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Paranormal Fantasy Audiobook Review: Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey

Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey

Audiocopy thanks to Audible Studios

Synopsis from Goodreads
In her extraordinary debut, Spells of Blood and Kin, Claire Humphrey deftly weaves her paranormal world with vivid emotional depth and gritty violence. Bringing together themes of death, addiction, and grief, Claire takes readers on a human journey that goes beyond fantasy.

When her beloved grandmother dies suddenly, 22-year-old Lissa Nevsky is left with no choice but to take over her grandmother's magical position in their small folk community. That includes honoring a debt owed to the dangerous stranger who appears at Lissa's door.

Maksim Volkov needs magic to keep his brutal nature leashed, but he's already lost control once: his blood-borne lust for violence infects Nick Kaisaris, a charming slacker out celebrating the end of finals. Now Nick is somewhere else in Toronto, going slowly mad, and Maksim must find him before he hurts more people.

Lissa must uncover forbidden secrets and mend family rifts in order to prevent Maksim from hurting more people, including himself. If she fails, Maksim will have no choice but to destroy both himself and Nick.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository


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I think if you enjoyed dark paranormal fantasy like Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill, Trueheart by Mel Sterling and Deathless by Catherynne M Valente, you'll enjoy Spells of Blood and Kin.

Lissa's grandmother suddenly dies leaving her to continue to serve as koldunya (witch) in a small Russian enclave in Toronto. Grieving and shocky, Lissa tries her best to honor her gran who still has a tenuous link to her through a magical doll which will answer Lissa's three questions on a full moon, but there is one major problem - one of her Gran's spells died with her, and now the bearer of a violent curse is in desperate need of her help and he has already infected someone else.

Half of this book is about Lissa and her half-sister Stella trying to deal with the situation in present, but another half delves into Maksim Volkov's very long life while his sanity and self-control unravels. Maksim is Kin, a human cursed by violence (it's like werewolf without an ability to change, but with a very volatile character).

Nick, a human Maksim accidentally infected has his own plot arc, and his transformation from a normal carefree guy to someone creepy, dangerous and unhinged is disturbing to witness. The whole book is very atmospheric and spooky with accents and spell-making and its character-driven plot. It's also not flashy with magic at all. All the characters lead normal lives, everyone has jobs and magic is something very practical and uses things which are available in our society.

The narrator did a stellar job bringing Spells of Blood and Kin to life, and I enjoyed this understated dark fantasy very much. It's unusual and refreshing. Recommended.

* * *
Я думаю, то если вам понравились Сны и Тени С. Роберта Каргилла, Трухарт от Мел Стерлинг и Бессмертный от Катэринн М. Валентэ, то придутся по душе и Заклинания Крови и Рода.

Бабушка Лиссы умирает внезапно и оставляет её служить колдуньей маленького русского анклава в Торонто. В горе и шоке, Лисса продолжает работу бабушки Ядвиги, не подозревая, что одно из самых опасных и сложных заклинаний Ядвиги умерло вместе с ней. Её единственная связь с Ядвигой это волшебная кукла, которая ответит на 3 её вопроса каждое полнолуние, и кукла рассказывает ей о Максиме Волкове, которому необходимо помочь.

Максим живет уже несколько столетий и страдает от проклятия Рода (что-то вроде способностей и характера оборотня но без физических изменений), которое питается вспышками насилия. Ядвига помогла ему спрятать его природу, но с её смертью, он сорвался и успел кого-то заразить.

Теперь от Лиссы зависит спасение Максима, а от Максима и Августы (его родственницы по Роду) - нахождения Ника, которого Максим заразил до того, как проклятье обернётся против его дузей и знакомых.

Книга сосредоточена на Лиссе и её полу-сестре Стелле, Максиме и Августе и их прошлом, и Нике, природа которого постепенно меняется и он становится всё-более токсичным и взрывоопасным. Эта книга атмосферная и тёмная, с очень хорошими акцентами характеров на аудио. Магия здесь тихая и незаметная и состоит из элементов, которые мы легко можем найти в нашем мире.  В общем, я была очарована авторским стилем и несомненно буду читать её дальше. Рекомендую.

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