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Ink in the Blood: Book summary and reviews of Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal

Ink in the Blood

Ink in the Blood #1

by Kim Smejkal

Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal X
Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal
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About this book

Book Summary

A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine's will and guide the actions of the recipients. It's considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time...until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob's now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Fierce friendships, fraught romance, and sharply drawn, emotionally complex characters of sundry gender identities and sexual orientations elevate the stakes of this ambitious, thought-provoking tale, whose closing cliffhanger inspires and devastates in equal measure." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Smejkal has created a dark, engaging world that is the perfect setting for magic and inking...Fans of dark fantasy and magical atmospheres will anxiously await the sequel to learn Celia's and Anya's fate." - School Library Journal

"With a focus on its central platonic female friendship, it also features a well-developed and genuinely touching found family, a slow-burning romance, and the climax to a tragic tale of vengeance that is a thousand years in the making...The promising first in a duology with inspiring friendships and original worldbuilding." - Kirkus Reviews

"Smejkal's smart debut blends magic and religion into a lyrical fantasy....the poetic prose and brilliant characters shine from page one." - Booklist

"Haunting and vividly imagined, Ink in the Blood will crawl beneath your flesh and leave its mark, just like the magical tattoos within." - Rebecca Schaeffer, author of Not Even Bones

"Beautiful, dark and complex—Ink in the Blood is a debut with teeth. I can't wait for the sequel!" - Ryan Graudin, award-winning author of Wolf By Wolf

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Author Information

Kim Smejkal

Kim Smejkal lives with her family on Vancouver Island in Canada, which means she's often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic.

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