One for My Enemy transports readers to a magical and deadly Manhattan. To a story structure we know, but Blake is able to confound and twist what we are expecting into a delightful rivalry of witch families. Think “Romeo and Juliet” with magical witches and bad blood. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
In modern-day Manhattan where we lay our scene, two rival witch families fight to maintain control of their respective criminal ventures.
On one side of the conflict are the Antonova sisters — each one beautiful, cunning, and ruthless — and their mother, the elusive supplier of premium intoxicants, known only as Baba Yaga. On the other side, the influential Fedorov brothers serve their father, the crime boss known as Koschei the Deathless, whose community extortion ventures dominate the shadows of magical Manhattan.
After twelve years of tenuous co-existence, a change in one family’s interests causes a rift in the existing stalemate. When bad blood brings both families to the precipice of disaster, fate intervenes with a chance encounter, and in the aftershocks of a resurrected conflict, everyone must choose a side. As each of the siblings struggles to stake their claim, fraying loyalties threaten to rot each side from the inside out.
If, that is, the enmity between empires doesn’t destroy them first.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from One for My Enemy. With our recent resurgence of Olivie Blake love, all I knew about this was “Romeo and Juliet” vibes with witches. But Blake delivers a story that transforms whatever you might be expecting. It’s a story that deeply explores family, love and feuds. I adored the way Blake gives this family a sense of scope, difficult dynamics, and bad blood that felt utterly relatable. At the same time, the characters are entrancing.
Each of them never ceases to be fascinating. How the world can portray us, and especially women, as ‘monstrous’. Or the ways in which women’s refusal can turn us into enemies. There’s nothing more dangerous than a man scorned. On one level, One for My Enemy is founded on what we become to fight for ownership of our own decisions, consequences, and power. All the things we have to give up – our name, our family, our love – to be seen.
The background to this rivalry is deeply entrenched in our own human flaws. And Blake only builds on these mistakes, selfishness, and frailty all while portraying the power of love and hope. One for My Enemy sinks into characters. Into the pressures we feel and into the very nature of destiny. Wondering if we’re just fated to continue the cycle. I devoured the audiobook and Ferdelle Capistrano did an amazing job at elevating the story. Of bringing the character’s raw grief, bitter betrayals, and flailing hope to life.
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One for My Enemy surpassed any expectations I had. It’s gripping and only evolves into a story where I listened to the ending in one sitting. If you love rivalry and magic, this is for you. Additionally, if you enjoy stories deeply devoted to the intricacies of characters, our eternal fight for (im)possible loves, and the expectations of family, this is a must read. Find One for My Enemy on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Bookshop.org, Blackwells, Libro.fm, and Google Play.