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Curse of the Divine (Ink in the Blood…
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Curse of the Divine (Ink in the Blood Duology) (edició 2021)

de Kim Smejkal (Autor)

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404562,888 (3.33)Cap
Return to the world of inklings, tattoo magic, and evil deities as Celia uncovers the secrets of the ink in order to stop Diavala once and for all. This eagerly anticipated sequel to Ink in the Blood is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Wicked Saints. Celia Sand faced Diavala and won, using ink magic to destroy the corrupt religion of Profeta that tormented her for a decade. But winning came with a cost. Now Celia is plagued with guilt over her role in the death of her best friend. When she discovers that Diavala is still very much alive and threatening Griffin, the now-infamous plague doctor, Celia is desperate not to lose another person she loves to the deity's wrath.   The key to destroying Diavala may lie with Halcyon Ronnea, the only other person to have faced Diavala and survived. But Halcyon is dangerous and has secrets of his own, ones that involve the ink that Celia has come to hate. Forced to choose between the ink and Diavala, Celia will do whatever it takes to save Griffin--even if it means making a deal with the devil himself.… (més)
Membre:Rblueberry
Títol:Curse of the Divine (Ink in the Blood Duology)
Autors:Kim Smejkal (Autor)
Informació:ClarionBks (2021), 448 pages
Col·leccions:Kids Books, La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

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Curse of the Divine (Ink in the Blood Duology) de Kim Smejkal

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Es mostren totes 4
The first book in the Ink in the Blood duology was perfection, and after finishing the second book I hate to have to say it, but I feel like it would have been better as a stand-alone novel. In the first book we leave Celia standing over Anya’s body, having successfully taken down the controlling religion that gripped the nation, but her story continues when Diavala possesses the body of her beloved Plague Doctor, Griffin. If Celia was willing to take down Profeta for the good of everyone, you’d best believe she’s willing to fight tooth and nail to find a cure for Griffin and banish the demon-esque Diavala once and for all. To do so she goes in search of the fabled Halcyon, the only person to survive Diavala’s touch, but what she and Griffin find is definitely not as they expect. Like the stagecraft that wove through the first novel, Smejkal draws an even bigger stage upon which her players can act out their roles - but this time, it’s the entire town of Wisteria that’s being co-opted by a manipulating playwright with magical powers. Turning the story upside down more than once as the action plays out, Smejkal does an excellent job of building character and scenery throughout, but this second act doesn’t hit quite as successfully as the first does. Yes, we still have players on a stage, but a masked stage doesn’t hold the same intrigue and duality as the active Rabble Mob, and the visuals don’t spark quite the same way. Halcyon and Diavala’s true nature are definitely the selling point of the novel instead, and while the themes drawn out from here are intriguing they just don’t quite do it for me in the end. At least Celia and Griffin are left with a happy ending by the final pages, so we can see them off on their undoubtedly exciting next adventures. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Jul 31, 2022 |
DNF ( )
  SimplyKelina | Jan 19, 2022 |
With more ink on my skin than my husband, I am a sucker for fantasy books that revolve around magic tattoos. Granted, they haven’t been the greatest stories I have ever read, but that doesn’t stop me from reading them. Kim Smejkal’s Ink in the Blood rewarded me for my interest, so I was really looking forward to the story’s finale, Curse of the Divine. Sadly, everything I loved about the first book failed to impress me this time around.

What impressed me so much about the first novel was Ms. Smejkal’s critique of organized religion, her use of auras – visible to everyone – to identify gender fluidity, and the idea of magic tattoos. In Curse of the Divine, we get away from two of the three elements, and the story suffers. For one, Celia destroyed the existing organized religion in the first book, so there can be no criticism of it. Instead, Celia must deal with the one person who may be able to save her friends from a terrible fate, one that has nothing to do with religion. For me, dealing with someone who has delusions of grandeur is not as enjoyable as criticizing organized religion in any form.

At the same time, Curse of the Divine moves away from magic tattoos and instead focuses on the actual ink Celia used in the magic tattoos. Rather than sending secret messages, she learns that one can use the ink to manipulate the corporeal world. While impressive and more than a little foreboding, it is a much more serious consequence of using the ink. No matter how dark the first novel got, there was still a feeling of whimsy at the idea that Celia could use her ink to send messages to friends whenever she wanted. Now that Celia uses the ink to change the world around her, that whimsy disappears, making the story something entirely different and not, in my opinion, in a good way.

Plus, the origins of the ink, something we find out in the novel, are disappointing. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but I was expecting something much more earth-shattering than the information we obtain. It is a bit as if Ms. Smejkal used all her allotted creativity for the first story and had to rely on old standby explanations for the sequel.

Thankfully, Ms. Smejkal does still include gender-identifying auras and their infinite nuances. In fact, Celia ruminates on the beauty of gender fluidity and the freedom to change whenever you desire. She describes the auras as something so beautiful, it makes me wish they were real. Not only would it end the confusion over designated gender versus biological sex, but it would also remind people that we are beautiful no matter how we express ourselves.

I find that Curse of the Divine is four hundred pages of Celia dealing with the trauma she faced at the end of the first book followed by fifty pages of acceptance, forgiveness, and understanding so that Celia can obtain closure. While that closure is satisfying in its way, the journey to get there is less creative than in the first novel. There is less bite, less social critique, and a whole lot more hand-wringing, something I never thought I would see in Celia’s character. ( )
  jmchshannon | Mar 4, 2021 |
"There's a hint of madness in the air."
This line sets the whole tone for this book perfectly.
I felt like I was thrust further into a wonderfully fantastical world and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it!

Ink in the Blood just scratched the surface of the fantasy world Kim Smejkal has created. Curse of the Divine dives in deeper, giving the world and each character more complexity. I really loved the interlude chapters, getting those inner thoughts of Griffin was my favorite part...aside from being introduced to Xinto, that is :)

This story felt completely different than the first book...like you're on the same track to your intended destination, but hopped on a different train to get there. It was a perfect conclusion and wrapped up many questions I had lingering after reading Ink in the Blood. And I just might've teared up at the end...just maybe.

Loved it, loved it...definitely recommend!

HUGE thank you to HMHTeen for mailing me an ARC to enjoy and honestly review. ( )
  Lea.Pearl | Feb 1, 2021 |
Es mostren totes 4
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Return to the world of inklings, tattoo magic, and evil deities as Celia uncovers the secrets of the ink in order to stop Diavala once and for all. This eagerly anticipated sequel to Ink in the Blood is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Wicked Saints. Celia Sand faced Diavala and won, using ink magic to destroy the corrupt religion of Profeta that tormented her for a decade. But winning came with a cost. Now Celia is plagued with guilt over her role in the death of her best friend. When she discovers that Diavala is still very much alive and threatening Griffin, the now-infamous plague doctor, Celia is desperate not to lose another person she loves to the deity's wrath.   The key to destroying Diavala may lie with Halcyon Ronnea, the only other person to have faced Diavala and survived. But Halcyon is dangerous and has secrets of his own, ones that involve the ink that Celia has come to hate. Forced to choose between the ink and Diavala, Celia will do whatever it takes to save Griffin--even if it means making a deal with the devil himself.

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