Jaiden reviews Bloodmarked

Jaiden reviews Bloodmarked

Jaiden Heaton, Staff Book Reviewer

Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn is the second book in the Legendborne Cycle, so there will be spoilers for book one as we advance. It is also better than the first book and made me realize that the first book didn’t deserve 4.5 stars, maybe 3.5 stars. I’ll go into more detail on that later.

This book starts one month after the first book, with Bree, Sel, Alice, and William preparing for Bree to be announced as the Scion of Arthur officially. However, unsurprisingly the Regents are racist and power-hungry, so Alice, Bree, Sel, and William go on the run to look for Nick and keep Bree safe. Unfortunately, Bree realizes she has feelings for Sel, and drama ensues. While on the run, Bree’s powers become more unpredictable and dangerous, and she searches for answers as to why. Will she succeed in her goals or lose herself in the process?

This book does a much better job explaining and exploring the magic/root/aether than the first. This made me realize that the first did an okay job explaining that. This book is hilarious. While Bree made dumb decisions and didn’t think with her head enough, she was still very understandable most of the time. I usually understand why she does what she does. Alice is more in this and is excellent and the best character. Valec is another great character, and I hope he’s in book three. Despite everything, I like Bree and Sel’s relationship. Tracy Deonn is an excellent storyteller. I enjoyed the story so much that it was difficult for me to put down the book. I also like how grief is handled in this one. It captures how expansive grief can be. Generational trauma and grief are handled very well, in my opinion. That ending was perfect.

Alice was one of the few characters that didn’t just spend most of her time thinking with her emotions; she made decisions based on logic. Everyone else, however, didn’t do that and desperately needed to, particularly Bree. Bree could have done more training with a sword because she got like one week of that in the first book. More time could have been given to work on any training in this book. Arthur made a deal to help her train, and she rarely took advantage of that. Nick is dull, and this book solidified that for me. More could have been done with Volition; it felt like something was missing with that part. It felt like this book had to play catch-up with world-building at times. I wasn’t a fan of the backtracking with Bree and Sel’s relationship. It isn’t by much, but it is there.

Bloodmarked is the second book in the trilogy. I give it 4-4.5 stars; I keep flip-flopping on this. Book three is not out yet, and don’t expect a release date anytime soon, as this one was very recently released. It’s being adapted into a TV series.