I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the Curse of the Divine by Kim Smejkal Blog Tour hosted by The Book Terminal Tours.
Do you love Tattoos? Check out what tattoos inspired Kim when writing the magic system for the Ink in the Blood Duology in my Guest Post below!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Return to the world of inklings, tattoo magic, and evil deities as Celia uncovers the secrets of the ink in order to stop Diavala once and for all. This eagerly anticipated sequel to Ink in the Blood is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Wicked Saints.
Celia Sand faced Diavala and won, using ink magic to destroy the corrupt religion of Profeta that tormented her for a decade. But winning came with a cost. Now Celia is plagued with guilt over her role in the death of her best friend. When she discovers that Diavala is still very much alive and threatening Griffin, the now-infamous plague doctor, Celia is desperate not to lose another person she loves to the deity’s wrath.
The key to destroying Diavala may lie with Halycon Ronnea, the only other person to have faced Diavala and survived. But Halcyon is dangerous and has secrets of his own, ones that involve the ink that Celia has come to hate. Forced to choose between the ink and Diavala, Celia will do whatever it takes to save Griffin—even if it means making a deal with the devil himself.
Tattoos and Illusions: The Magic of the Ink in the Blood Duology
Hello and thank you for letting me take over your blog today! My debut young adult fantasy, Ink in the Blood, came out in February 2020, and the sequel, Curse of the Divine, was released into the world only a few days ago! I’m excited to talk about the magic system and how it evolved over the course of the duology because it was one of my favorite aspects to write.
Ink in the Blood (which I lovingly refer to as Tattoo Book), follows two friends named Celia and Anya who work for a religion called Profeta. As inklings, they tattoo themselves or each other, and then use their special magic to transfer that tattoo to another person. These tattoos, in picture form, give orders or guidance from their god.
Early on in my research, I came across this image, which sums up Ink in the Blood so perfectly! It’s an upper thigh tattoo that depicts a girl being manipulated by an unseen puppet master.
Inklings like Celia and Anya are just the messengers. They’re supposed to follow the rules, listen to instructions, ink a tattoo, and send it away. But the religion is totally corrupt, and the Divine tattoos are intended to control and manipulate people’s behavior.
The issue is, Celia and Anya (at first) don’t believe that the Divine exists, so they aren’t very obedient. They push boundaries with their art. They do their own thing. They refuse to be help that inky hand control the people.
In fact, they often actively work against the message the Divine wants them to convey. Art is subjective, after all, so they find all the loopholes they can and exploit them. For example, they’ve been known to use the symbolism of the tarot to their advantage.
As Celia and Anya’s fight against the Divine and the religion of Profeta ramps up, they have to use their ink magic in new and inventive ways. They have to push boundaries not just in the images they draw, but in how they control the ink itself.
The magic system of this duology isn’t linked to the person, but to the ink.
Anyone can, in theory, become an inkling. If you have access to the ink and dip your hand inside, you can be infused with its power.
But you have to know how to use it.
Expanding the magic system in Curse of the Divine (which I lovingly refer to as Illusion Book) became about illuminating the full truth about the magical ink’s capabilities. It turns out that using the ink for two-dimensional tattoos was only the beginning…
In Curse of the Divine, Celia travels with Griffin (the infamous Plague Doctor from the first book), to the place where the ink originated. They meet someone who knows all of the ink’s secrets.
Celia uses her ink in bold new ways. She trains under the true inkmaster.
Curse of the Divine is a book of secrets, so I’m not able to talk details without risking huge spoilers. But I can say that you will go on quite a ride with Celia and Griffin, you’ll meet new characters, and explore two wil d new settings: one light and whimsical, and one dark and ominous.
I can give you a picture teaser about two very important tattoos that come into play in Curse of the Divine. They would look a little something like this:
The ink is the foundation of the magic system and the very essence of the power struggle between good and evil. Revealing the ink’s true nature over the course of two books was an ambitious project: I had to know the magic inside and out, and then cross my fingers and hope I didn’t write myself into a corner along the way! But it was all worth it, and I’m so proud of this duology. I hope you love reading it as much as I loved writing it.
Ink in the Blood and Curse of the Divine will appeal to anyone who likes bold new magic systems, tattoos, and trippy illusionscapes. If you’d like to check out more images that inspired these books, feel free to visit my Pinterest pages for them! There are more pictures of specific tattoos used in the books, character references, and setting inspiration.
Thanks again for having me on your blog, and, as Celia would say: Sastimos futura—cheers to your good future!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, will release from HMH in early 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.
Tour Schedule – Bloggers
The Baroness of Books – Welcome Post
Day Leitao – Spotlight Post
Geekiemind – Review
The Clever Reader – Guest Post
Pop Reads Reviews – Review
Musings of Souls – Review, Interview
PopTheButterfly Reads – Review
Kait Plus Books – Interview
Avni Reads – Review
Ya It’s Lit – Review
Tour Schedule – Bookstagrammers
@book_baroness – Welcome Post