Monday, 16 July 2018

Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst Review

This is a spoiler free review.

Written by Audrey Coulthurst
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Pages: 400
Source: Library
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to dictate the future by writing with her blood. To keep her power secret, she leads a quiet life as a healer on a remote mountain, content to help the people in her care and spend time with Ina, the mortal girl she loves.

But Asra’s peaceful life is upended when bandits threaten Ina’s village and the king does nothing to help. Desperate to protect her people, Ina begs Asra for assistance in finding her manifest—the animal she’ll be able to change into as her rite of passage to adulthood. Asra uses her blood magic to help Ina, but her spell goes horribly wrong and the bandits destroy the village, killing Ina’s family.

Unaware that Asra is at fault, Ina swears revenge on the king and takes a savage dragon as her manifest. To stop her, Asra must embark on a journey across the kingdom, becoming a player in lethal games of power among assassins, gods, and even the king himself.

Most frightening of all, she discovers the dark secrets of her own mysterious history—and the terrible, powerful legacy she carries in her blood.

Inkmistress is the second book that I've read by Audrey Coulthurst and I enjoyed this one so much. This book moved me so much and I was crying by the end of it, partly from sadness but party from happiness. I also really liked how the book normalized sexuality.


The cover is beautiful. I love how the main color used is red but there are also bits of white and black that sharply contrast with the rest of the cover.


The world-building was very important to the story as it would have been hard to understand everything that happened without it. In this world, people emerge into adulthood when they can manifest, or bond with an animal by being blessed by one of the six gods. It is very important to be able to manifest in this story.

Then there are the characters.


Asra has lived her whole life secluded away in the mountains because she is a demigod. She only travels down to the village below when weather permits it in order to help them with medicinal needs but many people view her as a witch because of her abilities. I loved how powerful Asra was as she has the power to change the past, present and the future with her blood but it has a cost. Asra is bisexual as at the beginning of the book she has a relationship with a girl who has accepted her for who she is but she soon finds out that this girl has been hiding a lot from her.


As the girl that Asra loves, Ina has a big part in the book but she turns out to be hiding a lot from Asra. Ina wants to manifest which Asra helps her do but Ina becomes something very powerful and because Asra helped shape the future, there are a lot of consequences. We learn that Ina has a dark side and she isn't the sweet, innocent village girl that we meet at the beginning.


Hal is a PoC who I loved so much. He is such an amazing character who can be viewed completely separate from Asra (his love interest). Hal has a lot of strength and he was so humorous. He is also a demigod and he is very good at manipulating other people's minds which was interesting and cool. I really liked how supportive he was for Asra.


Asra finds out that who she thought was her family was completely wrong and that influences her a lot. Also, her friendship/relationship with Ina seems to feel like a lie as we move throughout the book which influences upcoming decisions. Friendship is something Asra feels like she struggles with because she was so isolated but she learns how to trust certain people and to be more wary around others.


This book has everything in it from girls with hidden powers, tyrant kings, and travel to gods, blood magic and betrayal. I loved it so much because it seemed totally targeted for me or my audience. I liked how much she was able to throw into one book and she didn't make it seem overcrowded.

This book has important discussions on love and how you are worthy of deserving of it no matter what. We see heartbreak that is unapologetic which is important and it discusses how it is very rare to have your first love be your only love. Overall, it had very important topics and conversations. The romance between Hal and Asa was so cute and it was refreshing to see.


The writing was very beautiful. I loved how she wrote the whole journey and the romance. I also loved how she included a lot of feminist themes and important messages.


I highly recommend this book to any Fantasy lovers. It has something for everyone to enjoy, even if you don't like everything about most Fantasy novels.

Quotes from the Book:

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns

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