Review: The Blood Gift by N.E. Davenport

Title: The Blood Gift | Series: The Blood Gift Duology | Pub Date:2023-04-18 | Pages: 432 | Genre: Fantasy | Source: NetGalley | Starred Review

The Blood Gift Review

I loved The Blood Trials, and was looking forward to the conclusion of this duology. There’s always a risk when a debut has been a 5 star read, because the expectations are high for the sequel, and it can be hard to live up to, or exceed, an impressive debut.

In this case, the second book falls short of the first. It isn’t by much; that’s the good news. And it is my opinion that the responsibility for the shortcomings primarily falls to the publisher/editor. It is my understanding the author planned a trilogy, but was offered a duology, and it seems to me that the second and third book were crammed into one, making this a book that’s got things spilling over the edges, because it doesn’t have room to really develop some of the subplots. Any example I cite would involve spoilers, so I won’t do that. And I will only say that, when it came to the primary objective of the novel, having the story continue well past the point when that was resolved, was an example of changing goalposts at the 11th hour. It’s clear that some of the events in the last quarter of the book set the stage for what should have been the third book, and the existence of the epilogue speaks to that. In fact, I found that really frustrating, because it isn’t an epilogue that resolves. It’s an epilogue that teases future events, but because the duology is complete, we can’t expect to see those events explored.

This arc wasn’t as smooth and polished as book 1; given that it was an arc, my assumption is that there was still a round of edits pending when it was issued. I won’t hold that against anyone; however, I am going to call out some language.

We are increasingly aware of insensitive and offensive language, such as racist, bigoted, and ableist terms. Many ableist terms are part of everyday speech (blindsided and tone deaf being two examples). One commonly used ableist term is moron, and in this book, that word is used more than once. It wasn’t necessary; there were other word choices that conveyed the intended sentiment without being ableist and offensive.There are links below about ableist language for those interested in more information. I called out the use of this word in a review several months ago, and I want to be consistent about that, which is why I’m mentioning it here.

Aside from those issues, the book has lots of action. And it gives us some emotional resolution for conflicts originating in book 1. The worldbuilding in this duology is excellent and although I felt the volume of things the author tried to address in book 2 threw the pace off a bit, it’s well worth your time if you enjoyed book 1. 4 stars.

Review of Book 1: The Blood Trials

Information about Ableist Language

Idiot, Moron, Freak: how to not insult disabled people. | by Elizabeth Wright | Medium

It’s Time To Stop Even Casually Misusing Disability Words (

You searched for ableist language – The Rolling Explorer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s