I had every intention of reading Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn when it was released, but the mood didn’t strike. And I kept debating rereading the first book in this series, Legendborn. But in the end, I changed my mind because I knew what had happened in the previous book. And, while I recall comparing it to Shadowhunters, I had forgotten how similar the two series are. But a major piece that this series focuses on outside of fighting demons is racism, grief, and trauma from generations past. Bree has to deal with everything that happened with her ancestors while struggling to deal with the racism within the Legendborn community and the lengths they will go to cover up the truth.
I discussed the similarities in my review of Legendborn, but here are the highlights (spoilers for the Mortal Instruments series):
- Demons are not visible to mundane humans, but FMC is able to see them prompting the plots of their book. Bree sees Sel and Tor fight a demon at a party, while Clary sees Jace, Izzy, and Alec kill a demon at a nightclub.
- FMC around the age of 16 lost her mother. Bree’s mother died, while Clary’s mother was kidnapped.
- FMC learns she’s related to the secret society that fights against demons. Bree is the Scion of Arther (Order of the Round Table), while Clary is a Shadowhunter.
- FMC has more abilities than a regular member of the secret society. Bree is a medium, while Clary can create runes.
- There is a love triangle with a forbidden aspect. Bree is interested in Nick but it’s forbidden as they are both Scions (which would confuse the bloodlines), but Sel also has feelings for her. Clary is interested in Jace but they are led to believe that they are siblings (they aren’t), but Simon also has feelings for her.
- FMC is important to the war against demons. Bree is literally the King so everyone is supposed to answer to her, while Clary is a key role in stopping the war at every turn (stopping her father from wiping out Downworlders and severing the tie between Jace and Sebastian).
- Mages are descendants of demons. Shadowhunters one of their parents is a demon. Mages have animal characteristics and are sterile, but don’t have demonic tendencies (not to say all of them are good). While in Legendborn, mages are descendants of Merlin and demons, only manage not to slip into their demonic side due to Oaths made to the order.
I’ll try to avoid as many spoilers as possible in my review, though some will be necessary for context, particularly at the beginning of the book.
The shadows have risen, and the line is law.
All Bree wanted was to uncover the truth behind her mother’s death. So she infiltrated the Legendborn Order, a secret society descended from King Arthur’s knights—only to discover her own ancestral power. Now, Bree has become someone new:
A Medium. A Bloodcrafter. A Scion.
But the ancient war between demons and the Order is rising to a deadly peak. And Nick, the Legendborn boy Bree fell in love with, has been kidnapped.
Bree wants to fight, but the Regents who rule the Order won’t let her. To them, she is an unknown girl with unheard-of power, and as the living anchor for the spell that preserves the Legendborn cycle, she must be protected.
When the Regents reveal they will do whatever it takes to hide the war, Bree and her friends must go on the run to rescue Nick themselves. But enemies are everywhere, Bree’s powers are unpredictable and dangerous, and she can’t escape her growing attraction to Selwyn, the mage sworn to protect Nick until death.
If Bree has any hope of saving herself and the people she loves, she must learn to control her powers from the ancestors who wielded them first—without losing herself in the process.
- Published: November 8, 2022
- Page Count: 573 pages
- Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
Thoughts on Bloodmarked
Bloodmarked begins several weeks after the events of Legendborn. Bree has discovered that she is a medium (able to communicate with the dead) and Arthur’s descendant (something previously believed to belong to Nick Davis). Because of that discovery, as well as Nick’s disappearance, Bree has been ordered by the Order of the Round Table ruling body to stay put and do nothing until she can officially claim her title. Only Bree doesn’t want to be locked up all the time while Nick is missing. Which, to be honest, I don’t blame her for. She also can’t use her inheritance as Arthur’s Scion because no one is around to show her how. And no one will let her help in the fight against demons or in the search for Nick.
