The Blood Keeper

2012. 422p. 978-0-37586-734-7.
Gr 9 Up–This somewhat ponderous companion to Blood Magic (Random, 2011) only glancingly involves the romantic couple of the first book, but it shares the same blood-sacrifice-without-vampires witchcraft, this time on the Kansas prairie land protected by its leader. Mab, daughter of the villain in the first book, is assuming her duties as Deacon, magical head of the blood witch family, after the death of Arthur, her mentor and surrogate father, who raised her as his “little queen.” When Mab creates a magical creature imbued with the hostile spirit of a rose garden she was meant to destroy, the animated mud-man crashes into Will and his two dogs, bringing the two teens into a romance and a battle to win Will’s health and freedom from the evil curse that has befallen him. Combed among the strands of a boy-girl dual-point-of-view story is yet a third: the account of Evelyn, a woman who sought blood magic sanctuary and eventually love with Arthur several decades before. Eventually, the significant link between the two women’s stories comes into focus. Meanwhile, all manner of romanticized bloodletting, essential to the working of this magic, seems to glorify self-inflicted wounds. That said, the world could still be a rich one for patient readers of supernatural romance who prefer witches who must use blood and the earth, not wands, to work spells, more Wicca than Hogwarts. Characterization mostly works, but the narrative drags a bit until the last quarter. Its bloody spell may still bind readers old and new.–Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA
Mab, a young witch stepping forward to sustain family traditions, and Will, a boy resisting familial pressure to go into the military, develop an unexpected relationship as they fight together to break an old curse forged in both betrayal and love. Gratton's mesh of contemporary reality and magic brewed in herbal teas and blood tattoos is simultaneously odd, gory, original, and interesting.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing