tales every week, so this series feels like coming home. <3

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dani - Perspective of a Writer

    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... Blue loves doing alchemy with her father in their shop even if it means having to hide the magic in her blood. When she falls into the hands of a cruel and powerful woman she turns to an unexpected ally... the boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan. The short review... So I see this really compelling title... The Blood Spell... ooooh what is this?! Sounds intriguing... Oh no! It's number 4 in a series... YAY! It's a companion story, a so Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... Blue loves doing alchemy with her father in their shop even if it means having to hide the magic in her blood. When she falls into the hands of a cruel and powerful woman she turns to an unexpected ally... the boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan. The short review... So I see this really compelling title... The Blood Spell... ooooh what is this?! Sounds intriguing... Oh no! It's number 4 in a series... YAY! It's a companion story, a sort of standalone in a series. Funny enough this is the second book I've found in a long running series that standsalone. It's a neat idea and I have to say its fun to be able to dive right into the middle of a series and be intrigued enough to want to read the previous stories too! I really loved how this was lowkey diverse. Our Prince and commoner were both dark skinned and she seemed to have the characteristic hair. It was just mentioned briefly like it was no big deal, but its really just great to me. And I was sucked in!! I loved the subtle growth of Blue and Kellan's relationship. They started out as enemies but events caused them to give each other a chance they'd never given each other before! I also liked exploring his duty to the kingdom which made the romance forbidden, it was quite the dilemma. This was quite a fun retelling romance! Cover & Title grade -> B+ Several bloggers have told me how much they love this cover... I do like it. It's so unexpected with that totally white pumpkin and the red words and the ominous title. It doesn't really say a lot about the story though except to give you a hint that its a Cinderella retelling. I would have rather had a table with alchemy ingredients that included a pumpkin, goldish bars, a caldron (since one was used in the story) and perhaps some dark ingredients opposite to give a sense of the villain. That would have pulled me in right away! Why does The Blood Spell make jumping into the Ravenspire series worth it? -A Unique Cinderella Story! This isn't your straightforward retelling... in fact for a while I quite forgot that this was a Cinderella story. I didn't anticipate how that would come into the story at all because i was caught up in the mystery of the witch, the children, the girls and how Blue would get out from under this horrible powerful woman! Don't worry the details are there... there is a ball and shoes involved! -Live in the Head of the Villainess! We spend a lot of time with the powerful woman who has taken control of Blue's life. We really explore the 'evil stepmother' part of the Cinderella story. It adds a lot of tension to see her side of it and all she has planned for Blue. -Alchemy, Blood Magic and Sign Language?! I really was drawn to the connection between the alchemy and Blue's magic. She knows when ingredients should be harvested and it was really a handy ability. Nessa's sign language was another element that really added to the story. And the evil witch!! It all comes together in a fun romp... As a Writer... I really loved how creative this retelling of Cinderella was... Cinderella is a rather simple story of a girl with gets a prince to fall in love with her at a ball. If you leave the story to this basic of an idea... its rather dull. We've read that story many a times! So how do we make a well done trope new again?! Well C.J. Redwine did it by giving us a couple of great characters who are real people with real problems. Loved that and is my #1 advice if you want to make ANY TROPE your own. Tropes are tropes because readers love to experience them... but they must stand out from other stories with the same elements. Give us characters we can root for even though we know what is going to happen. C.J. Redwine goes one step further and gives us a villain worthy of going up against this couple that we fall in love with. I really love this too! Remake stereotypical villains by giving us their entire sob story... while we probably won't root for them we will read on knowing they are worthy adversaries for our protagonists. The Blood Spell is a creative romance driven retelling of Cinderella! I was so happy to visit Ravenspire and witness Blue come around to seeing Kellan in a different light to their childhood together. And seeing Kellan be the grown up Prince made me fall for him along with Blue! Want to be a part of the Ravenspire world... jump into The Blood Spell! ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions. ______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter... Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    Read with Rachel for Friends with ARCs! THE BLOOD SPELL was utterly enjoyable! It’s a well-done YA spin on Cinderella, and I enjoyed every second I spent reading it. Blue and Kellan were truly wonderful characters to follow, and I’m so happy with how their story plays out!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    3.5 stars I’ve enjoyed all of CJ’s books, so I don’t even read the synopsis any longer. It was a bit of a surprise to see this was Cinderella. I loved Blue and Kellan. I loved their history and that they fought so much. I loved how good they were and how loyal they were. I especially enjoined their confusion when the feelings started to change; that may have been the best part. I also really liked Nessa and could easily read a book about her. Plot wise it was good and boring at the same time. I t 3.5 stars I’ve enjoyed all of CJ’s books, so I don’t even read the synopsis any longer. It was a bit of a surprise to see this was Cinderella. I loved Blue and Kellan. I loved their history and that they fought so much. I loved how good they were and how loyal they were. I especially enjoined their confusion when the feelings started to change; that may have been the best part. I also really liked Nessa and could easily read a book about her. Plot wise it was good and boring at the same time. I thrive on dialogue and there were so many long passages of inner monologue that it did get a little old. I enjoyed the magic and the imagery of the world. And of course I loved the slowest of slow burns romance. Overall, it was a great story with characters who were easy to root for and a near perfect epilogue. I look forward to reading whatever CJ comes up with next. **Huge thanks to Balzer + Bray for providing the arc free of charge**

