Hello friends! Today, we’re going to talk about a sort of “in-between” genre: New Adult. Its not quite adult, but too old/mature for young adult. That’s where the book of the week The Blood Trials falls. Read along to learn more about this book and the amazing author behind the words!
The Blood Trials
By N.E. Davenport
Releasing on April 5, 2022
NA sci fi, NA fantasy
Blending fantasy and science fiction, N. E. Davenport’s fast-paced, action-packed debut kicks off a duology of loyalty and rebellion, in which a young Black woman must survive deadly trials in a racist and misogynistic society to become an elite warrior.
It’s all about blood.
The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen’s deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive.
The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari, murdered.
For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her.
Who trained her to keep that a secret.
But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order.
Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials–a brutal initiation that only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that–if found out–would subject her to execution…or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather…and then she needs to kill them.
Mareen has been at peace for a long time…
Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.
Magic and technology converge in the first part of this stunning debut duology, where loyalty to oneself–and one’s blood–is more important than anything.
The Blood Trials is your first book, congratulations! How does it feel to be a published author?
Amazing! Honestly, I’m still in an incredible amount of awe. I’ve always been passionate about writing, but about thirteen years ago is when I first started dreaming of writing a novel that became published. I wrote 6.5 manuscripts before writing The Blood Trials, and there were many times I thought this day would never come.
How old were you when you realized you wanted to write?
I was a literal preschooler, maybe before that. My family has always told this story of when I was about three. I didn’t know how to read or write yet, but I sat at the dining table with my grandmother, who was a high school teacher, scribbling on a sheet of paper while she wrote lesson plans. My grandmother asked me what I was doing, I told her I was writing a story, and then proceeded to recite a full production. It sounds cheesy, but I have always been drawn to sweeping storytelling and fantastical literature, and I’ve always felt this inner passion to write those types of stories.
The Blood Trials deals with some heavy topics. Why did you feel the need to tell this particular story?
In many ways, Ikenna reflects my lived identity and experiences as a Black woman. Often, we have to work twice as hard to get as far, or just half as far, as others. From the time I was in about grade school and well into my adult years, I constantly grappled with the feeling of being “other” or not “enough” for the society around me. It took me too long to […] embrace who I was, and carve out my own spaces of acceptance and joy.
The Blood Trials and Ikenna growing up and existing as a Black woman in a largely white, racist, and misogynistic society was me working through my past, present, and inevitable future struggles and challenges. It was either write or rage–so I opened up my laptop and poured it all onto the screen.
Who are some of your favorite writers?
Most of my favorites are individuals I admire who are currently writing phenomenal stories like N.K. Jemisin, Tracy Deonn, Kalynn Bayron, R.F. Kuang, S.A. Chakraborty, Susan Dennard, and V.E. Schwab.
Do you have any other projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?
I’m working on a YA Speculative Thriller, Out of Body, that will be released with Balzer + Bray [a division of HarperCollins Publishing] in Fall 2023. It’s the story of a teen girl whose best friend uses dangerous near-future tech to swap bodies, forcing her to reclaim her identity before it’s too late. There’s also a few other cool projects I’m cooking up. Hopefully, I can gush about them more soon.
Where can readers find you online if they want to keep up with your writing?
You can find me on Twitter (@nia_davenport), Instagram (@nia.davenport), or on my website http://www.nedavenport.com.
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