Check out an interview with the author for this YA fantasy... Blood, Fire & Mercy by Christina Davis (Interview & Review) #yalit #yabooks #yafantasy #newbooks

Welcome to my tour stop! The first book in this series, Born at Dawn, was a five-star read for me last year. I seriously loved it and have been looking forward to book two! Make sure you check out the interview with the author and my review below...

Blood, Fire & Mercy
(Da'ValiaTrilogy #2)
By Christina Davis
YA Fantasy
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 367 Pages
November 10, 2021


18-year-old thief Neva Roberts has been living on the run since absconding with the Eye, piece of the greatest weapon ever created. But she’s running from more than a cold-hearted ruler. She has exiled herself to a barren land, trying to forget the pain she caused.

When Trinizhi’s squad of assassins catches up with Neva, her life on the run comes to an abrupt end, and the ultimate betrayal is unveiled. Only one person — Astiand — knew where she was hiding.

With the help of Emiliand and a new Djinn friend, Neva will return to her homeland for the job of a lifetime. If she can overcome dragon wardens, escape a prison island, and double-cross Trinizhi, Neva might just start forgiving herself…

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For those new to the series, what should they know?

Read Born at Dawn first? Haha. I guess they could jump into the trilogy with Blood, Fire & Mercy, but a lot of context would be lost.

Also, I don’t skimp on fantasy terms, so most readers find the glossary at the end to be helpful. It’s important to know it’s there – otherwise, they may not find it until they reach the end.

What was most challenging and most rewarding about writing this second book?

The most challenging thing about writing the second book was reminding myself to stay true to the story and true to the characters. Like, I adore Astiand and Emiliand, and it would have been so fun to give them more “screen time,” but the job Neva takes on is really something she needed to do herself.

The most rewarding thing was coming to know the Dragonslayers gang. Ballard was unexpectedly wise. Rinaldo was so complex – superstitious, yet brave. Tavo is hilarious. Mari is devious. …Together, they formed the perfect found family for Neva and helped her complete her character journey. I love it when things fall into place like that.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

I’d have to say Benjamand, the warrior librarian. I’m more of an introvert like he is, I love books like he does, and I’m happily nerdy.

What aspect of this fantasy world do you love the most?

Hm… I’d have to say the prison island and the pirates. I enjoyed figuring out what a prison island plagued by dragons would be like, and then how the people who were born there would live.

When I grew up in a small town, all I wanted to do was leave as soon as I could, so it just made sense to me that natives would turn to piracy as a vocation.

I also love that what the Order considered to be a life sentence for its problem citizens ended up backfiring generations later, creating an adversary (the pirates) for their merchant ships.

What was a book that made you cry, a book that made you laugh and a book that made you swoon?

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton tugged at my heartstrings. Not only was his wrongful conviction completely unjust, but there’s a scene where his mother passes away while he’s imprisoned, and he can’t go to her funeral. That one really got me.

Stealing Embers by Julie Hall had me cackling while I was sneakily reading next to my sleeping husband. Without giving anything away, the scene to look out for is Emberly vs. Steel.

A book that made me swoon… Anything by Olivia Wildenstein, but, specifically, The Lost Clan trilogy made me fall in love, which is all I can ask for in a book.

What’s something you enjoy doing when you’re not reading or writing?

I really enjoy hiking. I grew up next to a state park in a small logging town, so spending time in nature is something that nourishes my soul. Now that my daughter is toddling, I take her with me, and it’s even more rewarding to share what I know about the woods with her.

My Review

BLOOD, FIRE & MERCY is another roller-coaster fantasy where there is much at stake and only a few who can be trusted. The storybook world opens up more in this second installment with more magical creatures and another quest for the heroine to undertake. Another entertaining read for fans of YA fantasy and the series.

It took me a bit to remember who everyone was from the first book, but once I did, I was again completely immersed in this story. I still loved Neva, Astiand and Emiliand. There were also new characters who I grew to love from this second book, particularly Mari. Mari's magic was really interesting as well as quite helpful. I really liked learning the ins and outs of the island prison and its dragon wardens. I did miss a bit of the romance from the first book, but the chemistry and friendship were both still strong amongst certain characters, even in the glimpses we get. This author does really well with action sequences, which were an exciting part of this story, as well as character development. I loved the motley crew that ended up forming around Neva. The story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I'm anxiously waiting to see how things eventually turn out.

I had few complaints. One was that I felt like we kind of skipped some important pieces or parts, like how the Eye was tethered to Neva. I also felt there needed to be more development and world-building in the desert and as they're travelling, maybe because the stays were short, but I still wanted more. I didn't feel I was transported there as much as I wanted to be to fully experience the story. I also felt like Neva should have been a bit wiser and more skilled at this point in the story. I also wanted to shake her a few times when she basically cripples herself.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I loved the characters and this fantasy world with magic and different types of creatures. There was a lot going on and I can't wait for the conclusion in book three! Plus, did I mention there are dragons? Definitely a recommended series for fantasy fans!

Content: Some innuendo, lewd dialogue, violence (nothing overly descriptive). Would consider this clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through TBR and Beyond Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

Born at Dawn
(Da'ValiaTrilogy #1)
By Christina Davis
YA Fantasy
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 304 Pages
November 15, 2020


In a world of secrets, the one she never expected is the one that will change her life forever.

When a heist goes terribly wrong and the binding spell holding 17-year-old Neva’s powers at bay is shattered, the half-human thief knows she’s in trouble.

Neva has always hidden her Da’Valian heritage while working risky jobs to make a name for herself and serving at her family’s tavern, but she won’t be able to hide much longer. She can either risk the safety of those she cares about or seek out her mother’s people to gain control over her emerging powers.

The Da’Valia are beautiful, brutal creatures created by the god of war, and the austere Da’Valian soldier Astiand reluctantly agrees to take Neva to his clan under his protection. She makes unexpected friends, including the handsome fighter Emiliand, and a new enemy in the clan’s ruthless leader.

Spying on her guardian, the sly heroine quickly discovers just how deep she has stumbled into a dangerous, developing clan feud.

Will she be able to embrace who she is in time to keep her loved ones safe?

Read my 5-star review here.

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About the Author

Christina Davis was raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is a California girl at heart. She spent much of her childhood in and out of hospitals and embraced reading as an escape. After being home-schooled through high school, she graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University and attended NYU's Summer Publishing Institute before embarking on a decade-long career in journalism. She enjoys chocolate, cosplay, coffee, and board games, but not necessarily in that order. She now lives in beautiful Monterey County with her husband and daughter.

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