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    I am such a fan of the Ravenspire series.  This may be my favorite one so far, but I'm still trying to decide.   I liked everything about it.  I'm a sucker for a fairytale retelling.  You don't need to read each book in order for the Ravenspire series, but it is best if you do.  There are appearances and mentions of characters from other books.  We do see Hansel and Gretel for a brief moment in this one.   There are multiple things from Cinderella, but for the most part, the story is very differen I am such a fan of the Ravenspire series.  This may be my favorite one so far, but I'm still trying to decide.   I liked everything about it.  I'm a sucker for a fairytale retelling.  You don't need to read each book in order for the Ravenspire series, but it is best if you do.  There are appearances and mentions of characters from other books.  We do see Hansel and Gretel for a brief moment in this one.   There are multiple things from Cinderella, but for the most part, the story is very different.  When Blue's father dies, a woman she doesn't really know comes forward with papers showing that she is to be Blue's guardian if both her parents die.  She brings her two daughters with her.  So it's not really her step-mom, but close enough.  Dinah is not nice to Blue at all.  She is abusive and is using Blue.  Dinah's husband had recently died and he had left her in massive debt.  Not only with the creditor take everything she has, he is also going to choose one of her daughters, too.  While Dinah is a horrible person, it did seem like she loved her daughters in a way. Kellan is the prince and he must choose a girl to marry.  He can only choose someone that will benefit the kingdom.  Each family brings their daughters to spend time with him.  Kellan and Blue grew up together, but he didn't like her much.  He thought she was an uptight rule follower and he was always reckless.  Blue is a lower class and he never thought that would matter much.  But Kellan and Blue start spending more time together after her father is killed.  He starts to confide in her and realizes that she is the only girl he could love.  But Kellan knows the kingdom must come first. Magic has been outlawed.  There was a witch that started drinking the blood of children for power and became a blood wraith.  Blue's mom was involved in helping capture the blood wraith.  Blue has fae blood, so she has magic that has to be kept hidden.  She is an alchemist and spends her days making potions and creams to sell.  Her grand-mere has a wand, but it's only used inside.  Grand-mere's magic is transformative magic, so I'm betting you can guess what part of Cinderella she plays.   Magic starts being used to kill people and children are going missing.  Blue and Kellan work together to try to figure out what is happening and need to see if they can save the kingdom from the witch. I don't want to give anything away, so that's pretty much all I can share.  I absolutely loved Blue.  Kellan was great and I also adored his sister, Nessa.  This was a great addition to the Ravenspire stories and I cannot wait for the next one. Warnings for abuse. I gave this book 5 stars.  Thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for my copy for review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tricia Mingerink

    I didn't really click with The Shadow Queen, the first of hers I read. I think that had more to do with me not being in the right mood for a YA fantasy fairy tale retelling than anything to do with the book (well, except for the fact that my favorite character was killed off. Not that I'm at all bitter about that...) But when I saw this author was releasing a Cinderella retelling, I knew I would have to pick this series back up. And I'm so glad I did! The romance in this one is adorable! And ver I didn't really click with The Shadow Queen, the first of hers I read. I think that had more to do with me not being in the right mood for a YA fantasy fairy tale retelling than anything to do with the book (well, except for the fact that my favorite character was killed off. Not that I'm at all bitter about that...) But when I saw this author was releasing a Cinderella retelling, I knew I would have to pick this series back up. And I'm so glad I did! The romance in this one is adorable! And very unique! I loved the clash of personalities, the slow build as the two of them realized they had really been friends all along even though they had semi-hated each other growing up, the snark and banter between them. So well done! And, since this was a slow build romance, it didn't have the usual, annoying descriptions of the guy's hotness, the girl's beauty, and passionate kissing. This romance still had plenty of sizzle, but the characters were very clearly falling in love with each other because of who they were on the inside and it was very refreshing. Like The Shadow Queen, this book doesn't pull punches when it comes to character deaths or gruesomeness. If you're sensitive to blood sucking wraiths and a bit of descriptions of blood, then this might not be the book for you. I'm not sensitive about such things so it didn't bother me at all. In the end, this book hooked me into this series in a way The Shadow Queen didn't (once again, probably not that book's fault), and I can't wait to go back and read books 2 and 3 of this series! So glad this series can be read in any order so me jumping around the series randomly isn't an issue!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin Arkin

