Bloodleaf

Narrated by: Nicola Barber
Series: Bloodleaf, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (993 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A roar of a dark and luscious epic fantasy that’s layered with heady romance, bloodthirsty magic, and ghostly intrigue - an absolutely wicked delight. 

Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants. Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her. 

But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?

©2019 Crystal Smith (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

Editor's Pick

Tell me a fairy tale like this
"Right out of the gate, Crystal Smith’s debut novel has been getting some capital-H Hype for its fast-paced plot and clever twists. It’s a fairy tale retelling of Grimm’s "The Goose Girl" about a princess who’s supposed to marry a prince she doesn’t like, but then has her identity stolen by her lady-in-waiting, causing things go awry pretty quickly. The princess, Aurelia, can use illegal blood magic, which she’s forced to use to survive in the underbelly of society. Narrator Nicola Barber can keep up with the fast clip of the story as well as slow it down when we reach the quieter moments. Death and danger run amok in this story, but there’s also romance here too, and Barber is deft in carrying us through it. I can see how this one is going to claim a spot in the lineup of fantastic new YA fantasies this year." —Melissa B., Audible Editor

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What listeners say about Bloodleaf

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not Understanding All the Praise

I listen to audiobooks on my daily driving commute, so I go through two to three books a month. I listen to YA often. When this book popped up with tons of praise I bought it. I never finished it. The idea was good. The protagonist was not. She's a princess, but she behaves like a modern rich teen girl. A princess would have been educated and trained to never behave in the ways she does regularly. Maybe I'm being nitpicky, but I'm a huge European history buff, which this book is based on, and I could not suspend my disbelief. I can buy into a world with magic. I can buy into bad guys with deadly, horrible behavior. I can't buy into a princess who acts like she should be at the mall.

SPOILER: Also, a main plot point is that an imposter is accepted by the rulers of the kingdom she is marrying into immediately upon her arrival, and the princess is forced to go into hiding. Really? They never requested a portrait of the princess? What?! No physical description ever was given? The imposter doesn't not resemble the princess beyond being another white, teenaged girl.

Anyway, if you can ignore these complaints, enjoy the book.

116 people found this helpful

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predictable story

Don't waste your credit. This is a very predictable storyline that is easy to figure out from the beginning what takes the heroine the entire story to figure out. You will spend your time waiting for her to get a clue and figure out what you already know.

23 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Predictable

This wasn't my cup of tea, but that's not to say it couldn't be someone elses. The beginning was promising, but too quick for me to get to know the characters well enough to care what happened to them. The book was a bit corny and the characters a bit flat too. The middle was awkward and way too predictable for me. I figured out the plot very early in the story and was struggling to finish. Then, suddenly in the last quarter, the story became more interesting. I enjoyed the last two hours, which is why I give it two stars.

If you enjoy a fast moving plot, even at the cost of character development, then this book might be for you, as the plot could be interesting if you don't figure it out to soon. However, if you like to take time with the characters and don't like fast plots, then you might prefer something else. I think this book might be fun for teenagers to read or listen to, young adults at most, but probably not so much for more mature audiences, like over thirty, I think

The narrator was fine when she was playing the characters, but the overly nasal quality of her voice when she was acting as the storyteller really, really annoyed me. Aside from that she was ok. She sounded youthful and enthusiastic, neither dull nor over the top.

48 people found this helpful

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Poor logic

The characters are fine, but the ‘twists’ are HIGHLY predictable, and frequently characters act in ways that are contrary to their best interests to further the plot, but in ways that don’t make sense for the characters.

29 people found this helpful

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Entertaining

The story about a princess with blood magic trying to save the people she loves, is basically a good one. However, it’s a bit confusing and her magic is sometimes powerful and sometimes not. Worth listening to but not fantastic.

10 people found this helpful

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A surprising find

I will not say I'm harsh with giving my ratings so take that as you will. Bloodleaf was a bit hard to start, I have to admit. it took me reading and listening in combination to really stick with it at first. Part two, is where it picked up for me, really. I'm sure it's not the most advanced listen for some but i found that the writer did smack me hard with some good lines and the narrator? well she had me nearly in tears at one point with her delivery.
the world interests me and i have to say I'm curious about more within the world and i feel there are many things yet unexplored. it's a nice little debut, I think!

8 people found this helpful

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Suspense and Romance

It took me a few chapters to get really engaged with the characters however once I was hooked in, I couldn’t stop listening! Lots of suspense, tender romance (not too sweet or trite), lush setting and backstory.

8 people found this helpful

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I'm not crying... You are!

I really thoroughly enjoyed this story. I wish it wouldn't end. Getting so wrapped into it, feeling the way she would have felt... I understood her struggles. You may feel great pain, happiness, sadness, and other various emotions. But, with all good things they invoke feelings.

I deeply and genuinely recommend this book to those curious about it.

5 people found this helpful

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Quality writing

I’ve read so many books now that they’re all starting blend into the same story arc of exposition > rising action > climax > resolution, blah, blah, tired trope, blah.

This book, however, felt fresh. Characters were dynamic, likable, believable. Overall really well written and engaging.

Highly recommended!

26 people found this helpful

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Great Book

This book had a good blend of action and Love. I would think the target audience is young adult but overall I enjoyed listening to it and would recommend to my friends.

8 people found this helpful