Cover Image: The Blood Trials

The Blood Trials

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Member Reviews

I forgot to leave a review for this, but I really enjoyed it! It's been out for ages, so I won't say much more than I need to for my star rating. <3

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This book was filled with a unique world filled with brutality, curses, blood magic and more. It was a mixture of a fantasy world and the violence and weapons that we live with in today's society. The overarching themes of racism and misogyny did not feel over used and tired out but brought to the surface in a unique way I have not seen done yet. Ikenna's character was witty and enjoyable to read despite the all the trials she went through.

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I still have no idea when I'll be able to read this book as I didn't get to it before it archived and my library refused to order a copy apparently.
Maybe someday and I'll come update this.

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This book surprised me! I expected a formulaic plot and a predictable heroine and I was let down. And I couldn't be more ecstatic! The heroine is determined and intelligent and a badass but she also has morally gray attributes which makes her more realistic, in my opinion. The action is almost nonstop and can get very gruesome so if you're squimish just read with caution. The Romance is a slow burn and not the main focal point of the plot which I loved. Davenport gives just enough angst and lust to keep you on hooked and on the edge of your seat. I had a hard time putting the book down and after I was done it stuck with me. This is what I look for in a good fantasy.

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Fantastic book with an excellent world! I really enjoyed the writing and how easily and vividly I could picture everything. Looking forward to reading more.

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It’s not quite my jam. I was hoping it would keep my interest, it definitely has a murder mystery. That’s intriguing.

But in the end, it’s very much sci-fi, military mystery. Just not mine cup of tea.

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This book was so good. Just when you thought that you knew where it was going boom, another twist & betrayal. I see the comparisons to Red Rising because both books deal with prejudice & vows of revenge. Please understand that they are not the same book but have only those two similarities.

Ikenna is a soldier who is grieving the loss of her only family member, her grandfather. Her grandfather had a high position in the military. She finds out that he was assassinated & thus begins her own investigation to find out the who & why.

If you love political Shenanigans & devious plots, then this book will fulfill that order for you. I can't wait for the next & final book in the duology.

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I feel like we have been needing more stories like this. The Blood Trials was so refreshing for me. I've been so excited that we've been getting more of these kinds of scifi and fantasy stories, and I love getting to see these kind of complexities in black girl main characters. I loved Ikenna because she was fierce, capable, angry, righteous but she was just as paranoid, and afraid, and bitter. She's had to fight so hard against a system and world set again her because her skin, her gender, and her heritage. She's so well written, and she set the tone of the whole book for me. I loved the book as a whole, but I really love Ikenna especially.

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The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport is a refreshing story led by Ikenna, the incredibly strong and determined main character who's desire for revenge burns like a wildfire. The world building paints a detailed look into a world that is determined to hold Ikenna back. As the story progresses you find yourself waiting for the next challenge that Ikenna will defeat or subvert. This is a story that spares no one and pushes it's characters to the very limit.

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I liked this book quite a bit. Many of the YA/New Adult staples are here--family member to avenge, trials to the death, love interest that's a bit of a jerk--but the way Davenport moves and sets these pieces is what makes it interesting. I look forward to reading the sequel someday soon!

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.

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I've personally added this to my new adult library despite it being YA.. This was a very strong debut in an sifi world. It's full of rightfully placed rage....

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3.5 stars rounded up

Ikenna was a fantastic heroine - fierce, capable, angry, righteous but also paranoid, afraid, and bitter - fighting against a system determined to squash her excellence and competence (because of the color of her skin, her gender, and her heritage). She’s brash and she knows it, lashing out against the privileged men who benefit most from the system that wants to crush her, blowing up when no one listens to her even when she’s right but also refusing to kowtow to their egos.

However, the pacing wasn’t great and it felt like we didn’t really get to know the side characters very well. There’s a section where the moon (?) makes Ikenna act against her best interests, but that’s never examined or discussed at a later date. I think we (and Ikenna herself) don’t know enough about how the Blood Gift works, what the gods/pantheon does, and other worldbuilding things. There also weren’t enough external consequences for her using her secret forbidden magic; the only real negative impact is all a mental game of her own making, so it felt kind of like “then why was she working so hard to hide it?”

