Blood Bound

Youkai Bloodlines Book 3

Fiction - Paranormal
299 Pages
Reviewed on 03/08/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

Miche Arendse

Blood Bound by Courtney Maguire is set 200 years after Blood Pact in modern-day Japan. Alternating between the years 2004 and 1993, we see the two protagonists as they become accustomed to a new way of life. Hiro and Hideyoshi are once again faced with life-altering decisions and challenges. Hideyoshi, ever distant, causes Hiro to seek comfort and love from a human; however, no good can come from the bond between a human and a yokai. Hideyoshi must now face the responsibility toward the yokai by himself but without Hiro by his side, things go terribly wrong. Can Hiro and Hide reconcile their relationship or is the bond between the two too ill-fated?

Blood Bound by Courtney Maguire is truly a masterfully written book. The series as a whole is intriguing, unique, and filled with themes of love, loss, and morality. It touches so deeply on the darker themes while delving into the mindset of the characters. I love that in this book we get a glimpse into Hideyoshi’s past and see behind his cold mask. On the other hand, we see a darker side to Hiro and even learn more about Asagi, the main character from the first book in the series. Blood Bound truly evokes a multitude of emotions in the reader, which to me is the mark of a well-written book. Alongside the beautifully written plot, we also delve into Japanese culture in a more modern setting, which is very refreshing. Overall, this book was a pleasure to read from start to finish.

Rabia Tanveer

Blood Bound is the third novel in the Youkai Bloodlines series by Courtney Maguire. Hiro and Hideyoshi made a promise to Kyo and both of them have full intentions of keeping that promise. But since the two broke up, things have been different. While Hideyoshi struggles to find a balance in his life without Hiro, Hiro is fascinated and almost in love with Takanori. Suddenly, his responsibilities to the Youkai and Hideyoshi are easy to ignore. But they cannot afford that. Hideyoshi knows if they are not careful, the war they have worked hard to prevent will definitely happen. Hideyoshi just has to bring Hiro home. It can’t be that hard, can it? Well, Hideyoshi is about to find out.

The book cover is breathtaking and actually made me pick up the novel. Enticing as it is, it is also very revealing about the story. I got Japanese anime/manga vibes from the cover art and the blurb, so I definitely had to pick it up and give it a go. I am so glad that I was not disappointed at all. Blood Bound is fascinating, to say the least, and the execution is simply perfection. The character development is phenomenal, and I cannot find a single fault with the story. The tension is thick between Hideyoshi and Hiro. The duo has no idea how to handle their breakup, and both of them make some pretty bad decisions. The narrative is smoother than you would expect from paranormal fiction. I love how Courtney Maguire gives Hiro and Hideyoshi a lot of powers, but they are still human in the way they handle their emotions. The story is fantastic, and the ending had me questioning a lot of things. I loved every aspect! It's time for me to read the previous novels in the series and wait for the next book!