Blog Tour: The Damned

With recent events, I could not be silent. I’ve linked here a thread of bail funds to support protesters who are arrested for demanding justice for victims of police violence. Here is the Black Lives Matter Carrd and 74 bail funds to support as well. I will be doing this on every post. If you have the funds to donate, please do but if not, please support and uplift Black voices and sign the petitions.

I loved the elegant, interesting vampire renaissance that The Beautiful offered up last year and was so excited to continue Celine’s story. Luckily for me, the wonderful Kate Keehan at Hodder sent me an eARC and an early physical copy in exchange for an honest review. On top of that, she also invited me on the blog tour to celebrate this exquisite story.

The Damned by Renée Ahdieh

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien. 

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn. 

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

My Thoughts:

As with The Beautiful, I was utterly mesmerised by this rich, entrancing tale that expanded beyond the confines of the first book so well. Ahdieh has such a striking, captivating voice that she utilises to great effect in this super sequel.

In a strong cast of characters, Odette still has to be my favourite with her snarky attitude and ability to see the future. I really loved how we actually got to hear her voice this time around and how morally grey and ruthless she truly is. Her beauty is her weapon to lure unsuspecting, foolish people who underestimate her. Indeed, the character work is a real strength of The Damned, with the Court of Lions getting far more fleshed out. We get to know the individual members more, with their tangled web of loyalties and secrets. By giving us this deeper understanding of the members and their history, you’re forced to reexamine some of the events of the previous book in a new lens, constantly revitalising and rejuvenating the rich world you are lost in.

Ahdieh just has the most gorgeous writing. It’s so sumptuous and vividly imaginative, making you really feel immersed in her varied settings and voices. Yet again, it is a compelling story, with really well-executed twists that genuinely make you reevaluate what you thought you knew. I really loved the way that the lore and world was enriched and expanded as it was so expansive and intriguing. It takes the story to new and very interesting places that leaves plenty of material for the rest of the series. In particular, the motif of mirrors and the way in which Ahdieh utilises them was something that I just adored. We also get to explore two distinct new worlds, which I won’t say too much about for fear of spoilers: The Vale and the Wyrld. They serve as direct contrasts, on the surface one appears far better than the other, but closer examination reveals the cracks and potential darkness lurking beneath.

The Damned is a magical story that builds on the foundations of its predecessor to craft a spellbinding, richer story that leaves you hungry for more.

Thank you again to Kate Keehan and Hodderscape for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review and don’t forget to check out the other amazing posts on this blog tour!

5 thoughts on “Blog Tour: The Damned

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