The Last Bloodcarver (The Last Bloodcarver Duology #1)

Vanessa Le

YA Fantasy

The tantalizing romance of These Violent Delights meets the mechanical wonders of Cinder in The Last Bloodcarver, the first in a two-book debut — with a riveting medical magic system and lush Vietnam-inspired fantasy world.

Nhika is a bloodcarver. A cold-hearted, ruthless being who can alter human biology with just a touch. In the industrial city of Theumas, she is seen not as a healer, but a monster that kills for pleasure.

When Nhika is caught using her bloodcarving abilities during a sham medical appointment, she’s captured by underground thugs and sold to an aristocratic family to heal the last witness of their father’s murder.

But as Nhika delves deeper into their investigation amidst the glitz of Theumas’ wealthiest district, she begins to notice parallels between this job and her own dark past. And when she meets an alluring yet entitled physician’s aide, Ven Kochin, she’s forced to question the true intent behind this murder. In a society that outcasts her, Kochin seems drawn to her…though he takes every chance he gets to push her out of his opulent world.

When Nhika discovers that Kochin is not who he claims to be, and that there is an evil dwelling in Theumas that runs much deeper than the murder of one man, she must decide where her heart, and her allegiance, truly lie. And — if she’s willing to become the dreaded bloodcarver Theumas fears — to save herself and the ones she’s vowed to protect.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) Bloodcarvers are known to be ruthless monsters that can alter your body with just a touch. However, Nhika was taught as a child that bloodcarving (or blood-soothing as she was taught) is for healing and good.

After being arrested for using her magic, Nhika is taken to be sold to the highest bidder, a wealthy young woman buys her. The young woman and her brother are kind and are hoping she can help solve a murder mystery by healing a man who was at the scene. Nhika is given everything she’s never had in her simple life and her attachment to the family grows strong. Initially she is not able to help them but is given a library full of medical books for her to research in hopes to find a way.

Because the Congmis are kind and generous, she finds a contentment she hasn’t felt in years. This helps her study endlessly on the brain and the body systems that provide her with information she’s never known. But also opens her heart to friendships and relationships because these people accept her for who she is.

The classism is a large part of the story and it is portrayed well by showing the two extremes. It also shows the hearts of people, good or bad, regardless of that position.

The science Nhika was researching and how her mind is opened begins a rush of knowledge into her. Then something sinister arises and she’s caught between two choices. This revelation spurs the mystery into another direction while keeping the intrigue high. She has searched for belonging, acceptance and people to love her for who she is. Now she has very difficult decisions to make.

If you’re looking for a unique story filled with magic, strong spirit and found family, you will love this one!

AUDIO REVIEW: VyVy Nguyen was perfect for the voices of teens but also adults. She excelled in speed or intensity in all the right places to add that extra entertainment. My only complaint would be to add more Asian accent to the story but it did not deter my entertainment in any way.

General content summary: 

Minimal language 

Parent death (sickness, previous)

Man in coma 

Murder (no details)

Taking the life of an animal (magic, few details, 2x)

Physical violence (stabbing, blood)

Captivity (selling her for her skills)

Funeral and grief (description of body in casket)

Alcohol (some underage)

Weapon (gun threatening, knife threatening, stabbing would and blood, multiple, few details)

M/F kiss

Exhuming of body (few details of body, 2x)

Gunshot injuries (few, blood, pain, multiple, few details)

Thank you to Fierce Reads, NetGalley, MacMillan Audio and Roaring Book Press for the beautiful copies!

The book releases March 19, 2024.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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