Blood Like Fate

Written by Liselle Sambury
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster) 

A book review by Olivia (15)

Blood Like Fate

Reading this book was a thrilling whirlwind to experience as a reader. Seeing the tension and nail-biting drama unfold, my only option was to keep turning those pages.

Hi Olivia! Can you tell us what this book is about?

Blood Like Fate, written by Liselle Sambury, is the thrilling and well anticipated sequel to its preceder, Blood Like Magic. Picking up from the shocking and impactful ending of the first book, the protagonist Voya Thomas is back as the newly crowned teen Thomas Matriarch. In a world where the Matriarch of the family is responsible for the safety of her family, making hard decisions, and keeping their magical heritage secret from the rest of the non-magical world, Voya struggles to live up to the high expectations set out for her. Before she can settle into her new role, a terrifying vision is revealed that shows the perishing of the Thomas family that leaves her with more questions than answers. As Voya struggles to earn the trust of her family and the Black witch community, she tries to bring the broken community together as one to fight the danger that is imminent. What she doesn’t expect is the ties that slowly bring her back to the boy she had hoped to leave behind in her past, Luc. While shocking truths behind the vision are revealed and chaos breaks out all around her, Voya learns that her enemies may be closer to her than she thought…

What do you like about this book?

In this book full of tension, mystery and drama, it would be crazy for me not to mention what I love about it. Firstly, the diversity amongst the characters was extremely well depicted, enlightening and representative of real life. There are many strong BIPOC, 2SLGTBQ+, and female characters with personal beliefs, flaws, and strengths, just like how it is in real life. As this book takes place in Toronto in the year 2049, the difficulties that these characters face in the forms of racism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism to this day are taken seriously and educate the reader on how these communities have been and still are negatively impacted. Another thing that was amazing about this book was the magic system. Stereotypically, magic is portrayed as “good” or “evil”, but in Voya’s world, it is simply “blood and intent”. It is a force that can be used for good or evil, but it does not define it like it has been so commonly in the past. I was astounded by the fascinating world and Matriarch system that has been so masterfully crafted, and the second book lives up the world that had been previously introduced in the first book, delving deeper into this magical world so you could almost believe it’s real. The last thing I will mention that I love about this magical sequel (my list could go on but I only have so much time) is the plot twists. Just when I thought I had it figured out, the rug was pulled out from under my feet as jaw dropping twists began to show themselves. The thing I especially enjoyed about these massive plot twists is that if I were to read the book again, I would be able to see the small bits of evidence left behind that hinted at what was to come, making them ingeniously discreet. Reading this book was a thrilling whirlwind to experience as a reader. Seeing the tension and nail-biting drama unfold, my only option was to keep turning those pages.

What do you like about the main character?

Voya Thomas as the main character is a huge reason why the book was so exciting to read. As a strong Black woman learning where she belongs in her world, she also struggles with the responsibilities of being a Matriarch at such a young age. Her torment between being an insecure teen girl that is trying to figure out who she is and being a mature, confident, strong, and powerful leader is fascinating to read. The aspect of her that is sensitive, insecure, thoughtful, and kind, and her hobby of cooking is what makes her relatable, especially to teens who go through the same conflicts and emotions that she does. Simultaneously, the part of her that is powerful, confident, and mature sets a role model for everyone reading, and demonstrates that you can be who you dream of being just by trusting yourself. Another thing I love about Voya is her loyalty to her family. Despite all the challenges she faces (such as being accepted by her community as a leader), she always looks to protect and care for her family with all of her heart. Her actions and love for her family no matter the troubles they go through really makes one realize how important family is.

What important messages/themes are present in the story and why would this appeal to a young adult reader?

There are some very insightful messages and themes in this book, and it is worth mentioning them. Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the general message that is especially prominent in Voya’s character development, and that is trusting yourself. As a person, she is indecisive and spends a lot of time worrying if she is doing things correctly, but she discovers that if she trusts herself, she can accomplish great things. Setting aside your doubts and fears will help you achieve greater things in the long run. This message is important to teens and young adults since those times of self doubt and discovery are when you truly begin to make your own path in the world, just like Voya. There is also an underlying message of the true love and magic of a family. In this novel, the idea of what family means is explored to its deepest depths, and Voya learns that no matter how tough things are, having a supportive, loving family is the strongest power in the world. Whether this family is of blood or not, they will always have your back. I believe that this message is especially important to teens and young adults, since they are reaching the age where they slowly begin to move away from their family and discover what is out there, and sometimes the true value of family can go underappreciated.

Who would you recommend this book to?

I would recommend this emotional, drama packed book to young teens who love magic. Not only is the magic aspect a central point of the storyline, but the world that Liselle Sambury has built is from a truly refreshing perspective that is entirely unique to itself. Readers will appreciate the positive representation of female, BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ characters, free of harmful stereotypes often found in fictional literature.  People who crave a set of three dimensional, solid characters will love this book as well.  Voya’s family is so unique and special in their own way, as well as members of other Black witch families and even those from outside the magical world. Each has their own set of personal flaws and strengths, and with such a wonderful handful of characters, they are all exciting to explore and relate to. In conclusion, this book was a joy to read, and I hope that others enjoyed it as much as I did!

If you could ask the author a question, what would it be?

A question I would ask the talented author (Liselle Sambury) is…How was this intricate magic system created? What/who inspired it?

Olivia, Book Reviewer

Scroll to Top