    The Blood Spell is the fourth book in the Ravenspire series by C.J. Redwine and while I love all of these books, this one might be my favorite. It has everything I look for in a book, an interesting plot, great characters, and some swoony bits that make me sigh. One thing to note is that all of these books have different main characters so if you haven’t read the others (WHAT???) you can still read this one without missing a beat. Blue de la Cour is the main character. She’s smart and strong and The Blood Spell is the fourth book in the Ravenspire series by C.J. Redwine and while I love all of these books, this one might be my favorite. It has everything I look for in a book, an interesting plot, great characters, and some swoony bits that make me sigh. One thing to note is that all of these books have different main characters so if you haven’t read the others (WHAT???) you can still read this one without missing a beat. Blue de la Cour is the main character. She’s smart and strong and she loves her family – I loved her relationship with her father and grandmother so much. She’s also willing to do whatever she can to help the homeless children in her city and when I say whatever she can, that includes putting herself at risk by using the magic she has had to keep hidden away by trying to create gold. When a tragedy happens that puts Blue in the custody of the powerful Lady Chauveau, Blue’s situation becomes even more dangerous. Kellan Renard is the crown prince of Balavata and after finishing school, has come back to take his place on the throne. The catch is that he also has to announce his betrothal to one of the daughters who make up the kingdom’s head families and he is definitely not excited about it. As he dives right into his responsibilities, we get to learn right alongside Kellan what is really going on with the kingdom and how he responds when things start to turn violent. Blue’s family has always been close to the royal family. Her mother helped to trap the wraith that was endangering the kingdom, Blue tutors the princess (Nessa) in the ways of alchemy, and Kellan basically grew up around the shop. With all of that said, Kellan and Blue have never really gotten along. He was always looking for trouble and she has always been there to stop him. When he returns, their relationship is still the same, but it slowly changes, and I loved how Redwine moved their relationship from being adversaries to two people in love. It took time and was a slow burn, but it was completely worth it. The fact that they both recognize that they can’t be with each other regardless of their feelings made me want them to figure it out even more. As Blue finds herself under the control of Lady Chauveau, she begins to uncover what she is up to and has to figure out a way out of the situation she is in. Unfortunately for her, Lady Chauveau really does fit the mold of the evil stepmother in this story. As Blue continues to face off with her, she becomes more and more violent…which doesn’t go unnoticed by Nessa and Kellan. I admit I loved it when Kellan told Lady Chauveau off and challenged her when he found out what happened. I loved the fact that this was tied to the Cinderella fairytale although it wasn’t so close to the story that you know what will happen next. The world that Redwine has built out around the story is interesting. There is a belief in the fae and magic is seen as a dangerous thing because of what happened long ago with the wraith. There is still a great fear of magic and while Blue’s magic isn’t dangerous, it is something she definitely has to hide. I also appreciated how Redwine brought some diversity and social issues into this book by including a non-speaking character who uses sign language and having one of the main characters (Blue) have a lens on helping the homeless. It was a subtle add and well done. As the story nears the end, there is a bit of a twist and I didn’t see it coming. Redwine did a fantastic job of bringing the whole story to an end and I loved everything about this story. If you are looking for a fantasy retelling that will grab your attention from page one and hold it all the way to the end, definitely check The Blood Spell out and if you haven’t read the others in this series yet, you should do that when you finish this one. I’ll definitely be checking out whatever Redwine writes next – I’ve loved all of her books to date and she’s become an auto-buy author for me because of that.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher via Edelweiss *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 4.0 *Thoughts* The Blood Spell is the fourth installment in author C.J. Redwine's Ravenspire series. A series that has seen different lead characters in all four installments. A series that is more likely than not to be a retelling of classic fairy tale. In this case, the retelling of Cinderella takes a curious and enjoyable twist with 17-year old Bernadine de la Cour, Blue to her friends as the would be Cinderella, while Kellan *Source* Publisher via Edelweiss *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 4.0 *Thoughts* The Blood Spell is the fourth installment in author C.J. Redwine's Ravenspire series. A series that has seen different lead characters in all four installments. A series that is more likely than not to be a retelling of classic fairy tale. In this case, the retelling of Cinderella takes a curious and enjoyable twist with 17-year old Bernadine de la Cour, Blue to her friends as the would be Cinderella, while Kellan Renard is the would be Prince Charming. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Princess

    I received a copy of this from Balzer + Bray(HarperCollins) and Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. If you have never read a book by C.J. read one now! Every book I read I adore more than the last. This book was amazing. I absolutely adored Blue and Kellen. I rooted for them so hard and he was so sweet. Cinderella had nothing on this story. From the evil foster mother to the carriage and mice, this was perfection.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hailey Hudson

    I don’t have words to explain how much I loved this book—a Cinderella retelling with murderous rogue witches, sign language representation, a reckless prince, and magic and alchemy. I read the first few chapters of this one night and thought about it the whole next day. I can see, hear, smell, and taste the world so clearly. I adore Blue and Kellan’s prickly-to-sweet relationship. I love Grand-mere, and all the fast-paced plot twists near the end, and literally everything about the world. Also t I don’t have words to explain how much I loved this book—a Cinderella retelling with murderous rogue witches, sign language representation, a reckless prince, and magic and alchemy. I read the first few chapters of this one night and thought about it the whole next day. I can see, hear, smell, and taste the world so clearly. I adore Blue and Kellan’s prickly-to-sweet relationship. I love Grand-mere, and all the fast-paced plot twists near the end, and literally everything about the world. Also the author is a Christian which is super cool.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Rating: 4.5

