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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Sarah Chislon introduces Jessa in the Tattoo of Crimson: Blood of the Fae Book 1. Her best friend Ibbie, who has been struggling with depression, exposes a crimson tattoo to Jessa. The “Crimson Tattoo Killer,” a serial killer in the Kingdom of Byren, had marked her for death. Ibbie dies despite Jessa’s best attempts to save her, and she is determined to avenge her friend’s death. When Jessa enters the house where Ibbie died, she encounters Riven, a powerful Fae. In exchange for his help, Riven wants to strike a deal with her. “Never bargain with the Fae, lest you consign yourself to a painful death or a fate much worse,” Jessa recalls. He gives her two days to decide. How can Jessa keep his presence a secret and stop the killer?
Sarah Chislon challenged Jessa with several obstacles that she had to overcome. I could understand how she felt devastated at losing Ibbie. Jessa is an intellectual person who resisted attempts by her two aunts to push her into finding a suitor. Riven’s presence is considered a threat to Byren, and Jessa has to deal with what she is told. The narration is from Jessa’s viewpoint and her encounters with the multiple characters were vivid. I enjoyed trying to determine who the killer was and how he was tattooing his victims without their knowledge. The suspense builds in its intensity, and the tension between Jessa and Riven is palpable. The end of the story is a cliffhanger, and I look forward to a sequel. Readers who enjoy fantasy stories filled with solving crimes will like Tattoo of Crimson.