Book Review: The Belle and the Blackbird by Sarah M. Cradit

About the Book:

Title: The Belle and the Blackbird

Author: Sarah M. Cradit

Series: The Book of All Things

Page Length: 431

Publication Date: Oct. 10, 2023

Synopsis: She’ll break his heart to save it.

Sink into this alluring tale of a reclusive pubkeep and the dazzling, unattainable noble whose life is wrapped in a deadly mystery he can’t resist solving.

Anastazja’s cruel rejection leaves Tyreste shattered and clinging to desperate solitude. Oblivious to the malevolence that waits for her every night when she returns home, he finds it easier to believe she never loved him than to explore his fear that she’s in serious trouble.

Behind the veil of Ana’s seemingly charmed life, an ancient evil stalks her family’s revered halls. Her cunning stepmother wields terrible threats against Ana’s loved ones to coerce her into assisting in horrifying experiments against the Ravenwood priests and priestesses, longtime allies of Ana’s family.

Tyr’s love for Ana remains steadfast despite her abrupt departure from his life. To distract himself from his heartbreak, he immerses himself in work, translating a series of mysterious and chilling letters, only to find himself entangled in a harrowing mystery spanning generations.

A mystery that revolves around Ana’s family.

The very same one consuming—and destroying—Ana, piece by piece.

For years, she has fought this war alone, exhausting all her resources against the wicked witch who holds her family hostage. She’s out of tactics and, more importantly, time.

As the end draws near, she realizes the key to ending the witch’s reign of terror might lie with the tavern boy who stole her heart. Her solitary light in endless years of darkness.

Only together can Anastazja and Tyreste end the terror that has gripped the north, and the Ravenwoods, for centuries.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

I have a feeling this book is going to live rent-free in my brain for a long while. It was the perfect mix of dark, intense, and spicy, and I loved the protagonists as much as I loathed the antagonists!

I was excited to learn that Tyreste was one of the main characters in the book because he had such an interesting arc in The Altruist and the Assassin, and I was hoping his story wasn’t over. I adored him in this book! He’s such a wonderful and layered person – kind, generous, and so incredibly in love with Ana. And Ana was fabulous, too. Her arc is dark and twisted, and all I wanted was for this tortured and abused woman to find peace and happiness.

The romance is really interesting because the couple is together when the story begins (and when I say together, I really mean it. That opening scene was 🔥🔥!), but outside threats push them apart. There’s so much angst and longing on both sides, which makes their romance and spicy times even more combustible. Tyr and Ana desperately love and need each other, and there is nothing they won’t do to protect each other.

I also loved the familial relationships in the story. Tyr and his sister have such a lovely bond, and his whole family is so supportive and loving. It’s wonderful to see this family whole and prospering, especially considering the trauma they went through in the other book. They’re a bright spot in an otherwise dark time in their kingdom. So is the appearance of two of my favorite characters from altruistic and the assassin. And to find out what’s happened in their lives in the years since we last saw them was amazing!

Ana’s relationship with her family is much different, though she reflects on and fights for better says, and she has a lovely connection with Tyr’s family, which grows as the story progresses. The villains stand in stark contrast to these warm and loyal characters.

Ok the antagonist in the story is so evil, and she terrorizes Ana and others in the most vicious of ways. There’s another villain who’s just as scary, but you know what they sometimes say. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It’s so intense watching Ana, Tyr, and others try to fight back against significantly more powerful beings.

This is officially tied for my favorite book in the series. It was unique and intriguing, the characters and plot are layered and compelling, and the romance is positively swoon-tastic!!!! Special thanks to Sarah M Cradit for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The characters.
  • The suspense and intrigue.

Favorite Lines:

“Only blackbirds sing alone.”

“There was nothing to fear except giving power to fear.”

“Demons dealt in darker denouements.”

“I believe in my whole soul that there is nothing more powerful than a heart that beats for another.”

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