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steff

    Do you ever read a book that has a lot of potential and doesn't really fail but doesn't really succeed, either? This is how I feel about The Blood Spell by C. J. Redwing. I'm not sure if this book tried to do too much at one time or if it was simply not executed as well as it could have been. And yet, I did genuinely enjoy reading it. The Blood Spell is a Cinderella retelling with quite the twist, telling the story of a young girl called Blue who works as an apothecary while simultaneously hiding Do you ever read a book that has a lot of potential and doesn't really fail but doesn't really succeed, either? This is how I feel about The Blood Spell by C. J. Redwing. I'm not sure if this book tried to do too much at one time or if it was simply not executed as well as it could have been. And yet, I did genuinely enjoy reading it. The Blood Spell is a Cinderella retelling with quite the twist, telling the story of a young girl called Blue who works as an apothecary while simultaneously hiding her magic from the world. Magic, in fact, is illegal after the actions of an evil witch. When street children begin disappearing, Blue investigates the situation with the help of the crown Prince, Kellan, whom she has "hated" her entire life. When her father dies, however, she is thrown into turmoil when her guardianship shifts to a rather cruel woman who is determined to use Blue's alchemic abilities to force her to make gold in order to resolve her recent financial ruin. There's a lot to the plot of this book that makes it exceedingly unique. Were it not for the well developed and interesting plot, I don't imagine I would have enjoyed this book as much as I did. In fact, it is the mystery and the truth of the villains that made this book so worth reading. Readers find themselves immersed in the events of the story, questioning and making predictions about what happened in the past and what is currently happening with the wraith whose been locked away to prevent it from wreaking havoc upon the kingdom as it once did. The characters, unfortunately, are just okay. Despite the fact that I utterly abhorred her name, I liked Blue the best. She was the only character who had a POV that actually felt reasonably well written. Prince Kellan was difficult to read, his portrayal feeling vaguely unrealistic at times. Unfortunate Blue's guardian, Dinah, was a believable villain but I felt that the way she was written took a lot away from the cruelty that she was supposed to embody. This is one of those instances in which the author gives far too much insight into the villain. I'm not sure if Redwing was trying to build sympathy for the stepmother or if she was merely trying to build the reader's hatred. Either way, I feel that the story would have been much better had Dinah's point of view been left out of it. There was no mystery to Dinah, no question about what she was doing, and while the ultimate plot twist was unique and exciting, it was somewhat predictable as a result of reading her portion of the story. I think, ultimately, while I did really enjoy this novel, the writing was subpar. The ideas themselves were fantastic, leaving me with a story that I found true joy in reading. The characters showed great development through the course of the novel, which I loved and appreciated. But the in the moment writing of the story made the characters feel very unreal in their actions and words, the romance feel quite cheesy, and Redwing had moments of laying ideas and comments on so thickly that they quickly got annoying. And then there was the characters of Hansel and Grettle who were majorly random and didn't add anything even though they misled the reader into feeling as though they would soon be exceptionally important. It’s a small spoiler, I guess, because they played absolutely no part in the story at all. Even know I have no clue what the point of their inclusion was. It wasn’t painfully long, but it felt like such a waste of a chapter. So, at the end, I'm left unsure how to feel about The Blood Spell. I certainly enjoyed it a lot and it's not a bad book by any means. But various pieces of the writing really annoyed and frustrated me. Kellan never really felt like a real person not because he didn’t have a well thought out personality but because the author didn’t seem to know how to write it, the book was too predictable at times, and there were far too many moments when I found myself rolling my eyes at the writing. Also, I’m still a little annoyed that I didn’t get to know the little girl who worked for Blue because it made everything surrounding her less emotional than it should have been. This is a hard book for me, since I feel so conflicted. For anyone who reads it, you’ll have to figure it out for yourself. I was provided a free copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. | Twitter | Reader Fox Blog | Instagram |  

