Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker

Published: April 4, 2023

For Teen

Genre: Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy

Pages: 404

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Terry J. Benton-Walker grew up in rural GA and now lives in Atlanta with his husband and son, where he writes fiction for adults, young adults, and children. He has an Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Georgia State. When he’s not writing, he can be found gaming, eating ice cream, or both. Blood Debts is his first novel.

Thirty years ago, a young woman was murdered, a family was lynched, and New Orleans saw the greatest magical massacre in its history. In the days that followed, a throne was stolen from a queen.

On the anniversary of these brutal events, Clement and Cristina Trudeau―the sixteen-year-old twin heirs to the powerful, magical, dethroned family―are mourning their father and caring for their sick mother. Until, by chance, they discover their mother isn’t sick―she’s cursed. Cursed by someone on the very magic council their family used to rule. Someone who will come for them next.

Cristina, once a talented and dedicated practitioner of Generational magic, has given up magic for good. An ancient spell is what killed their father and she was the one who cast it. For Clement, magic is his lifeline. A distraction from his anger and pain. Even better than the random guys he hooks up with.

Cristina and Clement used to be each other’s most trusted confidant and friend, now they barely speak. But if they have any hope of discovering who is coming after their family, they’ll have to find a way to trust each other and their family’s magic, all while solving the decades-old murder that sparked the still-rising tensions between the city’s magical and non-magical communities. And if they don’t succeed, New Orleans may see another massacre. Or worse.

“Because I’m free.”

Cristina is trying to work through her feelings, she knows it’s all her fault, but she doesn’t know how to fix it. Clem wants to have someone stay, and he also doesn’t want to risk losing anyone else. The mystery and the magic are all-knowing.

This book was beautiful. I loved the mix of old and new mythology, and the generational history is woven together.

The characters were all well-developed. I loved the emphasis placed on family, both blood and chosen. The power contained within the safety of the family is so strong.

This was unlike any story I’ve read, and I devoured this book. I could not read it quickly enough—how the plot builds and the plummet to the truth will leave you breathless.

This was a beautifully written novel, and I enjoyed how magic was used. The way light and dark elements were represented, as well as the undertones of relevant topics, was fantastic.

I hope this is the beginning of a series because so many things could happen if this story continues, and I desperately want to know what happens next.

Leave a Reply