Series: Blood Scion #1
Published by HarperTeen
Release Date: March 8th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Magic, Military, YA
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.
Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.
Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely, and becoming the very monster that she ahbors.
Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, this deeply felt and emotionally charged debut from Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and Daughter of Smoke and Bone that will utterly thrill and capture readers.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Blood Scion is a dark-as-they-come YA fantasy novel filled with detailed and developed world building and a similarly complex heroine, Sloan. Sloan is 15 years old with magic running through her veins. As a Scion, Sloan is a gifted with magic from the Orisha gods and has the power to call forth fire and flame. And, like all descendants of the Yoruba people, Sloan is hunted by the tyrannical monarch, Olympia, and her legion of soldiers, the Lucis; should anyone discover Sloan’s rare gift of magic not only would she be killed, but so too would all her loved ones. However, when Sloan is drafted to fight in the war against her own people, she must do anything to survive and find safety.
When I say this novel is dark, I mean this novel is dark. As a military-fantasy novel that is inspired, in part, by the horrific reality of child soldiers, this story is ripe with the ruthless murder of children and likewise child murderers. I would equate some aspects of the novel to The Hunger Games in that regard, so set forth with that recognition.
When I read, sometimes I yearn for true escapism, I want to be lifted away to an alternate reality, an alternate plane of existence, where the constraints and pressures of this world hold little sway. Other times, however, I read in hopes of understanding this world better. I look to recognize social structures and inequities through fiction. However, as I write this review in March 2022, when the world seems especially fragile and peace far-eclipsing, it was often hard for me to be motivated to return to Sloan’s world, where death and destruction were a constant presence. I found reading interviews with the books author, Deborah Falaye, to be helpful in helping me to understand the importance of these stories as they bridge reality with magic and culture with myth.
So, while I struggled with the themes of Blood Scion, I can also safely assure you that this novel is excellently paced, and the character development is truly exemplary. Sloan is certainly not a perfect heroine; she has complexities and trauma that mar her decision-making time and time again. Yet, as she enters the world of the Lucis and becomes trained as a child solider, she concurrently develops bonds that strengthen her resolve and further her development. Ultimately, it is interpreting the world through Sloan’s perspective that makes this book succeed.
Hi, I’m Caitlyn! During the day I’m a graduate student, so you can usually find me hiding in the corner of a coffee shop (iced coffee always in hand) reading, writing, or lesson planning. But, come nighttime, I’m always trying to squeeze in a few extra pages of whatever I’m reading for fun. I love to decorate with books and antique trinkets, light a musky woodsy candle, and curl up with my cat, Mercutio, to devour fantasy, historical fiction, literary fiction, or, really, whatever I’m feeling in the moment!