Title: DIVINE BLOOD
Series: GUARDIANS OF THE MAIDEN #1
Author: BECK MICHAELS
Publication Date: JUNE 3, 2020
The Shadow demon nearly took everything from Dyna, and it would soon return for more. When she discovers a way to fight back, she must go on a perilous journey and risk it all for those she holds dear.
Along the way, she meets Cassiel, a Celestial Prince with magic blood and wings as black as his heart. He wants nothing to do with Dyna until he learns she could lead him to a place he has been searching for all his life.
But reaching their destination is not as easy as they thought, nor are they the only ones who search for it. With danger at every turn and harrowing secrets between them, the quest will require much more than determination. They must fight for what they desire—or die trying.
I don’t know how to start my review. To be honest, I was shocked, mesmerized, and in awed of what happened in this book. The whole story was just straight up amazing. From the synopsis alone, I knew that it would a great book and well, I was right.
Divine Blood is about a girl named Dyna exploring the outside world to find something that can help her defeat the Shadow demon that had been terrorizing her village every winter season. In her journey, she met with a Celestial Prince named Cassiel and they embarked on a journey together with Dyna’s cousin, Zev. But their adventure took a different turn when they bumped into a man who also seek the same thing as them.
The whole time my mind was spinning because as much as this story is unique, it can get too confusing because too much is happening in one book. Usually, I wouldn’t mind because I can keep up, but this one was totally different. I don’t know which matter I should be focusing on even though everything is connected and that all the characters met each other because fate has the reason to put them in each other’s path. It wasn’t a coincidence that everyone are after the same thing, it was fate’s plan to bring these characters together to do one mission.
I thought this book would focus on the matter of the Shadow Demon, but turns out there’s a bigger and far more threatening things that needed attention. Things like Tarn and his obsession with Mount Ida and him asking his men to abduct Dyna. He was so mysterious and his motive was very unnerving. The story took a dark turn ever since Von appeared who is in fact working for Tarn. So that had me thinking that Tarn is the main villain in this book—perhaps in the next book too—and the Shadow Demon is just a side villain for now, I’m sure it will be a big threat in the upcoming books.
Even after all of that, I still enjoyed reading this book and I had to slow down my reading halfway through the book in order for me not to get confused or missed any important informations. This is the type of book I shouldn’t read too fast and being a speed-reader, reading too slow or a bit slow was hard since I was used to reading too fast. I had to control my speed-reading ability when it comes to this one.
I liked that the story was straight to the point and it didn’t waste any more time especially in the beginning when Dyna decided to go on her own journey to Mount Ida. In most books, it would take the main character 5 to 10 chapters before they begin their journey. So I was glad to see Dyna already started her journey on chapter 3. That early was much better than postponing it.
The fantasy world in this book was a bit complex, but also mesmerizing. It was really unique and so different that I was amazed by it. The author really did a fantastic job in creating this beautiful world. So many great places you can see in this book, but my most favorite so far is Hilos. I don’t know what Mount Ida will be like, but the characters that appeared in the story talked about it too much, so I wonder how magical the place is considering it contains a great amount of magic in it and that there are a lot of treasures there, only no one can find the place and many believed it was purely a myth and the place is non-existent. Would I get to see Mount Ida in the next book? I hope so!
As for the magic, well this book featured quite a lot of magic in it. Magic is one of the most important thing in a fantasy book, and I was intrigued by how the magic in this book works. There are various supernatural beings that present in the story and each of them have different types of magic but all are powerful enough. There are mages, sorceresses, a group of seraphim, a nephilim, elves, and werewolves. It blew my mind to find out this book bring these beings together in one story. The author surely knew how to make the story even more intense and epic.
Out of all of them, my favorite will always be those beings with angelic wings, in this case the seraphim and a nephilim, but I would prefer nephilim better since they are basically half-human and half-angel, in this case is Cassiel. I always viewed the Celestial beings as the most powerful ones because they are simply from Heaven and for many other reasons too. It doesn’t matter if they were kicked out of Heaven or not, still that makes them the most powerful beings once they landed in a word full of humans and supernatural beings. I’m just sitting here and patiently wait for Cassiel to be in his powerful form. Just imagine the things he can do to his enemies, must be very entertaining but in the most painful ways.
There are some intense and gripping actions in this book too, especially when a werewolf, an elf, and a nephilim are teaming up against the Raiders (the group of bad guys). That part was my most favorite because I would’ve never thought different beings to team up together. It was really amazing to see the actions in this book. And there are a few actions involving the use of magic, it was cool to see that but I hope to see more of it in the upcoming books.
