ARC Review: Daughter of Lies and Ruin by Jo Spurrier

About the Book:

Title: Daughter of Lies and Ruin

Author: Jo Spurrier

Series: Tales of Blackbone Witches

Page Length: 352

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

Publisher: Voyager

Synopsis: If they didn’t want to get turned into beasts and used to fuel a ritual, they shouldn’t have attacked a witch. That’s all there is to it.

There’s something strange brewing in this tinder-dry forest – a girl with a sword and a secret, a troupe of vicious bandits vanished without a trace, beasts that don’t belong and a witch with a macabre plan.

Elodie hasn’t been learning witchcraft for long, but she knows enough to be worried, and the fact that her mentor Aleida wants to pack up and leave in short order isn’t helping to settle her nerves.

Elodie just hopes to get everyone out of this mess unharmed, but it’s looking more unlikely with every passing hour. And when the strange witch’s ire falls on her, Aleida’s wrath sparks a fire that threatens to scorch the earth itself … 

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   

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My Review:

The story begins several months after the conclusion of A Curse of Ash and Embers, and the relationship between Dee and Aleida has grown quite a bit from the first book. Throughout the first book, the characters were getting to know and understand each other, as well as the new situations they were thrust into. Now, they are more comfortable with each other and seem to understand each other well. Aleida and Dee have embraced the roles of mentor and mentee, and their ease with each other shows that they are close companions with trust and a strong connection.

No longer the naïve and innocent girl who first arrived, Dee has become more confident and self-assured. I like that she is gaining confidence and a sense of belonging. Though she still longs for things that were missing in her past, Dee has found a new family in Aleida. Aleida, in turn, has learned from Dee and isn’t as hard and uncompromising as before. These women are so different in how they think about and deal with the world around them. They contrast each other, and yet they complement each other well.

I love the depiction of strong, powerful women who aren’t daunted by the obstacles that stand in their way. Aleida, in particular, embodies female empowerment and independence. Kara, a young woman searching for her missing father, is another strong, determined character who refuses to listen to the men that try to control her. She is a woman of action, and I like her fiery personality. Of course, there is more to Kara than meets the eye, which totally surprised me! Dee, no longer obedient to her abusive step-father, is finally free to think, speak, and act without fear of retribution. There are so many messages about sisterhood and the strength of women, which is one of my favorite aspects of the novel.

The supernatural elements continue to expand and remain intriguing. We learn more about Dee and Aleida’s abilities, which are so fascinating. Abilities like being able to inhabit the bodies of animals or being able to travel to different worlds are explored. As Dee and Aleida travel throughout the book, they also work on their magic. Even though they have different strengths, Aleida has much she can teach Dee. Of course, this becomes even more imperative as nefarious forces threaten both Dee and Aleida, and Aleida’s curse still hasn’t been cured.

Daughter of Lies and Ruin is an engaging addition to the Tales of Blackbone Witches, and I’m excited to continue the series. Adventure, mystery, magic, and an epic fight scene make for an engrossing read, though there are some parts that felt a bit slow for me. It is the second book in the series, and though you could read it as a standalone, I think reading the first book would provide important context for readers. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Voyager, and Jo Spurrier for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The messages about sisterhood and female empowerment.
  • The magic and supernatural elements.
  • The character development.

Favorite Lines:

A witch who sticks only to her talents will be pretty useless, and lacking talent in an area is not excuse not to get good at it.

Whenever the lowest rung on the ladder breaks another one has to take the weight.

Jumping in front of a tumbling boulder is a fool’s errand, by any measure.


Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of the first book – A Curse of Ash and Embers!!

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