#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, July 11 Edition

Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst
Audio Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-0062822826

Asra has grown up on a remote mountain with limited outside contact in order to protect her powers as a demigod – she can change the future with her blood. Asra falls for a girl from the village named Ina; when Ina asks Asra to help her find her manifest (an animal she will magically bond with and be able to transform into), Asra does so with her blood magic. Ina manifests into a fearsome dragon determined to seek revenge on those who have pillaged her town, and the king she believes allows it. Asra is set on a journey trying to help Ina, while also trying to convince her not to attack the king.

Asra meets many people along the way, and even another demigod, in journey about belonging, love, trust, betrayal, redemption and more. Coulthurst’s worldbuilding throughout Inkmistress is immersive.

Fulford-Brown’s lilting narration allows the different characters, their emotions and journeys to shine through. With a clear and careful voice, she demonstrates Asra’s thoughtful nature.  In contrast she uses a more clipped tone for Ina which seems to increase in coldness, becoming almost metallic at times, as her desire for vengeance grows.  Fulford-Brown deftly portrays male characters too, speaking in a delightful brogue as the optimistic demigod Hal.

Fans of the Truthwitch series, Leigh Bardugo, particularly her Shadow and Bones Trilogy, and Sarah J. Maas will enjoy this dark, world-building, quest-filled fantasy.

—Cyndi Hamann