The Witch's Blood
Rating: 5/5
Buy/Borrow: Buy
Source: Early copy courtesy of HarperCollins (released 8th March)

The final spell-binding book in THE WITCH’S KISS trilogy by authors and sisters, Katharine and Elizabeth Corr.

Life as a teenage witch just got harder for Merry when her brother, Leo is captured and taken into an alternative reality by evil witch Ronan. Determined to get him back, Merry needs to use blood magic to outwit her arch-rival and get Leo back. Merry is more powerful than ever now, but she is also more dangerous and within the coven, loyalties are split on her use of the magic. In trying to save Leo, Merry will have to confront evil from her past and present and risk the lives of everyone she’s ever loved. Given the chaos she’s created, just what will she sacrifice to make things right?

I have to start by saying thank you to HarperCollins for sending me an early finished copy of this book. I feel like I've been waiting an eternity for this finale, so to have it in my hand over a month early is something I appreciate more than you could ever know.

It is with a heavy (but satisfied) heart that I type this review. Heavy, because Merry's written journey is over. Satisfied, because although the series is over, it was left in a way that left me feeling content; with no questions unanswered. The third in a trilogy is always a minefield for me. Will the ending leave me disappointed? Will it live up to my expectations? Will all ends be tied? All questions I ask myself when desperately awaiting the last book in a series. Through tear-filled eyes, I can confirm, The Witch's Blood ends epically.

If you've not read the first two books in The Witch's Kiss series, I'd probably advise you to stop reading this review now. Although they'll be no spoilers from book three, they'll obviously be some spoilers from books one and two.

If I don't re-read books in a series before a new one is released, I usually struggle as I probably have the world's worst memory. Something I love about Kate & Liz's books is that there's always a recap in the early chapters of what's happened previously, so you find yourself settled into the story fairly quickly.

The story focuses on 17 year old witch, Merry Cooper. When we first met Merry in The Witch's Kiss, she was an awkward teenager, unaware of her powers and feeling a bit lost. Merry in The Witch's Blood is independent, powerful and very decisive. I think Merry's character development has been one of the most beautiful parts of the series. Watching her grow into a woman, making her own choices, and nurturing her powers has been a slow, but steady process and something done so realistically.

Book three starts exactly where book two left off. Leo has been taken by Ronan to an alternate world and Merry is hellbent on getting her big brother back; and she will stop at nothing to ensure he returns home safely. She follows him into the alternate world, with (sort of) boyfriend Finn; only to be confronted by her old flame, and ex-controlee of the King of Hearts, Jack. Poor Merry isn't having much luck...

Meanwhile, Ronan is desperate to win back Leo's affections but Leo just wants his home, his family and to get away from the psychopath he once called his boyfriend. Leo decides that the only way he can get close enough to Ronan to kill him, is to play him at his own game; but when Ronan suggests a binding ceremony, Leo starts to wonder if he's made the right decision...

Will Merry get to Leo before he's bound to Ronan forever? Will Merry finally be able to control her powers without any repercussions? Will Merry decide who her heart really belongs to? Or will things change for Merry permanently...

My review has only really summed up the first half of the book, but revealing anymore will lead to massive spoilers - and I know many of you are not a fan of those. Just know that Merry's trust is tested and she's worried she may have to give up more than she's willing to sacrifice...

I'll be honest, the ending was massively unexpected for me. I was wary at first and things were looking bleak for Merry but the ending was perfect and exactly what I think Merry needed. It's hard not to get emotional here because over the past few years, I've always found comfort and friendship in Merry. She's taught me that it's okay to be flawed, it's okay to make bad choices and wrong decisions sometimes; as long as you're staying true to you. Merry is one of my favourite characters from a YA series, ever and I can't believe her story is over.

And how could we forget about our gorgeous secondary characters? Leo's journey over the series of coming out as gay and accepting himself has been utterly gorgeous, even if he has made some terrible choices in men. And Finn? Never before have I hated a character so ferociously and it be replaced with love and affection over the course of a book. And I have to mention Jack. I was rooting for you Jack, you were always my number one, but I guess some things just aren't meant to be...

As always, the book was easy-reading, fast paced and completely unputdownable. I read it in one sitting, in just under 3 hours. If you're in need of a new fantasy series, this is definitely the series for you. Kate and Liz, thank you for bringing us such a fantastic series; and I can't wait to see what you do next. You'll always have a reader in me.

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