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The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals) by…

The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals)

by Tessa Gratton

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I liked the way this book was written, there was an ease to it and the POV changes worked great. It was also so easy to follow.

The book has 3 POVS. First Mab who is a blood witch and lives on a farm, working with curses and blood. Not your ordinary teen. Then there is Will, a local boy she meets and who ends up involved with it all. And yes romance interest too. Lastly, there is Evelyn who came to the farm long ago. Her POV is not around much as it is in the past, but it's important to the plot. Why I did not know before way into the book. It was a nice little mystery. The one thing I did not like with her POV was that it was in italics, ugh, not fun to read. Luckily she gets a page here and there. And when the shift occurs you get to read the name of the POV. Always good.

I do not want to spoil the whole plot but Will and Mab meet. She is the new leader for her kind. She is a free spirit, connected to nature and I liked her. Will was a good guy too.

There is some suspense as things are going on. A bit of a mystery and chilling spells. Magic is not always kind ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
Anyone with a tendency toward hemophobia should not read Tessa Gratton’s The Blood Keeper. You will not make it through. Almost from the first page, the novel’s heroine, Mab Prowd is cutting open fingers and wrists, bleeding into bowls, and mixing it up with other ingredients to connect to the earth and work her blood magic. I often felt like I was trying to read the book between my fingers, but it’s an absorbing read, and slight squeamishness aside, I wanted to keep going.

Mab Prowd is seventeen when she inherits the title of The Deacon (a magical keeper of the land, one who contains curses, and maintains a safe place for all the other blood witches scattered across the United States) from her Uncle Arthur who after hundreds of years as the Deacon has decided to move on. As a last request he asks her to destroy rose bushes planted in the garden. Unfortunately he neglects to explain the meaning behind this odd assignment, and Mab takes it upon herself to explore their power and essence before doing as he asks. She channels the energy of the roses into a creature she fashions out of mud and animal hearts. This turns out to be a big mistake – especially when her creation crosses paths with Will Sanger, a boy from the local high school who is struggling to define his own life choices at the time.

I liked The Blood Keeper a lot. Gratton can run long with her descriptiveness, making for some issues with pacing, but that was outweighed in the balance by strong, well-developed characters, solid mythology and details of the dark rituals comprising blood magic, and good story-telling. Point of view alternates between Mab, Will and a former resident of the blood land which slowly proves to have bearing on unfolding events.

The Blood Keeper is essentially the story of a lonely girl growing up on an isolated Kansas farm, weighted by the responsibility of inheritance and separated from people her own age. While she meets Will because of the danger she has exposed him to, they both need each other. Mab’s strength of character is sometimes to her detriment when she leaps before considering all of the possibilities, and she could benefit fun and the company of other teens. Will finds just as much comfort in her, as he tries to break away from the demands and traditions of his family in light of the unsettling death of his brother. Will was probably my favorite character in the book – his simple openness and trust, desire to do the right thing and his love for his dogs, made him very appealing and the romance very sweet. History, horror, romance and magic coincide for a compelling escapist read. Recommended. ( )
  daniellnic | Sep 25, 2013 |
This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: On it's own, this cover might have been ok. The imagery is nice, the colors work well together and the runes invite further examination. But when compared with the cover for its predecessor, it is less than impressive. I do not like it when the covers of a series do not fit with each other and this certainly does not fit with the gloriously gothic and unique cover for Blood Magic.

The Gist: Mab Prowd has been raised to be the Deacon of her family's blood land. Magic to her is as natural as breathing and she has dedicated her life to the practice. When she stumbles across Will Sanger and inadvertently allows him a glimpse into this world, Will finds both beauty and terror and Mab finds herself embroiled in the fight of her life.

Review: During the first half of The Blood Keeper I was disinterested but I couldn't quite pin down why. The characters were ok, the writing was ok, the premise was ok. As I continued, the fact that I neither loved nor hated ANYTHING got to be more and more annoying. When I read Blood Magic, I was a little underwhelmed, but I gave points for originality and willingness to be a little more dark and delve into the nitty gritty of sacrifice in exchange for power. However, with the second book in the series, these things are simply not enough. This time, I expected strong characters, an exciting plot and some serious magic. I did not get these things.

