The Blood Keeper

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Random House, 2012 - Juvenile Fiction - 422 pages
2 Reviews
Paranormal romance fans who are looking to up the ante will be drawn to this tale of horror, fantasy, and romance.

 For Mab Prowd, the practice of blood magic is as natural as breathing. It's all she's ever known. Growing up on an isolated farm in Kansas with other practitioners may have kept her from making friends her own age, but it has also given her a sense of purpose—she's connected to the land and protective of the magic. And she is able to practice it proudly and happily out in the open with only the crows as her companions. Mab will do anything to keep the ancient practice alive and guard its secrets. But one morning while she is working out a particularly tricky spell she encounters Will, a local boy who is trying to exorcise some mundane personal demons. He experiences Mab's magic in a way his mind cannot comprehend and is all too happy to end their chance meeting. But secrets that were kept from Mab by the earlier generations of blood magicians have come home to roost. And she and Will are drawn back together, time again by this dangerous force looking to break free from the earth and reclaim its own dark power.

"The power of this narrative lies in the gorgeous prose, lush with a gothic sensibility, ripe with sensual images of horrific beauty. . . . Passion, heartbreak, yearning and dread bleed from every page. A perfect book for those who loved Wuthering Heights and are looking for an essentially American gothic."--Kirkus Reviews
 

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User Review  - kitkat1242 - LibraryThing

The practice of blood magic is like Mab Prowd was meant to do it. She's good at it, and she knows it. She is quite lonely, but then she does live on an isolated farm in Kansas. Not that she lets this ... Read full review

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Although fantasy readers may find some very interesting scenes in this tale, the problem I found is that out of the two story lines presented - past and present - the past was the one that was far more interesting.
When we begin, readers meet up with Mab Prowd in a quiet, almost deserted area of Kansas. Her life revolves around magic and she’s currently trying to kill rose bushes that are on the property. She’s been trying for some time, and for those who don’t know, killing roses are almost like trying to kill a vampire - extremely difficult. Mab was told by her now deceased benefactor that she must destroy them, yet they seem to be cursed. What she hasn’t figured out yet is why. Using a spell, after a very disgusting sacrifice, Mab creates what you would call a doll-like monster who races away from the property.
Will is a young man who’s sitting by a lake. Will recently saved a girl from drowning in this particular lake, and he is trying to get over the fear that still resides in his soul. While there, a huge doll-like monster makes his appearance and Will ends up killing the thing. Unfortunately, he also ends up catching a curse that a female stranger will need to help him with.
Will has enough problems without getting involved with Mab. He has a very dedicated family - dedicated to the marines - and his father and brother want him to join up and make that his only pathway in life. However, his other brother, Aaron, found only death while in the armed forces and Will truly doesn’t want to head into that dark, frightening future.
Mab has her own difficulties. As the Deacon of a place that takes care of people with a magical bent, she is also brought a young boy who has a major curse set on him by his father that she has to free him of. She is also still dealing with her family and a horrific event that happened a while back that turned one boy into many crows.
The parallel story running through this present-day tale regards Mab’s past. How she came to Kansas, finding romance with her benefactor, and a relationship that was beyond obsessive. This is a good story that, if the plot worked differently, might have been spotlighted instead of the ‘reality’ tale.
For any reader who is interested in the magical ways of the world, they will enjoy this book. The scenes are certainly detailed and offer many a terrifying moment to go along with a mystery of mammoth proportions.
Quill Says: To be well understood, this is a novel that needs to be read in a quiet room so that nothing is missed.
(Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Feathered Quill Book Reviews)
 

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About the author (2012)

TESSA GRATTON has wanted to be a paleontologist or a wizard since she was seven. She was too impatient to hunt dinosaurs, but is still searching for someone to teach her magic. After traveling the world with her military family, she acquired a BA (and the important parts of an MA) in Gender Studies, and then settled down in Kansas with her partner, her cats, and her mutant dog. 

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