In a world where magic thrives in secret city corners, a group of magicians embark on a road trip—and it’s the “no-love-interest”, found family adventure you’ve been searching for.
Sixteen-year-old Blythe is one of seven Guardians: magicians powerful enough to cause worldwide panic with a snap of their fingers. But Blythe spends her days pouring latte art at her family’s coffee shop, so why should she care about having apocalyptic abilities?
She’s given a reason when magician anarchists crash into said coffee shop and kidnap her family.
Heartbroken but determined, Blythe knows she can’t save them alone. A war is brewing between two magician governments and tensions are too high. So, she packs up her family’s bright yellow Volkswagen, puts on a playlist, and embarks on a road trip across the United States to enlist the help of six strangers whose abilities are unparalleled—the other Guardians.
|CW: Anxiety attacks, mention of anxiety disorders, slight bloodshed, supernatural horror, possible loss of family, mention of loss of family, mention of drug use, car accident, gun use|
4.5 ‘I’m in love’ stars for The Black Veins by Ashia Monet.
Family, friendships, road trips, self discovery and magic; The Black Veins is the platonic YA urban fantasy you didn’t know you needed…
I don’t think I can accurately describe how I feel about The Black Veins by Ashia Monet in this review because I have so many thoughts and emotions, and I can’t properly put them to words, but the bottom line is that I absolutely love this book.
The Black Veins follows Blythe Fulton, a sixteen year magician and one of the seven Guardians, as she journeys to assemble the rest of the Guardians after her family is taken. Blythe and the six other Guardians travel, explore their magic, build a powerful friendships, fight monsters and find themselves in the process.
The Black Veins is an absolutely brilliant book from the wonderful plot, concept to the pacing and writing style. I absolutely love the concept of TBV, especially as a black person, seeing the importance of family, both family of origin and found family, and the extent anyone would go for their family. Blythe and the Guardians do the impossible for newbie magicians and teenagers to find Blythe’s family.
Another part of the concept and plot of The Black Veins I absolutely love, is the world building and the Elemental magic system. Admittedly, Avatar the Last Airbender and a few books is the extent of my experience with elemental magic, it doesn’t take away the love I have for the magical system. Magic in the TBV world is based on the ability to control the seven Elements of Magic — Nature, Death, Time, Ether, Animals, Mind and Body — every magician is able to control one or more of this Elements but with more expertise in one Element, but the Guardians are embodiment of their individual element, the peak of its power. The magic system, while being awesome isn’t the best part of this magical world, well at least to me, the amazing Tempore is. The idea of a place or phenomenon that breaks the laws of space and time to me was simply to my nerdy self one of the best things about TBV.
The plot and structure being amazing didn’t give an excuse for the writing style was lacking. The writing style was amazing too, I absolutely love Ashia Monet’s writing style. A mix of lyrical and simple, they managed to properly convey the emotions of the characters and the magic of the story.
The Black Veins is a book about magic and the magic of family and friendship.
The characters were the real magic of the book…
While the plot itself was amazing, the characters were everything.
I loved each and every one of the Guardians, they were all unique with individual struggles and personalities.
From shy, introverted Daniel; to fiercely loyal Blythe, to sweet, sunny bright faced Antonio (aka my baby, my son, my favourite character); sharp witted and equally sharp tongued Cordelia; witty, emo Caspian; quick and fierce Storm; to charismatic and mysterious Jay. And seeing as their characters develop so beautifully, the Guardians themselves were substance of the book. The magic of the story.
Queer, POC and mental illness rep...
The Black Veins had pretty much bought my interest with the “no love interest”, found family and road trip book with a black MC pitch, but the extensive queer, POC and mental illness rep was what won me over.
I can’t express how happy seeing such extensive representation made me, and even though I don’t have many queer books and books with mentally ill characters on my radar, but for the first time I was seeing someone like me in a book. And as a black, queer, mentally ill person, seeing myself in a book was so important to me. There were so many times in this book I felt seen and understood while reading TBV.
An amazing debut, a new favourite, a magical story…
From its plot, structure, writing and characters, The Black Veins is overall an amazing book and a fantastic book. I’ve found a new fave. 200% recommend.
Once upon a time, a young girl lost her family and discovered a new one.
Have I convinced you to read The Black Veins? I hope I did 😂
Have an amazing day, loves! 💗