The Last Bloodcarver

The Last Bloodcarver

by Vanessa Le

Narrated by VyVy Nguyen

Unabridged — 10 hours, 34 minutes

The Last Bloodcarver

The Last Bloodcarver

by Vanessa Le

Narrated by VyVy Nguyen

Unabridged — 10 hours, 34 minutes

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

Gorgeously rendered, with a fresh and unique magic system, this is a brutal, bloody fantasy that has a warm and tender core. Packed with the full spectrum of emotional resonance, this is as satisfying as YA Fantasy gets.

"You'll gasp, you'll scream, you'll cry, and you'll be begging for the next book." - Chloe Gong, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of These Violent Delights

"Smart, lush, and utterly compelling." - Marie Lu, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Legend

Nhika is a bloodcarver. A coldhearted, ruthless being who can alter human biology with just a touch.


In the industrial city of Theumas, Nhika is seen not as a healer, but a monster that kills for pleasure. And in the city's criminal underbelly, the rarest of monsters are traded for gold. When Nhika is finally caught by the infamous Butchers, she's forced to heal the last witness to a high-profile murder.

As Nhika delves into the investigation, all signs point to Ven Kochin, an alluring yet entitled physician's aide. Despite his relentless attempts to push her out of his opulent world, something inexplicable draws Nhika to him. But when she discovers Kochin is not who he claims to be, Nhika will be faced with a greater, more terrifying evil lurking in the city's center...

Her only chance to survive lies in a terrible choice-become the dreaded monster the city fears, or risk jeopardizing the future of her kind.

Praise for The Last Bloodcarver

*Three starred reviews*

¿ "An entrancingly well-written debut." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

¿ "Visceral and exquisitely rendered prose, intertwining a murder investigation with themes of unresolved grief, medical ethics, and lost heritage." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

¿ "Deeply romantic, and darkly biological." - Booklist, starred review

"The perfect blend of sci-fi, fantasy, and romance." - Axie Oh, New York Times-bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

"Obsession-worthy characters." - Joan He, New York Times-bestselling author of The Ones We're Meant to Find

"Absolutely captivating. This is one to be savored." - Grace D. Li, New York Times-bestselling author of Portrait of a Thief

A Macmillan Audio production from Roaring Brook Press.


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 12/18/2023

In the dark underbelly of the fantasy city-state of Theumas, 18-year-old Nhika ekes out a living peddling homeopathic remedies to upper-class clients desperate enough to fall for her scam. After a home visit goes awry, Nhika is outed as a bloodcarver—people with the feared ability to access and manipulate biological processes with a single touch—and kidnapped and sold on the black market. Though she expects to be forced into using her abilities for nefarious deeds, Nhika is instead bought by the scions of the Congmi, one of the wealthiest industrialist families in the city, who seek her bloodcarving to heal the comatose last witness to their patriarch’s suspicious death. Reluctant to get involved in such high-stakes political drama but eager for the opportunity to use her gift to heal, Nhika steps into a world of glamour, intrigue, and hidden agendas. But her already impossible task is further complicated by Ven Kochin, a mysterious and infuriating doctor’s assistant who keeps inserting himself into her investigation. Le expertly crafts a Vietnamese-inspired dark fantasy debut via visceral and exquisitely rendered prose, intertwining a murder investigation with themes of unresolved grief, medical ethics, and lost heritage. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)

From the Publisher

*FOUR starred reviews*

"Le skillfully brings to life a gritty world filled with a beautifully crafted cast and an intricate magic system I've never seen before. A smart, lush, and utterly compelling read." — Marie Lu, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Legend

"Brilliantly rendered. The Last Bloodcarver unfolds in gripping detail, following a mystery colored by its beautiful, destructive city. You’ll gasp, you’ll scream, you’ll cry, and you’ll be begging for the next book." — Chloe Gong, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of These Violent Delights

"The Last Bloodcarver is the perfect blend of sci-fi, fantasy, and romance, with a world that feels lived in and characters that come alive on the page. A unique and beautifully written novel—Le is a talent to watch!" — Axie Oh, New York Times-bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

