Book Reviews

Review: The Last Bloodcarver by Vanessa Le

The Last Bloodcarver has one of the most unique magical systems I’ve read in a while. I loved this mix of science and magic mixed with politics. This one made me think about power and loyalty. Keep reading this book review of The Last Bloodcarver for my full thoughts.


Nhika is a bloodcarver. A cold-hearted, ruthless being who can alter human biology with just a touch. In the industrial city of Theumas, she is seen not as a healer, but a monster that kills for pleasure.

When Nhika is caught using her bloodcarving abilities during a sham medical appointment, she’s captured by underground thugs and sold to an aristocratic family to heal the last witness of their father’s murder.

But as Nhika delves deeper into their investigation amidst the glitz of Theumas’ wealthiest district, she begins to notice parallels between this job and her own dark past. And when she meets an alluring yet entitled physician’s aide, Ven Kochin, she’s forced to question the true intent behind this murder. In a society that outcasts her, Kochin seems drawn to her…though he takes every chance he gets to push her out of his opulent world.

When Nhika discovers that Kochin is not who he claims to be, and that there is an evil dwelling in Theumas that runs much deeper than the murder of one man, she must decide where her heart, and her allegiance, truly lie. And – if she’s willing to become the dreaded bloodcarver Theumas fears to save herself and the ones she’s vowed to protect.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Let me just start off by saying I loved this science and magic fusion. There’s very much a basis of anatomy mixed with this idea of magic influencing our body and I could not get over it. I loved how seamless it felt, but also how the world Le creates builds on this magic. The magic not only makes touch dangerous: one touch being enough to weaponize one’s body against itself. It creates this almost barrier of contact which allows people to push us away. To keep us at distance and be afraid of contact. At the same time, I loved the differences between Bloodcarver and Heartsooth.

Not only in their applications, but also the ways that the society around Nhika, but also how these terms and images, illusions and perceptions, have been perpetuated by a society of fear and prejudice. And building on this, The Last Bloodcarver is a story about power and loyalty. About what loyalty freely given means and whether or not we trust someone. At the same time, it’s about power and what we do with it, when we show restraint. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

The Last Bloodcarver is a fabulous YA fantasy debut with a great magic system, fantastic politics, and themes of love and power. It’s about being pushed, about the losses we suffer, and what that causes us to do. Who we end up becoming. Find The Last Bloodcarver on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.


What is your favorite inventive magic?

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