  14. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    The Blood Spell is the fourth book in C.J. Redwine’s series of fairytale retellings. As she has with each of the three previous instalments, The Blood Spell is a wonderful fantasy novel in its own right with threads of the familiar fairytale cleverly woven through the plot to create a unique and thrilling tale. Blue (love her name) de la Cour is an alchemist, working alongside her father to make potions and tonics to heal the people of Falaise de la Mer. But Blue longs to do more, especially for The Blood Spell is the fourth book in C.J. Redwine’s series of fairytale retellings. As she has with each of the three previous instalments, The Blood Spell is a wonderful fantasy novel in its own right with threads of the familiar fairytale cleverly woven through the plot to create a unique and thrilling tale. Blue (love her name) de la Cour is an alchemist, working alongside her father to make potions and tonics to heal the people of Falaise de la Mer. But Blue longs to do more, especially for the young street children, so each night she works on her experiment to turn lead into gold. But Blue must be careful not to get caught revealing her secret magic powers, simple and unthreatening though they might be, for fear of death. But when Blue’s father is murdered and a powerful and cruel woman takes guardianship of Blue, she is surprised to find support from her childhood nemesis, the Crown Prince Kellan. Together, Kellan and Blue work to find a way to free Blue, all the while dealing with Kellan’s looming betrothal season, and the threat of the return of the Blood Wraith. This is a retelling of Cinderella so I’m not sure why the events came as a surprise to me. But, because the story was so different from the original tale to begin with, as the story fell into alignment with what we know of the fairytale, the twists walloped me over the head. I’ve always hated the evil stepmother and stepsister and in this retelling the character who plays the stand-in role for the evil stepmother is particularly loathsome. This, perhaps, is made more obvious due to Blue and her wonderful heart. But Blue, while kindness personified, is no soft pushover naively singing in her garden. Okay, that’s funny. I just wrote that and then remembered that Blue actually does spend some time singing while working in her garden, but the point is that she is strong, super intelligent, fiercely brave and willing to stand up to anything she believes is wrong or dangerous. I found her far more likeable than the usual Cinderella, far more likely to take action and stand up for what she believes in. This means looking after street children, agreeing to help her mean new guardian and constantly annoying Prince Kellan by trying to protect him. The relationship, the romance between Kellan and Blue is superb. They have a shared history, a childhood of family friendship, years of attempted pranks and dares on Kellan’s behalf that Blue consistently put a stop to, and a progression of tolerance and continued annoyance into their teenage years. But when that shared history collides again when Blue loses her father, she finds that Kellan is the only one to understand and provide the support she needs. Neither expect their tenuous friendship to develop into deeper feelings, Blue knows she has no chance with Kellan even if he wasn’t a prince and as the crown prince, Kellan must soon choose a bride from one of the ruling families. The adventure in this story is thrilling and the tension high as the characters work together to fight the threats they face. Combined with sumptuous romance, a deeply moving story of loss and grief, evil characters to root against, friendship and great sacrifice, The Blood Spell is a unique and enjoyable fairytale retelling and a perfect addition to this series, each of which can be read as standalone titles. I do hope the Ravenspire series continues and I look forward to reading the next instalment of this magical series. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Ah I love this series!!! Full review to come!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks)

    Overall: 4.5/5 Stars Characters: 4/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 4/5 Awesomeness Factor: 4.5/5 Review in a Nutshell: The Blood Spell is a fun, adorable Cinderella retelling with lots of heart, although it isn’t my favorite C. J. Redwine book. ”Grief was easier to bear when it was shared with those left behind.” Blog ||Tumblr || Bookstagram || Twitter|| Reviews // Content Warning: Violence, Death, Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Depression, Child Abuse, Animal Death, Murder, PTSD // - Premise - The Overall: 4.5/5 Stars Characters: 4/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 4/5 Awesomeness Factor: 4.5/5 Review in a Nutshell: The Blood Spell is a fun, adorable Cinderella retelling with lots of heart, although it isn’t my favorite C. J. Redwine book. ”Grief was easier to bear when it was shared with those left behind.” Blog ||Tumblr || Bookstagram || Twitter|| Reviews // Content Warning: Violence, Death, Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Depression, Child Abuse, Animal Death, Murder, PTSD // - Premise - The Blood Spell is told from multiple, third person point of views, including our two protagonists: Blue and Prince Kellan. Blue is an alchemist, with fae magic in her blood that she is forced to hide. All she wants to do is help her kingdom’s homeless children who keep disappearing, but when her father is killed and she’s forced to live with an abusive noble, she must look for help in the person she hates most-- Prince Kellan. Meanwhile, Prince Kellan is forced into a game of deadly politics in order to find a bride before his nineteenth birthday, but the more time he spends with Blue, the harder it is to pick a girl to marry from the high ranking ladies he is forced to select his wife from. ”It would be another test. Another game where the lies were pretty, the questions were pointed, and the calculations were shrewd.” - Writing - C. J. Redwine’s writing is dark, gritty, and realistic. While this book is definitely one of the lighter feeling ones in the series, it still has those dark elements that make it so fun. One thing I love about her writing is how accessible it is. Her books never feel heavy or too gritty, and they’re always easy to jump into and enjoy. Being the fourth book set in this world, I loved seeing the familiar aspects of the setting while also seeing a new kingdom that was only briefly mentioned in previous books. Balvata is an interesting new setting, that's very well developed and feels unique from all the other Ravenspire-Universe kingdoms. - Plot - Speaking of easy to jump into-- this book’s pacing was great! It rarely lulled, with always something interesting happening or about to break through. My only complaint is that there were a couple of plot elements (one in particular) that felt a little too convenient or forced. The one that bothered me most was something that happened at the end to resolve a major conflict, that was never mentioned as an option beforehand, but really should have been. It felt like it was just thrown in there last second to make sure the book is as Cinderella-y as it could get, and to make sure the ending was as happy as possible. ”She wanted to be limitless, and she was about to get her wish.” - Characters - I loved Blue and Kellan so much. They were both amazing characters. Blue is such a strong character and I loved how this book didn’t gloss over her father’s death and actually showed her grieving and trying to cope. Kellan was equally strong and interesting. If you read The Traitor Prince, then you may remember him as Javan’s roommate at boarding school, and while his character didn’t really interest me then, he was so much more fleshed out and compelling in this book. I also loved the relationship between Blue and Kellan, growing from hate, to friendship, to love. It was absolutely adorable and felt realistic. The one downside was the villain-- the “evil stepmother”. It took about halfway through the book for me to understand her motivations and a lot of what she does just feels unnecessary and only there to make this an accurate Cinderella retelling. After the amazing villain in The Traitor Prince, I was just a little disappointed. - Conclusion - Pros- Realistic protagonist, great setting, adorable romance Cons- One aspect of the ending was a little forced, and the villain was weak Overall- 4.5/5 stars. The Blood Spell is a cute, fun Cinderella retelling with dark and gritty edges that will have you hooked! ”The kingdom needed a girl full of poison and reckless courage.”

