Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood #1)

Kim Smejkal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-328-55705-6
Celia Sand and Anya Burtoni serve the Profeta religion as inklings, using magic to tattoo the faithful with images purported to offer Divine guidance. Non- believers since their conscription at age six, the 16-year-olds now feel certain the messages they convey come not from the heavens but from Profeta’s mortal bureaucracy, and are meant not to save but to subvert free will. The girls flee, joining a slyly seditious traveling theater troupe dubbed the Rabble Mob of Minos. Crafting an act that disguises their Profeta-given talent as a parlor trick, Celia and Anya attract ample attention, including that of the Divine. The vengeful, power-hungry deity orders the wayward inklings to help expand her following using their performances as propaganda. If they refuse, their newfound friends will pay the price. First in a planned duology, Smejkal’s exceptional debut champions solidarity and choice while extolling art’s ability to spark revolution. Fierce friendships, fraught romance, and sharply drawn, emotionally complex characters of sundry gender identities and sexual orientations elevate the stakes of this ambitious, thought-provoking tale, whose closing cliffhanger inspires and devastates in equal measure. Ages 14–up. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/26/2019
Release date: 02/11/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-0-358-16450-0
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