Blood Like Magic
Blood Like Magic

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Annotation: A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family's magic.
Catalog Number: #256359
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 496
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-534-46528-6 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9257-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-534-46528-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9257-8
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
Afro-futurism meets urban fantasy in this strong YA debut. Descended from a long line of powerful Black witches and having just started her Bleeding, 16-year-old Voya Thomas anxiously plans for the Calling that will follow, an ancestor-given trial that she must pass in order to inherit magic. A Thomas hasn-t failed in 100 years, but Voya worries nonetheless. To pass a Calling, one must make the correct choice between two decisions-something Voya has notorious difficulty with. Her concerns threaten to become reality when she receives the most impossible task ever known to witches, one with equally unheard of consequences: if Voya does not destroy her first love in one month, all current and future Thomases will lose their magic. Voya-s one desire is to help her family, but she-s never been in love, and she doesn-t want to take a life. As her family tries to find loopholes around committing murder, Voya stumbles across an ancestor she-s never heard of, whom the adults insist on pretending doesn-t exist. Sambury blends technology and fantasy to create a detailed world that-s both futuristic and magical. Featuring a cast of BIPOC and queer characters of all ages, this novel focuses on familial love, individual desires, and making choices that will lead to the greatest good. Ages 14-up. Agent: Kristy Hunter, the Knight Agency. (June)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A Black teenager faces a difficult choice to bring about her magical awakening.Voya Thomas is a 16-year-old Black Canadian girl with Trinidadian roots—and a fledgling witch. Her ascension to becoming a proper witch is dependent on her performance at her Calling. Every witch-to-be is assigned a test by one of their ancestors, and if they are successful, they receive their magic and the specially chosen gift of an ability. Refusing to accept the task means no future members of Voya’s bloodline will be Called by the ancestors and therefore can never become witches; accepting but failing the challenge set for her will cause every witch in her family to lose the magic upon which their livelihood depends. During the ritual, Voya finds out that the stakes for her Calling are even steeper than she could have imagined: Before the Caribana carnival in a month’s time, she must kill her first love. But Voya has never been in love, so she must now find someone, fall in love, and then sacrifice him. Sambury’s prose is fluid and eloquent and will enthrall readers. The protagonist’s voice feels refreshingly authentic, and the supporting characters are diverse and multidimensional, with well-developed relationships. Sensitive topics and themes, like slavery and racism, emerge in the novel’s original and compelling storylines.A breath of fresh air for the genre; readers will be spellbound. (Fantasy. 14-18)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* In Sambury's downright dazzling debut, Voya has finally started menstruating, which means she's ready to come into her family's magic and receive her gift from her ancestors. To receive this gift, each witch needs to complete a task given to them by an ancestor, and failing is not an option. To Voya's misfortune, Mama Jova, who suffered at the hands of slavers, imparts her task: to echo the family's mantra of "suffer and survive," Voya is instructed to destroy her first love or risk losing her family forever. This engrossing novel features a world both familiar and unfamiliar, in a near-future Toronto. Sambury vividly captures the vibrancy of Toronto as well as the diversity within the witch community, and her dedication to world building lends authenticity to her characters. Family and heritage are two important themes here, demonstrated powerfully in the novel's descriptions of history keeping, food, and daily family life. While this urban fantasy takes place in the near future, Sambury does not turn a blind eye to the persistent history of systemic racism against Black people, the evils of slavery, or the ways in which police brutality targets Black people, nor how those impact the Black community on a daily basis, all while keeping magic compellingly at the forefront. This impressive debut will wow readers and leave them eager for more from this writer to watch.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (2/1/21)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (2/1/21)
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly (2/1/21)
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Lexile: HL720L

A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.

After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.

Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?

With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.


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