I want to add that the story were told in multiple POVs, which helps me a lot when it comes to understanding this big wide world and helps me learn the motive of each character. Having multiple POVs in a book is a great move on the author’s part, because it definitely help the readers see and learn a lot more about each characters and as a reader myself, I get to know what the characters lives was like in the past before they get to where they are now. And it helps me to understand what kind of people they are. I really loved the multiple POVs here, make it easy to learn and understand things, and also discovering new things from different characters.
There are still things that remain a mystery and some questions that had gone unanswered, and I hope the answers will be revealed in the upcoming books. I also knew this book won’t be able to solve the problem about the Shadow Demon even though I’ve been hoping it would be solve here so that the other books can focus on other threats. As of now, the big threat is Tarn which is obvious after seeing how evil and unapologetic he is, and I don’t like what he’s planning to do to Dyna once his men manage to capture her. There are so many possibilities of what can happen to her, and I hope he and his men won’t be able to capture her, my heart won’t be ready for that. Her guardians aka the protectors better protect her all the time. This book really made me feel so anxious about everything that happens in the realm of Urn.
The story has been incredible so far, it was not like what I expected at all. As for the plot, that was clever of the author for making the readers think in the beginning that this book will be about Dyna and her companions going up against the Shadow Demon, but then halfway through the book, it was revealed that there are bigger things happening that can be just as threatening as the Shadow Demon. It took me by surprise to learn that this book wasn’t about the Shadow Demon for the majority of it, but it was about Tarn and his group of Raiders, and Dyna being the maiden from the seer’s prediction. I literally need a moment to take it all in. Overall, it was a wild ride and very phenomenal. And the concept of the maiden and her six guardians going on an epic adventure to find something in a hidden or mythical place was really brilliant. I really loved this concept and that makes me so eager to meet the rest of the guardians.
The thing that I had a problem with is the pacing. At first it was quite fast which was fine to me, but then it became a lot slower and that made it hard for me to keep going. The slow-pacing can be unbearable to me usually make me lose interest in the book altogether, but I was really enjoying the story and loving the concept of it, so I had no choice but to keep on reading. Took me exactly 4 days to finished it, was longer than usual.
Another one I want to add is the abduction/kidnapping of Dyna. You know that feeling when you were already loving the moments the heroine spend with the hero because they’re your OTP and that they are meant to be together, but then one of the bad guys suddenly kidnapped the heroine and she had to be temporarily separated from the hero who is literally her soulmate. You know the feeling of wanting to throw the book because it caused you enough stress and you just wanted to scream because you felt so frustrated it turns that way. That was exactly how I felt when it happened to Dyna. The abduction of the heroine that makes them temporarily separated from the hero in any books are not my type of thing, and I really disliked that when it happens because that means things are going to be bad for the heroine. I hope Dyna doesn’t have to go through that again, and I don’t want to see Cassiel feel like he’s losing her. This part made my heart hurt and terrified for what’s to come after that.
Now, let’s talk about the characters…
Dyna is the main protagonist in this book and yet I don’t know what to feel about her character at all. This was the very first time I’ve met a heroine who is so naive, so reckless, too trusting, and is really weak but then again, it was understandable because she never venture out of her hometown before and this is her first time to ever go on a big quest. She is still new at this whole thing, didn’t have much experience and she’s a sheltered young lady so I do get why she’s really naive. Still I can’t help but feel so frustrated the whole time due to how she acted naively and recklessly in the story. I’m so used to reading about heroines who are natural badasses, smart and knew what they are doing. And now when I read this book and suddenly introduced to a heroine like Dyna, I was speechless and didn’t know what to say because I’m not use to seeing this type of heroine.
To add to all the things I already stated about her, she didn’t have any fighting skills that can help her in dire situations or that can help her protect herself. As much as it was refreshing to see a heroine like her—because I’ve never seen a heroine like her before—it also brought me a lot of stress to see her acting the way she did. You think she would learn not to trust a random stranger after the first time she made a mistake? Well you thought wrong. I was wondering when will she ever learn from her mistake. I do hope she won’t trust a random person so easily in the next book. The fact that she was too trusting is what landed her in the wrong situation in the first place and why there was a lot of chaos that postponed her and her companions’ journey. There are so much potential for her character to grow and I would like to see the braver, clever and stronger version of her. She has a long way to go obviously, and I hope her character will have a great development in the upcoming books.
