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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Blood Bound is a work of fiction in the paranormal and adventure subgenres and serves as the third installment in the Youkai Bloodlines series. It is aimed at the mature adult reading audience and was penned by author Courtney Maguire. Continuing the story of Hiro and Hideyoshi, the book follows both Hiro’s attempts to hide from the world of the Youkai as well as Hideyoshi dealing with the fallout of Hiro’s disappearance and the broken promises that resulted from it. With war brewing after two centuries of tentative and hard-won peace, Hideyoshi must do whatever it takes to bring Hiro back into their world before it’s too late.
I’m always intrigued by the story told by the third entry in a series; it can often be a weak point between establishing the world and its major players and the overarching story of the series taking off. Not so here as Courtney Maguire manages to have the best of both worlds; continuing to establish and develop the world of Hiro and the Youkai whilst organically pushing forward the story of the seemingly inevitable conflict that hangs over the series. Hiro continues to grow as a protagonist with the book exploring whether he deserves or is entitled to an easier life than the one fate has dealt him. Hideyoshi’s journey to bring Hiro back into the fold raises many exciting and intelligent questions about the role of the hero in literature. Overall, Blood Bound is a deep and considered entry into the series that continues its steady growth, and I hope to see many more future installments.