Blog Tour: Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier (Review & Giveaway!)

Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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Ulises asked, "How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers."

Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. "It's bound to be a goose chase. You know that?"

"Or a treasure hunt," Ulises countered, "and you've always been good at those."

Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar's oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way...until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias's father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king's beautiful cousin by his side-whether he wants her there or not-Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried...and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.


I went into Isle of Blood and Stone not knowing exactly what to expect. The reviews I had seen had been slightly mixed; however, the synopsis still greatly intrigued me. I wanted to know more about Elias, the newly discovered maps, and the tragedy that happened 18 years ago. 

The result? Isle of Blood and Stone completely WOWED me! I LOVED this book! 

There's so much to like about the Isle of Blood and Stone, and one of the aspects I enjoyed the most was the world building. World building within fantasy can be a huge miss-or-hit, in my opinion. It can make-or-break a book; however, here it built the book up beautifully. I appreciated the level of detail Makiia gave to the kingdom of Del Mar. I enjoyed learning about the kingdom's history: its princes, its feuds, its fights, and its mapmakers. I also liked that Makiia didn't stop just there; instead, she gave offered a picture of the kingdom's surroundings- the different islands, the deadly forest, etc. 

Isle of Blood and Stone's plot mainly focusses on the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the two princes and Lord Antonni. The prologue gives the first look into what happened the day, and it did a fantastic job of hooking me in. As the book continues, we're quickly thrown into a thrilling adventure, as Elias races to figure out the clues before it's too late. I thought everything contained just the perfect amount of suspense - enough to keep me interested and committed to the story but never feeling too overwhelmed or thinking that certain twists were thrown in for no real purpose but thrill. I also enjoyed that even at the end - when you thought everything large had been revealed - Makiia still had some tricks up her sleeve. 

Last but not least the characters! The majority of Isle of Blood and Stone is told through Elias's perspective, and I truly enjoyed seeing through his eyes. Elias is an interesting mixture between fearless and scared, brave and cautious. When the book first begins, Elias doesn't view himself as anything incredibly special. Sure, he inherited his father's mapmaking abilities, but he doesn't believe he comes close to being even a quarter of the hero his father was. This quality made Elias more human, in my opinion, and what I really appreciated was the fact that Elias didn't use this feeling to knock himself down; instead, it was more of a doubt, a feeing lurking in the distance. I think it's something that anyone can relate to - feeling as if they'll never live up to the person they're claimed to be "just like" - and Makiia truly captured this feeling perfectly here. I loved seeing Elias grow as the book progressed. He became such a kick-a$$ individual, saving the day more than once. 

I also liked seeing him evolve in his relationships. His friendship with Mercedes, for instance, was sweet yet spicy. I liked the bond between them, the-push-and-the-pull. Mercedes kept him on his toes that's for sure. Not to mention they were also great partners. Even though there wasn't many scenes with his family, it was easy to see what a loving, caring relationship was there as well. It was easy to see how much he valued his stepfather, his mother, and his siblings, which made the feelings he felt about finding his father even more complex. Was he willing to risk everything - his siblings' s standings, the status of his mother's marriage - for a man that may have been hiding all these years? It was a hard choice. Last but not least: Reyna, the real show stealer! Reyna, a young mapmaker-in-training, is courageous, poised yet bold. I loved seeing her assist Elias with the maps, and I loved the trouble she would get herself in. Nothing got in her way! I've heard the follow-up will be about her, and if that's true, I can't wait! 

Overall, Isle of Blood and Stone is a standout 2018 release! I can't suggest it highly enough to fans of YA fantasy, especially to those who love Kristin Cashore. It's the kind of book you can't help but read in one sitting. I wanted to spread it out over a few days - savor the plot, the characters, the setting - but I just couldn't, it was too hard. 

4.5 stars! 

About the Author: 
Makiia is the author of historical fiction and historical fantasy for young adults. She grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam (not too far from the equator), and has degrees in journalism and library science from the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Her debut novel, A Death-Struck Year, was called a "powerful and disturbing reading experience" by Publishers Weekly. It was a finalist for Germany's top book prize for children, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, as well as Japan's Sakura Medal, and was named an ABC Best Books for Children Selection by the American Booksellers Association.

Her second novel, Isle of Blood and Stone, will be available in Spring 2018.


Prize: copy of ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE by Makiia Lucier
US Only
Starts: 4/4
Ends: 4/19

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  1. This book is on my TBR! It sounds right up my alley and a couple of trusted blogger friends have enjoyed it. The characters sound absolutely wonderful. I'll have to get this ASAP.

  2. This sounds absolutely amazing!!! I would love to get a copy of it!

  3. After reading the synopsis, I need to get my hands on this book ASAP! It sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing your review of this book.


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