Zev is Dyna’s cousin with a broken past. My heart hurt after learning what happened to him in the past. I hope he can find happiness and truly be happy because he doesn’t look like one for the majority of the book. He was so overprotective of Dyna which is understandable since he is basically half-wolf and half-human, and also Dyna couldn’t defend herself, so it was his job to protect her. He is a broken man with a kind heart. Learning about his past helps me understand him better and made me see the bigger picture of what has changed with him. Surprisingly, there was another thing going on with him—mainly his wolf side—and it was quite scary but also made him more powerful. I’m looking forward to see what the author will do to his character next, but I hope it’ll be all good. He’s not a morally grey character, just a wounded hero with a broken past.
Cassiel is well…he’s Cassiel, the arrogant and obnoxious Celestial Prince. His kind is very rare, and since he is a half-human and half-angel, that made him too rare and too powerful but in this book he was a bit weak. He was harsher than I give him credit for, but he always speaks the truth. He was definitely the outcast in this book. He doesn’t fit in even though he tried blending in with humans and other supernatural beings because obviously, I can just feel the divine aura coming from him that separate him from the others. To be honest, his status is higher than anyone or anything, so I get why he always think other beings are nothing compared to him. As much as you will dislike how he act, you can’t help but rooting for him. The arrogant, cocky, and obnoxious being like him always turns out to be the best one and also you know, the one who secretly have a soft heart. He’s not the bad guy, just a hero who is too arrogant.
I loved that when he accidentally made a mistake later in the story, there was a change in his character. He was more selfless than selfish, and more kind than harsh. It was visible enough to see that he was worried about Dyna whereas before that he doesn’t really care a lot about her. I can see the shift in him and that was eventually the start of his character development the way I see it, but I hope he get a major and proper development in the next book because the one in here was kind of done in a rush and also, let him unleash his full power as a Celestial being, he deserve to show the others (especially the main villain and his army of vicious soldiers) that he can’t easily be beat. Let the world see what a powerful Celestial Prince he is.
I also would like to see Cassiel strike a friendship with Zev. These two had a lot in common, especially their pasts. Both had to go through a lot of obstacles in their own past. Zev was an outcast in his pack, and Cassiel was an outcast in his family and his kind. Both are half-human and half something else which made them different and unique from their own kind, and also the reason behind why everyone was being so indifferent to them. It saddens me to know that they never feel like they truly belong. To see their own kind treated them harshly made me sad. I really feel for these two, and hope they get to live a better life because they deserve it that much. Seeing them suffered and getting treated too poorly by their own kind was heartbreaking. These two would be great friends if they were given a real chance at friendship. I can see it slowly forming in this book, so I’m waiting for the other books to give me a high quality content of their friendship. I just want to give these two a big hug and tell them that they are worthy and they’re not alone anymore.
There wasn’t any romance between Dyna and Cassiel here, but maybe in the next book? They are soulmates (obviously, I knew it from the first time they met). I didn’t expect any romance between these two in this book considering they were focusing on a pressing matter and have a mission to do, but now that I’ve learned what happened to them, I expect their romance to be so wonderfully amazing in the next book. Cassiel and Dyna slowly developed an interest in each other, and there was a few sweet moments between these two that I enjoyed seeing a lot. The ending left me wondering about Dyna’s reaction to what Cassiel revealed to her about what actually happened the night he saved her life. Would she accept it? Would she get mad? Also, I would like to think that she might get an extra ability considering her aura changed to the same aura as Cassiel, and Zev took notice of it too. What more is she capable of doing next if it’s true that she get an extra ability from Cassiel? I’m so eager to see this one.
This book ended in a cliffhanger but not the type of cliffhanger like in many books. I can’t wait to read more about these characters and to see more of this fantastic world. Since Dyna is the maiden and she was told that there are six guardians that will protect her, that would mean the next book will be revealing two more of her guardians since four already been found in this book. I’m so excited to see how this will play out. I enjoyed reading this book, and so eager to read the sequel but I know I have to wait.
This series have the potential to be one of the biggest YA-Fantasy series, and I highly recommend this to everyone who loves reading books in the Fantasy genre, especially those who loves the ‘chosen one’ and ‘slow-burn’ romance tropes. Waiting for the sequel would be a torture (c’mon I need the sequel now), but I guess I’m just going to be patient and cry at the same time until I get to read the next one. The story deals a lot with loss, overcoming a fear, gaining a courage to be brave in order to survive, and accepting the path that life had laid out for you. It was a touching story, and it really brought tears to my eyes more than once. I loved this book, this wonderful and magical story, and am looking forward to read more of it.