Title: Of the Blood
Author: Cameo Renae
Series: Heir of Blood and Fire
Page Length: 432
Publication Date: May 14, 2020
Synopsis: One malicious prince. Two rival kingdoms. And an innocent girl caught in the crossfire.
Raised in a war-ravaged continent, temptation comes to Calla Caldwell in the form of a charming and mysterious stranger. Giving in to his intimate seduction, her world is forever changed by a single bite.
Calla quickly learns the handsome stranger is vampire prince, Trystan Vladu. His bite was an attempt to claim and save her from a plot of vengeance generations in the making. However, the claws of that ancient vendetta are scraping ever closer.
Thrust into a new nightmare by the Prince of the corrupt kingdom of Morbeth, Calla is captured, tortured, and starved in the dank confines of his dungeon. While in captivity, she takes part in a séance with a witch of light where she contacts a departed relative—a Princess of Incendia—who bequeaths a gift to Calla that will tip the scales of good and evil . . . if she can learn to harness it.
With a dark tapestry of secrets, lies, and murder unraveling around her, Calla must learn to embrace the power roiling through her veins, or be snuffed out by the strangling fist of a malevolent darkness.
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Of the Blood is the first book in Cameo Renae’s Heir of Blood and Fire series. This is not your typical ya paranormal romance! Great world-building, dynamic characters, and an engaging story-line make for a fascinating read.
At Calla’s eighteenth birthday party, she is drawn to a mysterious and handsome stranger. Calla and Trystan share an instant connection, and it isn’t long before, in a haze of seduction, he bites her.
“And every time our eyes met, for a few breathless moments, I swore I heard a slight voice which seemed to cover the distance between us saying, ‘I see you, Calla. I’ve come for you.'”When Calla first meets Trystan
Trystan is a vampire prince trying to save Calla from Roehl, the evil and murderous prince of Morbeth. But even with the protection of Trystan’s personal guard, she is captured and imprisoned as punishment for her grandfather’s crimes.
As Calla suffers under the hands of Roehl, family secrets emerge that change everything Calla knows about herself. The more Calla learns about this new paranormal world and her fated role in its future, the more questions she has. Can she survive her brutal imprisonment and learn more about her family’s mysterious past? Who are her ancestors and what powers did they have? Will she ever reunite with Trystan?
This is an intriguing and immersive story that is fast-paced, engaging, and full of twists and turns. I thought this was going to be a typical ya paranormal romance, but it is much more than that. Ultimately, this is a coming-of-age story about choices.
At the start, and for much of the novel, choices are taken from Calla. Trystan bites her without giving her a choice, and though he did it to protect her, he took all other options away. It isn’t until she plans her escape from Morbeth that she becomes more in control of her life. Freedom of choice is important to this independent and courageous young woman, and she strives for it throughout her journey.
Calla’s journey is treacherous and eye-opening. Kidnappings, imprisonment, travels on a pirate ship, scary sea serpents, torture, war, and more permeate the plot and lead the reader on a suspenseful and action-packed adventure.
Throughout her odyssey, she befriends a variety of interesting, and dynamically developed, characters. Trystan’s guards are funny, brave and loyal, Sebastian is cunning and charming, and Sabine is one-of-a-kind. These characters and others add so much depth and intrigue to the story, and I am curious to learn more about them and their connections to each other.
So, though many dark themes and events transpire, messages of hope, friendship, embracing one’s power, helping others, and believing in love are equally explored.
Speaking of love…
Calla is a little boy crazy. She tends to see the good in people and finds many men attractive, which seemed a bit unrealistic, especially considering how connected she felt to Trystan. Of course, keep in mind that the immortals in this world are, for the most part, super good-looking.
Calla’s flirtations make me question her feelings toward Trystan. There are several other men in the story that she connects with, and I have a feeling that these possible love interests will appear in future books in the series, and the connections that they have with Calla will be further explored.
I must say, Calla has some tough choices – the sexy, swashbuckling pirate with a heart of gold, the sea prince who is selfless and brave, or the enigmatic vampire prince who continually tries to help her. I know who I would choose…
Thanks to Victory Editing and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
“Life is an adventure, full of ups and downs and twists and turns. Quite like being on the sea. But it’s molding and developing you into the woman you are destined to become. Like it or not, you are at it’s mercy, and you can only hold on until you arrive at your destination.”
Readers who enjoy young adult dark paranormal romance will enjoy this action-packed story!