Given how racist the organization was when Bree was appointed as Nick’s Squire in the previous book, I knew something was going to go wrong. They weren’t going to let her become King of the Round Table easily. Especially since she possesses abilities in addition to those she inherited from Arthur. Abilities that were reported to the Regents by the other Scions, as well as in Bree’s own report after Tor informed the council. So, when Bree went through the rites of claiming her title, the council immediately drugged her and took her away to be interrogated before wiping her memory over and over for days. They also refused to acknowledge that her ancestor was raped, which is why she became Arthur’s Scion. Then they decided it was best if she lived the remainder of her days as a guinea pig in an institution while they enacted Plan B. Kill Nick to force the Scion of Lancelot to move on to another individual, one that they can control and claim as the Scion of Arthur to the rest of the Legendborn community. Given that they are covering up the entire ordeal and putting all of the blame on Sel.
He does not deserve any of this. It happened to his mother as well. She was blamed for Nick’s father’s actions, stripped of her title, and imprisoned. All Sel attempted to do was protect the chapter and Nick to the best of his ability. Sure, he assumed Bree was the mimic, not another member. But Bree could do things that others couldn’t, and she could tell when he was using magic. Not only that, but she was immune to Mesmer. If I were Sel, I would have suspected Bree as well. And, yes, he could have done other things, as he pointed out, but blaming him for everything that happened in the previous book is unfair. Especially since the Regents had no suspicions and planned to cover everything up.
So, Sel and Bree decide to try to save Nick after getting away from the Order. Many people think he is still Arthur’s Scion, and he is being chased on many fronts while his father keeps him in prison. They are joined by William, Alice, and several Legions who support the Scion of Arthur rather than the Order. Bree also agrees to train with Arthur on the condition that he gives her memories of his time with Lancelot so she can communicate with Nick. However, Sel changes his mind about Bree coming along to save Nick after there was an attempt on her life. But they don’t separate, instead, they decide to get Bree help with her rootcrafting abilities. And they run into a character we saw the birth of in the previous book, who is a cambion similar to Sel, during a memory walk. During their journey to Volition, where Bree can learn her rootcrafting without every demon noticing, Bree discovers that she’s been bloodmarked because her ancestor, Vera, struck a deal with the Great Devourer (the Hunter), who is after Bree, though no one knows what the price will be for Bree.
The relationship between Sel and Bree continues to evolve and I’m seriously hoping that they go down a polyamorous route between Sel, Nick, and Bree. She clearly cares for both of them and we know at one point in the past that Sel was interested romantically in Nick. Granted, I’m not sure how it’s going to play out between the three of them. There’s a scene during one of the memory walks through Arthur’s memories where the three of them are together, and it hints that it could be possible. As the two guys discuss how beautiful Bree is and that they both care for her.
However, a lot is uncertain about how things will go forward in the future. There were a few serious decisions made by characters that will play major roles in what’s to come for the rest of the series. Not just for the relationship between Bree, Nick, and Sel, but with the circle and the Shadow King. I can’t say I disagree with any or most of the decisions. One, I don’t see how that’s going to play out for the best, but there also wasn’t really a choice. Bree did what she had to do given the circumstances she was trapped in, and made the best decision she could make to help those she cared for. We’ll see how it plays out in the future.
Overall, I give Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn 4.5 out of 5 stars. Even though this took me a while to read, I seriously loved it.
My only wish was that Bree would get past the line of thinking that everything people do for her is only because she’s the Scion of Arthur. She kept thinking people were saving her life only because of that, not because they were saving her. Like they weren’t thinking of that fact, but Bree kept saying it to her friends which was a bit insulting. I get it’s been drilled into her head but come on give your friends more credit. They are on the run with you, rather than rescuing Nick or leaving you behind to do anything else. And I know Arthur and her ancestors didn’t help in that regard either. If anything, they made it worse by forcing Bree to follow their ideals and exceptions. It was only once she let those go, that she was able to figure things out for herself. However, I can’t help but wonder how things are going to play out in the next book. Trying not to give spoilers, as there were some massive twists at the end.
So, yeah I can’t wait for the next book in this series. It’s going to be a ride. I can guess that much out already.
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