Arc Review: Bloody Spade by Brittany M Willows // ft. my first ever moodboard!

Thank you so much to the author for reaching out and providing me an ARC of Bloody Spade in exchange of an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Book Details

Bloody Spade (The Cardplay Duology, #1)

Title: Bloody Spade

Author: Brittany M. Willows

Series: The Cardplay Duology #1

Publication Date: 15th September 2021

Genre(s): Young Adult Fantasy

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Synopsis (from Goodreads)

A girl full of heart
A thief touched by darkness
A boy with a fiery temper
An unwitting servant of evil

The era of magic was once thought to be a myth, but after the Reemergence ushered forces both dark and light into the mundane world, it has since become a harsh reality. Now those affected by this strange power—a specialized group of Empowered called Jokers, known collectively as Cardplay—must protect their world from the darkness that threatens to consume it, all the while fighting for equality in a society clinging to normalcy.

But the Reemergence was only the beginning.

When another influx occurs on the seventh anniversary of that fateful event, an unfortunate encounter at ground zero lands Iori Ryone, a teenage boy in possession of a corrupt and legendary magic, in the care of recent Joker graduate Ellen Amelia Jane. From him, she learns the Reemergence may not have been the inevitable natural disaster it first seemed.

Someone is trying to tear down the barrier that separates the magical realms from the mundane. The question is, can Cardplay stop them before it’s too late?

Bloody Spade is the first installment in an urban fantasy duology that follows a cat-eared thief and a spirited girl as they try to navigate his wild magic, her hotheaded brother, a sinister plot, and the feelings they’re developing for each other.

My Review

Buddy read with Rania @Rania’s Rambling Reads in July!

Now that was a rollercoaster of a book!

You know books which start off ever so slowly and gradually pick up pace? Well, Bloody Spade was NOT one of those. We were plunged right into the story in the very beginning, and it was such an exciting and promising start! After reading the first few chapters I was completely hooked. We have this cat-eared and cat-tailed thief (yes, thief!) who also yields dark magic, so obviously there was never a dull moment.

After setting up such high expectations in the beginning, the second half disappointed me a little. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was clearly not what I got. The ending and some other stuff in the middle was so very predictable, that was perhaps the only thing that I did not like about this book.

The major thing that makes this book stand out in my mind is its complex and detailed magic system. Though initially it was a lot to take in, I really appreciated the unique magic system (its based on cards!!) and detailed worldbuilding once I got the hang of it.

The characters were fantastic. My favourite was definitely Iori (like the name itself is awesome?), our misunderstood protagonist who basically controls magic that kills everyone else it touches (yes it is cliche but I love it anyway) and it took me a little more time to develop a liking to Ellen, our other protagonist who also yields strange magic but is a hopeless optimistic, but I eventually did. I felt like the side characters were quite underdeveloped, so I am looking forward to some improvement on that in the sequel.

Another thing about the characters was that they sometimes behaved like 12 year-olds (they were actually 16), so keeping that and some other aspects in mind, I would say this book would be perfect for somebody who is just transitioning from reading middle grade to young adult.

Overall, I’d recommend Bloody Spade to fans of the Renegades trilogy, and anyone who is looking for some rich urban fantasy in general.

My Rating:

★★★★ (4 stars out of 5)

Moodboard

I don’t know what it was about this book that made me want make a moodboard, and for once I decided to just go with the flow without overthinking it. Here’s my first attempt at a moodboard!

Do you have Bloody Spade on your TBR? Does it sound like something you’d be interested in reading? Which is your favourite urban fantasy?

Discussion Post: Appreciation For Book Bloggers // Let’s Talk Bookish

Hiya everyone! I am back with a discussion post, but this time it revolves around a topic from Let’s Talk Bookish.

For those who aren’t aware, Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books and Dani @Literary Lion. Today’s topic is – Appreciation For Book Bloggers. Of course, this is not something that is rarely discussed in the bookish community, but it is an important thing and I would like to put forward my thoughts on this as well.

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When you take so much time and effort (and sometimes even money) creating a blog and regularly writing new content, it is natural to expect some appreciation for your efforts. Taking my personal example, I started off very ambitiously and wrote my first couple of posts in the same month I created this blog. And then I saw that my posts got hardly 1 or 2 views, and this made me question my decision of starting a blog in the first place. If nobody is interested in reading what I write, then why should I? This was something of my mindset then. I got quite discouraged, and discontinued writing anything on this blog for a couple of months.

Probably because of the blessing of the bookish gods, one fine day after 2-3 months of creating this blog, I published another post. This one too was a major flop, but I this time I kept going. Slowly, I made friends here, people started reading my content and interacting with me. Even today, each of your views and comments on my posts makes my day. So yes, my readers make me feel appreciated.

And there are also days when I feel particularly desolate, when I feel that my content is under-appreciated because only about 20 people read my posts. But then I am still pretty lucky to have these people, no matter the number, who always are so sweet and supportive. They encourage my to continue writing, and it is because of them that I have grown as a blogger.

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Everyday more and more people are taking conscious efforts to promote and support book bloggers. I have come across many such initiatives and it makes me happy to see all the new creative ways people are finding to recognize book bloggers. For instance, Sofii has created The Definitive Book Blogger List over at her blog, and it is such a cool idea to compile a list of book bloggers! Thank you Sofii for this amazing initiative!!

I’ve observed that it is generally book bloggers who appreciate the work of their peers the most. Since I am a book blogger myself, I relate to that feeling of elation when someone posts a positive comment etc on my content, hence I try to do that for other bloggers as much as I can. That’s probably the case with most of you, right?

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I can’t speak for others, but I know that the only compensation I want from the book industry in return for my work on this blog is for book bloggers like me to be recognized as an important part of this industry. We constantly highlight new books and authors, discuss important topics that readers should be aware of, give trigger and content warnings to readers and so much more. Still I feel that the role of book bloggers is often dismissed as trivial. That needs to change.

And with that, I have said everything I wanted to. I do realize this discussion is quite short when compared to my others, but that was probably because I was pretty blunt and said what needed to be said in a few lines.

Do you feel appreciated as a book blogger? What more do you think can be done to encourage book bloggers? Chat with me in the comments, I’d love to have a friendly discussion!

See ya!

We are now a family of 100!! 🎉 + Introducing a proper posting schedule (finally!)

Hello you guys! I am not sure what to say without sounding extremely soppy. Let me just say it straight. This blog now has 100 followers! Yes I know, I couldn’t believe it either. Thank you so much all of you for all the love and support you have shown this little piece of the internet which is so close to my heart 🥺. I love each and every one of you for showing your appreciation for my content through likes and comments, and even for simply taking the time to read through my posts🥰.

Since a lot of you have been with me for quite some time, I would like some honest feedback about my blog from you all. Even if you are a relatively new follower, your feedback would be much welcomed. To keep everything more organized, I have created a Google Form for the same, so please do fill it out, I would really appreciate it. I am linking the Form below!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScVbNV5zrqc9fXt2gud74QqzyW8RrEENWDzkvNcBHFpsRFT8w/viewform?usp=sf_link

Please let me know in the comments if you’ve filled the form, so I can check!


Another thing I wanted you all to know is that I am working towards making my blog more organized (like that’s ever going to happen😏), so I have decided that from now on, I will not be posting whenever I like. Instead, I will be posting twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I will be following this schedule for atleast this month of April, then I might change the days. Let’s see how it goes.


That is all I wanted to say. Thank you once again for being the reason I have reached this important milestone of 100 followers! And don’t forget to fill the form! See you in my next post on Wednesday!!