The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Blurb from Goodreads: 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.
I was pretty surprised to see that this book focused on new characters, but I ended up enjoying this one even more than Blood Magic. I liked Will much better than Nick, from the last book, and liked Mab as much as Silla. She is such a unique, brave character, and I loved reading about her and her connection to magic.
I think my favorite thing about this book is that Tessa Gratton doesn't take the easy way out at the end of the book. It makes the story so much more real when sacrifices have to be made. I can't stand books that have endings where every single thing works out perfectly, or solved with a deus ex machina, or the conflict is resolved with "Oh, never mind then." (cough TWILIGHT cough.)
The one thing I thought could have been better is a little more recap on blood magic. Like "binding" for instance. That came up a lot, and I was like "Ok, now why are they doing this? What is it accomplishing exactly?" And I don't think it was because I read the first book too long ago, because I just read it last week haha. But I think because Mab was so accomplished at using magic, the author glossed over some of the more basic things about it, unlike the last book where we were learning about it along with Silla.