Hi friends! I know it’s been awhile, but I’ve decided to dive back into the book blogging world. I couldn’t be more happy to be taking part in the blog tour of The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport, which is being hosted by the incredible Turn the Page Tours team! Be sure to check out the welcome post for more tour info and to check out all of the other incredible bloggers involved!
The Blood Trials
Author: N.E. Davenport
Publication Date: 05 April 2022
Genre: New Adult – Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Length: 464 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Blending fantasy and science fiction, N. E. Davenport’s fast-paced, action-packed debut kicks off a duology of loyalty and rebellion, in which a young Black woman must survive deadly trials in a racist and misogynistic society to become an elite warrior.
It’s all about blood.
The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen’s deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive.
The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari, murdered.
For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her.
Who trained her to keep that a secret.
But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order. Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials–a brutal initiation that only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that–if found out–would subject her to execution…or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather…and then she needs to kill them.
Mareen has been at peace for a long time…
Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.
Magic and technology converge in the first part of this stunning debut duology, where loyalty to oneself–and one’s blood–is more important than anything.
Trigger & Content Warnings
Misogyny, Racism, Alcohol consumption, Blood depiction, Torture, Gore, Emesis
Before I get into this review, this book is NOT YA. It is graphic and there are some gruesome scenes, so you’ve been warned.
Davenport delivers a harrowing, action packed revenge novel that masterfully combines futuristic technology and a magic system rooted in blood. This story follows Ikenna Amari, who signs up for the grueling Praetorian Trials in order to uncover who murdered her grandfather: the former Legatus, Verne Amari.
Ikenna is a forced to be reckoned with. She’s hell bent on revenge and will get it by whatever means necessary. Ikenna is fierce, determined, impulsive, and full of rage. Davenport does not shy away from the consequences that Ikenna faces for each of the decisions she makes. Ikenna also suffers from constant degradation due to both her skin color and gender, which makes it even more difficult to fulfill her grandfather’s wishes of creating the Amari legacy line for future generations.
While the trials themselves (and those in charge of them) were absolutely ruthless, I really enjoyed watching Ikenna not only navigate the challenges but also the relationships she has with her best friends as well as others in her competing class. I felt that the side characters were flushed out really well, and I definitely was invested in several of them.
This is a fantastic start to this duology, and now I must patiently wait for book two.
Thank you to Harper Voyager and Turn the Page Tours for providing a finished copy for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Nia “N.E.” Davenport is the Science Fiction/Fantasy author of the forthcoming The Praetorian Trials and its sequel (Harper Voyager). She attended the University of Southern California and studied Biological Sciences and Theatre. She has an M.A. in Secondary Education, and she teaches English and Biology. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys vacationing with her family, skiing, and being a huge foodie. She’s an advocate for diverse perspectives and protagonists in literature. You can find her online at www.nedavenport.com, on Twitter @nia_davenport, or on Instagram @nia.davenport, where she talks about binge-worthy TV and great books. She lives in Texas with her husband and kids.