I do love getting the Harper360 blogger newsletter. I love receiving some of the books I asked for from it even more. I know I’m lucky when I do, and from the last newsletter, I requested Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye. This is a dark YA fantasy novel inspired by Yoruba-Nigeran mythology. Aspects of it feel like this could be a sci-fi fantasy novel (a fantasy novel set in a distant future), and I loved that.
Sloane has powers that allow her to incinerate any enemy at will, but it’s a power that she’s had to hide. When she’s conscripted into the Lucis army as a child soldier, she has to learn about her powers as she rises through the ranks. Her goal is to find out what happened to her dead mother and eventually get revenge.
Before I start this review, I need to give some content warnings. This book is incredibly dark and features sensitive content including attempted rape, child soldiers, self-harm, ritual cutting, torture and other things associated with war.
I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up going into a bit of a slump, so it took me a little longer than I’d have liked to get through. That was in part due to how dark this book is. I enjoyed it for what it was, but it was still a pretty hard read. There’s some beautiful use of language – I tabbed so many quotes that I’m planning on sharing when I can confirm they’re in the final book – but it isn’t a book you can just fly through. It gives you a lot to think about and can be very painful.
One thing I really enjoyed was the world-building. It was interesting hearing about the different Orisha and seeing how their powers manifested in the scions. Sadly, they had to hide, but in some ways, it made you more curious about them as it felt like you had to work to learn about them. There weren’t too many scion characters, and I’ll admit, I didn’t see one of the early ones coming, but it was all cool.
The world also felt realistic. So many horrific things were happening, but they do in war. This was a story of colonialism and everything that comes with it. The Yoruba did not deserve to have their land taken over, their people killed or assaulted, and the children most certainly did not deserve to be dragged in as soldiers. From the start to the end of this book, you’re angry with the Lucis, and like Sloane, you want to burn them down.
Unfortunately, this book was lacking in one area and that was relationships. I’m not just talking about romance either. Though I did enjoy some of the friendship scenes, it didn’t feel very much like any relationships were built. Any friendships or romance seemed to happen quickly with very little interaction. I needed more scenes where you actually see these things get built up. Especially since there’s a lot of death in this book, and some of them, as sad as they should’ve been, dragged barely any emotion from me. As it felt like they were just there and gone. Though that is somewhat realistic, it wasn’t necessarily great writing.
I did overall enjoy this book. I didn’t see all the twists coming at the end, and I’m excited to see where the story goes next. This is a duology, so the second book is going to wrap everything up, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to do so with a bang.
I can’t wait for you guys to get this book in your hands or for me to get the sequel.
Title: Blood Scion
Author: Deborah Falaye
Age Range: Young Adult
Release Date: 31/3/22