Book Review: The Blood Keeper

The Blood Keeper
Published By: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Page Count: 432
Source: Gift from Paula, another Lark
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy/Paranormal

Blood Magic was one of my favorite 2011 reads so I had high expectations for this one. Tessa Gratton's writing is some of the most visual, gorgeous prose out there and her blood witches are compelling and creepy. The Blood Keeper followed through with beautiful writing and a new set of characters to keep me intrigued. I was slightly saddened that although Nick and Silla make brief appearances throughout this one - this is not their story. I had hoped for a direct sequel, but this book could function as a stand alone.

One of my biggest complaints about this book is that it took me awhile to settle into it. I kept putting it down and walking away from it. Typically when I am enthralled in a book, I don't have that option. I'm compelled to keep turning the pages and immersing myself deeper into the fictional world. I can't quite put my finger on why this one didn't appeal to me at first, but I knew that if I stuck with it that I would be rewarded. From the middle to the end, I couldn't put this book down. It's well worth the tedium of the beginning. After finishing the book and reflecting on it, I understand why the beginning needed to be structured the way it was, but it was still a lot of information to sort through and make sense of - hence why I needed breaks - my mind was just on overload.

In spite of the beginning slump, I quickly realized how gorgeous this story was. There is so much symbolism behind the rose garden. I loved the story from the love letter that was woven into the thread of the present. It was by far one of my favorite things about this novel.

In addition to the roses and the letter, I really loved the relationship between Will and Mab. I grew to love both of these characters and by the end they were right up there with Nick and Silla for me. There are so many moments in this one that made my heart race or skip a beat. The romance is a perfect way to offset the tension that flows throughout the storyline.

Furthermore, I also enjoyed the relationship between Will and his brother, Ben. It was interesting to watch it play out as the fantasy elements were introduced. The concept of trust is something that dominates their interactions and I enjoyed watching their reactions as that bond was tested multiple times.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book, but it didn't capture me from start to finish like Blood Magic did. The creativity, romance, and magic kept me rooted in this world - even in some of the slower parts. I highly recommend this to all fans of the first novel and those who enjoy a paranormal romance that can give you an adrenaline spike. Tessa Gratton is one of my favorite YA authors and I can't wait to see what she'll write next.

One Last Gripe: It bothered me that I never got solid answers about the nature of Aaron's accident - I felt like I was missing something

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The story about the roses

First Sentence: This is a love letter.

Favorite Character: Mab

Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one

Paranormal romance fans who are looking to up the ante will be drawn to this tale of horror, fantasy, and romance.

 For Mab Prowd, the practice of blood magic is as natural as breathing. It's all she's ever known. Growing up on an isolated farm in Kansas with other practitioners may have kept her from making friends her own age, but it has also given her a sense of purpose—she's connected to the land and protective of the magic. And she is able to practice it proudly and happily out in the open with only the crows as her companions. Mab will do anything to keep the ancient practice alive and guard its secrets. But one morning while she is working out a particularly tricky spell she encounters Will, a local boy who is trying to exorcise some mundane personal demons. He experiences Mab's magic in a way his mind cannot comprehend and is all too happy to end their chance meeting. But secrets that were kept from Mab by the earlier generations of blood magicians have come home to roost. And she and Will are drawn back together, time again by this dangerous force looking to break free from the earth and reclaim its own dark power.


  1. I've been wanting to read Blood Magic for forever!! Now I've got another one to add to my list! Thanks Andrea! ;) Great review, btw!

    1. I love Tessa's writing and her world. This is a series you will adore.

  2. Awww- thanks for the cred :)
    And thanks for a great review; I haven't gotten to read my copy yet. Now I know I want to get to it soon. :)

    1. You totally deserve the cred. It was one of the best presents I have ever received!

      I also know you'll love this one. The back story from the letter was my favorite aspect and I think it will appeal to you as well.


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