GODS MEDDLE AND MAGIC WILL BETRAY YOU, BUT THIS TIME JUSTICE WILL REIGN.
Terry J. Benton-Walker's contemporary fantasy debut, Blood Debts, is "an extravaganza from start to finish" (Chloe Gong) with powerful magical families, intergenerational curses, and deadly drama in New Orleans.
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“A conjuring of magnificence.” —NIC STONE • “A force.” —ROSEANNE A. BROWN • “An extravaganza.” —CHLOE GONG • “Powerful.” —AYANA GRAY • “Sings with hope and rage.” —TJ KLUNE • “An unforgettable thrill ride.” —J. ELLE • “Steeped in magic.” —ALEXIS HENDERSON • “Crackles with mystery and ferocity.” —MARK OSHIRO
Thirty years ago, a young woman was murdered, a family was lynched, and New Orleans saw the greatest magical massacre in its history. In the days that followed, a throne was stolen from a queen.
On the anniversary of these brutal events, Clement and Cristina Trudeau—the sixteen-year-old twin heirs to the powerful, magical, dethroned family—are mourning their father and caring for their sick mother. Until, by chance, they discover their mother isn’t sick—she’s cursed. Cursed by someone on the very magic council their family used to rule. Someone who will come for them next.
Cristina, once a talented and dedicated practitioner of Generational magic, has given up magic for good. An ancient spell is what killed their father and she was the one who cast it. For Clement, magic is his lifeline. A distraction from his anger and pain. Even better than the random guys he hooks up with.
Cristina and Clement used to be each other’s most trusted confidant and friend, now they barely speak. But if they have any hope of discovering who is coming after their family, they’ll have to find a way to trust each other and their family's magic, all while solving the decades-old murder that sparked the still-rising tensions between the city’s magical and non-magical communities. And if they don't succeed, New Orleans may see another massacre. Or worse.
★ “Riveting and relevant.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Walker's scintillating debut follows the Trudeau twins, members of a once-powerful magical New Orleans family. Thirty years after Cristine Dupart, the queen of the city's Generational Magic Council, was lynched for allegedly murdering the white mayor's daughter, her descendants live in enmity. Clement Trudeau, a young Black man with chronic anxiety, is a devoted practitioner of generational magic, while his gifted twin sister Cris swore to never use magic again following their father's tragic death. But when the siblings learn that their mother is dying of multiple organ failure, they perform a good luck spell in hopes of healing her, only to discover that their mother's mysterious illness isn't incidental: it's a curse, and she isn't the only target. Together, the pair must uncover the truth of Cristine's tragic history to ensure the surviving Trudeaus don't share her terrible fate. Steeped in spiritual lore that takes cues from the rich cultural history of the Black diaspora, Walker paints an evocative picture of an enchanted New Orleans as earthly as it is divine. Walker effectively parallels contemporary politics with heady alternate magical history to create a layered world that is more than the sum of its mercurial characters and its many moving parts. Ages 13–up.