Blood Weaver by Karina Espinosa is a fast paced fantasy romance with super interesting world building and compelling characters.

Leila, the main character, is a blood mage, possessing a very rare kind of magic, and also a princess whisked away into hiding when she was a child for reasons she has yet to find the answers to. Now many years later a number of powerful men are trying to find her to use her to their advantage and she must keep her identity hidden to remain safe.

I really enjoyed the characters in Blood Weaver. Leila herself was interesting in her unique magic and in having the chance to learn a bit more about it, as well as in her occupation as a healer which really showed her empathy to her characters advantage and made her very likeable. She’s also tough and independent with having to take care of herself for so long and find her own life, particularly after her protector passes away, and with her tenacity and need to find out why she was taken away from her home before she risks returning.

Ronan was also a strong character from the start, though I definitely questioned his role in the book initially and wasn’t sure whether he was friend or foe. But his ability to be playful, while also being a fighting badass made me want him to be in all of the scenes and had me hoping for a main character in the making.

I also loved Leila’s best friend Selene, who is so protective and loyal which made her such a quick favourite. She also has such tough circumstances to deal with herself that made her easy to love and root for. When Marcellus, Leila’s brother, and Caelen, her childhood best friend make an appearance I really loved them immediately too. However, with their actions as the story goes on I began to question this love and grow to feel a certain level of disgust for them, which to me shows the true strength of a writer and their characters. Being able to create such strong emotions and feelings in the reader, either good or bad, is something I love in the books I read and this book did this very well.

It is a fast paced book, which I think is a testament to its shorter length. People who like quickly paced events will enjoy this as there’s never a dull moment or a lag in the pacing as a result. I for one just one more of this book so would have welcomed a longer book, but as a result cannot wait for the next in this world. I want to know much more about both the world and the unique powers the characters possess so I will be impatiently waiting for the next installment in the series. I do wonder if this shortness of the book worked against it in certain ways, such as there were some things that seemed to happen a little too easily, and other things I felt could be fleshed out a little more because they happened too fast or left me a little startled by their suddenness. And alternatively things that could have used a little more explanation.

There were a couple things that weren’t my favourite about the story which included for one, what felt like insta love between characters. I’m not a fan of the use of this in stories. I find it hard to make realistic and I struggled with how characters acted like they were in love when they had literally just met and knew absolutely nothing about one another. It was too sudden in my opinion and didn’t have enough build up to make it seem like it happened in a believable way and honestly to provide me with the investment that working towards it would have. Not to say I don’t want the characters together, I definitely ship, I just wished for more of a story and meaning behind these feelings. In this sense the shortness of the book I think worked against it. Otherwise I felt like Leila was a bit of an overpowered character which for me takes away some of the stakes of a character. The way she kept getting injured back to back and appearing unfazed by deadly blows kind of ruined the direness of it for me and the sense of legitimacy to it. I found it hard to believe she survive arrows straight to the chest, shoulder and leg and yet she was the one who managed to stay conscious after a terrible fall rather than the uninjured character. Small things like that just made me feel like her character was a bit too unrealistic and made her getting injured more repetitive and meaningless than a cause for worry for the characters sake. These certainly aren’t deal breaking issues, just things that took me out of the story a bit.

I really did love this read. I am so excited to get more world building from Blood Weaver in the sequel, to get more of the characters and find answers to questions that had me racing through the pages for more. I need more background on the characters, I need more information on the world, and I am so looking forward to reading more in this series.

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