I loved the last ~20% though. That’s where we got to see more of the larger world and the political consequences for the things we already hates Mareen for because of the prejudice Ikenna faced throughout the story. It was just so fast and so sudden (and then broken up by a really long and rather repetitive argument?); I would have much rather seen all that sooner.

Then again, murder competitions aren’t really one of my favorite tropes, so I was kind of predisposed against the trials plot line…

However, I am HYPE for book two. We have our team of misfits, we have our impossible goal, we have our political backdrop, we have a promise of an expanded map… I’m ready.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



This book absolutely destroyed me but in the best way possible if that makes any sense... I could not put this book down.

Ikenna is such an absolutely AMAZING main character, and I can't wait to continue with this duology.

I finished this book a few months ago (sorry for the late review...) but I still remember almost every detail of this book which is amazing because I usually forget details about some books as soon as I finish them... If that doesn't prove just how amazing and memorable this book is I don't know what else will.

If you have not read this book yet I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. Please go read this book! You won't regret it.

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Thank you Avon and Harper Voyage, and Netgalley for letting me read and review this book. This is a fantasy and sci-fi book that is about Ikenna, who is a young Black woman that goes through trials to become an elite warrior. The trials are deadly, especially since it is a racist and misogynistic society.

I liked following Ikenna. She is strong, brave, and intelligent. Davenport has a great writing style, and paints the world so beautifully. I think the book could have been a bit shorter, but overall it was intriguing and action packed.

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This book was on the 'harder to finish' side. I really enjoyed the book but there were some points where I just stopped reading, lost interest, and then had to get back into the story. This wasn't a 'finished in one sitting' book. But writing this review now, I did like the book. I'm not sure why I kept stopping and starting. I would read from this author again. This book had really detailed world-building, it was exciting, and I would dive into this world again.

One reason I think I might have kept starting and stopping was because I didn't truly connect with any of the characters. It felt very much 3rd person, I'm watching this all happen, but not truly emotionally invested. I'm not sure if it's because I was so involved in the world-building that I lost the character connection? Still a mystery to me, but I would read this book again. I'm curious to know if it was me or if it was the writing.

Overall: 4/5

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One of the best science-fiction reads of 2022! Once N.E. Davenport paints the immaculate picture of the planet of Iludu, I did not want to leave. Ikenna's gift, her love for her grandfather, her loyalty to Seline and Zayne, and her half-Khanaian heritage plays a part in how she approaches the investigation and revenge of her grandfather's death.

Although Ikenna's attitude made my eyes roll numerous times, I admired her combat training and grit. She literally must go through trials and tribulations to find out the true reason as to why her grandfather was assassinated. Can't wait for the sequel to this page turner!

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Fast paced and character driven, I immediately fell in love with N.E. Davenport's writing.

Kenna is completing life-or-death trials to become an elite warrior, but she's also doing it to get answers and justice. All while holding some very BIG secrets and enduring leaders who wish her dead simply for who she is.

Bonus points for badass fight scenes and powerful worldbuilding.

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Holy hell, that was so freaking good !

Honestly, books like The Blood Trials are exactly why I love reading so much. It truly had so much going for it: a main character you truly root and feel for, high stakes with action that never seems to slow down but also never feels too overwhelming, a story that leaves you never wanting it to end but desperate to see how it all concludes. Truly, the sci-fi fantasy action book my heart begged for.

There were so many twists and turns... so many shocking deaths and betrayals... and in the end all I wanted to do was give our heroine Ikenna a big hug and tell her to kill them all. This is a story about revenge, about loss, about the will of one woman who refuses to give up or yield to a world that hates her - and I couldn't get enough of it. I need the sequel like I need oxygen that is how hyped I am to see this story continue and conclude.

Bravo, N.E. Davenport. Do yourself a favor and pick up this fantastic, brutal book.

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While it was a bit long The Blood Trials was gripping. I’ve historically struggled with euro-centric fantasy so getting a fantasy novel that mimics some of the race struggles of America while also pulling in African influences was a breath of fresh air. I also loved the overlay of science fiction in the story and how it helped progress the plot and character development. Can’t wait for the sequel!

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