Bloodwitch (Maeve'ra Series #1) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble


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by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

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The first book in an urban fantasy series about loyalty, power, and the rules of survival.

Vampires are the only guardians Vance Ehecatl has ever known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family. He is grateful to them for generously providing for all of his needs and for offering him a home in the powerful empire of Midnight. But when an act of


The first book in an urban fantasy series about loyalty, power, and the rules of survival.

Vampires are the only guardians Vance Ehecatl has ever known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family. He is grateful to them for generously providing for all of his needs and for offering him a home in the powerful empire of Midnight. But when an act of violence forces Vance from his sheltered life, he’s startled to meet Malachi Obsidian, a fellow shapeshifter with conflicting ideas about Midnight and its leader, Mistress Jeshickah. 

Malachi claims Vance is a bloodwitch, who Jeshickah and her trainers, Jaguar and Taro, are trying to control. Vance doesn't know anything about the rare and destructive magic Malachi says he possesses, and he can't believe Jeshickah would use it to hurt others. But when his friends begin falling ill, Vance starts to realize his perfect world may not be as flawless as it seems. Now Vance must decide who to trust—the vampires he's always relied upon, or the shapeshifters who despise them.

Praise for Bloodwitch, Book 1 in the Maeve’ra trilogy: 

"Edgy world building, with cultures and societies based loosely on real history, is compelling. This book is highly recommended for Atwater-Rhodes fans and urban fantasy or alternate reality readers." —VOYA

