HMH. (Bloodleaf Trilogy). Jun. 2020. 368p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781328496317.
Gr 9 Up–Following the dramatic events of Bloodleaf, Aurelia, the Princess of Renalt, is without her fiancé and unable to use her blood magic. Hiding at a tavern where she gambles for money and supplies, she returns to Greythorne Manor to wish her brother luck for his coronation, only to discover that the Tribunal’s sinister plot to take over the throne has worsened in unimaginable ways. Aurelia, with the help of her constant protector, Kellen, and a band of engaging and unique secondary characters, launches a quest to stop the evil plot, unearthing major twists along the way. Smith has created a world full of intricate magical properties and rules where nothing is as it seems and the game is constantly changing. There are some time-travel aspects that can get dicey, but readers will surrender disbelief and be pulled to the edge of their seats. The stakes are high and all will be rooting to see if their favorite characters make it through alive. Heavy plotting, violence, death, and one brief sexual encounter make this appropriate for an older audience.
VERDICT A sequel that has a somewhat confusing beginning but becomes abruptly awesome. A worthy addition to any fantasy collection.

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