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chance

    4.5⭐ RTC 4.5⭐️ RTC

  18. 5 out of 5

    rachel

    i was hoping we'd see more of kellan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Makenna Fournier

    4.5/5

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kara Johnson

    I absolutely loved this book! The world of ravenspire is so fun, and i love how CJ Redwine takes pieces of a beloved fairytale and changes it enough to be new and exciting. She still has a twist at the end that you may not see coming! I would recommend that you read the other books in the series before this as they reference the other kingdoms. This is the 4th book in the ravenspire novels, and its a retelling of cinderella. I loved the relationship between blue and kellen. How they hated each o I absolutely loved this book! The world of ravenspire is so fun, and i love how CJ Redwine takes pieces of a beloved fairytale and changes it enough to be new and exciting. She still has a twist at the end that you may not see coming! I would recommend that you read the other books in the series before this as they reference the other kingdoms. This is the 4th book in the ravenspire novels, and its a retelling of cinderella. I loved the relationship between blue and kellen. How they hated each other as kids, but now they are a bit older they have seen how each has changed, and had several conversations that showed they weren't those same kids they were before Loved the magic, and the mystery with the blood wraith. I loved that blue used her magic to help people, and is an alchamist. She also brought in Hansel and Gretel, who i have loved so much in the other books. I would also love a book for just them, when can i get that story?? Also, i really want a beauty and the beast retelling!! She had 10 kingdoms in her world, so I'm hoping we potentially have 10 stories in total for this world!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    This was a wonderful retelling of the Cinderella story. Blue de la Cour lives with her father and works as an alchemist hiding the magic in her. Magic was made illegal in this kingdom after a witch who turned into a wraith terrorized the kingdom until it was imprisoned in an enchanted wood. But children are disappearing and it is feared that another evil witch is rising. Kellan Renard is turning eighteen and finished with his education. Now it is time for him to choose a bride from one of the nin This was a wonderful retelling of the Cinderella story. Blue de la Cour lives with her father and works as an alchemist hiding the magic in her. Magic was made illegal in this kingdom after a witch who turned into a wraith terrorized the kingdom until it was imprisoned in an enchanted wood. But children are disappearing and it is feared that another evil witch is rising. Kellan Renard is turning eighteen and finished with his education. Now it is time for him to choose a bride from one of the nine high families in the kingdom and become king himself. Choosing just one girl is a dangerous political balancing act. Marriage with him will bring her family greater power. Kellan and Blue have known each other since they were children. Her father was his father's tutor. The families spent a lot of time together before Kellan's father died saving Kellan from drowning. Since then, Kellan's guilt has led him to make many reckless choices and Blue has done her best to keep his choices from killing him. She thinks he's reckless; he thinks she's the world's biggest party pooper. They have been frenemies since childhood. But when Blue's father is murdered, Kellan is the only one who understands and comforts her. When she's put under the guardianship of Dinah Chaveau who's head of one of the nine families, Kellan tries to make things easier for her. Dinah is scrambling to put one of her daughters on the throne. She'll have to work fast since her husband signed away all the property and one of his daughter's hands in marriage to get out from under his gambling debts but was murdered anyway. Dinah had forged his signature to get control of all the property and now new forgeries have taken it away from her. Forgery apparently being a common thing, Dinah forges guardianship papers to gain control of Blue. She believes Blue knows how to free the wraith from imprisonment and Dinah needs the wraith to get the revenge she has been waiting for sixteen years to claim. This was a great romance. Kellan and Blue are deeply in love but divided by the laws that say he has to marry a girl from one of the nine families. She is not only common but hiding her gift of magic too. Fans of romantic fantasy and Cinderella stories will enjoy this wonderful story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    The Wish Granter has been my favorite book set in this universe... until now. The Blood Spell goes above and beyond. This retelling of Cinderella was absolutely amazing. Like most of Redwine's retellings, she takes the classic Cinderella story and creates a brand new version with her own unique spin. For those that love the original, the basic outline is still there and the famous slippers still make an appearance. Redwine's books were already great, but she keeps getting better and better! Can' The Wish Granter has been my favorite book set in this universe... until now. The Blood Spell goes above and beyond. This retelling of Cinderella was absolutely amazing. Like most of Redwine's retellings, she takes the classic Cinderella story and creates a brand new version with her own unique spin. For those that love the original, the basic outline is still there and the famous slippers still make an appearance. Redwine's books were already great, but she keeps getting better and better! Can't wait for the next one!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    * Thank you HCC Frenzy for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review * - ACTUAL 4.5/5 stars - This novel follows Blue, a merchant's daughter in a small village in Balavata. She tries to remain unnoticed - in fear of her magic being discovered, sentencing her to death. However, once her father is murdered and a ruthless woman claims custody of Blue and all she owns, secrets, keeping them and finding them out, are more important than ever. At the same time, childhood friend Kellan, the crow * Thank you HCC Frenzy for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review * - ACTUAL 4.5/5 stars - This novel follows Blue, a merchant's daughter in a small village in Balavata. She tries to remain unnoticed - in fear of her magic being discovered, sentencing her to death. However, once her father is murdered and a ruthless woman claims custody of Blue and all she owns, secrets, keeping them and finding them out, are more important than ever. At the same time, childhood friend Kellan, the crown prince of Balavata, is must announce his betrothal to a head family's daughter. But as blood sheds and every step could cost him the kingdom, these two characters must be careful to keep those they love, and themselves, alive. I absolutely loved the fairytale retelling, the Cinderella aspects were prominent, but not over powering. The setting was vivid, with fantasy elements added to the landscape. Blue's magical abilities were a twist, and I liked how her ability was described. The writing was fast paced, and drew readers in. While the beginning was a bit slow, it picked up quickly and readers will want to keep reading. Kellan and Blue's relationship was my favourite part. Their slow burn romance and hidden moments were adorable, and kept the reader wanting more. It was not the typical love at first sight, and developed throughout to become something more. The ending was a perfect fairytale, and it wrapped up the story in a good way. I cannot wait to read more of C.J.'s novels, and I recommend this one to any fantasy fan!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah K

