Review: Curse of Blood and Shadow by J. M. Kearl

This is the first book in J. M. Kearl’s second series, Allied Kingdoms Academy.  Though the title denotes that this book would follow the traditional academy trope in YA books, but it is really a fantastic blend of Harry Potter, Throne of Glass, and a hint of teenage angst that manifests in the best way.  For fans of Middle Grade fiction, this also reminds me of the Magisterium series from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. 

I absolutely enjoy the premise of this book – Vesteal is a princess with two fun friends and a dark secret.  Her parents, the King and Queen, send her to a brand new academy comprised of students from the three kingdoms.  What adventures await? What trouble could there be?  As the description says, this work has talking cats, star crossed lovers, royalty, teenagers trained to fight, and action packed into every chapter!
The author melds interesting characters with subtle wordplay to create beautifully developed world building and fun action sequences.  I loved Atticus and his cat network, he provided some fun sass to break the tension in some scenes.  I feel like the action and story really picked up pace about 1/3 of the way through the book. 

This book was a great read for me!  If you enjoy Holly Black, Lauren Kate, or Sarah J. Maas, you will LOVE this book!  I would definitely recommend this novel for anyone who loves magic, YA, and a great romance!

I found this to be a refreshing new release in YA fiction.  I can’t wait to see where the series takes these characters!  Curse of Blood and Shadow is out on April 7th!  Check out J. M. Kearl’s other works on Amazon!

J.M. Kearl is on goodreads and her website is

I received an ARC from the author for an honest review of this novel.