cover image The Last Bloodcarver

The Last Bloodcarver

Vanessa Le. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-88152-6

In the dark underbelly of the fantasy city-state of Theumas, 18-year-old Nhika ekes out a living peddling homeopathic remedies to upper-class clients desperate enough to fall for her scam. After a home visit goes awry, Nhika is outed as a bloodcarver—people with the feared ability to access and manipulate biological processes with a single touch—and kidnapped and sold on the black market. Though she expects to be forced into using her abilities for nefarious deeds, Nhika is instead bought by the scions of the Congmi, one of the wealthiest industrialist families in the city, who seek her bloodcarving to heal the comatose last witness to their patriarch’s suspicious death. Reluctant to get involved in such high-stakes political drama but eager for the opportunity to use her gift to heal, Nhika steps into a world of glamour, intrigue, and hidden agendas. But her already impossible task is further complicated by Ven Kochin, a mysterious and infuriating doctor’s assistant who keeps inserting himself into her investigation. Le expertly crafts a Vietnamese-inspired dark fantasy debut via visceral and exquisitely rendered prose, intertwining a murder investigation with themes of unresolved grief, medical ethics, and lost heritage. Ages 12–up. [em](Mar.) [/em]