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The Blood Trials (ARC) (Review)

Omg, another post from your’s truly? What is this madness?
Today, we’re gonna talk about The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport. This tour is brought to you in part by the word “boss” and the number “1” but also by Turn the Page Tours!

Banner courtesy of turnthepagetours

While this book is an amazing tale, I must caution you all: this book is not YA, this is an NA (new adult) book. The best way to explain NA is that its too old for YA, but not quite old enough for Adult. This book also discusses some potentially triggering topics such as: war, death, murder, sexual content, racism, sexism, and others. Please take care before diving in to this read.

The heroine of our story is Ikenna Amari. She and her two best friends Selene and Zayne are on the brink of graduation from military academy and declaring the job they wish to pursue: administration, medic, Praetorian (warrior), or something else. Ikenna’s grandfather has recently passed and she’s on a bit of a self destructive streak, so she’s not planning to declare anything. Until Brock, a friend of her grandpa’s, comes to see her and lets her know that the heart attack that’s been blamed for grandpa’s death isn’t the true cause at all. It’s murder.

Ikenna quickly changes her tune and decides to declare Praetorian like her two besties after all. She doesn’t expect this to be a cake walk, but as it becomes more apparent that the guards responsible for making sure that the new recruits are up to snuff are not friendly, Kenna sees that she’s gonna have to bleed, sweat, and cry to gain a spot.

Betrayals abound, bloodshed is imminent, and lines are drawn, crossed, and completely obliterated. Without giving too much away…Ikenna ends up assassinating a king of an allied kingdom, discovering a secret about a superior officer, and making a difficult decision that changes her path….forever.

N.E. Davenport has written a story of pain, struggle, and triumph. Ikenna’s struggle with sexism and racism is one that resonated with me because being a Black woman in a world that is not optimized for me…yeah, I felt that. Every time someone referred to her as “akulu”, I shuddered for her pain, for mine, and so many others. Just like Ikenna, we have all developed a hard outer skin to combat the hurtful slur, words, and monikers that are thrown our way and we keep going. We stay the course and stay strong.

[Because] Amaris are strong as Khanaian steel,’ Grandfather’s stern voice says. It grips me and refuses to let me go. I cling to it. I use it to hang on to life for a few seconds longer. ‘We do not bend. We do not break. We do not bow. We do not yield.’

page 128, The Blood Trials, uncorrected ARC

Nia “N.E.” Davenport is the Science Fiction/Fantasy author of the forthcoming The Blood Trials and its sequel from Harper Voyager. She attended the University of Southern California and studied Biological Sciences and Theatre. She has an M.A. in Secondary Education, and she teaches English and Biology. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys vacationing with her family, skiing, and being a huge foodie. She’s an advocate for diverse perspectives and protagonists in literature. You can find her online at, on Twitter @nia_davenport, or on Instagram @nia.davenport, where she talks about binge-worthy TV and great books. She lives in Texas with her husband and kids.

I received an ARC copy of this book directly from the author (!!) when myself and a couple friends put the strength of AT&T’s cell signal to the test at YallFest (a book convention hosted in South Carolina every November). I am deeply thankful to Ms. Davenport for gifting me this ARC. Receiving this material in no way has affected my opinion of this work.

The Blood Trials is set to release April 5th from HarperVoyager, a division of HarperCollins. To purchase a copy of this book, you can use my Bookshop affiliate link, or visit any of your favorite book retailers.

Published by stacialovestoread

I’m a firsttime blogger and a lifelong reader. Join my journey here, and on my bookstagram @stacialovestoread!

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