Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Blood & Ink
SERIES: Ink Born #2
AUTHOR: Holly Evans
PUBLISHER: Chaos Fox
LENGTH: 179 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 5, 2017
It turns out that saving the day comes at a cost. In this case, my home in Wildrun. Oh, and my freedom.
Keirn called in a few favours with his friend, Fein. In return for a new life and some help hiding the fact that I’m an ink magician, we belong to the elf that runs half of Prague. Some rumours say he runs half the continent.
There’s an art thief in town, and Fein’s decided it’s my job to find and stop them. I didn’t dare point out that I’m a tattoo magician, not a detective.
The real problem is, I’m terrified that this is a slippery slope, and I don’t like where it’s going.
After their narrow escape from the Council, Dacian and his friends have now settled in Prague and are living, and working, at the behest of Fein, a friend of Keirn that helped to get them out of Wildrun. Living under the umbrella of Fein’s protection comes with conditions, however, and after only a few weeks, Dacian is feeling the lack of freedom like an itch he can’t scratch. Waiting for Isa to come and join him is the one thing keeping him going but unexpected news from home sends Dacian into a bit of a tailspin and the resulting depression threatens not only his livelihood but the peace he and his friends have finally managed to find. Pressure from Fein, bad news for Keirn and a series of art thefts that hit a little close to home are all adding to the powder keg currently building up around Dacian and if he isn’t careful, he won’t be the only one getting hurt when it all blows up in his face.
After how much I enjoyed the first book in this series, I was really looking forward to getting into this one. This latest story had a lot going for it, and I liked it quite a bit, but I have to say that it didn’t suck me in like the last book. The first forty percent or so of the book moved a little slower and was a little harder to get into as a result. Now, there was some great character building going on here with Keirn that I enjoyed a lot; you don’t get a lot of background information about him in the previous book so I loved seeing that here. That I have absolutely no complaints about but the main storyline dealing with the art thefts didn’t really move forward until about half of the book was over even though they’d been mentioned several times by that point. I remember thinking that the book seemed more about Dacian and Keirn reconnecting than anything else until suddenly Dacian is being thrust in the middle of the theft investigation.
Despite how long it took to actually get the plot going, the last half of the book was great; I loved seeing Dacian and Keirn spending more time together, especially since they had been friends for so long, and at this point you finally get to see two of the newest characters in action. There are also some revelations about Dacian and his connection to the ink network that I’m still working through but that should lead to some interesting conversations with Dacian’s father in the future. Overall I enjoyed the book though it wasn’t as action filled as the previous one. If you enjoy urban fantasy, I’d recommend checking this one out but the series is best read in order so start with Ink Born first if you haven’t already read it.