"A satisfying read." —SLJ 

"Plenty of fun ahead for the author’s many fans." —Kirkus 
"Atwater-Rhodes made a splash with her first novel, In the Forests of the Night (1999). Since then she has continued writing lush fantasies of fully realized, well conceived worlds, and the first volume in the new Maeve’ra series is no exception." —Booklist 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While this trilogy opener lacks some of the poetry and complexity of Atwater-Rhodes’s Kiesha’ra series, it effectively explores the perils of hierarchy and the importance of independent thought. Set in the author’s empire of Midnight in the year 1803, this coming-of-age tale introduces 14-year-old shape-shifter Vance, who idolizes the vampires who raised him. However, an exposition-heavy encounter with witty outcast Malachi Obsidian shows him that not everyone supports their slave-based empire. Though Vance’s initial naïveté frustrates, vivid secondary characters maintain interest; fans of Midnight Predator will enjoy the reappearance of Jeshickah, the whip-wielding vampire ruler of Midnight, and Jaguar, Vance’s irreverent mentor. As Vance moves in Jeshickah’s circles for the first time, he cannot ignore the slaves’ blighted lives, memorably illustrated when Jaguar instructs him to cut one to test his blood-linked magic. Midnight’s shape-shifter opponents are equally unscrupulous, using Vance as a plague vector to infect vampires and slaves alike. “es, I’m manipulating you,” Malachi admits. “I’m fairly certain that’s almost all that anyone does to you.” Agendas collide in an intrigue-filled, unpredictable climax. Ages 12–up. (May)
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Karen Sykeny
This promising novel with potential for a sequel is a wonderful coming-of-age tale showing how important truth and choices are for all individuals. The fantasy and horror mash-up brings vampires, shape-shifters, and magic together in creative ways, unique from standard fare yet always expected and delivered by the author. Set sometime after the fall of Rome in an alternate reality, Midnight, the most powerful tribe ruled by vampires, has conquered almost all shape-shifter tribes, except some of the most independent and powerful magic users. Azteka and followers of Obsidian are free people who cannot be controlled by Midnight but do not openly fight them either. Fourteen-year-old Vance Ehecatl is a quetzal who has a peaceful, sheltered life until a visitor, Malachi Obsidian, tells him not all people are so well taken care of and that Midnight has ulterior motives for treating Vance so well. Eventually Vance learns more about Midnight society, where he comes from, and why Midnight wants him around. In the end, Vance must decide between right and wrong and freedom and slavery. Readers will be easily engaged with strong characters making choices into adulthood. Huge philosophical questions defining freedom and slavery, both physical and psychological, are presented through Vance’s thoughts and interactions with other characters. Edgy world building, with cultures and societies based loosely on real history, is compelling. This book is highly recommended for Atwater-Rhodes fans and urban fantasy or alternate reality readers. Reviewer: Karen Sykeny; Ages 15 to 18.
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Vance Ehecatl was a quetzal shapeshifter who had been abandoned as a child and raised by guardian vampires. He grew up in a fancy greenhouse in the Midnight Empire. Vance’s life had always been sheltered and he was under the impression that everyone around him led a comfortable existence. Then one day, after Mistress Jeshickah finishes her large canvas painting called Tamoanchan, Vance’s friend Calysta, who taught him to dance, slashes the finished masterpiece and commits suicide. Vance is stunned by the violence. Calysta was a fellow shapeshifter, like himself. Wasn’t she as happy as he was at the greenhouse? Then a mysterious man named Malachi Obsidian, another shapeshifter, visits Mistress Jeshickah and speaks to Vance about his “cage” of a home and how he should be living with the Azteka, his birth people. But Vance has always loved and looked up to the vampires. They are the family that wanted him and how dare Malachi call his home a cage. Although, come to think of it, it truly was a cage of sorts in the greenhouse, but he had wanted for nothing. Vance decides to test his freedom by leaving his home and venturing into the Midnight marketplace. His sheltered life has not prepared him for what he finds. He wants to believe that Lady Brina and Mistress Jeshickah have always been good to him, but then he witnesses the fact that the others are slaves and that he may be free but he really does not have any freedom. The new world opened up to him reveals that he is a Bloodwitch and even though he is just a boy many could be dying because of who and what he is. A rich story that weaves Aztec legends, vampires, shapeshifters, and horses into a riveting tale about a young boy trying to figure out who he is and what part he plays in the grand scheme of life. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan; Ages 12 up.
Kirkus Reviews
Atwater-Rhodes begins a new vampire series with a new world in this first installment of the Maeve'ra series. Vance has lived all his life in a wonderful, colorful greenhouse ruled by the beautiful Lady Brina. Now 14, Vance adores Brina and feels completely loyal to Midnight, the vampire empire ruled by Lady Jeshickah. Vance is not a vampire: He's a shape-shifter who transforms into a quetzal. He leaves the greenhouse when Malachi Obsidian, a rebellious shape-shifter who hates Midnight, takes Vance to its stronghold, and once there, Vance discovers how brutally the vampires treat their human slaves and others they command. When he learns that he has some sort of magic, he faces more decisions, especially since a mysterious disease has begun to ravage both human slaves and vampire masters. At last, other groups become involved in an effort to destroy Jeshickah and the seemingly all-powerful, oppressive empire of Midnight. Vance makes for a naïve, rather hyperconscious narrator, continually speculating as to who may be telling the truth and what their motives may be. With this series, the author takes inspiration from the mythology of ancient Mexico, basing names and spellings on Mayan and Aztec words. It's clear that this installment is just a setup volume, and the plot to take Midnight down will span many characters and pages to come. Plenty of fun ahead for the author's many fans. (Paranormal suspense. 12-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Vance Ehecatl is a young shape-shifter who can transform into an exquisite but rare Quetzal. Abandoned by his parents at birth, he has been raised by powerful vampires at their stronghold of Midnight. Sheltered and protected from the outside world and given all possible comforts, Vance never questions his surroundings or his vampire superiors. When his friend Calysta dies by violent means, Vance flees in the forest where he becomes lost and disoriented. He is discovered by a fellow shape-shifter named Malachi Obsidian, who tries to persuade Vance to leave Midnight. Malachi explains that Vance is a bloodwitch who possesses dangerous and unpredictable magic. He further turns Vance's world upside-down by claiming that Mistress Jeshickan and her vampires are manipulating him to control his power. In order to unlock his true potential, he must be properly trained by his own people. The main character struggles to uncover the truth, determine his destiny, and distinguish friend from foe. Atwater-Rhodes once again draws readers into the mysterious and extraordinary paranormal world of shape-shifters, vampires, witches, and Tristes. Although Bloodwitch is the first in this new trilogy, characters from her "Den of Shadow" and "Kiesha'ra" series (both Delacorte) are referenced and might possibly appear in later installments. A satisfying read.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

AMELIA ATWATER-RHODES wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was thirteen. Other books in the Den of Shadows series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, Persistence of Memory, Token of Darkness, and All Just Glass. She has also published the five-volume series The Kiesha'ra: Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Selection; Snakecharm; Falcondance; Wolfcry, an IRA-CBC Young Adults' Choice; and Wyvernhail. Her most recent novels are Poison Tree and Promises to Keep.

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