    I LOVED THIS BOOK! I haven't read a great fairy tale retelling in a long time. I love the nods to the Cinderella story but honestly it's even better than the original! This is my first book in this series. They are all standlaones so no need to have read the previous 3 books. (However, I 100% will now!) This fairy-tale fantasy is everything you could want in YA fantasy. I've read some pretty meh fantasies over the last couple years and it's so refreshing to be completely engrossed in a story and o I LOVED THIS BOOK! I haven't read a great fairy tale retelling in a long time. I love the nods to the Cinderella story but honestly it's even better than the original! This is my first book in this series. They are all standlaones so no need to have read the previous 3 books. (However, I 100% will now!) This fairy-tale fantasy is everything you could want in YA fantasy. I've read some pretty meh fantasies over the last couple years and it's so refreshing to be completely engrossed in a story and one you can't put down! My heart was racing with the thrill of this action-packed story. Blue is an alchemist and also has some fae blood. She's brave, full of conviction to do the right thing, and I loved her. Kellan is the soon to be king dealing with many pressures of the throne but dealing with guilt that leads to reckless behavior. Dinah is the villain and gets a POV in this story as well. I'm a huge fan of the villains not being one dimensional. I'm a fan of the racial diversity throughout the book & the sister of the prince, Nessa, who has a speaking disability & uses sign language. All of it was well done. All the main and side characters were so well thought out. I loved the romance and the smart and easy to understand world-building. It'll make you cry, swoon and put you on the edge of your seat for most of the book! It truly was a thrill and so entertaining. Honestly, so great! PICK THIS BOOK UP!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Beth (YA Books Central)

    ....cannot believe that I finally have this gorgeous book in my hands! I have been waiting FOREVER....and it is just as amazing as I knew it would be.....first chapter devoured and cannot put this book down.......cannot wait to see where this story goes....

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    The premise reminds me of LONG MAY SHE REIGNS' but I'll read this as I enjoyed THE TRAITOR PRINCE?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ryn (Crafty_Bookworm)

    I have loved the whole Ravenspire series and this one didn’t let me down. The Cinderella roots were well used as a growing point to craft a great tale. I need more stories from this universe - please.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sabreena - Books and Prosecco

    Review to come!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Angela Blount

