Author: Audrey Coulthurst
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins imprint)
Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to dictate the future by writing with her blood. To keep her power secret, she leads a quiet life as a healer on a remote mountain, content to help the people in her care and spend time with Ina, the mortal girl she loves. But Asra's peaceful life is upended when bandits threaten Ina's village and the king does nothing to help. Desperate to protect her people, Ina begs Asra for assistance in finding her manifest—the animal she'll be able to change into as her rite of passage to adulthood. Asra uses her blood magic to help Ina, but her spell goes horribly wrong and the bandits destroy the village, killing Ina's family. Unaware that Asra is at fault, Ina swears revenge on the king and takes a savage dragon as her manifest. To stop her, Asra must embark on a journey across the kingdom, becoming a player in lethal games of power among assassins, gods, and even the king himself. Most frightening of all, she discovers the dark secrets of her own mysterious history—and the terrible, powerful legacy she carries in her blood.
Inkmistress is a journey through fire, a journey surrounded by danger and blood. A journey towards possible death. A journey of a young woman left heartbroken and lost, trying to save someone she loves, and what happens when motives and missions change over time.
Asra is knowledgable, able to craft and concoct various healing tinctures and other cures. Living high up a mountain, she keeps to herself, helping the nearby village as a healer. Spending her days collecting herbs and mixing medicines. Spending the previous summer months with her lover Ina. Hiding a powerful secret, that she can change the future when writing in her own blood. With the snow thawing, Asra's looking forward to spending more time with Ina. But then news comes of bandits and Asra does what she swore she'd never do: use her powerful but costly blood magic to help Ina's future. But then everything goes wrong, the village is lost and Ina makes a dangerous choice, and Asra is left chasing her love. Hoping to stop what could be a bloodbath against the king. But as Asra travels she learns more about the kingdom, about the secrets and plots that run alongside her search for Ina, and learns the truth about her own past.
This was an interesting read. Knowing the companion book, that this takes place about 200 years beforehand, it was interesting to see the origin of certain country's magic and faith. That the different kingdoms weren't the same. That change had come before and change would continue to happen far into the future. It was more world-building for a land that holds kingdoms that both accept and hate magic. It was interesting to see a piece of the past of this land, to read about Asra and how she changed history. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the sequel to Of Fire and Stars.
(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)