Ink in the Blood (Ink in The Blood #1) by Kim Smejkal #bookreview #YA #fantasy #LGBT

Title: Ink in the Blood

Author: Kim Smejkal

Publisher:  Clarion Books

Publication Date: February 11, 2020

Page Count:  454

My rating: 2 1/2 stars

About the book:

A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.
To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all–Profeta itself.

Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal is the first book of the young adult fantasy series by the same name, Ink in the Blood. Being a continuing fantasy series the books of course should be read in order to be best understood as the story will continue on in the second book.

Celia and her best friend, Anya, have spent ten years in servitude at Profeta. Celia and Anya are what are known as inklings, they give religious tattoos full of magic in the name of Profeta. Now Celia and Anya see a way out and are auditioning to join a traveling troupe of performers known as the Rabble Mob.  Celia and Anya want to use their abilities as inklings to gain a place among the performers.

Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal for me was another fantasy novel that got off to a very very slow start. Of course pacing is always the biggest factor that brings fantasy stories down for me so the slow start put this one on a unsteady foot before it really began. The story did pick up a bit as it went on and it did make me curious as to what would happen enough to finish this first book. However, I do believe I will pass on continuing this series with this first coming in at two and a half stars for me. I do seem to be in the minority again as I see a lot of others loving this one.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon*

About the author:

Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Follow her online at and on Twitter and Instagram at @kimsmejkal.

*This is an Amazon affiliate link which will allow me as an associate to earn a small commission on any purchase made through the link of the products I share. That commission in no way changes the pricing of any items for the buyer.

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