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Spells of Blood and Kin: A Dark Fantasy
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Published:
St. Martin's Publishing Group 2016
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Description

Where we love, we ruin...

Some families hand down wealth through generations; some hand down wisdom. Some families, whether they want to or not, hand down the secret burdens they carry and the dangerous debts they owe.

Lissa Nevsky's grandmother leaves her a big, empty house, and a legacy of magic: folk magic, old magic, brought with Baba when she fled the Gulag. In the wake of her passing, the Russian community of Toronto will depend on Lissa now, to give them their remedies and be their koldun'ia. But Lissa hasn't had time to learn everything Baba wanted to teach her—let alone the things Baba kept hidden.

Maksim Volkov's birth family is long dead, anything they bestowed on him long turned to dust. What Maksim carries now is a legacy of violence, and he does not have to die to pass it on. When Maksim feels his protective spell fail, he returns to the witch he rescued from the Gulag, only to find his spell has died along with the one who cast it. Without the spell, it is only a matter of time before Maksim's violent nature slips its leash and he infects someone else—if he hasn't done so already.

Nick Kaisaris is just a normal dude who likes to party. He doesn't worry about family drama. He doesn't have any secrets. All he wants is for things to stay like they are right now, tonight: Nick and his best buddy Jonathan, out on the town. Only Nick is on a collision course with Maksim Volkov, and what he takes away from this night is going to crack open Nick's nature until all of his worst self comes to light.

Lissa's legacy of magic might hold the key to Maksim's salvation, if she can unravel it in time. But it's a legacy that comes at a price. And Maksim might not want to be saved...

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/14/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781466887725
ASIN:
B018E7HFDA
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Claire Humphrey. (2016). Spells of Blood and Kin: A Dark Fantasy. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Claire Humphrey. 2016. Spells of Blood and Kin: A Dark Fantasy. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Claire Humphrey, Spells of Blood and Kin: A Dark Fantasy. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Claire Humphrey. Spells of Blood and Kin: A Dark Fantasy. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: CLAIRE HUMPHREY is the reviews editor at Ideomancer, and a national buyer for Indigo Books. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, Crossed Genres, Fantasy Magazine, and Podcastle. Her short story ''Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All-Female Production of Waiting for Godot'' appeared in the Lambda Award-nominated collection Beyond Binary, and her short story "The Witch Of Tarup" was published in the critically acclaimed anthology Long Hidden. Spells of Blood and Kin is her first novel.
      • name: Claire Humphrey
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title
Spells of Blood and Kin
fullDescription

Where we love, we ruin...

Some families hand down wealth through generations; some hand down wisdom. Some families, whether they want to or not, hand down the secret burdens they carry and the dangerous debts they owe.

Lissa Nevsky's grandmother leaves her a big, empty house, and a legacy of magic: folk magic, old magic, brought with Baba when she fled the Gulag. In the wake of her passing, the Russian community of Toronto will depend on Lissa now, to give them their remedies and be their koldun'ia. But Lissa hasn't had time to learn everything Baba wanted to teach her—let alone the things Baba kept hidden.

Maksim Volkov's birth family is long dead, anything they bestowed on him long turned to dust. What Maksim carries now is a legacy of violence, and he does not have to die to pass it on. When Maksim feels his protective spell fail, he returns to the witch he rescued from the Gulag, only to find his spell has died along with the one who cast it. Without the spell, it is only a matter of time before Maksim's violent nature slips its leash and he infects someone else—if he hasn't done so already.

Nick Kaisaris is just a normal dude who likes to party. He doesn't worry about family drama. He doesn't have any secrets. All he wants is for things to stay like they are right now, tonight: Nick and his best buddy Jonathan, out on the town. Only Nick is on a collision course with Maksim Volkov, and what he takes away from this night is going to crack open Nick's nature until all of his worst self comes to light.

Lissa's legacy of magic might hold the key to Maksim's salvation, if she can unravel it in time. But it's a legacy that comes at a price. And Maksim might not want to be saved...

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        "Humphrey weaves a chilling and interesting tale here....This dark fantasy debut features well-written characters and thoughtful relationships, and readers will be eager to read more from Humphrey."

      • premium: False
      • source: Liz Bourke, Tor.com
      • content: "Humphrey has a knack for description, a lovely turn of phrase, and some really great prose...It's not every debut that can stick the dismount as well as Spells of Blood and Kin: but stick it the novel does, in a fashion that holds both pathos and inevitability, as well as a certain amount of triumph. Humphrey has written a debut that I, personally, find exceptional. I look forward to seeing what she does next, because on the evidence? It's going to be damn good."
      • premium: False
      • source: BN Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
      • content: "The tick-tock plot is given a boost by evocative, atmospheric touches that make it easy to slide into this tangible, fantasy-tinged setting...While magic drives the narrative, it retains its mystery...It's a wonderful way to experience this story: it doesn't much matter how monsters exist; how do the monsters feel about being monsters?"
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from February 29, 2016
        Human warmth underlies this exciting and furiously paced fable of fur, fangs, and family. Emphasizing intricate family dynamics alongside shape-changing and magic, Humphrey’s debut merges victim and victimizer, reality and the occult. Lissa inherits the role of koldun’ia (witch) and is instructed by her grandmother’s spirit to aid Maksim, a shape-shifter in Toronto. Maksim is remorseful after accidentally infecting Nick, a college student, with lycanthropy. He begs assistance from Lissa and Augusta, a woman he turned, to find Nick before he fully transforms. While Maksim battles internal demons, Lissa struggles to master her powers and faces family rifts exposed by her stepsister’s sudden arrival. Intimately constructed relationships and domestic strife enrich bursts of violence and sensuality. Genre tropes are strengthened by fully realized characters and confident prose. Humphrey dissects the monsters who walk among us—and those hiding within our skins—with a critical yet understanding eye. This paranormal tale stands out even in its very crowded field. Agent: Connor Goldsmith, Fuse Literary.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2016

        After the death of her grandmother, Lissa Nevsky takes over her duties as a local witch. This mostly involves making small charms for sleep or fertility for her Russian neighbors in Toronto. Her grandmother had made a special amulet for Maksim Volkov, a man with a dark animalistic side, and its power is broken at her death. Now Maksim needs Lissa's help to leash his animal nature, especially as he has infected another man who now stalks Toronto's streets. VERDICT This serviceable debut urban fantasy is slower paced than typical of the genre. Maksim's nature is more subtly described but seems to be that of a shapeshifter. Too many diversions into his past interrupt the story's flow, and Lissa's character fails to leap off the page. However, a subplot involving her reconciliation with her stepsister adds a humanizing touch.--MM

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

Where we love, we ruin...

Some families hand down wealth through generations; some hand down wisdom. Some families, whether they want to or not, hand down the secret burdens they carry and the dangerous debts they owe.

Lissa Nevsky's grandmother leaves her a big, empty house, and a legacy of magic: folk magic, old magic, brought with Baba when she fled the Gulag. In the wake of her passing, the Russian community of Toronto will depend on Lissa now, to give them their remedies and be their koldun'ia. But Lissa hasn't had time to learn everything Baba wanted to teach her—let alone the things Baba kept hidden.

Maksim Volkov's birth family is long dead, anything they bestowed on him long turned to dust. What Maksim carries now is a legacy of violence, and he does not have to die to pass it on. When Maksim feels his protective spell fail, he returns to the witch he rescued from the Gulag, only to find his spell has died along with the one who cast it....

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