"The Last Bloodcarver has it all—a wonderfully unique magic system, heartfelt themes of legacy and diaspora, and obsession-worthy characters. I need more Nhika and Kochin now!" — Joan He, New York Times-bestselling author of The Ones We're Meant to Find

"Absolutely captivating. In The Last Bloodcarver, Le crafts a richly imagined fantasy world, filled with complex, nuanced characters and a magic system that feels brand new. This is one to be savored." — Grace D. Li, New York Times-bestselling author of Portrait of a Thief

"The Last Bloodcarver is fantasy for the vicious, bloody and unrepentant, but fear not: in Nhika’s journey, Le has crafted a story that is, in its heart, about her tender homecoming." — Em X. Liu, author of The Death I Gave Him

★ "An entrancingly well-written debut." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ "Le expertly crafts a Vietnamese-inspired dark fantasy debut via visceral and exquisitely rendered prose, intertwining a murder investigation with themes of unresolved grief, medical ethics, and lost heritage." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "Medically based magic, a world full of mechanistic creations, and incredibly lovable side characters are icing on the cake of this slow burn, deeply romantic, and darkly biological fantasy with a Vietnamese foundation...An engrossing, emotionally intense debut." — Booklist, starred review

★ "All collections will benefit from this unequivocal first purchase that will resonate especially deeply with immigrant and diasporic teens struggling to see themselves in media." — School Library Journal, starred review

Amazon Best Book of the Month
Nerd Daily Most-Anticipated YA

School Library Journal

★ 03/01/2024

Gr 7 Up—As the last practitioner of the Yarongese art of heartsoothing, Nhika is an outcast because of this medicine-based magic and her Yarongese ancestry. A patient visit gone awry ends with the wealthy Congmi family buying Nhika's services on the black market, tumbling her into the secret investigation of their patriarch's recent, suspicious death. Throughout, the lies and political machinations surrounding the investigation are complex enough to be intriguing but not overwhelming. The intricate magic system is exceptional, unique, and clearly conveyed. Yet the starring plotline is Nhika's journey to reconcile her connection to her Yarongese heritage with the narrative of the Yarongese people that Theumas perpetuates—a journey subtly marked by whether the more nuanced "heartsoothing" or the semi-perjorative "bloodcarving" is used to describe Nhika's skill. This reconciliation is aided by her relationship with sometime rival, sometime ally Ven Kochin. The romance that develops between the two is underdeveloped given the role it plays in the finale; ironically, the lack of romantic focus is likely to increase the appeal for some teens. Characters are largely coded as East or Southeast Asian; significant side characters are queer. VERDICT All collections will benefit from this unequivocal first purchase that will resonate especially deeply with immigrant and diasporic teens struggling to see themselves in media.—Austin Ferraro

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2023-12-16
Nhika has been called many terrible things throughout her short life, but she knows herself to be a heartsooth.

Heartsooths can read and manipulate a person’s body and blood with a mere touch of skin on skin. But in the technocratic city-state of Theumas, she’s feared and reviled as a monstrous bloodcarver. After Nhika’s captured by Butchers and sold to Mimi, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, she’s set a seemingly impossible task—to heal the barely surviving witness to Mimi’s father’s recent untimely death. Nhika finally begins to hope she might be accepted and that she can use her gift as it was intended, laying some of the ghosts of her past to rest. But a chance meeting with Kochin, a mysterious boy who knows more than he should, soon spirals into a tangled web of intrigue and evil beyond her imagining. Nhika faces an impossible choice: whether to “help the first family to trust her, or follow the last person in the city who might truly understand her.” Le writes with meticulous care. The richly detailed worldbuilding is infused with Vietnamese cultural elements, and the characters, viewed through Nhika’s jaded yet desperately hopeful eyes, are sympathetic and complex, expressing conflicting emotions and motivations. The story demands, in the best possible ways, that readers think, posing questions of identity, family, and trust for them to ponder. The insidiously twisty ending packs a punch, leaving an opening for a sequel.

An entrancingly well-written debut. (map) (Fantasy. 12-18)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940178254394
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 03/19/2024
Series: The Last Bloodcarver Duology
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 529,281
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