Title: When Wishes Bleed
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: Fiction/ YA/ Fantasy/ Romance/ Magic
Source: Kindle Unlimited Recommendation
Favourite Quote: ‘There was no poison. His food was fine. Fate confirmed it. I replaced the lid, but couldn’t resist dragging a knuckle down Tauren’s cheek before walking away. I took my seat again and lifted the spell. Tauren’s eyes caught mine. He ran his fingers over his cheek, over the trail I’d left, and one side of his lips curled up.’
Sable is the Daughter of Fate, chosen by Fate himself to carry out his duties within the thirteen sectors of the Kingdom of Nautilus. Fate has always been the most powerful being in the thirteenth sector, which has made Sable feared and cast off from her fellow witches who live in the Wind, Water, Fire and Earth Houses in the Circle. Sable’s 17th birthday allowed her the right to reclaim Fate’s House for her very own, but before she could even begin to unpack her belongings in her new dusty home, a golden-eyed stranger visiting for the Equinox celebration ends up drunk in her living room. Tea, wax and bones are common readings for Sable’s guests, when the stranger is drawn to the wishbones and asks for a reading, she is happy to oblige for a price. Fate has always given her the means to read those around her easily, so when Sable gets the worse reading she’s ever come across she can’t help but feel disarmed by the surprise, even more so when she’s invited to the palace in the first sector by Prince Tauren, her golden-eyed visitor with a bloody target on his back.
‘Sitting across from him, I placed the bowl between us. He studied the inscriptions engraved around the bowl’s rim. “Choose a wishbone. Before you break it, wish for the knowledge of your future.”
He plucked a bone from the bottom of the pile and closed his eyes. With a quick snap, the bone was broken in two, but something was terribly wrong.
I gasped at the sight of it. His golden eyes snapped open.
My mouth gaped and I sucked in a shocked breath. Droplets of crimson blood dripped from the larger part of the bone, splattering onto the table. I felt a speck hit my cheek and wiped his blood away with my thumb. I’d been reading fates for years, and had never seen a wishbone bleed. Scenes flashed through my mind. Every single fate pointed to one thing. I called on Fate to confirm it and felt his warning warmth flow through my veins. The bone did not lie. There was no mistake.
“Very soon, someone will try to kill you.”‘
Elemental magic, witches, murder, a love triangle, friendship, a royal competition and the daughter of Fate connecting it all. What a fantastic story! I was immediately drawn in and I could not put the book down!
The whole concept of Fate being dealt with in the form of a 17 year old witch was brilliant and the author didn’t hold back on the gruesome details of her assignments. Even if Sable held back on delivering fate, she herself would feel the consequences of it through powers she couldn’t control. When she did give in and find the assigned target of Fate, the power she was able to wield was undoubtably terrifying to those around her, especially when she was sent to kill.
‘Most of the witches believed Fate was Death and that I was his hands, but Fate was exactly what his name implied. Sometimes he demanded that a person forfeit their life. Sometimes he urged a person onto a better or more prosperous path. I often wondered why he chose the people he favoured, but rarely questioned him about the lives he called me to take or felt guilty for being his hands. Perhaps he was merciful enough to take that feeling away. Or maybe their actions warranted the swift hand of justice. I didn’t ask for this curse; I had no choice but to fulfil his will. Even when it conflicted with theirs, even when it conflicted with mine.’
Sable was a great protagonist who was easy to relate too, even with the power of Fate guiding her through her decisions. Whilst she was cast off by her fellow witches and isolated herself in her cabin, she still felt like she belonged there amongst them, protecting them. She was honest and knew what she wanted for herself, even if it meant being alone – until Tauren showed up of course. Logically, Sable knew she was only invited to the palace to protect him under the guise of the competition, but the small moments where she gave herself the chance to enjoy Tauren’s presence were delightful.
I immediately fell in love with their relationship, fated from the start, their instant connection brought an exciting forbidden romance to the story. Tauren’s immediate attraction to Sable was clear in his invitation to compete for a chance to be his, even when he knew it was impossible. He was everything you could want as a love interest, strong and determined, he knew what he wanted and went for it.
Their interactions together were adorable, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for Brecan as he sadly watched them from across the room, creating a love triangle that had no hope of a happy ending on his part. You truly wanted to like Brecan for his ability to see Sable for who she was and still stood by her side when no one else would in the witches sector, a handsome best friend who deserved much more than what Sable was able to give him. Whilst his jealously was somewhat annoying, you could sympathise.
I really liked Mira, a water witch who decided to help guard Sable in the first sector. She was a great addition in the party and helped Sable realise she wasn’t as alone as she thought with the friendship she offered. The dresses Mira made out of magic were a wonderful detail that brought confidence to Sable’s character in the palace, an opportunity to make her feel comfortable whilst still holding on to her true self that Tauren continued to delight in.
The overall atmosphere in the story was really detailed, you felt the difference in each sector of the kingdom from the earthly celebration of nature in thirteenth, right through to the modern city feel in the first sector living in royalty and technology that wasn’t clearly interpreted amongst the witches. The divide between the two was distinctive with the fear of the unknown, it was clear that the kingdom wasn’t used to having witches in their presence, especially one competing for the hand of the prince.
I particularly liked the magical elements throughout the story, never overwhelming in the plot but constantly surprising and unique with each character. You never knew what to expect which continued pull me in.
Those from the House of Wind sent a sweet, warm breeze to sweep across the space, plucking petals from stems and sending them whirling above the rooftops nearby, beyond the treetops and high into the sky, until they disappeared from sight. As they lowered their hands and snuffed out any trace of wind, soft petals rained from the heavens. Within minutes, the grass was carpeted in petals of every colour of the rainbow. Children scooped up the delicate petals and flung into the air, trying to imitate the Wind witches.
This book can be read as a standalone with a satisfying ending, or you could pick up the next one that continues with the perspective of another character; The Omen of Stones. This was the first book I picked up from Casey L. Bond, and I’m sure it will not be the last, this author has definitely grabbed my attention!
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate.
The upheaval in my life began the moment a prince stumbled into my house and asked me to read his fortune. Any other night, I might have made an excuse to get him to leave, but this was no normal visit. My fingers prickled to touch him. So, I granted his request by handing him a single wishbone. When he snapped it, the wish … bled.
Hearing me suck in a shocked breath, he asked what it meant. Such an ominous omen could only mean one thing: his death was imminent. Fate revealed that he wouldn’t die of natural causes. Someone wanted him dead. Stunned by the revelation, the man I now knew as Prince Tauren disappeared into a night I feared he wouldn’t survive.
The following day, I received an invitation to the castle. While it seemed the prince believed I could intervene and uncover who was plotting his death, his motives didn’t stop there. I was being summoned to join twelve other women in vying for the opportunity to be his wife and future queen. Going could mean jeopardizing my plans to reclaim my heritage and resurrect the House of Fate. But staying would guarantee Tauren’s death, and the blood of his wish would be on my hands.