The Blood Keeper does not follow the same characters as Blood Magic. Instead, we meet Mab - a child raised to be keeper of the land and master of magic and Will - a regular kid from a nearby town. That's right, that is all I have to say about Will. There is really nothing special about him that I could see and the time spent developing his family drama bored me to tears. His family is suffering from the loss of their middle son to a car crash and the return of their oldest from Afghanistan. This is the perfect backdrop for some moving scenes and serious character development. However, that is not what we get. Instead we have to suffer through Will's whining about how everyone wants him to join the Marines and his incredibly tame arguments with his parents. Mab is only slightly more interesting, though she spends an inordinate amount of time discussing her love for the land and mooning over Will. I did enjoy her quirkiness and lack of concern with how she is viewed by the more mainstream families (and teens) in town.

While this is not exactly a sequel to Blood Magic, I would have appreciated some re-cap so that I could remember who the other characters were (they appeared as minor characters, popping in and out of the story). As it was, I actually went back and re-read the last few chapters of Blood Magic and found that that helped me re-orient myself. The narration switches between Mab, Will and Evelyn. Evelyn's story is told through letters to Arthur, the former Deacon, and the change in narration style is a little jarring. For their part, Will and Mab blended a little too well. If I was away from the book for a time, it was difficult to tell who was speaking without going back to the beginning of the narration change.

The plot seemed to be split between three problems 1) The repercussions from Will's encounter with Mab's spell 2) Will's issues regarding his parent's desire for him to join the marines and 3) Lucas' curse from his father. Both 1 and 2 seem to be resolved by the end of the book but 3 simply got a band-aid solution. It bothered me that there wasn't further momentum on this issue, but perhaps it will be further explored in a third book? I also felt that the plot seemed to get bogged down in ridiculously long magical preparation, from planning, to gathering ingredients, to prepping the area - only to culminate in a lackluster spell with very little in the way of excitement.

By the end of this book, I found myself skimming the pages. I cared enough about the characters that I wanted to see what happened to them, but not nearly enough to put up with pages and pages of Gratton's flowery prose. The Blood Keeper did not provide the emotional or entertainment pay-off that I was expecting and I do not think I will hang in there for a third in the series.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

Age: 15 and up
Gender: Female
Sex: Kissing
Violence: Bloodletting, Knifeplay, Poisoning, Violence towards animals
Inappropriate Language: Dick, FUBAR, Bullshit, Bitch, Douchebag, Shit
Substance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking ( )
  ZabetReading | Mar 31, 2013 |
Mab, in the course of discovering and then ending an old curse centered in a bed of roses on family blood land, involves Will. A page turner but recommend for older teens as quite a few drops of blood are required for all the spells, potions and just in general. ( )
  SparklePonies | Feb 15, 2013 |
The practice of blood magic is like Mab Prowd was meant to do it. She's good at it, and she knows it. She is quite lonely, but then she does live on an isolated farm in Kansas. Not that she lets this faze her. She'd rather concentrate on what she does best. She is very connected to the land and is able to practice whenever she wants, with only the crows nearby. One day, when she's practicing a spell, a local boy called Will interrupts by getting unintentionally involved. Mab then has no choice but to help Will, who learns about this blood magic for the first time. Corrupted inside by his inner demons, Mab is by his side to help him in every way possible, and they end up being there for each other. A dark character returns from being imprisoned, and Mab feels that in her every power she should help. For poor Will is involved, who Mab has learned to love. With Mab's magic and the help of the crows, can she free Will from evil clutches?

This book is the second from the 'Blood Magic' series. However, only the characters from the first book have minor parts in this story. The book is written from two points of view: Mab's and Will's. It also includes small chapters of a character's words from the past.
I liked Mab's character in this book because she is a very strong person and sets straight to the task at hand. It's nice that you get a strong heroine leading the story, rather than a weak one. Will has demons in his past. He lost one of his brothers, and his father and older brother want him to follow in their footsteps. I admire his courage and for sticking up for his beliefs and what he wants to do in his life.
The ending of this book was quite nice. Having sorted everything, the mood within the characters is calm.
The storyline for this book is different from most. It's the first ever book I have read with this sort of theme evolving around blood magic. I wouldn't say I thought it was amazing, and that was the reason I gave it four stars. If you are interested in magic and hidden curses, then I recommend you buy it.
Overall it's a good book, and if you purchase it, I hope you enjoy it.
Happy reading =) ( )
  kitkat1242 | Dec 16, 2012 |
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"Teenager Mab Prowd is perfectly content to practice blood magic on the secluded Kansas farm when she's lived all her life until one of her spells taps into a powerful, long-dormant curse and she finds her magic spinning out of control" --

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