    3.5 Stars Based loosely on the tale of Cinderella, The Blood Spell is the fourth standalone installment for the Ravenspire series of fairytale retellings. On the surface, this book is in the same vein as many a dark YA fantasy. The magic system involves fae, wands, and transmutation; with a refreshingly hefty emphasis on the alchemical. On deeper levels, the story explores themes of grief, guilt, self-sacrifice, negative coping mechanisms, abuse, healing… and even touches on aspects of PTSD and su 3.5 Stars Based loosely on the tale of Cinderella, The Blood Spell is the fourth standalone installment for the Ravenspire series of fairytale retellings. On the surface, this book is in the same vein as many a dark YA fantasy. The magic system involves fae, wands, and transmutation; with a refreshingly hefty emphasis on the alchemical. On deeper levels, the story explores themes of grief, guilt, self-sacrifice, negative coping mechanisms, abuse, healing… and even touches on aspects of PTSD and suicidal ideation. This version of Cinderella bears about as much resemblance to the original tale as Redwine’s Snow White retelling. Which is to say… not much resemblance at all. You still get a few key elements—grand ball, glass slippers, mice and pumpkin transfigurations toward the end—but the rest of the content is heavily original. Much like with her take on Snow White, this heroine has a lot more agency than her original namesake. And Kellan (a.k.a Prince Charming) IS indeed charming… but it’s all a diplomatic façade. It cannot be said that Redwine doesn’t offer a wide variety in her heroines. While not a fighter like Lorelei from The Shadow Queen or Sajda from The Traitor Prince, Blue holds her own in her own way. I don’t think I’ll remember her as one of my favorites from the Ravenspire series. She spent too much of the first 1/3rd of the story a little too sanctimonious and irritatingly judgmental for my tastes. I often felt sorry for her more than I was able to like her. But thankfully she did show a significant amount of character growth and adaptability by the end. I did, however, relate to Blue’s sleep ethic: “Blue didn’t know what it took to wake up at dawn and be cheerful about it, but whatever it was, she didn’t have it.” This reader is a big fan of a slow burn romance, particularly a rivals-to-friends-to-lovers transition. The Blood Spell handles this romantic aspect incredibly well—helped by the fact that the hero and heroine have known each other their entire lives. That pre-established relationship, which then undergoes a few massive redefining moments of empathy and revelation, makes for some truly organic feeling chemistry. At times, the worldbuilding felt a touch contrived. While it helps to have read a few others in this series to get a feel for the range of magical influences across kingdoms, there were still a number of times that supranatural things occurred without prior allusion to them being possible. Note: I mean this largely in regard to the Blood Wraith and its abilities—as the alchemy side of things was given a good bit of example and foreshadowing. When Hansel and Gretel put in a welcome appearance (and when do we get THEIR story, by the way?!) I expected their expertise to lend more insight to the Wraith’s strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. But their knowledge and advice didn’t seem to add quite enough to the equation. And sadly, the mysterious siblings don’t make a reappearance. Readers will likely appreciate how well rounded most of the peripheral characters end up feeling. A solid investment is made into fleshing out Blue’s father and grandmother, Kellan’s mother, and even some of Kellan’s would-be bride options. Princess Nessa, Kellan’s mute-yet-sassy younger sister, was easily my favorite side character addition. I sincerely hope she will get her own book or novella at some point in the future. If you’re a fan of inventive retellings, triumph after tragedy, and snappy verbal sparring between love interests, The Blood Spell may be right up your alley.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ainslee || Jest and Hearts

    https://jestandhearts.wordpress.com/2... This might be a hot mess of a review so buckle up children. The Blood Spell is the fourth book in the Ravenspire series. No, you don’t need to read the previous books to read this, they all follow a different character from different kingdoms. Each book is a separate story. You will however see characters from previous books but you wont be spoiled and you wont need to know their story. I would however suggest reading The Traitor Prince before this one as t https://jestandhearts.wordpress.com/2... This might be a hot mess of a review so buckle up children. The Blood Spell is the fourth book in the Ravenspire series. No, you don’t need to read the previous books to read this, they all follow a different character from different kingdoms. Each book is a separate story. You will however see characters from previous books but you wont be spoiled and you wont need to know their story. I would however suggest reading The Traitor Prince before this one as they are happening at the same time. Another amazing addition to the Ravenspire world, a Cinderella retelling where Cinderella is a talented alchemist and has magic. This is a Cinderella retelling following the main character Blue de la Cour, a commoner, and the Crown Prince Kellen. There’s also a third POV from the evil woman who becomes Blue’s guardian after her father dies (not a spoiler it says above in the synopsis). In the Kingdom of Balavata magic is outlawed and using magic is punishable by death. Blue of course, has magic, she has Fae blood running through her veins and she has to hide it. I absolutely loved being back in the Ravensire world. C.J Redwine has crafted such a magical and fascinating world and every kingdom is different, they are ruled differently, their beliefs are different their views on magic are different and its like stepping into a completely different world that feels familiar. The Blood Spell was just as fantastic as the first three books, it was magical, whimsical, brutal and captivating. I think Blue is my favourite character C.J has created so far in this world. She’s absolutely amazing, she’s determined, compassionate, caring, fierce and selfless. She’s also a talented alchemist and she possesses magic. She also thinks about those who no one else thinks about, she wants to help all of the homeless children in the kingdom and she’ll try her hardest to do just that. Bonus points for blue having a one eyed cat that loves her. While this is a Cinderella retelling, it thankfully doesn’t follow the story exactly making The Blood Spell completely original. There are a few nods to the original tale, like the pumpkin carriage and the glass slipper but other than that its pretty different. I think my favourite part of the story was the characters. I loved the interactions between Blue and Kellen and seeing their relationship develop over the course of the book. The romance in here was so sweet, it was a semi slow burn with many stolen moments and confessions. The most refreshing thing about this book was the parents. They weren’t evil and didn’t treat their children like trash. The relationship between Blue, her dad and Grand’mere was so beautiful and nice to see in a YA book. The relationship between Kellen and his mother was also wonderful, she wasn’t an evil queen trying to overthrow her son, or plot against the kingdom she was actually caring and kind and I really enjoyed seeing that for once. Overall the story was even paced, dark, twisted, romantic and magical. I really enjoyed the actual plot of the story and there were a few twists and turns I didn’t see coming at all. The world building is excellent you can actually get a feel for what the kingdom is like, Blue’s house, the alchemists shop, the castle and basically every other part of the kingdom you see, the descriptions are great. Obviously I’m a huge fan of this series and C.J’s writing but if you love retellings I highly recommend picking this book up and all the previous books in the Ravenspire series. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you to HCC Frenzy for sending me an advanced copy for review.

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