Book Review: When Wishes Bleed by Casey L Bond

Fate I knew was all too real. He wasn't an obscure concept of destiny, or a dream of what the future might hold. And he certainly wasn't luck or a wishing well. He was sentient and very much alive. I was Fate's daughter, and he lived inside me.

It’s been a while since I read a fantasy novel and I was in the mood of some magic and royalty when the blurb of this book caught my eye. It reminded me of The Selection series by Kiera Cass which I had liked an I decided to read this book.

It opens quite interestingly on Solstice with Sable taking readings. Sable is a witch from sector 13 and the only representative of the House of Fate. She is the daughter of fate and fate lives inside her, directing her to do his bidding. She is a young and a powerful witch, feared by mostly all the witches in the circle making her lonely except for when she takes readings.

The story starts when Sable is tasked by fate to execute the killer of a young witch at the Solstice celebrations. It is then that she meets Prince Tauren who is the only person brave enough to ask for a reading from Sable after watching the execution and though she is unaware of his identity, Sable is instantly attracted to him. Tauren snaps a wishbone which bleeds and reveals Sable a vision of Tauren being assassinated. The day after that, Sable receives an invitation from the castle to join twelve other girls each representing their sectors to win the heart of Prince Tauren and become his wife and future queen. Though, unlike the other girls who are there to win the prince’s hand in marriage, Sable is there to make sure that the prince is safe and help him catch the killer in the process. (Feel the connection with The Selection yet 😉 )

The story evolves from there and is quite multi layered with a lot of things going on at once. During the process of catching the killer and pretending to win each other’s hand for marriage, Sable and Tauren come closer and fall in love (Obvious much?). I felt as though Tauren’s character as the main love interest was a little under developed. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Tauren is human and Sable is extremely self reliant as a witch. No heroics are needed from Tauren’s end. It did help a little that theirs’s was an insta-love kind of a romance.

Tauren had more magic in his person than I had learned in all my years. He was like an undine, luring me into troubled waters and coaxing me to take his hand, only to drag me in to the depths, never aware that I was also slowly drowning, never caring if I ever tasted the air I desperately needed again.

The prose was good. I liked Sable. As the heroine, she was calm, composed, determined and self reliant even though fate was pulling strings and making a puppet out of her. The side characters of Brecan and Mira as the witches who accompany her are strong and Sable’s interaction with them are interesting.

Overall, there were some good things about the book, mainly Sable but I felt as if Tauren’s character could have been better. Also, the plot of the story went a little too haywire in the end for me. At times, I felt as if I couldn’t connect the beginning of the book with its end. Though if you are looking for a short and a light fantasy reading with witches and magic, then this book pulls it off in a unique way.

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